Picking up the phone and dialing “0” to order your favorite club sandwich, a shrimp cocktail, and a bottle of chilled white wine, from the comfort of your luxurious, perfectly squidgy, king-size bed has got to be the ultimate traveling indulgence. This is why we’re always willing to pay over the odds for a simple meal to be cooked at whatever time of day or night we fancy, and delivered directly to our door.
However, this glamorous ultra-private dining experience can be made improved with a few little tips and some simple savvy ordering. You need to remember that the chef cooking your food is not the best chef in the kitchen, so it’s best to avoid anything intricate and fancy. Now is not the time for that lobster tail with several sauces. And definitely never order room service in a hotel where the food in the dining room is already terrible, and most of the bedrooms are permanently vacant.
These seven items should be avoided for various reasons: some for your own health, some for the sake of your bedroom’s aroma, and some because they are certain to be a disappointment.
We love avocados as much as you do, and having avocado in salad, on toast, in sandwiches, or on its own, always makes us very happy. But an avocado’s key flaw is that it discolors so fast, and when it’s not its vivid green color any more, we just can’t help but think it doesn’t taste quite the same. Brown avocado on toast is not going to be that breakfast in bed meal you had dreamed of.
Ordering coffee to be sent up to you room is something we all do without even thinking. But we need to stop, and to start using the kettle provided in the room instead. In most hotels, the coffee for room service has been stewing for hours before you order it. It’ll taste stale, old, burnt, and gritty. If they’re not brewing it fresh for you, it’s not something you want to drink.
Room service food has a long way to travel from the basement kitchen up to your room on the eighth floor. All that freshly fried, crispy, crunchy food will not be in such a perfect state by the time it reaches you. Those crunchy fries will now be sad, soggy, and limp.
There are two simple reasons to avoid ordering the eggs on the room service menu. Firstly, they smell. Their gently sulfurous perfume will infiltrate itself into every corner of your room. Secondly, eggs don’t travel well. That perfectly runny yolk you made doubly sure you requested on the phone? Well, while it might have been runny when it came out of the boiling water in the kitchen, it won’t be by the time it’s been plated and carried all the way up to you.
Unless you know that the hotel is turning over many, many room service orders every night, seafood should be avoided. Not only will its scent permeate every inch of your bedroom, but it’s likely that this wasn’t the freshest fish available. Many hotels pre-prepare their shrimp cocktails, with bulk-bought, barely defrosted shrimp, and leave them in the refrigerator, ready for the staff to pick out and carry up to your room several hours later.
You’re staying in such a swanky hotel that you actually have the option of ordering soufflé of the menu. Does it get any more luxurious than that? We’re here to burst your bubble: Don’t order it. If you’re hoping for a beautifully risen, perfectly-formed lemon soufflé, you’ll be left with a cold, sunken mush, as the room service staff simply couldn’t carry it from the kitchen to your room fast enough.
If you can’t resist ordering that seared steak, make sure you ask for it to be at least one step rarer than you would normally request. It’s going to be turning a lot more ‘well done’ as it cooks in its own heat while it makes the long, winding journey from its basement skillet to your plush penthouse suite.