Room service at an all-inclusive resort is one of those magical concepts that seem like they can’t possibly be true. Theoretically, you can order food non-stop 24 hours a day. Sounds amazing, right? In theory, it is. In reality, the old maxim is true: you get what you pay for.
You know that scene in the Simpsons where Homer goes to the all-you-can-eat seafood buffet and they end up kicking him out because he literally ate all of the seafood? That’s how I feel with room service at all-inclusive resorts. I always assume they have emergency meetings to discuss how they’re going to politely tell me that I’m being cut-off and, yet, no matter how much I order, I always leave unsatisfied.
In my two days at Sandals Regency La Toc, one of three Sandals properties in St. Lucia, I restrained myself as much as I could. That meant only ordering room service three times. My first order was immediately on arrival as I was famished from a long day of traveling. I went straight to my afternoon go-to: a Caesar salad.
This one was as unremarkable as the photo. That’s not to say it was bad. It wasn’t. It just wasn’t anything special. The portion was really small, especially for room service. The shrimp were also small yet tasty (most likely from a frozen bag of the 50/60 ct. variety). The dressing was perfectly fine and the lettuce was lettuce. All things considered, this is a workhorse salad that got the job done. It just won’t be winning any awards any time soon.
After dinner at Kimono’s (definitely not the best choice on the property), I debated for hours about whether to get in on the room service desserts. I held strong, though, and denied myself the indulgence — for one night, at least.
In the morning, I eschewed a trip to one of the 6,543 restaurants at Sandals and called my butler. Oh, did I forget to mention I had a butler? Two, actually. So I called Michelle — she was awesome, by the way, until she neglected to find the two shirts I accidentally left behind upon check-out — and requested some smoked salmon and bagels. If you’re a regular reader of Fly&Dine, you know that this is my jam (here’s my lox and bagels in NYC, here’s an order in Hong Kong), so I was excited to try the St. Lucian version of my favorite breakfast.
This is when I realized that Sandals has the all-inclusive room service thing figured out and their number one trick is tiny portions. This time, I had enough for one, maybe two halves of a bagel. I chose to load all of it on one half to make a mega-half and I have no complaints. Like the Caesar before it, this was a respectable if not memorable version of a bagel with smoked salmon. Outside of the portion size, I would happily order it again and, truth be told, I could have just ordered more if I wanted to. That’s the beauty of all-inclusive: you’re never left hungry because the options are literally endless. There’s a bit of psychology going on here. They know you don’t want to seem like that Homer Simpson AYCE pig-man, so they give you less in hopes that you won’t feel comfortable ordering two. I must admit, it worked with me. I settled for one portion every time.
More to come later today…
(Note: like pretty much all of my trips, this one was a hosted press trip and my wallet was only opened to tip for service as the rest of the visit was totally free. As you can surmise from the tone of the review, however, it’s completely unbiased.)