Don't you just hate it when you are just sitting around waiting for housekeeping to turn up to collect your laundry or shoes for polishing, when you urgently need to pop into the shower to get ready for your meeting, or just want to take a nap? It’s at times like these that the valet box, called "the butler's cabinet" in some hotels, seems a nifty idea. This compartment has another door in the hallway so that the butler can access it without entering the room. All you need to do is put everything that needs taking care of into the cabinet, even dirty dishes from room service, flip a switch and it's done. The laundry and shoes will reappear in the cabinet looking like new. Here are four hotels that offer this discreet service:
Le Meridien Taipei
This new hotel, which opened in 2010, was one of the first international brands to enter Taipei after a long hiatus.
There are two buttons in the valet box, one for delivery and the other for pickup, enabling guests to leave or pick up laundry, shoes for polishing, newspapers and even parcels without having to interact with the butler.
Which rooms? The service is only available in its 61 suites
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong
This luxury hotel opened in 1963 in the city’s main financial and commercial district and has since become an institution. After a nine-month renovation between 2005 and 2006, the property reopened to offer all kinds of perks in their guestrooms, from valet boxes to binoculars for guests to take in the sweeping view of the Victoria Harbour.
Which rooms? All 501 rooms
The Peninsula Tokyo
From intelligent bathroom phones (see story here) to butler cabinets, one has to wonder what exactly this hotel does not offer.
The valet box at this hotel is in the dressing area. A button alerts the butler’s pager for items to be picked up. Once the job is done, the butler will return the items to the box and turn off the light to discreetly inform guests.
Which rooms? All 314 rooms and suites
St Regis Tianjin
Of course, this hotel brand most known for its butler services would have mastered the art.
The newly opened St Regis Tianjin (see story here) is the first hotel in the city to offer butler services and this discreet technique helps the hotel maintain its edge. That and the 24K gold and silver menus at the hotel’s Cantonese restaurant, of course.
Which rooms? All 276 rooms