- Spain: a Love Story Told in 10 Dishes
- Happy Brooklyn Day, Everyone
- How to Feed 1,000 People on a Moving Train
- Tyson Cole Takes Tokyo and Hiroshima
- Noma To Open in Mexico Next Year
- You Can Now Book Experiences with Airbnb
- The White on Rice Couple Go to Quebec City
- These Ultra-Embarassing Gadgets Promise Better Sleep While Traveling
- Attention Elvis Fans: The Guest House at Graceland Is Taking Reservations
- 4 Reasons Orange County's Portola Coffee is the Coolest Shop in Town
It takes more than grand gestures to impress hotel dweller Paul Carr.
© Klas Fahlén
A knock on one’s hotel-room door at 10 p.m. rarely bodes well. Unless, that is, one is staying at a particular five-star hotel in Las Vegas, in which case it heralds a man struggling under the weight of a gigantic chocolate garden, with flowers, trees and shrubs—an over-the-top take on the pillow mint. As a person who lives in hotels, I’ve watched the arms race of room service with interest. The latest trend is über-personalization, in which hotels provide extras tailored to each guest. As an example: I recently spent a night at The Lanesborough in London, failing to stump my butler with a spiraling list of requests. Could the chef prepare a deep-fried quail? Of course. How about a partridge wrap with a diamond cocktail stick? For a price. I opted for a chicken sandwich. It arrived alongside a small chocolate cake, the words Happy 30th Birthday iced on the top with a single lit candle. I hadn’t told anyone it was my birthday. Creating a chocolate garden is no doubt impressive, but far harder is delivering a personal touch without fanfare. No diamond cocktail stick required.
Paul Carr chronicles his hotel adventures in his book The Upgrade.
Read more travel stories from our May issue.