7 Things Your Hotel Can Provide, If You Ask

27 September 2016

Words by Renae Spinks

If you’re a savvy business traveller, you probably have your must-pack list down pat. Still, we all make mistakes and sometimes our essential items get left behind. This is where hotels can come to the rescue. The wonderful people at reception and housekeeping have at their fingertips all manner of useful accessories to make up for any shortfall in your packing skills. Here are seven things you can have for the asking at many hotels.

Toiletries

A businessman cleans his teeth in his hotel room.

Picture: Getty Images

We all know that hotels provide shampoo, conditioner, soap and the like, to save some space in your toiletry bag. But did you know you can ask for other toiletries? Some hotels will obligingly provide toothpaste, toothbrushes and mouthwash, as well as items such as nail polish remover or make-up remover and shaving kits. So there’s no need for a midnight dash looking for a store where you can stock up.

Books

A man and woman surrounded by books at The Library Hotel's reception desk in New York.

Picture: The Library Hotel

Dying for a great read but left your latest airport novel on the plane? Some hotels have lending libraries, and if you’re very lucky, you may even ask to borrow a kindle. The Library Hotel in New York takes it to another level with 6,000 books organised by the Dewey Decimal System over 10 floors, with individual rooms adorned with books exploring a particular topic within its category.

Sewing Kit

A portable sewing kit.

Picture: Getty Images

If you’re a crack carry-on traveller, you can’t afford any wardrobe malfunctions. No matter, ask at the front desk for a sewing kit and you can contrive a quick fix for that missing button or sagging hem. If your hotel is really fancy, the needles might even be pre-threaded. Hang on to it for years and you might even have a collector’s item on your hands.

Tech

A woman charges her phone.

Picture: Getty Images

There’s nothing worse than your favourite gadget running out of juice. Except when it happens in a strange city without a charger. Never fear, hotels usually have a spare charger or two (courtesy of forgetful travellers, perhaps) at the front desk to get you out of a jam. You might also get lucky and find adaptors, converters and headphones for the asking.


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Stationery

A hotel notepad.

Picture: Getty Images

Remember when you could always find a notepad embossed with the hotel’s logo, plus matching pen, beside the phone? The sort of stationery that proved so useful in furnishing clues in Hitchcock movies is not quite as common these days. A quick call to reception, however, and you’ll soon be jotting down that business idea (or diabolical plan) that comes to you in the middle of the night.

Yoga Mat

A woman does yoga in her hotel room.

Picture: Getty Images

Yoga is a wonderful way to work out in the privacy of your hotel room but lugging around a yoga mat is not ideal. If you’re in the mood for some downward dog but don’t want the extra baggage weight, check if your hotel has in-room mats. Kimpton Hotels introduced in-room yoga mats a few years back, and some Hyatt hotels do the same.

Shoeshine Kit

I can’t remember the last time I shined my shoes, but if looking super snappy is important in your line of work, you can buff away any scuffs with a hotel shoe shine kit. They tend to come with mitts or sponges that are pre-loaded with polish. Perfect for a last-minute brush-up before that important meeting.

 

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