Aside from a few stylish elements, what is it that really makes a hotel stand out? For some, it’s the little things, the special touches hotels and resorts include for their guests to ensure their stays are even more memorable.
That’s where hotel amenities — desirable or useful features that are provided by places of lodging — come in. Accommodations are going far beyond the typical perks, like the in-room coffee machines and turndown service with chocolates most travelers are used to, providing that are more personalized and even eclectic.
Here’s a look at some of the most creative and unique hotel amenities out there, each meant to upgrade your stay from good to great.
Pie Turndown Service
At the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast in Salisbury Mills, New York, guests who book a stay during the month of September can enjoy a fresh piece of pie on the first night of their stay as part of its “Pie on the Pillow” turndown service . This special perk starts right after Labor Day and runs through the end of the month, with fresh pies baked daily, including cherry, fudge, apple, pumpkin, and pecan, among other seasonal flavors.
In-room Beer Taps and Shower Mini-fridges
In 2018, BrewDog opened The DogHouse, the world’s first craft beer hotel, located inside its Columbus, Ohio brewery — additional locations can now be found in Manchester, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen in the UK as well. Guests can enjoy a beer all day long thanks to in-room beer taps and showers that come with adjacent mini-fridges.
Puzzle Turndown Service
At Twin Farms, in Barnard, Vermont, guests can get a unique and seasonally crafted puzzle to take home thanks to a partnership with Stave Puzzles, a company known for its intricate and handcrafted wooden puzzles.
In-room Arcade Games
At The Curtis Hotel in downtown Denver, guests start off their visit with one of DoubleTree’s standard warm chocolate chip cookies. Book a stay in one of the hotel’s themed suites, like the video game suite, which includes an in-room Donkey Kong arcade game alongside Mario-inspired wall decorations, old-school board games, and other nostalgia-inducing details. Other rooms include a disco room with lava lamps, as well as several pop-culture-themed rooms dedicated to all things Barbie, talk shows, knock -knock jokes, sports, chick flicks, I Love Lucy, Star Trek, Ghostbusters, and Talladega Nights.
A Broadway Experience
Thanks to the Chatwal’s location just steps from New York City’s Theater District, guests staying at the property can take advantage of its Broadway Experience, which features an in-room dress-up trunk for youngsters filled with items from popular theater shows, including the genie lamp from “Aladdin,” Elsa’s crown from “Frozen,” and Harry Potter’s wand. The hotel also offers an afternoon tea with a Broadway theme, featuring pastries designed around shows like “Aladdin,” “Frozen,” and “The Lion King. ” Guests staying in one of the hotel’s 12 specialty suites also have access to a red Crosley radio and a curated selection of vinyl LPs from Broadway musicals like “Wicked,” “West Side Story,” “Hairspray,” and “South Pacific,” among other popular shows, while a theater playhouse with puppets is available for use by younger guests.
At The Betsy, a family-owned luxury boutique hotel in Miami’s Art Deco district, art is woven into every stay. Through the hotel’s turndown amenities, guests receive nightly bookmarks made out of a combination of recycled paper and wildflower seeds.
Guitars and Vinyl Record Players
Guests staying in specialty themed suites at The Edgewater in Seattle can enjoy unique amenities based on the room they’re staying in. Guests of The Beatles Suite can enjoy a state-of-the-art stereo system and listen to Beatles CDs, while complimentary complimentary use of a Fender guitar and amp, as well as a record player and a rare collection of vinyl LPs are available to guests staying in the Pearl Jam Suite.
In-room Cocktail Stations
All the rooms and suites at The Troubadour Hotel New Orleans, part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton, come with an in-room cocktail station so guests can mix drinks whenever they want. The station includes a recipe for the hotel’s signature cocktail — made of bourbon, old fashioned mix, and San Pellegrino Blood Orange — as well as other liquor, bitters, and tumbler cups with straws for guests to take their drinks with them.
Hunter Boots and Outerwear
The Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island is a nature lover’s paradise, with an on-site naturalist who leads excursions such as stargazing, biking, and bird-watching. To help guests get ready to head out, the hotel has a Hunter Borrowing Closet stocked with Hunter boots and outerwear options for both adults and children.
At St. Regis properties, one of the traditions is Champagne sabering, which dates back to the days of Napoleon. Sabering, the act of opening Champagne bottles using a saber or sword, is celebrated in different ways depending on the property.
Alila Napa Valley offers guests the ability to create customized aromatherapy blends as part of its experience at Spa Alila. Focusing on treatments based on ancient healing techniques, the spa includes access to an apothecary-style aromatherapy blending bar when you book any massage experience. Choose the herbs that call to you — lavender, rosemary, tulsi, red clover, or calendula, among others – then place the mix in a muslin bag and set an intention for your treatment. A spa specialist will then steep your custom-made Burden Bundle so you can enjoy the scent.
The Lanesborough is the only hotel in London that offers butler service for every room. One of the lesser-known amenities guests can request from their butler is a complimentary popcorn service, featuring sweet and savory popcorn selections that come straight to your room on a silver tray.
Spice Sessions With Master Chefs
Guests at the Oberoi Rajvilas Jaipur can learn more about the spices used in the Rajasthani dishes they’ll taste during their stay at the property’s weekly spice talk sessions. During each one-hour session, guests will learn about the secrets of herbs and spices used to cook traditional cuisine from the hotel’s spice connoisseurs. The hotel recommends calling in advance to avoid disappointment.
A BMW SUV
Travelers who stay at select White Elephant Properties in Nantucket get access to the latest of the property’s fleet of 2022 BMW SUVs on a first come, first serve basis, a perfect way to explore the island and its 82 miles of coastline. The brand’s Palm Beach The resort in Florida also offers the same perk.
Handwritten Love Letters
The five-star lakeside Grand Hotel Tremezzo in Lake Como, Italy, offers guests a historic look into the property’s past with its turndown service. Each night, guests receive love letters written by previous hotel guests during the 1900s. The letters were discovered behind the wallpaper of a secret wardrobe in the hotel and kept as a family secret for years before the owners started incorporating them into stays.
Local Orange Juice
Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa might not be the only hotel to offer guests freshly-squeezed orange juice each day, but thanks to the property’s location across 45 acres of gardens and olive and orange groves in San Diego, California, the oranges come straight from the property’s on-site groves.
Virtual Workouts for Life
Thanks to a new partnership, guests staying at Arlo Hotels in New York City and Miami can try out FlexIt, a popular wellness platform offering access to virtual workout sessions and personal fitness trainers, both when they stay at the hotel and after they return home. These no-equipment-needed workouts only require a limited amount of space, making them perfect for some in-room exercise or, once you’re home, a much-needed fitness class.
Fresh Artisanal Bread
At Zadún, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in San José del Cabo, Mexico, guests receive freshly made artisanal bread each morning. They’re offered daily from 7 am to 9 am by El Panadero, who rides around the resort on his bicycle — listen for the chime of his bell to make sure you don’t miss out.
Extra Time at Iguazú Falls
There are definitely perks to being a guest at the Belmond property, Hotel das Cataratas, the only hotel located inside Iguazú National Park in Brazil. Not only can you enjoy views of the UNESCO World Heritage waterfalls from the property itself — and in some cases, from your room — the hotel also offers exclusive viewing access before the gates open or after hours, when there are sure to be fewer crowds around.
Free Yoga and Guided Nature Walks
Start each day of your stay at Nayara Springs, located within Costa Rica’s legendary Arenal Volcano National Park, with a complimentary open-air yoga class. Those interested in learning more about the area’s diverse wildlife can also opt for a free bird-watching walk with Pablo Castillo, the resort’s expert nature guide, a special perk offered to guests each morning.
A Luxury Yacht
Guests of Gili Lankanfushi, a luxury resort in the Maldives, have access to a 45-foot Riviera yacht, which they can use to arrange for whale shark viewing or deep sea fishing excursions, or for dolphin-watching cruises at sunset. Feeling adventurous? Take it out for a spin among the atolls or treat your beloved to a romantic private picnic on a deserted island.
Mindful Cultural Experiences
Experiential travel is the name of the game at Paradero Todos Santos in Baja California Sur, Mexico, where guests can try activities like cooking classes, meditation, sound healing, yoga, and Temazcal, a traditional healing ritual. Those looking to be more active can opt for fitness classes, surfing lessons, scenic hikes, and morning bike rides, while other options include learning how to farm and garden sustainably alongside the locals.
Necker Island’s Sushi Kayak
Guests of Sir Richard Branson’s 74-acre luxurious and eccentric all-inclusive private island in the British Virgin Islands, Necker Island, are bound to encounter its infamous sushi kayak — delicious, freshly made sushi served aboard a wooden kayak and delivered by a mermaid, of course!
Rock Star Level Amenities
The Pendry in San Diego gives guests complimentary access to interesting amenities like skateboard rentals and Taylor guitars to strum in your room. You’ll also be able to take a Cadillac out for a spin (for up to four hours) thanks to the brand’s nifty Ride & Drive Program. Not feeling up for a drive? The concierge can arrange a ride for you — also by Cadillac — instead, if that’s what you’d prefer.
Image © www.travelandleisure.com