Seen one hotel room, seen them all? If you’re staying at a hotel for the experience, and not just for convenience, savvy hoteliers are hip to holidaymakers wanting comfort and luxury and they’re vying to offer personalised options to differentiate themselves from the cookie-cutter chains. While pillow menus have been a thing since the late '90s, some hotels are allowing their guests to customise their stay even more, from choosing a scent for your hotel room to selecting your preferred bathroom amenities. Take your hotel stay to the next level with these bespoke in-room experiences.
Scent your stay
It’s well known that fragrance has a lingering effect on the memory and wellbeing, but there’s no need to pack your travel candle, the Spain-based Barcelo Group allows their patrons to select their own atmospheric room aroma throughout their 140 hotels in 17 countries. Choose one of three scents – green tea, red berries or grapefruit – or go fragrance-free, and breathe in the serenity.
We’ve mentioned that pillow menus are passe (so '90s!), but how about a sleep concierge? At The Benjamin Hotel in New York’s Midtown, jet-lagged and stressed-out clients can bed down with the hotel’s Rest & Renew program, with input from a sleep expert. A Sleep Team is on hand to supervise your slumber with custom consultations and snooze-worthy tools, including a Bedtime Bites menu.
Hotel toiletries have been a swipe-able souvenir for eons, but you’ve had to rely on what’s on offer in your ensuite or pack your own beauty essentials. Since 2013, Conrad Hotels and Resorts (part of the Hilton group) has allowed guests to choose their own pamper products from four well-known luxury brands (including The Refinery for men) via the Conrad Concierge app.
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Rock out or mix it up
If Muzak is your usual hotel soundtrack, check in to one of 20 Hard Rock Hotel properties worldwide to make your own sweet music through their Sound of Your Stay program. Wannabe rock gods can perfect their swagger with the complimentary use of a Fender electric guitar and amp, while DJs can get the party started with the loan of a laptop and controller that uses your room’s surround sound.
The right room
Ever stayed in a disappointing hotel room? UK-based Thistle hotels were the first to trial a ‘Choose Your Own Room Service’ at their Thistle Euston location in London last year, with a choice of floors and rooms. The Hilton HHonors app (launched in January 2015 and exclusive to the Hilton HHonors program) also lets you check in and choose a room from digital floor plans on the day before arrival.
Nothing to sneeze at
If staying in an unfamiliar room of unknown cleanliness makes you break out in hives, allergy-prone travellers should get acquainted with PURE Rooms. Using Pure Solutions Technology to certify allergy-friendly mattresses, pillows, soft furnishings and upholstery with nary a dust mite in sight, sensitive souls can sleep easy at a number of hotel groups offering PURE Rooms, including Hilton (Hilton, DoubleTree and Embassy Suites), Marriott (Marriott, Courtyard, Residence Inn and Delta), Crowne Plaza (including Holiday Inn) and Starwood (Sheraton and Westin) within the US and select Hyatt, Hilton and Le Meridien hotels and resorts in Asia.