Several elegant hotels go well beyond the usual sets of shampoos, lotions, and other pampering products. The splendid Villa San Michele in Florence offers glittering bath salts. Ireland's regal Dromoland Castle leaves a glass of delectable liqueur on your bedside table. And I still think about the bowl of perfect strawberries at the Auberge du Raisin in Switzerland.
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
How about renting out rain gear?An unexpected cloudburst in Kansas City made this southern Californian wish that the hotel supplied light waterproof ponchos, or at least umbrellas. The ladies in my group had to use hotel shower caps to protect their hairdos.
Redondo Beach, Calif.
We've never stayed in a hotel that puts aromatherapy candles in the rooms. We always try to remember to bring one from home, but whenever we forget, we find a candle shop nearby.
I'd like to see personalized stationery instead of hotel letterhead. While I'm at it, why not in-room cappuccino machines, and chocolate-covered strawberries and chocolate-chip cookies at bedtime?
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Our dream hotel would have an old-fashioned tasseled bell pull. In Victoria, British Columbia, we stayed in a suite that had a pull like that. My husband felt like the lord of the manor, summoning the maids to bring us cocktails. It was the ultimate bit of luxury—we still talk about it.
I'd love a Footsie Wootsie, one of those mechanical amusement-park foot massagers that charge only 50 cents. I can picture them in the rooms of funky hotels like the Allegro in downtown Chicago.
My hotel would offer a "printed concierge," a booklet that lists restaurants by type of food, prices, and distance from the hotel. It would also tell which local shops have the best buys and what attractions shouldn't be missed. A busy concierge often doesn't provide enough in-depth info. After this, any other amenity would just be gravy.