Ordering room service is just one of the many perks of going on vacation and staying in a hotel (as opposed to a rental), but the way people take advantage of this classic amenity isn’t always as straightforward as ordering a breakfast parfait.
As part of its inaugural Room Service Report, Hotels.com conducted an online survey of 473 hotels in the U.S., U.K., France, Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, from April 5-23, 2023. The survey focused only on hotels currently offering in-room dining, and the responses were illuminating.
The report notes that 45% of hotels are seeing more demand for room service this year. Not only that, but 27% of hotels reported that guests who order food to their room tend to spend on average $100 or more. You might think this means they have champagne tastes, yet although the price tags are high, guests tend to want the simple pleasures most often. Just under half of hotels reported that burgers were the most popular room service order.
Though this author has never been personally bold enough to go off-menu when ordering room service, it seems plenty of other travelers have. The report notes 10 of the most unusual room service requests fielded by hotels. See if anything stands out to you:
- Diet water
- Melted ice cream
- Boiled bottled water
- A cooked fish that the guest brought with them
- Cockle popcorn
- No-egg-white omelette
- Rice bowl for a dog
- Eggless eggs in hell (shakshuka)
Anyone can request anything from room service, but have the hotels actually complied? We asked a rep for Hotels.com, who noted that because hotels pride themselves on their service model, it’s more likely than not that they at least attempted to fulfill the requests.
Not only do hotels allow for some pretty unusual room service orders, they also offer them up to guests themselves, and not all are edible. Take, for example, the The Milestone Hotel in London, which offers an in-room concert from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (though the price is quoted on an individual basis). Or, for something a little less high-class but still luxurious, the DogHouse Columbus Hotel in Columbus, Ohio offers a mini fridge in the bathroom stocked with “shower beers.”
And because Home Alone 2 left us all with the desire to pull a Kevin McAllister and eat a massive ice cream sundae prepared bedside, The Plaza Hotel in New York City, where the movie takes place, actually offers a big-ass 16-scoop sundae for $300 in honor of the 1992 film.
A boat-sized sundae in bed at home doesn’t strike me as appealing at all, but for some reason, perusing a menu, ordering one via landline, opening the door for a stranger, and savoring the dessert in a strange bed sounds like the height of luxury. That’s the magic of hotels, I guess.