9 hotels with room service worth staying in bed for
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Room-service dining is having a renaissance at many hotels in the U.S. and worldwide with top chefs serving up gourmet dinners delivered by tray to your hotel door.
You can have a romantic in-room dinner (or breakfast) for two with Champagne – and you don’t have to lift a finger or get changed.
And even if it is often an expensive proposition, or even a really weird one, the room service ritual is a wonderful way to unwind after a tough business day or a jam-packed day of sightseeing. Here are our favorite hotels in which to break bread in your bathrobe.
The Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills has a double dose of cachet when it comes to celebrity chefs, with Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Steve Benjamin (both run Michelin-starred restaurants) joining forces to bring room service to a whole new level. “If you come to stay in the world of Waldorf Astoria, you will have exactly the same food you can have in each restaurant outlet in your room,” Chef Benjamin explains.
About 70% of the hotel guests, he says, actually order a customized version of what is listed on the menu — sea urchin and caviar from Jean-Georges Restaurant, the lobster burger from Rooftop by JG or the baby kale salad tweaked your way with bacon added. Kale, Benjamin says, is the most popular dish on the Waldorf’s room-service menu. It’s a California hotel, after all.
At NoMad Hotel in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, Chef/Owner Daniel Humm, whose restaurant Eleven Madison Park has earned three Michelin stars, is behind the luscious menu creations sent right to your hotel room. Food comes directly from The Parlour/NoMad Bar, the hotel’s restaurant that Humm oversees. Order the roast chicken for two with black truffle, foie gras and brioche, even if you’re dining alone. You might just devour the whole thing – in the privacy of your hotel room.
James Beard Award-winning Chef Greg Vernick opened Vernick Fish (his second restaurant) on the ground floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia when it opened in 2019. High in the sky (on the 59th and 60th floors), Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten also has two top-tier eateries; guests will find selected dishes from each chef on the room-service menu, too. Vongerichten’s spicy tuna tartare and Vernick’s king salmon rillettes are two excellent choices; gather some friends to your room and order both. Then follow what Greg Vernick says is the best way to eat seafood: “We love it when guests share everything.”
Executive Chef Sébastien Giannini of the Watergate Hotel in D.C. honed his skills with legendary French toque Alain Ducasse before becoming a culinary force on his own. With Kingbird restaurant at the hotel, Giannini offers up refined Mediterranean dishes, many of which also appear on the room-service menu. If you’re inclined to stay in for dinner, ask for the room service Kingbird daily dinner specials. You might get lucky and find the lobster pot-au-feu or the aged Moulard duck breast on offer.
Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is always the force behind all the food served at his hotels around the world (he has 12, with six more coming soon). At his Los Cabos resort, you can order a platter of Nobu’s signature dishes, like his black cod marinated in miso or the spicy yellowtail sashimi with jalapeños, right to your room overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He’ll even send a platter of sushi to eat on your private patio — but somewhat reluctantly. “The best way to eat sushi is at the sushi bar, one piece at a time,” he says. “Eat immediately. It is perfect the moment I hand it to you.”
Famed chef Tom Colicchio, the lead judge on the “Top Chef” TV series, is the force behind NYC’s Beekman Hotel room-service choices. Many of those dishes come from Temple Court, Colicchio’s fine-dining restaurant in the hotel. Expect his take on old-school classics like Lobster Thermidor and Steak Diane to be sublime, even when eaten in your pajamas.
Wherever Chef José Andrés goes, he brings sunshine, hope and outrageously great, award-winning food. His devotion to helping people in need is legendary, as is his skill at creating unforgettable tastes. At the SLS Hotel, his hotel bar/restaurant serves up Spanish tapas at The Bazaar by José Andrés; his Somni 10-seat eatery won two Michelin stars in 2019, and his in-room dining menu is filled with tapas, Iberico ham and other Spanish and Mediterranean delectables that make mealtime at the SLS a special treat.
Chef Charlie Palmer’s restaurant empire started with Aureole in New York City. Today, he has more than 15 outposts, including The Archer Hotel’s Charlie Palmer Steak, as well as Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar and their room service as well. He’s got street food like tacos, as well as lobster corn dogs, sliders, seafood and dry-aged or Wagyu steaks ready to deliver to your room. Book a balcony room, order a bottle of local Napa wine and dine with vineyard views in the distance.
One of the few award-winning female chefs offering room service menus is Andrea Reusing. As a James Beard Award winner, she’s best known for Lantern, her restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since 2015, she has also run both The Durham, The Durham Hotel’s farm-to-table eatery, as well as its in-room dining.
Reusing helped design the hotel’s kitchens and restaurant. She was involved from the beginning in what she calls “the most gorgeous building in downtown Durham.” Her laser focus on quality, local sourcing and seasonal menus extends to the room service, right down to “the most delicious coffee delivered freshly ground to your door,” with beans roasted and ground daily by Counter Culture Coffee, located a mile from the hotel. She and her restaurant staff are so hands-on that there isn’t a room-service staff; “you’re calling us and then we’re delivering, right from the restaurant.” That works because “it is a small hotel,” she says. It also means hotel guests get homemade preserves with their breakfast and housemade yogurt with seasonal toppings or North Carolina blue crab and garlic-fried rice for dinner. It’s as good a reason as any to plan a trip to Durham.
Featured photo of the Nobu Hotel Los Cabos Junior Suite courtesy of Nobu.
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