Luxury lite: Hotels cutting corners on room service ingredients

When I'm traveling, the last thing I want to eat is a room service meal. The food tends to taste warmed-over and uninteresting and I'd much rather eat bad food in the real world, outside of my cookie-cutter hotel room. The offensive high prices of the typical room service will turn your stomach even faster. Many a time, I've managed to procrastinate sating a near-painful hunger for another half hour, long to enough to go find another option, merely by looking at the numbers on the menu next to the turkey club.

You might have assumed that insanely high prices -- I remember my father having to pay $12 for a glass of orange juice at the Waldorf-Astoria, and that was back in the '80s -- meant that the hotels were cleaning up on "in-room dining." In fact, they aren't. They lose money on it, but they have to have it. It's what business travelers expect.