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Room Service Charges

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I was inspired to post this new topic from my room at a Holiday Inn in Toronto. I just recieved my room service order and the bill included a $2.50 "food charge", $2.50 "room service" charge and an already included 15% tip which, frankly I am not sure is based on the food only or the whole silly bill. The entire bill was a grand $18.45. You can see not all that much of the bill was actually for the food! To add insult to injury they leave a prominent spot for the "tip"...which I first added then deleted when I saw that they had nicely added that for me.

So low end chain with big buck add ons for room service. I have stayed in some pretty high end hotels around the world and I have seen some imaginative charges. I am curious what other chowhounders have experienced in the hotel room service charge industry.

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  1. I'm not a room service guy myself, but once I stayed at a Doral Hotel in Princeton,NJ and my girlfriend used room service after her Spa Treatment......One Caesar Salad with Chicken and two glasses of wine.....total of approximately $60......you pay for the convenience of private dining.....I'm sure the charges are clearly printed on the Hotel Guide provided in each room.

    1. I travel the world at high end places and I LOVE room service but it is very pricey and it is usually spelled out on the room service menu..
      Delivery Charge is usually between $3-10 with the minimum 15-20% gratuity and they leave the tip area open to add more for them.
      I mostly order from the kids menu since most of the time its from late night drinking and all I want is some chicken fingers with fries or a cheeseburger, tater tots..mac n'cheese with a sundae..
      I do feel your pain but there is something to be said to dine in your suite with pj's on the bed and all those condiments!
      I take them all and use them and save the super cute glass jars for all my flowers around the house.

      1. This is typical, which is why I rarely if ever room service unless I'm on a corporate account.

        1. I once ordered some fruit at a Marriott in London and they charged 30 pounds for an apple an orange a banana and some grapes plus service charge and the guy wanted a tip.

          We argued with the manager next morning and got it down to 10 pounds.

          1. Earlier discussion - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/637417

            1. I have no problem paying pretty horrendous up charges for room service (same thing for delivery- I use a service occasionally that starts w/ an $8 delivery charge and goes up from there w/ each additional food item). In my mind, and this is just me, I'm using both services, room service and delivery, due to laziness. I consider it a laziness surcharge and view it as an incentive to haul my own butt out to procure food. If I decide to enjoy the luxury of not hauling said butt, then I happily pay the charges associated with it.

              1. In pretty much both high and middle end hotels around the world I've found that there is a "service fee" for the room service and almost always a tip (18%) added into the check. What burns me is that the room service check, notwithstanding these charges, always has a line for an aditional tip. Unless there has been some exceptional service I never add the additional tip. If looks from some servers could kill, you wouldn't be reading this now. However, I will give an additional tip for special service (eg, set up, work with the hot box, in room mixing of salad dressing, etc). And the server's attitude goes a long way toward my inclination to add dough.

                1. What you see at Holiday Inn is pretty standard. I travel a lot for work, often have dinner out with a group, then get back to my hotel, start working, and want tea and cookies at 10. I am used to paying about $20 for a pot of tea and a piece of cake. Makes me crazy, but I look at it as a perk for traveling, because I bill it to my clients.

                  1. What you may not know, but I do, being in the hotel industry, is that a portion of both the service charge and the automatic tip goes, not to your server, but back to the hotel., so while the gratuity already on your check may be 15 percent, the server might only be getting 10 percent of that.