The latest secret to better room service: technology. At the Hotel 1000 in Seattle, wired minibars alert staff when specific bottles need to be replenished (doubles from $400; 206-957-1000). At the Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina (slated for a January opening), room-service trays with microchips send a signal when they’ve been placed outside the door (doubles from $295; 866-877-4141).
Top Tools for the High-Tech Kitchen
Melitta Smart Mill & Brew
key facts Melitta’s new machine offers two morning must-haves: coffee and the weather report.
special features Its wireless Microsoft system displays the current weather and gives a four-day forecast.
key facts Created with BMW Designworks, Ecopod’s home recycling unit crushes plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
special features The Ecopod stores up to 50 bottles and cans after they’ve been sorted and flattened.