Turns out $16 muffins invoiced by the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. for a 2009 Department of Justice conference is disputed by Hilton Worldwide. The global hotel company responded to the public outrage over exorbitant muffin charges that has been coined as “Muffin-gate“.
The muffin-gate story was fueled by hundreds of reports that the invoice for an August 2009 conference of the Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Capital Hilton in Washington D.C. showed a line item charge of $4,200 for 250 muffins.
The Obama administration has ordered all agencies to review conference-related spending.
Hilton’s response to Muffin-Gate.
The $16 muffin price tag or $4,200 invoiced by the Capital Hilton actually covered 250 muffins, 15 gallons of coffee, 30 gallons of ice tea, and 200 pieces of fruit for 534 people attending the conference.
Has Anderson Cooper never ordered hotel room service?
When I first saw this muffin story last week spreading across the airwaves I chuckled hearing high-profile millionaire TV anchors on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC and people like Jon Stewart exclaiming they can’t imagine a $16 muffin.
Give me a break!
Room Service Prices
I can count the times I have ordered hotel room service on one hand.
Here are typical room service menu prices for an upper upscale hotel. This example is taken from a Hyatt Regency room service menu in Columbus, Ohio. I think these rates are actually lower than your average hotel in D.C., Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.
- White toast $2.75
- Cold Cereal with fruit $5.00
- Orange juice $3.00
- The price for cold cereal, orange juice and toast is $10.75.
All Room Service Orders are subject to State and Local Taxes, a Delivery Charge of $3.00, and a Service Charge of 20%. The Service Charge Includes Gratuity.
- $10.75 food order
- $3.00 Delivery charge
- $2.15 service charge (mandatory tip)
- $2.66 (Ohio 6.75 state tax + 10% hotel tax = $2.66)
Grand total for room service lite breakfast = $18.56 for a bowl of cereal, toast and a glass of OJ.
I am assuming there is a coffee maker and complimentary coffee in the room.
Share your Room Service story
I have photographed several room service menus during my hotel stays and I tried to find more examples of room service rates in my hotel photo collection. I couldn’t locate any for this post. I remember paying $11 for a glass of milk when a friend and her young boy stopped by my room at Le Meridien San Francisco a few years back.
Readers – please share some examples of room service rates from your travels.