It's one of life's simple pleasures... sitting in a fluffy robe, tucked into a cashmere throw and overlooking a picturesque view from your guest room window at a luxury hotel while you dine on room service.
Gone are the days when room service is limited to soupy oatmeal and cold pizza. Today's luxury hotels have mastered the art of fine dining in your guest room, and have taken room service to a science, instead of simply a requirement. Today, you don't need to sacrifice good food for comfort. In-room dining has taken on a five-star service of its own, and it's worth staying in for.
On a recent trip to New York City, I arrived the Mandarin Oriental New York after a bumpy flight from Punta Cana to JFK. The weather in New York was rain, rain, and more rain, and the cab line at the airport was filled with travelers crammed together in the open air trying to shelter themselves from the storm while waiting for a cab. After 30 minutes in line and a 45-minute ride into the city, I arrived the hotel soaked to the bone, starving and in need of some serious down time. I ordered room service and anxiously awaited for my bowl of wonton soup and side of steamed vegetables to arrive. Less than 30 minutes later there was a knock at my door, and within minutes a white-tableclothed tray had been set up perfectly in front of the TV, decorated with silver utensils and a pink orchid in a crystal vase. The display was beautiful, the food was divine.
Departures Magazine recently pulled together some of their favorite hotels that do room service to perfection. Next time you're holed up in a hotel, consider dining in instead of dressing up to go out.
Chambers Hotel, New York: The Chambers is known for the culinary artistry whipped up by its resident chef, David Chang. Má Pêche, on the ground floor of the hotel, is the only midtown outpost of Chang's Manhattan restaurant empire. Depatures suggests a plate of steamed buns --filled either with lobster; maitake mushrooms and chicarrón (pork rinds).
Waldorf Astoria Chicago: Every guest room at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago has a proper dining-room table, set with flowers and pull out chairs, and where room service is served on elegant china. The room-service selections from in-house Balsan restaurant include sustainably sourced Alaskan king crab legs, poached lobster on the half shell and platters of house-made charcuterie and artisanal cheeses.
Hastings House, British Columbia, Canada: Set on an island just west of Vancouver, this seaside country resort has suites with private balconies overlooking Ganges Harbour. Departures says the view from the guestrooms are a perfect backdrop for in-room dining from the ever-changing menu offered by the hotel's chef, Marcel Kauer.
Le Taha'a island resort and spa, French Polynesia: If you're going to travel all this way, you might as well enjoy the room. Le Taha'a occupies a private islet (or motu), where most guests stay in individual overwater bungalows. Order breakfast in bed and dine on your fluffy pancakes and fresh fruit while overlooking the turquoise water of Taha'a Lagoon.
Twin Farms, Barnard, Vermont: One of the most intimate offerings at the wooded 300-acre Twin Farms resort is the Fireside Supper, where waiters uncork wine, light the candles, dim the lights and leave guests with a three-course-meal in the comfort of their guest rooms.
Readers: What's been your most memorable hotel in-room dining experience?
The author is solely responsible for the content.