Most Over-the-Top Room Service
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.
Hôtel Le Toiny, St. Bart’s
A giant wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano arrives at your door—complete with a chef turned cheese sculptor who carves it into the shape of a bowl, then adds spaghetti and black truffles for a decadent feast.
Hôtel Americano, New York City
Taking the art of zzz’s to dreamy new heights, this Windy City hotel offers more Sleep Menu options than you can count sheep. Herbal elixirs, calm-inducing nightcaps, h20 hydrating treatments, an exhaustive custom pillow collection, and rest-worthy technology from books to music are just a few of the bedtime luxuries.
Hotel Guaycura, Todos Santos, Mexico
In the buzzy beach town of Todos Santos, you can capture the unobstructed views of the Pacific with in-room art lessons taught by local Mexican artists. If Indonesian beaches are more your style, brush up on your painting chops at Amanjiwo, where you can watercolor sights like the Borobudur Temple from your private villa’s dipping pool.
Enchantment Resort, Sedona, AZ
Talk about a raw deal. Filet mignon, Colorado lamb chops, and other barbecue favorites come spice-rubbed and ready for DIY grilling on your casita patio.
Time-starved travelers at the Four Seasons can now enjoy a little extra pampering with the speedy 15-Minute Room Service option. Gourmet airline-security-friendly “to go” meals are left at your door or handed to the driver as you head to catch a flight.
The Stanford Court Hotel, San Francisco
To get a flavor of the Bay Area without leaving the comforts of your suite, request a private blind-taste test at San Francisco’s Stanford Court. Local artisanal cheese accompanies three wine country–aged vinos—and if you guess the wines, the tasting is gratis.
Hard Rock Hotels
Taking the rock-n-roll theme beyond its glam décor, Hard Rock will enable guests to rock out as hard and long as they like come Summer 2012. Thanks to The Sound of Your Stay “Picks” Program, check-in includes your choice of Fender guitar, a high-performance floor amp, and headphones for undisturbed in-room jamming. Party on.
The Langham Hotel, London
Literary notables Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all frequented this posh, Victorian-era landmark. Today even casual readers can get special treatment from the hotel’s dedicated Book Butler. Bedside reads are personally selected and hand-delivered just for you.
Tree of Life Resort & Spa, Jaipur, India
Perks at this newly opened desert oasis include yoga lessons taught by a local master yogi in one of 14 private villas. You can even learn the art and cultural significance of the sari with in-room tying sessions.
Cavallo Point Lodge, Sausalito, CA
Host your own in-room happy hour by ordering up all the makings of a Moscow Mule, a Salty Dog, or other classic cocktail. Personal bartenders are also available if you’d rather mingle than mix.
Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel, New York City
For guests seeking to de-stress after a day in New York’s urban bustle, the chic Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel has a solution: Healer sessions. Put your cynical side on hold and zone out with acupuncture, vibrational therapy, energetic rebalancing, or crystals. Look for the same Zen-like service at the Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District.
Four Points by Sheraton LAX, Los Angeles
Beer lovers can tap into “Brewster’s Best Brews,” the hotel’s extensive collection of more than 100 different types of local and imported beer. Or indulge your palate in sweet, salty, or smoked beer pairings like Young’s Double Chocolate Stout with Chocolate Covered Strawberries and Stone Smoked Porter with Smoked Salmon.
Esencia Estate, Riviera Maya
After a day soaking up the tropical scenery, azure waters, and white sands at this boutique beachfront hotel, you can (literally) wash away your worries too. An in-room Soap Concierge will personally get your suds up to snuff, crafting a handmade bar from choice ingredients like honey, lemon, rosemary, aloe vera, and oatmeal.
Lupita Island, Tanzania
As if a private dinner in an open-air, lake-view cottage at this 130-acre secluded island hideaway off the coast of Africa isn’t awesome enough, post-dinner entertainment includes the arrival of villagers from the local church choir at your door to perform an exclusive Christian/pagan song and dance ritual. Cuban cigars and 18-year-old Glenmorangie scotch included.
The Point Resort, Saranac Lake, New York
No need to fetch a doggy bag at this wooded Adirondack retreat—even pooches are catered to. Homemade meals, cookies, and summertime treats like house-made ice cream can all be delivered just for Fido.
Surf & Sand Resort, Laguna Beach, CA
This Mediterranean-style beachfront hotel brings the fun of the outdoors in, with perks like Smore and Snore camping accoutrements for their youngest guests. Along with freshly baked s’mores, the staff pitches an in-room pop-up tent for happy campers to play and sleep in for the night.