World’s most de­light­ful late-night room ser­vice

It doesn’t have to be a bor­ing club sand­wich or an­other burger when you stay at th­ese ho­tels

The Hamilton Spectator - - TRAVEL - CHADNER NAVARRO

Bleary-eyed from a long flight that lands af­ter dark, star­ing down an even-more-ex­haust­ing work trip ahead, you drop your lug­gage in your ho­tel room, grab the room ser­vice menu and flip straight to the “late night” pages … only to find noth­ing but cheese­burg­ers and club sand­wiches.

Room ser­vice might be one of the most in­dul­gent perks to stay­ing in a lux­ury ho­tel-es­pe­cially if you dig in while wear­ing a plush bathrobe. So it’s a long-stand­ing mys­tery to fre­quent trav­el­ers that the crit­i­cal late-night hours, usu­ally be­tween mid­night to 6 a.m., are con­sis­tently ne­glected by ho­tel food and bev­er­age man­agers.

There’s a rea­son for the culi­nary black­out. Af­ter din­ner ser­vice ends and be­fore break­fast be­gins, the kitchen gets whit­tled down to a skele­ton crew whose ca­pa­bil­i­ties are lim­ited to pasta, sal­ads, sim­ple sand­wiches and soups.

And that’s if the ho­tel of­fers late-night menus at all. (Some have thrown room ser­vice pro­grams out the win­dow, claim­ing the con­cept is no longer prof­itable.)

But not all ho­tels have given up on feed­ing you well late at night. The big-city establishments below stand out not just for their com­fort­able rooms and top-notch ser­vice, but are also win­ners for their abil­ity to sat­isfy your hunger pangs-with lo­cal flavours — all around the clock.

Anantara Siam, Bangkok

In the heart of Ratchapra­song, the Thai cap­i­tal’s pre­mier shop­ping district, this re­cently re­branded prop­erty (formerly the Four Sea­sons) pro­vides ex­cel­lent respite from the chaos of down­town Bangkok. Tons of ameni­ties — eight restau­rants and bars, a pool sur­rounded by a lovely gar­den — make it feel like an ur­ban re­sort, too.

Your late-night or­der: Mid­night meals make up only a page and a half of an oth­er­wise sprawl­ing room ser­vice menu. But what makes the cut is le­git­i­mately interesting: crab spring rolls, Thai omelette with minced pork, pad Thai tossed with prawns, a sa­tay sam­pler, and mango with sticky rice.

Shangri-La Ho­tel, Paris

Tucked away in the ele­gant, crowd-free 16th ar­rondisse­ment, this palace ho­tel has it all: bal­conied rooms with Eif­fel Tower views, two restau­rants with Miche­lin stars, a gor­geous pool drenched in sun­light, and a light­flooded spa in the es­tate’s for­mer sta­bles.

Your late-night or­der: Live out your most deca­dent French fan­tasies with in­dul­gences such as scram­bled eggs with caviar and foie gras on toast. If that’ll ding you on your cor­po­rate ex­pense re­port, more mod­est choices — like French onion soup, cheesy Croque Mon­sieur and a Mille­feuille for dessert — will still have you swoon­ing.

Raf­fles Dubai

More is more at this pyra­mid-shaped ho­tel that’s drip­ping with mar­ble and or­nate chan­de­liers: there are seven restau­rants and bars; the pool is lined with im­pos­ing, mo­saic-tiled pil­lars; the gold-trimmed ac­com­mo­da­tions are among the city’s largest; and the in-room din­ing menu in­cludes 43 pages of tasty treats.

Your late-night or­der: Skip the Western­style com­fort foods you could or­der any­where else, and train your sights on the Ara­bic sec­tion of the menu. It in­cludes ex­cel­lent ren­di­tions of Emi­rati clas­sics such as tab­bouleh salad, lab­neh with za’atar, and harira lamb soup (a Mid­dle Eastern tomato-and-bean con­coc­tion amped up with gar­lic and le­mon).

Four Sea­sons Ho­tel New York Down­town

This new Tribeca ho­tel is more pared­down than your typ­i­cal Four Sea­sons — think monochro­matic colour schemes and sub­tle flo­ral pat­terns. What’s not min­i­mal­ist?

The de­tail-ori­ented ser­vice, from the bell­men who re­mem­ber your name to the meticulously-eyed house­keep­ers and the al­wayson kitchen staff. Break­fast is served un­til a de­light­ful 11 p.m., and the rest of the room ser­vice menu is avail­able 24 hours a day.

Your late-night or­der: An es­pe­cially large menu means you can go for the three­course, in-room feast of your dreams. Your starter? A trio of per­fectly sea­soned crudo (soy yel­lowfin tuna poke, spicy lob­ster, and truf­fle-ponzu hamachi). Then comes a for­ti­fy­ing plate of tagli­atelle bolog­nese, which the server will fin­ish ta­ble­side (or bed­side) with a heap of freshly grated Parme­san cheese. And to close, a slice of clas­sic New York cheese­cake — cherry top­ping and all.

The Dorch­ester, Lon­don

Lon­don’s Dorch­ester is a bona fide hos­pi­tal­ity in­sti­tu­tion where A-lis­ters take af­ter­noon tea in the clas­si­cally plush Prom­e­nade and gour­mands clam­our for reser­va­tions at Alain Du­casse’s name­sake spot. The glam­our ex­tends to the rooms, too, with a de­cid­edly re­gal es­thetic and an all-hours room ser­vice menu that pulls out all the stops.

Your late-night or­der: Chan­nel the Royal Fam­ily (Buck­ing­ham Palace is less than a mile away) and hew to the menu’s most op­u­lent items: bel­uga caviar and buck­wheat bli­nis, a seafood mixed grill, or a 21-ounce Tbone steak.

Not one for such glut­tony? A ro­bust spa menu means you can ac­tu­ally or­der some­thing that’s both de­li­cious and healthy, like the Vi­taly bento box, which in­cludes a tomato soup, stir-fried beef with cashews and honey, and a ba­nana-blue­berry-av­o­cado smoothie.

The Cos­mopoli­tan, Las Ve­gas

It’s known for hav­ing some of the best restau­rants in all of Ve­gas — in­clud­ing a Mo­mo­fuku, Eg­gslut, and STK — so it would be easy to over­look the Cos­mopoli­tan’s in-room din­ing.

But the lures of Sin City nightlife mean you may well come home hun­gry af­ter all those din­ing rooms have closed. If you do, you won’t feel slighted. A broad menu is avail­able un­til 6 a.m., with hang­over cures and hearty meals alike.

Your late-night or­der: Tran­si­tion from a night full of drink­ing to a morn­ing full of meet­ings with house-made hum­mus and warm pita, then detox with a tuna niçoise salad. Or bring the Ve­gas surf-and-turf buf­fet into your apart­ment-size room by or­der­ing a New York Strip sand­wich and a pound of steamed crab legs.

ANANTARA HO­TELS & RE­SORTS, BLOOMBERG

Above: Nam Prig Long Rua, a chili-spiked stir fry dish that you can or­der to your room at the Anantara Siam Bangkok.

DORCH­ESTER COL­LEC­TION, BLOOMBERG

A healthy (but not at all bor­ing) Bento Box at the Dorch­ester.

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