On a secluded African island, you’re finishing dinner in your private cottage when there’s a knock at the door. Villagers from the local church choir have arrived ready to perform a song and dance ritual just for you. That’s the kind of above-and-beyond room service to expect at Tanzania’s Lupita Island retreat.
These days, attracting travelers takes more than just good service—it takes oodles of creativity. Hotels are one-upping each other with the most unexpected of amenities, large and small, serious and silly. From in-room art lessons to personal Book Butlers to homemade ice cream for your pooch, we’ve uncovered the world’s over-the-top room service offerings, whatever your idea of pampering or price range.
At the Hard Rock Hotels, for example, you can now live out those rock-n-roll fantasies thanks to a free loaner Fender guitar and high-performance floor amp for undisturbed in-room jamming. While that jives with the chain’s music vibe, other hotels are going to equal lengths to deliver a party to your door. San Francisco’s Cavallo Point turns guest rooms into speakeasies with a Personal In-Room Bartender ready to mix margaritas, mimosas, or Salty Dog cocktails while you lounge.
Of course, a party scene isn’t every guest’s idea of vacation. For those on a quest for quiet, quirky hotel perks, the Gansevoort Hotels in New York City can oblige with Healer sessions: crystals, acupuncture, vibrational therapy, and energetic rebalancing. Or travel further afield to the Tree of Life Resort & Spa in Jaipur, India, where you can get your om on with a master yogi in one of 14 private villas.
The little extras can make a difference, even for the youngest of guests. Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, CA, brings the fun of the outdoors in with freshly baked s’mores and in-room pop-up tents for happy campers to play and sleep in for the night.
Read on to find out what anything-but-ordinary hotel amenities can be delivered at the touch of your room service button. Just be forewarned of a possible side effect: canceling those sightseeing plans to stay in instead.