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All Things Travel: End Of Room Service?

By Bob Weiss, CBSBoston.com Travel Contributor
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(Photo credit LEILA GORCHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit LEILA GORCHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

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Bob Weiss’s All Things Travel reports can be heard weekly on WBZ...
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BOSTON (CBS) – A late dinner or early morning breakfast delivered to your hotel room may be a thing of the past.

Business travelers have taken note that The New York Hilton has announced the end of 24-hour room service in the next few weeks. According to reports, the large hotel in midtown Manhattan will also stop serving a sit-down breakfast. Instead, it will offer a cash-and-carry menu of selected items.

Changing travel tastes and a desire by a so-called full service hotel to save money are behind the move. More than 50 jobs may be cut as a result. Other Hilton hotels are watching the move closely.

The Hilton Back Bay Boston said it had no plans to change its operation of limited room service from 6:30 a.m. to midnight. The Logan Airport Hilton did not return calls asking for comment.

Boston’s four and five star hotels are expected to continue to pamper their guests. This is especially true for international travelers who often sleep for several hours on their arrival.

Boston hotel occupancy is up above 70 percent this year and revenue per room is also rising. Boston ranks just behind New York in costs for a visiting business traveller.

New corporate travel policies with stricter guidelines over expenses are another reason for less in-room dining. Large hotels are also setting up areas in their lobbies for people to work on computers and socialize.

Perhaps the biggest factor in all of this is the mobile phone that allows guests to find nearby restaurants or have food delivered to their room from outside the hotel. With business travelers carrying smart phones and computers, the need for business centers is also being cutback at hotels.

Hotels lost a major revenue source when mobile phones became commonplace and now they are also starting to lose movie revenues too.

One of the most successful hotels at Logan is Embassy Suites at the edge of the airport. It offers a free hot breakfast included with the price of your room. This concept is gaining in popularity around the country.

Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

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