Some hotels strive hard to be known for having the biggest pools, highest bars, tallest tower, etc.
And while these record-holding titles do make the headline in the travel and hospitality area, I find that what I remember and cherish the most are the little touches that you discover in your room.
From popcorn makers to guitar heroes, here’s a list of the top 10 coolest things I’ve found in various hotel stays.
1.) PERFUME / HAIR OIL
When I enter a hotel room for the first time, I usually like checking out the bathroom first. Because I love taking my time in there when I’m in hotels. It’s all part of the relaxing process 🙂 I love checking what toiletries they have. And it was a pleasant surprise when I opened that heavy ceramic container. My own perfume / hair oil. It had a musky, oriental scent (which I normally gravitate to on perfumes). It’s great as an oil perfume, but I wouldn’t suggest using it as a hair oil. Its abit too slick.
2.) VIDEO GAME / GUITAR HERO
Though I never really used it, this just made me want to be 10-13 years old again. And this room, btw is adjacent to the master hotel bedroom, which is naturally where the parents will stay. While there could be a great debate about this (indulging kids with video games while travelling) and while I would love to talk about that at a length, we can save that for another day.
3.) POPCORN MAKER
WHERE: NIYAMA, Maldives
I don’t drink coffee so fancy Nespresso machines don’t really do it for me. So when I checked in at the overwater studio in NIYAMA Maldives and saw, lo and behold– a popcorn maker (complete with disposable movie theatre-style containers), I was ecstatic. I love munching into something while working or watching movies (which I do at hotel stays), so having this around was awesome. The kernels were refilled everyday too.
Now this popcorn maker machine can only complement the next cool amenity which is…
4.) MOVIE LIBRARY
WHERE: NIYAMA Maldives
Yup, found in the same hotel/resort, and in the same room too. And we’re not just talking about a handful of free movies here. This is a plethora of movie collection. Let’s just say it took me longer to choose which movie to watch than actually watching the movie (I didn’t finish it as I needed to sleep).
Numbers 4 and 5 kind of make me confused. Like first-world-rotten-spoiled-cow annoying confused. Because for the first time, I was torn whether to stay in the room and enjoy the popcorn and entertainment (it also had a twice as huge music collection) , or to go out and play in the Indian Ocean.
5.) A PAREO / WRAP/ SARONG
We actually got a his and hers freebie in this room. Zombie’s was a shirt. And while Sofitel Bora-Bora isn’t the first resort to offer your personal cover-up/sarong/pareo, it was definitely the first to have that personalised service. When we checked in the lady who accompanied us actually took the time to show and demonstrate to me the various ways you can wear it. I love personal touches like this! Other resorts I’ve been to will just have the sarong neatly laid on the bed, for you to assume that perhaps its yours to use.
6.) A STUFFED SHEEP
WHERE: The Goring Hotel, London
The Goring Hotel in London is known for being the place where Catherine “Kate” the Duchess of Cambridge spent her last night as a single woman. It also has a very proper and classic old English style of luxury, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to see this adorable stuffed little sheep (with the face of a moose and lopsided eyebrows) in the bed.
It’s common for most hotels to have stuffed animals or hotel characters/mascots in the bed but I haven’t seen anything as adorable as this one though.
7.) A MOBILE PHONE
A mobile phone with direct access to your thakuru’s (butler) number. The Shangri-la Maldives is huge and sprawling. So they thought it practical for guests to carry their own mobile phones around. And ok, I agree the phone is very 90’s and early 2000’s but you’d need a small one to carry around the resort anyway.
8.) FASHION COFFEE TABLE BOOKS
WHERE: The Hotel, Brussels
The Hotel in Brussels is probably the most fashionable hotel I’d ever stayed at. So while it was no surprise that they had FTV (Fashion TV) Channel , it was great to discover these books (and more) in the rooms and in most common areas.
9.) TOYS (for the big boys and girls)
WHERE: Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
The “mini-bar” area (I hesitate in calling it mini as it is definitely NOT) of the overwater studio rooms of Huvafen Fushi has everything you may ever need. Everything. From hard liquor, to 22 different tea flavours, to bedroom accessories/toys (subtly placed on the upper left side of the shelf/photo)
10.) THE BEST COOKIES IN THE WORLD.
WHERE: Any Doubletree by Hilton Hotels in the World
Forget Mrs Fields, Famous Amos or those designer cookie shots. THIS is the absolute best cookie in the entire universe. Made fresh on-location at ALL Doubletree by Hilton Hotels worldwide.
I know that people (including me) will consciously book or choose this hotel because of the cookies alone. You unfortunately cannot buy them. You must be checked in at the hotel, or at least have an event there, such as when I attended TBEX ’13 held at the Doubletree in Dublin.
In between sessions and talks, a huge tray of cookies would come out in the afternoon. I did some “cookie quality check” service for the rest of the attendees by strategically positioning myself near the entry/exit path.
And years and years ago, back in my flying days, the Doubletree by Hilton in Seattle Tacoma was our layover hotel. This was my first experience with Doubletree by Hilton. They gave the cookies right after you check-in, or when you happen to pass by the front desk.
I purposely (in the middle of Seattle winter), wandered in and out of the hotel lobby and facade just to have more than one of these cookies! What a loser..for cookies!
Those da**ed cookies have made a shameful cookie monster out of me. But that says so much about how good they really are.
So there goes my top 10 list for now. I’m sure this list will grow as I keep discovering other hotels.
But I am so very curious–