Home Hotels Why I Don’t Want To Stay At The St. Regis

Why I Don’t Want To Stay At The St. Regis

by SharonKurheg

The St. Regis Hotels & Resorts is a luxury hotel chain that’s part of the Marriott umbrella of hotel brands. The original St. Regis Hotel was founded in New York City in 1904 by John Jacob Astor IV. Starwood acquired the hotel in 1999, and began to open other high-end hotels with the St. Regis name. Starwood, of course, merged with Marriott in mid-2018, which made the St. Regis a Marriott property.

And I don’t want to stay in one.

Some people might be surprised about that because even though I generally have middle-of-the-road tastes (I’m perfectly happy in a Holiday Inn Express or a Candlewood Suites), I can still totally enjoy myself when we stay at swanky places like the  Waldorf=Astoria in NYC (just before it closed for a multi-year refurbishment) and in Key West, the Park Hyatt Washington D.C., or the St. Pancras Renaissance.

So what’s the difference between all of those fancy places and the equally as fancy St. Regis?

St. Regis comes with complimentary butler service.

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PC: St. Regis

From their website: “Introduced at the St. Regis New York by John Jacob Astor IV, St. Regis Butler Service has remained a signature offering for more than a century. The anticipatory, personalized service of the St. Regis Butler ensures that each guest’s unique preferences are understood and realized at more than 40 hotels and resorts worldwide.”

Y’all, that’s just WAY TOO fancy for me and I can’t even.

Maybe it’s because I was born “fun sized” and stayed that way (hello, 4’6″ adult!), but I have always been fiercely independent. I’m talking “to the point of being stubborn” kind of independence. I mean, it took years – YEARS! – before I let Joe carry my suitcase. So since I’m perfectly capable of unpacking and packing my own suitcase, getting my own soda/snacks (the latter gives me an excuse to explore), ironing my own clothes, making my own dinner or tour reservations, etc., I’d just as soon do it myself.

For whatever reason, I also tend to be a little bit on the, I dunno, “I am not worthy” side. So if someone asks me if I want something, my first instinct is to say no, so I won’t be a bother. So having a butler would mean him/her asking if there’s anything (s)he can do and I’d be like, “Nope, I’m good, thanks” (and then I’d go back to doing it myself because I’m stubbornly independent).

On top of that, I’m an introvert. Don’t talk to me, leave me alone, let me get comfortable around you and the situation, and eventually, I may become my regular wise-ass self. But until then, I’m going to avoid ANY interaction with a butler (and even then I’d go back to doing it myself because I’m stubbornly independent).


I’m sure that most people who have the opportunity to have a butler enjoy it immensely. I’m simply not “most people.” So the St. Regis? I’d love to walk through the lobby of any of them. But to stay there? No thanks, I’ll pass.

How about you? Have you ever had butler service at a hotel? What’d you think?

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Christian August 20, 2019 - 12:15 pm

Here’s a surprise for you…you don’t have to actually use the butler if you don’t want to! So you can stay at a luxury hotel and not be bothered if you don’t want to be. I guess some people use the butler for everything but I have passed on their services during my stays at St. Regis properties.

Danny August 20, 2019 - 12:59 pm

Also – you don’t get your “own” butler. They are designated service attendants. Other than an intro when you check in, you don’t get anything unless you call for service.

George August 20, 2019 - 3:38 pm

I agree 100%. I’ll gladly ask the front desk attendant for whatever I need (hello, DoubleTree cookie!), but avoid any sort of unrequested service or “anticipating of our needs.”

My wife and I are not exactly luxury travelers, but I feel like even if we do eventually get to that point, our “fierce independence” will keep us from taking advantage of any “personalized service.”

Jason November 20, 2020 - 10:57 pm

I am avoiding Waldorfs after being denied free breakfast while Diamond. Plus all the food and everything else is ridiculously expensive.

Christian August 20, 2019 - 9:41 pm

I feel exactly the same. While I don’t mind some information on shops, tours, or restaurants (concierge stuff), I’m exceedingly uncomfortable having people wait on me hand and foot, packing, unpacking, sorting my dirty clothes, ironing, etc. In common parlance, my legs ain’t broke.

Keith November 20, 2020 - 6:20 pm

A lot of people who actually pay for their stays (vs using points which I assume you do a vast majority of the time) expect high end amenities, which sometimes includes butler service or personalized concierge service. It’s part of luxury travel (I.e. not seen at a holiday inn).

With that said, I’ve stayed at 2 St Regis’ during covid and neither offered butler service at this time (Deer Valley and Punta Mita). I’m not sure what I would use their services for outside of potentially having a clothing item pressed for dinner.

Regardless, the point is that if you pay top dollar, you expect and should receive top service.

pacifico November 20, 2020 - 6:32 pm

The butler won’t ask you anything until you request the service and this is just marketing for the brand.

Sam November 20, 2020 - 6:41 pm

Stayed at Florence and Rome St Regis hotels as a Marriott Ambassador member. Didn’t really interact with the butler other than having them deliver coffee and newspapers first thing in the am to the door. St Regis is my favorite brand across all hotels

Billy Bob November 20, 2020 - 6:45 pm

You need to get over avoiding the St Regis for that silly reason. The ‘butler’ does not stay in your room, standing smiling in a corner until you beckon him over to help you zip up, or whatever. We stayed at the excellent St Regis in Singapore recently and all we used the butler for was to bring free cappuccinos up from time to time. It was a different one each time too.

Kris November 20, 2020 - 6:56 pm

I’ve stayed at a couple St. Regis locations and have fallen in love with the brand! I am also very much an introvert, but, as others mentioned, you can make use of the butler services as much or as little as you choose. They will bring you a welcome beverage and snack when you arrive, but after that you don’t have to interact with the butler staff unless you request services. I highly recommend you try the brand at least once. The Bangkok location is amazing.

Mon November 20, 2020 - 6:58 pm

St Regis butler isn’t anything fancy. It barely works most of the time. Basically just a desk / person to call that isn’t the front desk, except that during covid it’s sometimes the front desk. They aren’t especially helpful or anything outside of standard requests like I need more pillows etc.

Gene November 20, 2020 - 7:26 pm

@ Sharon — The St. Regis butler thing is over-hyped BS. We’ve stayed at a couple of their hotels and were not impressed. The whole brand is just a bunch of marketing snobbery. There are plenty of other pedestrian upscale hotel brands that have properties than are just as nice without all of the pretense. Stay in a St. Regis sometime, and you will see what I am saying. There are some reasonably priced ones in Asia. You can always call the butler when you need something off of the top shelf… 😉

SharonKurheg November 21, 2020 - 10:32 pm

Hey, I resemble that last sentence! 😉 (besides, that’s what Joe is for LOL)

Dan November 20, 2020 - 7:49 pm

One of my favorite travel stories is when my wife and I were in the Emirates First Class lounge in Dubai. The hot chocolate machine was so fancy that she couldn’t figure out how to work it. When we asked one of the attendants, he was mortified that she was trying to do it herself. He made us go sit down and then he brought us the hot chocolate 🙂

Bc November 20, 2020 - 11:13 pm

It’s easy to convince yourself that being aspirational isn’t “worth it” which allows one who embraces mediocrity to be satisfied, I’m not criticizing Holiday Inns per se, but this is the equivalent of someone who chooses to write a financial blog about teaching folks to dream of, one day, living paycheck to paycheck, to think he has done the world a service.

SharonKurheg November 21, 2020 - 10:30 pm

I disagree. Everyone is different and everyone’s goals are different. None of them are right or wrong.

Ric Garrido August 6, 2022 - 12:52 pm

In 2012 I had a few St. Regis stays. Each hotel had lovely rooms with great facilities. My biggest takeaway from the experiences were I don’t really care for luxury hotels. I like to walk around places anonymously and quietly. The common feature I found at luxury hotels is constantly being greeted by staff as you walk by them or they walk past you. I can be deeply lost in my mind and the constant interruption to return a greeting is something I find irritating when I simply want to daydream in a beautiful surrounding.

Pam August 6, 2022 - 2:49 pm

I laughed when I read this as it’s really a “you call me, I don’t call you” with their butler situation. The SR NYC will hand you a piece of paper at chk-in that tells you how to get in touch with them only if you want them. Handy for morning coffee/tea (or maybe a real paper) but no need to worry about intrusiveness to stop your staying there! The One & Only Palmilla, conversely, will post one outside your door all night unless you tell them not to.

John August 6, 2022 - 3:12 pm

I totally get this. For a time we lived in a “luxury” condo building. It had security/doormen who where there to monitor the property and also greet you etc. it took me A LONG TIME to get accustomed to it. To not feel like I wasn’t being “watched” or to not feel awkward about someone jumping up to open a door for me or help me with groceries. It’s weird. At least to me.

jjmpdx August 6, 2022 - 10:08 pm

I don’t dislike the St Regi because of the butler service; I dislike them because the St Regis service is generally so cold. I expect it to be like the “fancy hotel montage” from a bad rom-com… and it’s just not. I’ve stayed in 3 St Regi and 3-4 other hotels with butler service, and they’re great for bringing you a latte and scones in the morning. Otherwise, I no longer try to use them.

JohnB August 7, 2022 - 1:43 am

I generally avoid all Marriott brands. Once they took over Starwood, I was gone. Except one night a year that I get from my old Starwood Amex CC. Even then, I am always amazed at how Marriott can screw up anything and everything. I find Hyatts and Conrads to be just as nice and usually better priced.

Edw3rd August 7, 2022 - 9:15 am

What is StR butler tipping etiquette? If used, tip on services or end of stay or not at all?


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