Hotel Perks That Only The 1% Knows About

Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood's Mansion On Turtle Creek.
Remember when tiny bottles of shampoo seemed exciting? Or when you couldn’t wait to post a picture of that free Evian bottle in your hotel room? Neither do we. And that’s because there’s nothing thrilling or Instagram-worthy about basic amenities.

In an era when Instagram Likes equal big marketing bucks for hoteliers, savvy hotels are taking note, offering some amazing extras designed to wow guests — and if they also generate some well-deserved publicity through social media, so be it. From fragrance butlers and trendy barbershops to loaner guitars, cars, and luxury beauty products, these over-the-top services and amenities go far beyond free soap. Posting them on Insta is a no-brainer; all you have to think about is which filter to use.
1 of 10
Photo: Courtesy of the Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC.
Glamour Bar At The Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC
The Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC hotel’s minibars may be the most beautifully stocked versions around. And that’s because, instead of cans of Pringles and tiny bottles of vodka, this luxury hotel stocks its “glamour bars” with an arsenal of cosmetics and hair products from top beauty brands, artfully arranged around Hollywood-style vanities. Although only 156 out of 186 rooms feature the lit vanity, the products are available in all rooms, with offerings ranging from Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara to Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray to Hampton Sun Airbrush Auto Bronzing Mist. In addition to the products, rooms also boast salon-quality hairdryers and straightening irons for guests to use gratis.
2 of 10
Old-School Barber Shop At The QT Sydney
Everything about the QT Sydney is cutting edge, from the funky fusion of modern design and historical architecture, to the eccentric greeters (who don custom costumes with vibrant red wigs). And let's not forget about the minibars, which are stocked with fresh-made gingerbread ninja cookies and emergency bowties (for Instagram emergencies, obviously).

But the amenity that cuts through the competition at this Design Hotel is the old-fashioned SpaQ Barber Shop. The trendy shop operates on the same level as the original barbershop that occupied the space in the early 1900s, and still features some of the historic fixtures from the old parlour. Dapperly dressed maestro barbers perform everything from straight-edged razor shaves and facials to haircuts and foot massages. The antique leather chairs offer up a nostalgic spot for groomed gentlemen to sip on complimentary drams of Chivas Regal blended Scotch.
3 of 10
Photo: Courtesy of Rosewood's Mansion On Turtle Creek.
Fragrance Butler At Rosewood Mansion On Turtle Creek, Dallas
Getting a sense of a destination’s true essence isn’t always easy, but at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, it’s as simple as calling room service. The hotel employs a 24-hour fragrance butler who can be summoned to your room, toting a silver tray with 10 designer fragrances to choose from. Rosewood fragrance butlers appear at select city properties, but the scents are all specifically chosen to pair with each locale’s signature spirit. The Mansion’s unique menu includes Prada Candy, Elie Saab Le Parfum, Jimmy Choo Eau De Parfum, Balenciaga L’Essence, and Givenchy Dahlia Noir for women, as well as a handful of designer options for men.
4 of 10
Photo: Courtesy of Ocean House.
Borrow A Benz At Ocean House, Rhode Island
You'd need a really enticing incentive to want to venture off the property at the stunning Ocean House hotel. But there is at least one: The New England resort offers guests the chance to borrow one of four on-site Mercedes-Benz vehicles during their stay, at no cost. The concierge is armed with a list of potential itineraries to help you explore the area in style, but really, there’s nothing wrong with hopping behind the wheel and taking an aimless ride along the coast.
5 of 10
Photo: via @epiphanyhotel.
The Fresh Fridge At The The Epiphany Hotel, Palo Alto
It can be hard to stay healthy and fit while on the road, especially with hotels tempting travelers with easy access to booze, candy, and salty snacks. But at The Epiphany Hotel in Palo Alto, it may actually be better for your health to crack open that little refrigerator. For a flat fee of $95, guests can opt to have their standard minibar swapped out with a "fresh fridge" stocked with healthy food and drinks from local purveyors. Unlike pay-per-item minibars, all contents of the Fresh Fridge — think freshly pressed juices, seasonal salads, farm fresh fruits and veggies, nut milks, and more — are included in the fee.
6 of 10
Photo: Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotels.
Rocking Rooms At Hard Rock Hotels
At most hotels, the in-suite musical entertainment consists of outdated iPhone docks and snoozy music channels on the TV. Not at Hard Rock. The brand recently updated its Sound of Your Stay program, where guests can get sweet musical gear — like premium Fender electric guitars, Nixon headphones, DJ mixing boards, and more — delivered straight to their rooms to use for free during their stay. All of the equipment comes with tutorials (like Hal Leonard video guitar lessons or a DJ video tutorial and an iPad), so you can practice before turning your room into a private concert hall.
7 of 10
Photo: Courtesy of the WestHouse Hotel.
Personal Shoppers At The WestHouse Hotel, New York
Shopping in New York has never been easier. Guests at the WestHouse Hotel need only press a button to take advantage of the hotel's Net-A-Porter personal shopping service. Using the in-room Intelity Tablets, you can browse Net-A-Porter online or press the dedicated Net-A-Porter button on speed dial to take advantage of the exclusive service. Your personal shopper will even provide wardrobe recommendations and advice according to your unique style. The service is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with free same-day in-room delivery for orders placed by 10 a.m.
8 of 10
Photo: Courtesy of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.
Gold iPads At Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai
Did you forget your iPad at home? Not to worry. If you're checking in at the luxe Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, the hotel has plenty of loaner devices for guests — and they're dipped in 24-karat gold and engraved with the hotel's logo. In addition to all the usual functions, the iPads serve as a virtual concierge, providing one-touch access to in-room dining, guest directories, spa menus, and even butler services. And if you're not ready to part with your new bling when you check out, head to the hotel boutique, where you can buy one to take with you (for around $10K), or opt for other gold-plated tech, including iPad Minis, iPhones, and Blackberrys.
9 of 10
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel de Russie.
Luxury Smart Bikes At Hotel de Russie, Rome
The idea of a hotel offering bikes for guests to use may not seem particularly notable, but it’s the caliber of bicycle that guests have access to at the Hotel de Russie that takes this amenity over the top. This fall, anyone staying at the hotel can make use of its top-of-the-line "smart e-bikes" (made by the company that produces Mercedes-Benz cars), which come pre-programmed with a variety of customized itineraries to help you explore the best of Rome, 24/7. No time to hit the gym while you're in town? Opt for a more fitness-focused tour with special excursions designed by Danilo Palmucci, Roman World Triathlon Champion.
10 of 10
Photo: Courtesy of Hotel De L'Europe.
Ethereal Eroticism At Hotel De L’Europe, Amsterdam
At high-end hotels, so-called intimacy kits are becoming commonplace. Most of them provide at least the basics for a quickie, but even the sexiest sachets look tame compared to what Hotel De L’Europe in Amsterdam has on the menu. The hotel recently partnered with luxe erotic lifestyle brand 210th to offer upscale erotic boxes that can be ordered via room service. The surprisingly large Classic Box comes wrapped in a satin ribbon and includes not one but three vibrators, massage oil, a vibrating cock ring, a sleeve for him, black smart balls, a vibrator with 10 functions, a refined mini vibrator with 10 functions, black satin bondage or blindfold, a satin storage bag, a letter opener (for playing sexy secretary? We're not sure, either.), and 25 "assignments." And before you ask, yes, batteries are included.

More from Travel


R29 Original Series