During our recent Saigonese trip every evening before we dined, and sometimes if we'd had one, after a siesta, we would call our butler to bring ice for the cocktail hour, and to have our shoes polished. Initially this was a rather elaborate performance, with the first time involving the ice bucket being filled and being laid out on a tray near the glasses and the fridge, and shoes
appearing in a wicker basket that had seen better days, but none the less
noteworthy for the ritual. As our stay progressed this protocol slipped somewhat, until finally the shoes and the filled ice bucket were handed over at the door. This could have been because it all happened during the cocktail/evening/bath/time period and the butler realised his need to come into the room was more of an inconvenience than a service. After all, I wasn't at home where my own trusted valet comes and goes as I sup on an aperitif and dress at the same time, ably assisted by him with studs for my collar and cuff links for well, my cuffs, (I've been watching too much Downtown as you can see).
But it brings me to a point, and that is, why do hotels' "turn down service" always occur at around 6.30pm, when any civilised people are doing exactly what I've described? Of course I politely send them away at that time, and ring for that service to take place as I'm leaving my room on my way to dinner. Turn up to turn down, when I need you. The lady's not for turning etc. Elementary my dear Bates.