From ubiquitous iPod docking stations to elaborate pillow menus, hotels play a perpetual game of one-upmanship when it comes to providing new and better guest-pampering services. Here’s the latest.
New York City’s Benjamin (125 E. 50th St.; 866/222-2365; thebenjamin.com; doubles from $409) has a money-back sleep guarantee and a specialized concierge to help make good rest a reality. He calls guests three days before their stay to plan room-service delivery of sleep-inducing foods like banana bread, and to convey the 12 pillow options (from anti-snoring to one with an iPod port). Marriotts worldwide have joined a growing list of hotels beefing up their bedding. The company’s new Revive collection includes a Jamison mattress with 300-thread-count sheets, a down comforter, and hypoallergenic pillows.
At the Four Seasons San Francisco (757 Market St.; 415/633-3000; fourseasons.com; doubles from $480), you can borrow accessories for your gadgets—MP3 earbuds, PDA styluses, and reading lights that plug in to USB ports. The Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. (1127 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/347-3000; marriott.com; doubles from $429), is unveiling 37-inch monitors with a split-screen function, allowing you to work on your computer and watch TV side-by-side.
DeLiveries on demand
With the new "lending" program at Loews, you can call downstairs to have everything from the useful (sound machine, humidifier) to the unlikely (mini putting green) delivered right to your room. And if you left a favorite home product behind, Kimpton Hotels has much more on hand than the typical toothbrush, such as Static Guard or heating pads.