What Not to Order From Room Service

Travel experts weigh in on when you don't want to "go there" when it comes to room service.

Photo By: Debbie Wolfe

Photo By: Heather Crosby

Photo By: Jeff Stafford

Photo By: Stephen Johnson

Photo By: Palazzo Victoria

Photo By: Stephen Johnson


If you’re visiting a new place, don’t ever order coffee from room service. Instead, get out of the comfort of your hotel room and into the place where locals start the day — coffee shops. Find the nearest non-chain coffee shop and get your caffeine fix there, while taking in the atmosphere. Especially when traveling, coffee shops are great places to start the day — you can people watch, ask for local-approved recommendations for your trip and, perhaps, even meet new friends. Plus, the coffee will probably be much higher quality than what’d you’d get from overpriced hotel room service anyway. — Laura James, Assistant Editor, Travel Channel


Soup or any other item that will tend to cool off in its road trip from a downstairs kitchen to your room on the 10th floor is not going to be as delicious or as comforting when it finally arrives.—Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor, Travel Channel/HGTV


I always cringe when I see cereal on a room service menu. So, you’re going to pay $8 for a bowl of cereal, a 22-percent service charge and tax? A box of cereal is less than $4! — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor, Travel Channel/HGTV

French Fries

Anything deep fried tends to get limp and soggy by the time it arrives in your room.—Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor, Travel Channel/HGTV

Some Would Argue: Anything

If you are paying out of pocket and not charging to your company’s expense account, you may want to rethink room service altogether. That Caesar salad that would cost you $10 in the hotel restaurant could be as much as $30 when you add on room service fees. Most hotels add a hefty service fee and often a gratuity to your bill, so it might make more sense to throw on a coat and find something close-by for take out if you want to have a cozy dinner in your room.—Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor, Travel Channel/HGTV

Risotto and Oatmeal

Generally speaking I love all room service, so this is tough. But, risotto and oatmeal are two dishes that wait for no one. They will arrive congealed and as mere shadows of their former, freshest selves. Just stick to Champagne and strawberries. — Katie Kelly Bell, Wine, Spirits and Travel Writer for Forbes.com and Modern Luxury


This one is primarily about the fishy smell, which has a tendency to work itself into the nooks and crannies of your room.—Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor, Travel Channel/HGTV

Local Cuisine

It sounds counterintuitive, but if you are longing to sample a favorite local specialty, don’t order it from room service which will probably offer a half-baked version of NYC’s bagels and lox or Southern shrimp and grits (plus: seafood). Instead, head to the most famous local outpost offering that specialty to get the best possible, most authentic version. It will be worth wriggling out of that comfy bathrobe.—Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor, Travel Channel/HGTV

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