Hawaii Hotels Dropping High-End Room Service

Morning mimosas and eggs Benedict will soon become a luxury of the past, as more Hawaii hotels put an end to high-end room service. Instead of deluxe dining wheeled to your room, hotel guests will get healthier options dropped off in takeout boxes. Or, they can burn off calories even before consuming them by picking up their order.

Hilton Hawaiian Village shifted to this grab-and-go style in early October. Hungry guests can order food by calling it in, going to the website (www.hhvapp.com) or using the HHV app on their smartphones. “Complimentary services at your fingertips,” as stated on Hilton’s website.

Overall, menu prices still seem to be on the higher end – with a breakfast burrito costing about $9.50 and a turkey breast panini priced at $10.50. Tack on the $8 delivery fee and 17-percent gratuity to your bill, and you’re better off just walking to one of the many Waikiki eateries for that expensive price. At least that way, you’d have more options available to satisfy your taste buds.

The menu online is written in both English and Japanese and has dozens of items from which to choose. There’s sandwiches, salads, pizzas and hot foods for lunch and dinner, as well as a few daily dinner specials ($8 to $26). Most of the ingredients seem to be local, like the Hamakua mushrooms used in the cream soup or the Kona sea salt used to flavor the roast beef. Hilton’s takeout menu also offers gluten-free options.

With the fickle economy changing the way travelers choose to spend their vacationing fund, it’s not surprising for Hilton to do away with a service that’s not often used. But what about the guests not on a budget? The ones used to being pampered with five-star service. Now the only in-room dining option for satiating their appetites will be the doggy bags delivered to them. That doesn’t sound very classy for a luxury hotel.

Instead of getting rid of the high-end room service completely, Hilton could’ve done what Sheraton Waikiki will be doing next month. The hotel will be revamping its in-room dining to include course menus from its signature restaurants Rum Fire and Kai Market. That way, guests still have the option to enjoy good ‘ole fashion room service with an upgraded taste.

Photo Credit: Bruce Fisher

3 COMMENTS

  1. I dont understand this… I guess I don’t know much about the business that is running a hotel, but I always thought that there wasn’t really a person assigned to just room service, just when needed, they send someone to take care of it… in which case i don’t see a need to get rid of it as the only really cost is printing the menus…. but maybe I’m wrong.

  2. I never really used the room service to begin with because by the time you pay gratuity and the service fee it’s more than what you ordered! But I do wonder about the people who don’t mind paying for the extra service. I honestly think they should not get rid of that extra service!

  3. Joey,

    Room service is usually an independent outlet under the Food & Beverage department. With its own independent staff and at some hotels, even its own kitchen.

    Most hotels have specific rules about who may go to a guests room. For instance a restaurant server would never be allowed to bring food to your room, has to be someone from Room Service or a Manager. In part for guest security.

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