Epiphany Hotel: A Fresh Twist on the Mini Bar

Typically engage in in-room snacking? The Palo Alto hotel has an alternative.

THE HAPPY FLOP-DOWN: If you've ever stayed in a hotel, particular for a convention or business meeting or interview or social engagement that required your daylong attendance, you know all about the happy flop-down once you reach your room at the end of a long afternoon and evening. You're done talking, brainstorming, making chitchat; now is the time for the mini bar and now is the time to flop-down, with shoes off, to see what's on the telly (fingers crossed a movie you've only seen 19 times, and adore, is just ten minutes in). The mini bar is mentioned because it is an important component in the happy flop-down. You're likely beat, and needing a little pick-me-up, or even craving something sweet, and the idea of noshing upon it as you relax and watch a film feels right. But if you've spent the day at a conference, eating one too many boardroom pastries, you do often wish that your mini bar choices bore a healthier vibe. That's not to say that the energy-giving nuts found on some mini bars, nor the fruit bars, don't do that, but if you could pick and choose your good food choices for your hotel room, would you? You could, at The Epiphany in Palo Alto, if you sign up for the Joie de Vivre hotel's newly introduced Fresh Fridge.

THE FRESH FRIDGE... is pretty much the same as the mini bar concept, or at least it is nice food in your hotel room for you to enjoy. The modern update is that guests do the selecting, where their snacks are concerned, so everything in the Fresh Fridge is there at the room occupant's request. Choices include full biotic yogurt with blueberry crumble and goji berry and "seasonal housemade salads" with quality ingredients and add-ins like Tomatero Farm heirloom tomatoes and 9-grain tabbouleh. Look also for fresh fruit and veg straight from the Palo Alto Farmer's Market (meaning the goodies will be very much in season and highly local). You'll need to pay a flat fee to get going on this -- ninety five bucks, which is all-inclusive -- and you'll need to let The Epiphany know at least five days in advance. But if you're kicking around Palo Alto for work, and you're looking forward to your nightly happy flop-down, without the typical foods you've consumed in the past, the Fresh Fridge could be your energy-restorative answer. Whether your favorite movie will be playing on the TV, as you walk in from your last meeting, is something we'll have to put down to luck.

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