The Death Of Room Service?

room service
Will Merydith, Flickr

I’ve always felt that one of the great luxuries of staying in a hotel has nothing to do with how premium the furnishings are or how fancy the décor is. No, what really makes a hotel indulgent is the fact that I don’t have to do things myself. The bed needs to be made in the morning? Not my problem! Towels need replacing? Good thing fresh ones are just a phone call away. Stomach rumbling in the middle of the night? Why step out of my pajamas when room service can bring me whatever my belly desires?

Well now, one of those luxuries is under threat with the New York Hilton Midtown announcing that it is going to stop offering room service at its 2,000-room establishment.The four-star hotel has been experiencing a drop in the number of people ordering room service – a trend seen across the board. In the past year, room service accounted for just 1.2 percent of total hotel revenue in the United States.

Experts attribute the fall in room service requests to greater competition from restaurants popping up near hotels. They say some hotels have tried to counter this by putting restaurants and cafes in their lobbies to attract guests.

Whether the Hilton’s decision to dump room service will spread across the hotel industry is yet to be seen. However, the decision to kill off room service may come back to bite the hotel according to travel strategy firm Hudson Crossing. Analyst Henry Harteveldt told news.com.au that the Hilton’s star rating might be downgraded because it would no longer officially be considered a full service hotel. “If room service is a requirement to earn a four star rating from independent organizations like AAA, Hilton’s move may put (that) rating in jeopardy, unless the hotel can obtain an exemption.”