A Room Service of One’s Own
Travel Blog • Alexander Basek • 04.15.09 | 5:18 PM ET
After a terrible-yet-exciting day in the Malaysian town of Johor Bahru last fall, returning to my room at the Hyatt was the highlight of my visit. Malaysia’s second largest city had not treated me well. Worse, I missed dinner. It was late, and I was hungry. So why, even under duress, did I waffle about ordering room service? Don’t worry, I did—and I didn’t hesitate to remove several Tiger beers from the mini-bar while I waited—but I felt guilty about it anyway.
For years, I saw room service as a luxury for people with too much money or not enough inclination to explore the city they were visiting. Why bother to stay in when so many other options were outside the front doors of the hotel? In Johor Bahru, though, I was glad to have it. As my writing career has progressed and I’ve found myself holed up in towns where bringing a laptop outside isn’t such a bright idea, room service has come in handy. It’s never very good, but that’s the price you pay. Literally—food on a silver platter doesn’t come cheap.
So what does room service mean to you? Is it utility food or a time to splurge when getting dressed is too much to ask?