7 Surprisingly Simple Luxury Hotel Amenities That Make a Difference

7 Surprisingly Simple Luxury Hotel Amenities That Make a Difference

More than the bed linen thread counts, gleaming bathroom tiles, and penthouse suites sizes, what most guests remember when staying at luxury hotels are the unique service experience they get.

Private Butlers, Private Pools, Chauffers, Personal Shoppers – these are just some perks that luxury hotels employ and offer to create memorable experiences for their guests. The menu of ideas to pamper and overwhelm guests can get endless, and they also get grander (and perhaps more outrageous) through the years.

Do Fragrance Butlers, Tea Sommelier, and Pet Psychics sound familiar? All these are perks offered by actual luxury hotels.

As much fun as it is to discuss the elaborate features that luxury hotels offer, we shall go back to basics in this article as I list down very straightforward perks and luxury hotel amenities found in some luxury hotels that truly make a guest’s visit memorable.

Some of these are so simple, it is surprising how they give a maximum effect.

1. Chauffer Check-In:

Check In from the comfort of a private car
Armed with a portable scanner, a front desk staff checks
you in inside the hotel’s private pick up service car

While most luxury hotels already offer private airport transfers and pick ups, some resorts go the extra mile by beginning the check-in process in the car.

This is perfect for hotels which are located quite far from the airport and who have guests arriving late at night (or around midnight).

I personally experienced this last year visiting a newly-opened luxury resort in Bali. My flight arrived midnight, and apart from the resort’s chauffer, a front desk staff was also there to check me in. It was such a relief when we reached the hotel, to be able to just walk straight to the room at close to 1AM and sleep.

 

2. Mobile Phones:

Mobile phones for hotel guests
Guests at the Shangri-la Maldives are given mobile phones

The Shangri-la Maldives provides its guests with mobile phones for a good number of reasons. First, the resort is sprawling and huge that most guests need resort buggies to shuttle them from point A to B ( room to the breakfast restaurant, for example).

Sometimes, guests also need to be picked up from certain locations and it is easier for them to just get the phone and dial for a buggy, wherever in the resort they are. Call it the Uber for resort buggy.

Second, the mobile phone also has the number of the guest’s personal butler stored so the butler literally, is just a phone call away wherever the guest may be.

Third, the numbers of the hotel restaurants, spa and other amenities are also stored in the mobile so should a guest, for example, in the middle of enjoying his/her breakfast suddenly think of booking a spa treatment, they can do so very simply.

 

3. Breakfast and Meals Anytime, Anywhere:

Anytime Dinning
The convenience of dining anytime, anywhere

It’s great when hotels allow guests to finish breakfast late (around the 2-digit clock mark) but you know what’s even better? When hotel breakfasts don’t have a timeframe at all!

The Kayumanis Resort in Jimbaran, Bali offers such an amenity. Breakfast anytime during the day (or night), and it can also be delivered to your villa at no extra cost. This on top of complimentary afternoon tea everyday (which again, can be served in the comforts of your own villa).

I hardly saw other guests in the public areas of the resort so I was surprised to discover that the resort was actually at 100% capacity. Now I know where everyone was- enjoying their stay without needing to get out of their villas.

 

4. Complimentary City Pick Up/ Drop Off Service:

A City Transfer Service transporting guests
City Transfer Service

This service is offered mostly by resorts or hotels that are located pretty far away from the city central, but there are some centrally-located hotels that also offer the service.

Some hotels do a van / shuttle that departs from the hotel at certain times and vice versa, but the more luxe properties and brands offer private services for this.

 

5. Luggage Forwarding Service:

Hotel groups such as Starwood Hotels offer a luggage forwarding service to guests
Luggage forwarding services – image from Starwood Hotels website

Hotel groups such as Starwood Hotels offer a luggage forwarding service to guests, whether they are incoming or departing.

This includes a packing or unpacking service for guests, and definitely saves guests a lot of time and worries of making sure their things arrive safely.

While the forwarding service is not complimentary as it involves a third party freight company, most hotels do not charge a fee on top of the shipping/ forwarding service.

This amenity is great (and sometimes essential) for hotels that are located in shopping capitals.

 

6. Custom-Stocked Fridge/ Mini- Bar:

 

A Custom-Stocked Mini Bar and Fridge
A Custom-Stocked Mini Bar and Fridge

Several luxury hotels now offer guests the option to advise (pre check-in), if they want certain items on their fridge or mini-bar. While almost all luxury hotels now have private chefs to cater to every dietary requirements, it is still a bonus to have guests’ personal preferences stocked in the mini bar and fridge.

This is a great option if hotels have a lot of guests that travel from overseas or even inter-state and have to fly, therefore making it hard for them to carry their usual dietary items.

This saves guests with special dietary requirements having to make a dash to the local grocery store. Or for creature comfort guests who just want to feel at home, this is an offer that will be appreciated.

 

7. Complimentary Movie Library:

Complimentary Movie Library
Complimentary Movie Library

Complimentary movie channels are common in hotels these days. It’s also common for some hotels to have a DVD Library where guests can choose individual DVD’s from. But it’s rare to come across one that actually offers an entire Digital Movie Library in the comforts of the guests own rooms.

This is the case for NIYAMA Maldives, a resort whose theme is mixing nature with city comforts. The expansive movie library can prove useful as guests can enjoy the overwater bungalow during the day and also indulge in movie marathons in the evenings.

 

What Makes These Amenities Work?

One common denominator that these facilities and services have is that they simple, and not over the top. We’re not talking about million-dollar investments but just mere tweaks and smaller additions that make guests lives easier.

Most hotels research and get to know an idea of their guests’ existing lifestyle and try to re-create the same comforts in their properties. The main key factor that gets guests’ satisfaction level up is if they feel comfortable and at home while staying at the hotel. Once the small worries are set aside ( meal requirements, transportation.

luggage, etc), then guests are more receptible to the overall offerings of the hotel, which then includes the big kahuna amenities such as personal shopper, fragrance butlers, etc.

Often, it is the small things that matter the most and create a lasting effect on guests’ experience. And the list above are just some of the numerous ‘medium output, maximum effect’ amenities that hotels employ to ensure a satisfying stay.

Customer Survey
Customer Survey

What would you like to see offered in your favourite hotels for a more perfect stay? Any other simple amenities you’ve encountered that enhanced your experience? We’d love to know in the comments!

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Jean Carmela Lim is the voice behind luxury and adventure travel blog, Holy Smithereens. Since a childhood trip to Hong Kong and her first typewriter, Jean has spent a lifetime pursuing her passion of travel writing. With a background in the airline industry and government travel, Jean now creates travel content full-time on blogs and social media, exploring life's unforgettable moments through luxurious travels both near and far.

9 comments

  1. Alex-Wanderlust Marriage says:

    Great post, Jean! You’ve accumulated a load of experience to provide these awesome tips. It’s a great perk to be able to receive breakfast anytime of the day in your villa. Little details make a big difference in the luxury travel world. There’s lots to gain here whether your a resort or traveler looking to book their next luxury trip.

  2. Samantha says:

    Great article, I agree with everything. I especially like when hotels offer to unpack my luggage, saves so much time! Not all hotels do that, and I was surprised on my last vacation when I stayed in Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa Hotel (here’s the website if you’re interested http://www.hotelyouwant.com/spa-hotels/) and they suggested to unpack my luggage. After a long flight that was what I needed, because I could go get a massage instead of unpacking myself.

  3. Kyle Winters says:

    I never realized that so many simple amenities could set apart a five-star hotel from its competition. In particular, I really like the idea of the mobile phone, especially if you are staying at a massive, luxury hotel. Being able to call for a lift to the building where your room is located would be just amazing.

  4. Anil Khanna says:

    Jean Carmela, a very great post and helpful post to hotel owners, this article will help them to give the services to their hoteliers, Airport picking service is best, hotel owners can give this services to their all customers whether it is away from the airport location or nearby and your minibar suggestion is also good all the hotels must have a mini bar and swimming pool also.

    This is really a very nice post Jean, Keep spreading the information like this, You’re doing very good.

    I am Anil Khanna owner of COMBII ORGANOCHEM PVT. LTD and running the business which name is Herbline, Herbline company is the manufacturer and bulk supplier of Hotel & Spa Amenities. For any requirement please let us know we will help you. For more information you can visit: http://www.herbline.com/hotels/

  5. Evelyn Karinopoulou says:

    Wow! great ideas! Indeed when a hussle-free arrival and accommodation is proposed or organised for the guest in advance, he/she will tend to enjoy more of the facilities or other services offered in the hotel…

  6. Danny Jones says:

    I am very impressed with your wonderful blog and I will share this to my friend and relatives because there is, best information how to choose surprisingly simple luxury hotel. Thanks for sharing.

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