restaurant meals are one of the decadent pleasures of traveling. But there are
times—say, after a long day of exploring or business meetings—when the idea of eating
dinner in a bathrobe seems equally compelling. Happily, now that many of the
world’s top hotels offer five-star room service, there’s no need to sacrifice
haute cuisine for comfort.
Once considered the last resort of weary business
travelers (and the subject of Marx Brothers’ comedy), room-service dining has
finally come into its own. Gone are the days when hotel guests could expect
only defrosted seafood and soggy breakfast pastries on their trays; now,
sophisticated dishes made with artisanal ingredients are making their way
upstairs. Some are even whipped up by superstar chefs; at New York City’s
Chambers Hotel, for instance, guests can order sublime French-Asian dishes from
Má Pêche, the ground-floor restaurant run by David Chang (of Momofuku fame).
Among the many other room-service treats you won’t need
to lift a finger to enjoy (unless that finger is helping to hold a fork) are lunchtime
specialties like Wagyu-pastrami sandwiches (at the Little Nell in Aspen) and
custom-mixed cocktails (at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel). The delivery is as
memorable as the food at Twin Farms in Vermont, where servers light candles,
uncork wine and dim the lights for a private romantic dinner. The pièce
de résistance, though, may well be at Le Taha’a, a
French Polynesian getaway, where ukulele-strumming canoeists deliver breakfast to guests’
Restaurateurs, beware…eating in is the new eating out.