Fancy Hotel Amenities Now Include a Butler For Your Legos
What do you get when you’re paying upward of $1,000 for a hotel room? That answer can vary wildly, depending on where you are. Even the “standard” amenities at these types of hotels and resorts—personal butlers, private pools, complimentary use of a house car and driver—are enough to make you feel like royalty. But head into the upper echelons of hospitality and you’ll find thoughtful details you would have never known you wanted. Here are some of our favorites.
Free vintage couture at the Berkeley, London
Stay in one of the specialty suites at this Knightsbridge icon and you’ll get access to the hotel’s secret weapon: an 11-drawer fashion trunk, filled with big-label statement pieces that date back as far as the 1950s. Think Hermès Kelly bags or a mini Baignoire Cartier watch. The pieces mainly consist of jewelry, scarves, and handbags, and you can borrow as many as you want—even buy the ones you love.
Paparazzi police and personalized fireworks displays at Rosewood Las Ventanas, Los Cabos, Mexico
If you think privacy is the ultimate luxury, head to Rosewood’s Cabo stunner, Las Ventanas. The hotel has been known to summon a brigade of staffers equipped with reflective screens to ride out on jet skis when a guest sees paparazzi show up in front of the ocean-front villa. (The screens shine light at the photographers, ruining their shots to shoo them.) Perhaps even more extravagant is Las Ventanas’ latest offering: custom fireworks displays, which you can design on an iPad-based “fireworks menu.” They cost $1,700—per minute.
Custom-designed bedding at Plaza Athénée, Paris
It’s one thing to have a pillow menu with a few weight and material options. (And nobody will complain about that.) But Dorchester Collection’s grand dame on Avenue Montaigne goes a few steps farther. First, it has pillows designed to remedy different ailments: a millet-stuffed pillow for stress-relief and a horsehair pillow for those who need extra support, for instance. And then there are interchangeable fiber or foam mattress toppers, plus linens you can request to be mixed and matched ahead of your stay. The only thing you can’t tailor to your liking is the bed frame.
Personal monograms at Peninsula Beverly Hills, Raffles Istanbul, L'Horizon Paris
Peninsula maintains a closet with thousands of monogrammed pillowcases. Any time repeat guests check in, their initials will appear, emblazoned on the bedding in their room. (Travelers can choose to keep the pillowcases as souvenirs, or leave them behind to be laundered and reused.)
Similar touches exist at a handful of other hotels and are always impressive: Raffles Istanbul does monogrammed bathrobes, and L’Horizon in Palm Springs, Calif., puts personalized brass nameplates on room doors to make guests feel at home.
The most thoughtful turndown at Twin Farms, Vermont
This farm-to-table-focused Relais & Chateaux property puts a fun twist on locally sourced turndown treats. Rather than leave you with sweets after your multi-course tasting dinner, the staff commissions handmade wooden puzzles by local craftsman Steve Richardson, whose jigsaws ordinarily start at $200 and sell for more than $10,000. This strikes just the right balance between quaint and luxe that Twin Farms strives for.
Lego butler service and custom bedtime stories at Ashford Castle, Ireland
Hospitality doesn’t discriminate, and age is no exception. That’s why Ashford Castle delivers Legos on silver trays as part of its room service. Even more thoughtful is the bedtime story program: Customized tales weave young guests into narratives as the main characters, and the readings are served up with a side of homemade cookies.
(For another great kid amenity, check out the Waldorf Astoria Orlando: It will build a fort in your room for slumber party-themed nights.)