In the future, paper will be obsolete. That’s partially because technology has replaced a lot of paper’s usefulness and partially because we’re not going to have trees in the future since Captain Planet is dead and gone. The brand new SLS in Las Vegas is clearly trying to get a jump on our paperless world because there’s not much of it in their nicely appointed rooms. No hotel guide, no maps, no room service menus. Instead? It’s all on your TV (although not a map for some reason…).
The real innovation here isn’t just an on-screen menu. That’s been around for a while. No, the true star of the in-room dining program is that there’s no separate room service kitchen here. You get to order from the restaurants at the hotel. That means bento boxes from Katsuya, pizza from 800 Degrees, burgers from Umami, and whatever else your heart desires. Just scroll to the In-Room Dining screen like so…
Select your restaurant and get taken to a menu screen…
…where you can then pick out your grub. They don’t offer the option to order via your remote yet, but I have to assume it’s coming.
My only complaint is that they don’t seem to offer any hearty breakfast foods. The Perq, the coffee shop at the SLS, is the only dining outlet open before 11am for room service and they’ll send up croissants, pastries, and overpriced fruit (see below), but you can’t get an omelet or pancakes. Even stranger is that The Griddle Cafe is on property and offers all of the breakfast food you could want, but they appear to be the only restaurant that doesn’t offer in-room dining. What’s up with that?
Ultimately, I love this idea. Getting what’s essentially restaurant take-out as your in-room dining option makes it much more exciting to me. Almost exciting enough to get me to overlook the $7 delivery charge AND 22% service fee. Obviously you can order delivery to your hotel room from any restaurant, but this way you can charge it to your room and you don’t have to wait for someone to drive it over. Before you fill the comments section with cries of “There are other hotels doing this!” let me say that yes, other hotels offer room service from on-site restaurants. They just haven’t moved to an all-digital system as the SLS appears to. Definitely a new era in the room service world.
(Ed. note: The publicist had sent me a menu labeled “Lux Dining” that appears to be traditional in-room dining like any other hotel, but when I got here, there was no mention of Lux Dining and no menu anywhere to be found. I don’t know if they did away with it or just didn’t put the menu in my room, but in any case it wasn’t available during my stay.)