Dining

Room service checks out of NYC hotel

 

The New York Times

It is the perk that comes with expense accounts, the silver tray that wakes lovers in the morning, and even the momentary weakness of a superspy like James Bond.

Room service has become all these things, and more, since it grew popular with the privileged guests of the Waldorf-Astoria in the 1930s and soon emerged as a standard for luxury excursions, and a plot device for tales of suspense and whimsy.

Just ask Eloise, the 6-year-old scamp living it up in the Plaza Hotel, who routinely called for room service to bring her, exactly, one roast-beef bone, one raisin and seven spoons.

And yet room service will soon be no more at one major New York City hotel.

In August, the New York Hilton Midtown, in the heart of Manhattan, will discontinue food and drink service to all 2,000 of its rooms. In its place will be a new self-service Herb n’ Kitchen stocked with grab-and-go items. A spokesman for the hotel, which is part of the chain that also operates the Waldorf, cited declining demand for room service as the reason; some hotel industry experts see the elimination of the labor-intensive amenity as a way for the chain to save money.

The decision to jettison room service at the New York Hilton, reported by Crain’s New York Business, comes as other large hotels have cut back menus or reduced hours in recent years, and many newer boutique hotels have opened without offering it all. Some hotels have even made arrangements with nearby restaurants to act as surrogate kitchens and deliver food to their hotel rooms.

John Fox, a consultant for the hotel industry, said nearly all hotels lost money on room service, which requires maintaining a staff of waiters and kitchen workers throughout the day, even though orders typically dwindle after breakfast and come in sporadically afterward. “Everybody’s doing what they can to engineer their properties to make more profit while still supplying the services their guests demand,” he said.

Read more Travel stories from the Miami Herald

  • The travel troubleshooter

    My wife is in intensive care — what about her airline ticket?

    Q: Earlier this year, I booked flights with Expedia on Icelandair for a trip to Paris and London for my wife and me. It was to be in celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary. Since the day I bought the tickets, my wife was stricken with a very serious bacterial infection and has been in the intensive care unit at the hospital. If she can recover, she will be in rehabilitation for several months and will not be able to go on the trip.

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Ginger root, pills and lozenges</span>

    Cruising

    Prone to seasickness? Distraction might help

    Few things will ruin a cruise faster than feeling seasick. To help prevent motion sickness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends staying hydrated, curbing alcohol and caffeinated drinks, eating small meals and limiting external stimuli. And while some experts say that cabins in the middle of the lower deck of a ship may help temper motion sickness, the CDC has reported that “cabin location on a cruise ship does not appear to influence the likelihood of motion sickness.”

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Glass Window Bridge:</span> The Atlantic pounds the east side of Eleuthera, the ‘Caribbean’ the west.

    The Bahamas

    The Bahama’s: Eleuthera, an island of sun, surf and solitude

    Eleuthera: Elusive, therapeutic, with empty beaches, among the most beautiful anywhere, with white or blush talcum powder sand and waters in varying shades of aquamarine, turquoise, amethyst and crystal.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK



  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category