No matter how much we travel, it's still exciting to peek into a hotel room's bathroom and see what kind of toiletries are on offer. With hotels nickle and diming guests at every turn (for WiFi, bottled water, beach chairs . . .), toiletries sometimes seem like the last sacred freebie a hotel guest can count on, whether at a humble Holiday Inn or a 5-star palace hotel.
The quality and type of toiletries can say a lot about a hotel—I’ll admit a sucker for this method of branding. But who isn’t? Here are some of the top hotel toiletries that I’ve come across. What are your favorites?
The old-world elegant Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo offers Bulgari toiletries—not terribly original, but classy and well suited to the over-the-top glamour of the location. I’ve heard George V in Paris stocks Bulgari too as do a lot of Ritz-Carlton hotels.
Blantyre, a refined Relais & Chateaux property in the Berkshires of Massachusetts also stocks Kiehl’s—even full bottles of shaving cream and tubes of the ever-popular lip balm. Apparently The Raleigh in Miami and the Thompson hotels have Kiehl’s as well. I remember the Thompson Beverly Hills having delicious Fresh toiletries at one point, but apparently they’ve made the switch.
True to its French roots, the Sofitel Buenos Aires has Roger & Gallet products. Meanwhile over in France, in the countryside near Saint-Paul de Vence, the lovely La Mas De Pierre goes local with items by Fragonard, the famous parfumerie located in nearby Grasse. In fact, a visit to Grasse that includes a free tour of the 228-year-old factory makes for an ideal daytrip from La Mas.
I’ve always been a fan of the light, citrusy scents and bright packaging of the Bliss products in W Hotels. And I’m still savoring the Val Harding products from Hotel Bel-Air, which is apparently one of the Melbourne-based Harding's favorite hotels.
So tell us, which hotels have toiletries worth taking home? Do you prefer name-brands or local products?