WTF? No More Room Service at New York Hilton Midtown?!

Discussion in 'Hilton | HHonors' started by NYCUA1K, Jun 2, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    NYT: Sorry, Eloise. No More Room Service.

    By WINNIE HU

    June 2, 2013

    It is the perk that comes with expense accounts, the silver tray that wakes lovers in the morning, and the frequent indulgence of the superspy James Bond.

    Room service has become all these things, and more, since it grew popular with the privileged guests of the Waldorf-Astoria in the 1930s and soon emerged as a standard for luxury excursions, and a plot device for tales of suspense and whimsy.

    Just ask Eloise, the 6-year-old scamp living it up in the Plaza Hotel, who routinely called for room service to bring her, exactly, one roast-beef bone, one raisin and seven spoons.

    And yet room service will soon be no more at one major New York City hotel.

    In August, the New York Hilton Midtown, in the heart of Manhattan, will discontinue food and drink service to all 2,000 of its rooms. In its place will be a new self-service Herb n’ Kitchen stocked with grab-and-go items. A spokesman for the hotel, which is part of the chain that also operates the Waldorf, cited declining demand for room service as the reason; some hotel industry experts see the elimination of the labor-intensive amenity as a way for the chain to save money.

    Initially, travelers bemoaned the loss of a cherished hotel perk — regardless of whether they used it. For even if they never ordered the expensive Three Scrambled Organic Eggs ($22.50) or the reliable Cobb Salad ($24.75) at 1 a.m., it was comforting to know that either could be delivered to the door, its arrival punctuated by a few knocks and exactly two words.

    “I think it’s dehumanizing the service,” said Michael Henry, 78, a Jamaican author and publisher who likes to have his coffee waiting when he steps out of the shower in the morning, or while he makes business calls. “It’s what I call catering to the lowest common denominator.”

    Mr. Henry’s wife, Dawn, added disapprovingly that she expected more of a hotel charging $300 a night.

    Continue reading...
     
  2. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    This is at best a mid-scale hotel.

    They clearly weren't making much money from providing the service, or they would have not stopped. Perhaps guests Price-conscious enough to stay at this hotel prefer to avoid $50 meal charges.

    I struggle to see this having any meaningful impact on their bookings.

    Further, this being NY, there are hundreds of food services that will deliver to the hotel. Seamless.com :) You'll probably have to go down to the lobby to fetch it though.
     
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  3. kwai
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    kwai Gold Member

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    This is NY where you can get anything at any time. The Cobb salad at 1AM is not where my palate would be leaning.
     
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  4. Pat89339
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    Pat89339 Gold Member

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    The Hilton Hawaiian Village ended room service last October for the grab and go menu.
     
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  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The change is less startling for its economic implications (the move will save money for sure) than it is for something that the piece makes clear: room service had become associated with a certain "chic" internationally that may soon disappear with its demise.

    I suspect that as with great service, one would soon need to go to Asia to find hotels with great in-room dining, at any hour...
     
  6. JLSocks
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    JLSocks Silver Member

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    Well, this will be another reason for me to try to book away from this particular hotel when I'm in NYC for work. I used room service relatively frequently there when getting back to the room late after a long day.
     
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  7. slalom

    slalom Silver Member

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    After about 50 nights at this property in the past 6 months, I only used room service twice. Once up against an early morning work deadline, and once (for a bottle of champagne) when my girlfriend arrived unexpectedly!

    Given the price of food in this hotel, I avoid eating there at all costs - try having bacon and eggs for breakfast in the restaurant - as I recall >$40 - and the gratuity is added automatically (even for the buffet). There is a nice pub just west of the hotel on 54th that serves food late.

    Another late night room service alternative is the most popular, and allegedly best, halal food cart in all of NY on the SW corner of 53rd and 6th. On one of my first stays, the noise from the lengthy line at 4:00 a.m. woke me up!
     
  8. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    That's expanded into Halal carts now on pretty much every corner around that area, and it's still just as busy.

    But I agree, I rarely order room service unless I don't have a choice or I really don't care about the price. My last experience with Vegas (which is not that much different from New York in terms of cost) was breakfast for two at the cost of $86 before gratuity.

    [​IMG]

    I think I've ordered room service maybe 3-4 times in the last couple of years.
     
  9. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I'm surprised a Gratuity wasn't automatically added as seems to be the usual custom. Interesting though that the "Gratuity" is a separate line item than "Tip". Is the Tip what you give the person who brings it to the door or is it the other way around? (Not like it matters but gotta get the hotel-speak correct, I suppose.)
     
  10. slalom

    slalom Silver Member

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    Sixteen-bucks for coffee....should come with a happy ending! And what did you get for your "operations charge"?
     
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  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I noticed that...I do not believe that even at Hilton NYC coffee, with unlimited refills, would cost that much!
     
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  12. mikeschu
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    mikeschu Gold Member

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    At sixteen dollars, I'd hope for those beans to be pre-processed by a civet well before it got to the grinder.
     
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  13. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    It was actually a large carafe. But I would certainly not say $16 worth... :)

    Maybe 4 cups, probably?
     
  14. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    New York hotel's plan to end room service could gain following
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. slalom

    slalom Silver Member

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    That would actually be an "un-Hilton like" bargain.
     

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