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If you check the hotel star rating system, you will note the most obvious difference between the 4 star and the 5 star is the evening turndown service. Being a frequent business traveler, I’m proud to say that I’ve been quite flexible when it comes to hotel choices. I’ve stayed in no star / budget right up to 5 stars luxury hotels.

There are some hotels which claim that they are 6 stars, but, I read that most of it are just claims as there’s no hotel stars rating for 6 at the moment. Most of the time, 6 stars would mean that they are offering more than what the 5 stars required.

Back to the topic…

I’ve never really give the turndown service much thought. Normally, when I return back to the room, it is in a turn-downed state already. It has always been something that was done quietly and taken for granted.

But, during my recent stay, I was still in the room when someone knocked on my door asking if I want my turndown service. Immediately, I was in a bit of a battle. I just finished shower and I was uncomfortable having someone in the room with me. But, I also would love to have the room prepared for the night. Sigh… Finally, I yelled out “No but thanks”. So, this got me thinking about the turndown services hotel offers.

Some people question if it is worth paying the extra money to have the turndown services?

Well…for me, the main reason why I choose stay in a 5 star hotel, is for the luxury the hotel can offer me. Turndown service is one of the components, others being the posh carpeted rooms, marbled clad shower and tub, comfortable bed and linens, pool, spa, security, and etc. So, it is not so much about paying extra. But, getting what you paid for?

Is it something I need?

Not really. But, it does make my stay a touch more comfortable. I love the idea of preparing the room to be as relaxing as possible for bedtime. The most important component of a good turndown service is making sure the room is in a state where the guest feels relax and comfortable before bed. They usually prepare the turndown service around late afternoon or evening. The most common is having your blanket / duvet un-tucked so that it is easy for you to go to bed.

Some hotel will leave you chocolate, fresh fruits or flower on the bedside

(Shangri-La Singapore offers hot tea – which I found to be quite unique).

Most of the time, they will draw back the heavy drapes / night curtain to minimize any glaring lights from outside. Room lights will be dimmed. It does help to make the environment feels cozier. (This is in one of the hotel in Bangkok. They also placed one fresh orchid on the pillow)

Pondering on the topic, I ask myself this…

What would a great turndown service be for me?

  • Fresh towels. Clean and dry toilet
  • Fresh fruit (preferably those which are easy to eat like grape, orange, banana, strawberry, kiwi and etc.)
  • Warm milk with cookie (this might be a tad tricky especially if you don’t know what time the guest is returning at night. Actually, even cold milk with cookies would have been great. The hotel could always place a bottle of milk in the fridge with a note for the guest to enjoy it with some home baked cookies.)
  • Put on some nice relaxing music CD
  • Soothing lavender scented room. (Or the L’occitane pillow mist. Sometimes, I bring along my own bottle during my travel. Especially when I know I will be having long days of meetings)
  • Making sure the room is kept at a slightly colder temperature (between 18-20 degree Celsius)
  • Weather report for the next day.