Forget logo branded t-shirts and shot glasses. These hotel gift shops forgo stocking their shelves with those usual tchotchkes in favor of products that raise their retail status as high as the penthouse suite! The six shops that make our list make it so you don't even have to leave the hotel to score some seriously awesome merchandise. After shelling out some green, you can head back to your luxe digs to admire your vacation loot. Now how to pack it all in your suitcase…
The JW Marriott Downtown Houston recently unveiled the new Spa by JW concept—which will roll out to 20 more properties in the coming year. Designed for both the hesitant spa novice and the time-strapped guest, the idea is to “de-mystify the spa experience, make it more accessible, and make it easier for guests to enjoy on their own schedule,” explains Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Manager for JW Marriott.
Just a short drive from bustling downtown Los Angeles, Chuan Spa—the latest addition to The Langham Huntington, Pasadena—is bringing a new level of sophistication to the California suburbs. The luxury spa offers treatments inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine, which incorporates herbal medicine, acupuncture, tai chi, and more.
Leica cameras are celebrated for producing photographs that are crisp, clean, often black and white images with dramatic depth of field. Henri Cariter Bresson, the most avid Leica enthusiast and famed photographer, once said “shooting with a Leica is like a long, tender kiss." On the new photo tours, called “Destination in Focus Getaways,” participants have access to state-of-the-art Leica equipment, as well as lessons by teachers from the Leica Akademie.
When in London, do as Harry Potter fans do: pose at Platform 9 ¾; take a walking tour to places featured in the films; and visit the Warner Brothers Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter. Now, visitors can even stay in the sleeping quarters at Hogwarts—or at least the suites resembling them.
The Setai Miami Beach’s latest spa treatments fit the hotel’s Asian-inspired aesthetic to a tea thanks to their partnership with Thémaé. The Paris-based cosmetics and spa brand is inspired by and named after the Japanese tea preparation ceremony. The Spa at The Setai by Thémaé was introduced earlier this year and features treatments that use exclusive products made from the extracts of red, white, green, and black teas—each of which has its own specific medicinal benefit.
Last year, Starwood unveiled plans to swap plastic keycards for Bluetooth technology—enabling guests to unlock their hotel rooms with a simple wave of their smartphone. We predicted it would be one of the biggest travel trends for 2014, and indeed, Hilton Worldwide and Caesars have since announced plans to bring the technology to their hotels as soon as this winter. But this week, Starwood is back in the spotlight as they pull back the curtain on how mobile entry works—and introduce it to ten properties in the Aloft, W, and Element portfolios.
Big innovation can come from tiny tweaks—at least, that’s what Crowne Plaza has found as they designed their next-generation guest room.
It’s been a full fifteen years since Westin introduced the Heavenly bed—an icon so popular it’s since been adopted by Delta and sold to consumers worldwide. To mark the occasion, the brand is now introducing a sleep sensor lending program in collaboration with wearables company Lark Technologies—the latest in a series of wellness-related innovations by the Starwood brand.
U Spa Barrière Shiseido at the Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière
In a world-class city like Paris, great hotels—and great hotel spas—are everywhere you turn. The hardest part is choosing which to visit first—a task that just got more challenging with the addition of U Spa Barrière Shiseido at the Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière, located on the posh avenue George V, in the 2nd arrondissement.