When I'm on the road without my kids, what I need most out of a hotel room are, naturally, the two things that I can’t get at home – privacy and quiet. Once those basics are locked down, I don’t really expect much in the way of in-room amenities.
But that’s the thing about hotel amenities. You don’t necessarily expect them. Almost by definition, they’re things you didn't even realize you needed until you see them.
So when I walked into my room at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago this spring, my wheelie bag and I stopped dead in our tracks at the sight of a Nespresso machine. Evidently I needed this very much because I couldn’t pass it without brewing a cup. But the real surprise was the UV towel warmer in the closet. Where had this thing been my whole life?
Another amenity I wasn't happy living without once I saw it was the iJoy massage chair, which you’ll find in a one-bedroom suite at The Shoreham Hotel in New York City. If you ever want to know what it feels like to be kneaded by an expensive massage chair without a salesperson pressuring you to buy it, booking a stay here could make sense for you.
At Revel in Atlantic City I was honestly not too hard to please once I met Iron Chefs Garces and Forgione, but I was pleasantly surprised by some of my in-room tech. A keypad in the vestibule had a “Do Not Disturb” button that disabled the doorbell, caused a red indicator light to display outside my room, and kept every last unwelcome housekeeping knock at bay. Also handy was a remote that permitted me to play with the room’s temperature, which is more fun than it sounds.
And, of course, you wouldn't have known what you’d been missing if I hadn't mentioned that, at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, the toilet lid automatically rises as you approach it. And, if that doesn't bring tears to your eyes, the toilet seat? Heated.
There is a tremendous difference between need and want, of course, but if hotels want to keep blurring the line with their in-room surprises, that's okay with me.
What in-room hotel amenities have pleasantly surprised you? Leave me a comment about it, briefly noting the hotel, amenity, and your reaction to it.
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