Now that ultra-plush bathrobes, high-thread-count linens and designer toiletries are de rigueur at upscale hotels, top properties are offering innovative and extravagant perks to ensure a distinctive experience.
Some, like the Ritz Carlton South Beach’s tanning butler and Hotel Monaco’s pet psychic, trend toward the whimsical. Others are designed to enrich guests’ connection to the locale, like the in-house art concierge at Le Royal Monceau, who will design a trip through the best Parisian museums and galleries, or the genealogists on hand at Ireland’s Lodge at Doonbeg to track visitors’ family ancestry.
While some hotels charge a fee for these over-the-top services, many do not, adding it to the lavish perks and anticipated benefit of any stay at an extraordinary hotel, says Jonathan Frolich, general manager of Andaz 5th Avenue in Manhattan. As part of his own property’s commitment to connecting guests with New York culture, Frolich and his team commissioned street artists to graffiti the walls of the hotel and offered guests an opportunity to jump a multi-month wait list to get a tattoo created by world-famous artist Mister Cartoon, whose client list includes Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake.
“Years ago, the grandest hotels were bastions of culture, representing whatever was happening artistically in that city,” says Frolich. “That commitment and connection has disappeared for a very long time—we’re trying to bring it back.”
For those eager to experience this renaissance in luxe hotel services—or simply get pampered in a creative, new way—here’s a menu of perks and amenities available around the world.