7 coolest hotel amenities
By Lesley Kennedy
There was a time when folks would be pleased that their hotel amenities included free tiny bottles of shampoo, a newspaper delivered to your door each morning and perhaps an in-room coffee maker. But today’s hotels are standing out by offering their guests everything from pillow menus to in-room cardio machines to all-you-can-eat ice cream. Here are seven amenities we wouldn’t mind taking advantage of (but we’ll still take the mini hair products, thank you very much).
For the insomniac: Trouble sleeping on the road? At New York hotel The Benjamin, you’ll find a Sleep Concierge who will assess your sleep habits, help you select from a dozen pillow menu options, hook you up with a bedtime snack (a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on banana bread is the signature treat) or book you a sleep-inducing massage at the hotel spa. Also find sleep aids for kids (books, robes) and pups (doggie bed, dog robe). We’re getting sleepy, already.
For the wanna-be rocker: Channel your inner Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix or Jeff Beck by strapping on a Fender guitar when you stay at the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago. The instrument (choose from 20 options) will be delivered to your room — bass guitars and Fender amps are also available — as are headphones so your neighbors won’t complain. (Find deals for Hard Rock Hotels here.)
For the bicycle enthusiast: Explore Central Park on wheels from Bobbin Bikes when you stay at New York’s Surrey Hotel, where rentals are free for guests. Think you’ll work up an appetite? Snag a picnic basket with treats from Café Boulud to bring along.
For the snow-bound: Skiing gets a luxurious upgrade at the Four Seasons Resort Vail, where the Ski Concierge will hook you up with all the gear you need to hit the slopes — you’ll even find warmed boots in your personal locker, along with free hot cocoa and muffins, as you prep to head out on the mountain.
For the beach-lover: Long to snag a little alone time with your mate during your family getaway to The Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla.? This luxury hotel pays special attention to kids — offering an entertainment center for the young ‘uns, along with day and night camps.
For the sugar fiend: Stay in the Hãagen-Dazs “Sweet Suite” at the Hotel Triton in San Francisco, and find chocolate, vanilla and dulce de leche candles, a waffle-textured bed throw and — hooray! — an ice cream cabinet stocked with the company’s ice cream. All you can eat? We may need to book an extra night.
For the fitness fanatic: There are no excuses for skipping your workout when you book a yoga or cardio room at participating Hilton hotels. In McLean, Va., for example, the Yoga Room gets you extra space complete with special flooring, a full-length mirror and Gaiam yoga accessories. If you’re looking for something to really get your heart pounding, the Cardio Room comes with a Precor AMT (Adaptive Motion Trainer), custom workout bench and strength training accessories (think hand weights, resistance bands, stretch mat, stability ball). Hope you packed your tennis shoes.
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