Drinks

Our Favorite Hotel Room Services Ever

food, our favorite hotel room services ever

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There’s nothing more luxurious than excellent hotel room service. If you’re like us, vacation includes lots of running around, in search of the best restaurants, bars, and street food, so sometimes, the biggest treat is to stay put, give into the jet lag, and order comfort food straight to bed.

We’ve rounded up our favorite hotel room services we’ve ever had. A lot of them feature breakfast, because what’s better than room service breakfast? Paris hotels, with their beautiful baskets of French pastry, show up three times. Some of the in-room dining experiences blew us away with the quality of the food, others with the out-of-this-world views, but all of them were fodder for day dreams for years to come.

The Merrion, Dublin, Ireland

“The Merrion in Dublin is a gorgeous, stately hotel consisting of four adjoining homes built in the late 1700s, and the guest rooms have heaps of charm. So while you certainly can dine in the vaulted dining room of the hotel’s two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, or curl up by a roaring fireplace in one of the drawing rooms for an epic afternoon tea, my favorite indulgence was to order room service in the morning to eke out a little extra me-time in my cozy chamber. Pouring myself a cup of coffee from a silver coffee pot before tucking into an Irish breakfast of eggs, grilled tomato and bacon, black sausage, mushrooms, and a crispy potato scone was a wonderful ritual before a day of seeing the sights.” — Karen Shimizu, executive editor

Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris, France

“Hôtel Plaza Athénée is legendary for serving up some of the best views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but the iconic hotel also has a host of impressive offerings for the culinary type. If you’re staying in a street-facing room with a terrace, treat yourself to breakfast al fresco with the beauty of the 8th arrondissement and the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop. A full Parisian breakfast is at your disposal with fresh croissants, pastries, cheeses, and juices, filling you up so you can start your day with plenty of energy to explore the City of Lights.” — Sean Flynn, senior editorial director

Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

“When I think of room service, I think of breakfast, because that, to me, is the ultimate luxury: lingering in a fluffy hotel bed, with a gorgeous view, until my coffee arrives. At Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal, one of the most spectacular resorts in Mexico, I could place all room service orders via text with my personal “butler,” and it arrived right away. One morning, instead of ordering breakfast to my perfect bed, I ventured to my suite’s outdoor patio, which included my very own plunge infinity pool and stunning views of the Sea of Cortez. As if that atmosphere weren’t enough to make the room service spectacular, the spicy green chilaquiles that promptly arrived were the best I’d ever had.” – Maria Yagoda, senior editor

food, our favorite hotel room services ever

Maria Yagoda

Raya Heritage, Chiang Mai, Thailand

“I recently spent a restorative few days resting in a suite at Raya Heritage in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The resort itself sits on the Ping River and the property is covered in gardens — growing flowers, teas, herbs, and aromatics for the kitchens. Room service found me out on the terrace of my room, which overlooks the river, pools, and gardens, plus has a built-in couch, dining table, and tea and coffee station. I always love ordering dessert when eating out, but there is something particularly delightful about ordering dessert in, and the Raya did not disappoint. I tucked into a grilled banana, with a shatteringly crisp thin layer of sugar on top, creamy banana ice cream, luscious coconut milk, and fried black glutinous rice balls with crushed sesame seeds, and cane sugar sauce in a duo of sweet treats. Paired with a pot of tea I prepared by blending my own medley of tea leaves from their in-room tea box, I enjoyed a sweet and relaxing afternoon I’ll never forget.” – Kelsey Youngman, food editor

Hoshinoya Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Japan

“Every breakfast I had on my last trip to Japan was spectacular, but my favorite was delivered straight to my room in Karuizawa, a serene, mountainous resort town near Nagano, Japan (just a 90-minute train ride from Tokyo). Gazing out at the red, late-winter forest and icy springs that weave through Hoshinoya Karuizawa, I enjoyed my stunning assortment of perfectly prepared miso soup, grilled fish, and rice cooked in a stone pot. The experience was pure serenity –– and ideal fuel for my flying squirrel-spotting tour later that day.” –– Maria Yagoda

Poetry Inn, Napa Valley, California

“I’d heard about Poetry Inn Napa Valley for years. I even toured it once, but had never had the opportunity to stay there until this past summer. My welcome platter of room-service charcuterie made the long wait to properly experience the property completely worth it. After being walked to my room, I was asked whether I wanted a snack. I’d spent the morning driving up from San Francisco following the long cross-country flight from Philadelphia, and then a magnificent tasting at Cliff Lede, which also owns Poetry Inn Napa Valley. As people definitely don’t say anymore, I was feeling peckish. Of course, I replied, I’d love a snack.

What arrived a few minutes later was the meat-and-cheese spread I had been dreaming about the entire flight over. (I’m not exaggerating; my dreams are often about food — also wine and whiskey and Negronis.) It was accompanied by a bottle of FEL Anderson Valley Pinot Noir, and I enjoyed it on my terrace, overlooking the great sweet of Napa below. It was as perfect a welcome as I ever could have imagined, and all from the comfort of my room.” — Brian Freedman, Food & Wine contributor

Silversea’s Silver Dawn, At Sea

“The best room service I’ve experienced this year hasn’t been in a hotel at all — it’s been at sea. While sailing from Bari to Rome with Silversea’s Silver Dawn this past summer, I heard a rumor that my butler (yes, every suite on the ship has a butler) would bring me the ship’s daily caviar service on request at no extra cost at any time of the day. (The line’s culinary offerings are all-inclusive; I even tested this theory by ordering a double caviar service one evening at no extra charge.) The service includes a custom platter arranged with caviar on ice and all the fixings: finely chopped egg white and yolk, chives, onions, and crème fraîche. Needless to say, I made it a daily ritual.” —Melanie Hansche, deputy editor

Chileno Bay Resort, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

“The room service options at the Chileno Bay Resort in Cabo are exactly what you want from a hotel. It’s the perfect mix of upmarket touches like lavender butter with the buttermilk pancakes or preserved Meyer lemon on avocado toast, and approachable staples like crispy chicken tenders, a gooey grilled cheese, a really solid Caesar salad, and crispy fries with all of the dipping sauces you could ever want. The fruit plate in the morning always arrived chilled with a neatly cut assortment of whatever produce was on hand, and the late-night vanilla flan is the perfect order if you’re looking for something sweet at midnight. But the real winner was the breakfast quesadillas from the kids menu, which arrived as several small quesadillas stuffed with scrambled eggs and cheese, and a generous portion of guacamole on the side — the perfect meal before spending the next eight hours in the pool.” — Khushbu Shah, restaurant editor

Hotel Lutetia, Paris, France

“Hotel Lutetia would already be at the tip-top of my ‘must-stay’ list for Parisian accommodations, but its room service offerings put it right over the top. The hotel’s head chef Patrick Charvet and pastry chef Nicolas Guercio are always at the ready to whip up a treat (think overstuffed charcuterie boards with local cheeses and sweet macaroons to finish it off). But, do yourself a favor and order a bottle of bubbly (Veuve Clicquot or bust) to sip on your balcony while looking out to the Eiffel Tower for the full French effect.” — Stacey Leasca, Food & Wine contributor

Hacienda AltaGracia, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica

“Quite possibly one of the most interesting in-room dining menus I’ve ever encountered was at Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection, a gorgeous property in the lush foothills of Costa Rica’s Talamanca Mountains. All of the casitas come with sweeping views of the verdant landscape, and the menu is inspired by the landscape, too, spotlighting super seasonal, regional ingredients in surprising ways (while accommodating a number of dietary restrictions.) I found myself religiously ordering the gluten-free banana flour waffles, bathed in honey and edible flowers, for breakfast — always with spectacular local coffee. Most dishes spotlighted herbs and produce from the on-site chef’s garden, often with ingredients I’d never tasted in my life because they were so regional. The yogurt, from a small family farm a few kilometers up the road — I can’t stop thinking about.” — Maria Yagoda

food, our favorite hotel room services ever

Maria Yagoda

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland, Norðurljósavegur, Iceland

“Room service is one of my top favorite things about traveling. As a person with three small children, ordering a meal and eating it alone in a clean and quiet space  — free of laundry piles and clamoring kids — is just the height of luxury, whether it’s an elaborate breakfast spread or a simple cheeseburger and fries. I usually pair it with old episodes of Law & Order or Parks and Rec. One of my all-time favorites was at The Retreat at Blue Lagoon — you get to enjoy the freshest smoked salmon and your own personal view of the private lagoon.” — Regan Stephens, Food & Wine contributor

Ritz Paris, Paris, France

“Ordering in-room breakfast at the Ritz Paris feels like the epitome of elegance. The pancakes are perfectly fluffy, yes, but it’s the pomp and pageantry that made it one of the most memorable moments of my last visit to Paris. The delightfully old-school affair starts with a rolled-in table that looks like what I imagine is exactly how the table is set at a royal wedding, with a silver pot of cafe, fresh-squeezed orange juice, flaky pain au chocolat, and plenty of French butter. And since the hotel lets you check in as soon as you arrive in the city (no matter how early!) in-room breakfast feels like the most dignified (and delicious) way to kick off a trip to Paris.” — Regan Stephens

Palm Heights, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

“One of the best room service experiences I’ve ever had was at Palm Heights in Grand Cayman — you get to enjoy breakfast from the comfort of your private balcony overlooking the ocean. What could be better?” — Oset Babür-Winter, senior drinks editor

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