COLUMN || Is Room Service Dead?

With the rise of food delivery apps, hotels around the world are being forced to turn the trolley tables and rethink in-room dining. So is room service really endangered or is it just getting a face-lift?



Whether it’s for a celebratory bottle of Moët or a greasy late-night cheeseburger, the notion of room service still manages to capture fantasies of lavishness and indulgence. Who could forget the glee of a boofy-haired, white-robed Julia Roberts chewing on pancakes and picking at her breakfast croissant while Richard Gere read the business pages? Let’s be honest, we’ve all wanted to live out that scene.

Breakfast scene,  Pretty Woman.  IMAGE:

Breakfast scene, Pretty Woman. IMAGE:

It doesn’t matter if you’re dialling ‘9’ in Paris, Phuket or Perth, the simple – yet irrational – act of summoning overpriced edible goods to your hotel room door at any hour always seems like a treat. While the end product might vary in its desirability upon delivery, the blinding mystique of luxury endures; somehow elevating a simple sandwich or glass of orange juice to luxurious new heights – at least in our imaginations.

Is in-room dining really going the way of the dodo or is it all hotel hyperbole? I decided to find out for my Eating Out column this month.