The phrase “hotel amenities” used to mean that you had a hair dryer in your room and, if you were really lucky, cable TV. But as travel has exploded and hotels are getting nicer, competition for business travelers means offering amenities people haven’t seen before. At some ultra-luxury venues, that might mean a private helicopter pickup at The Peninsula in Hong Kong, or a personal style consultant at Montage Beverly Hills. But it can also mean simple details like in-room wine dispensers and access to electric cars. From Toronto to Peru, here are some of the coolest new hotel amenities.
Fueling up before a big business meeting is crucial, and as fun as in-room Wolfgang Puck coffee is, you can probably do better while you’re in Seattle. The Four Seasons Seattle has its own coffee concierge, who will deliver a cup of steaming artisan coffee directly to your room in a shiny Seattle mug (or in a to-go mug if you’re not good with ceramics).
Vinyl isn’t just for hipsters and your grandparents anymore. Hotels realize that relaxing on the sofa to the sound of Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald is the perfect way to wind down after a long day of meetings and exploring the city. At Toronto’s new Anndore House, some rooms are equipped with a turntable and a random selection of records, ranging from folksongs to jazz to the soundtrack of Mary Poppins.
Teslas. So many Teslas
Nothing says “take me seriously” like showing up in the most envious electric car ever created. That’s why Tesla rentals have become the hot new form of transportation, replacing the age-old tradition of a personal driver and Lincoln Town Car. The Radisson Blu Mall of America in Minneapolis has partnered with TREVLS Tesla Rentals so hotel guests can get a Tesla in less than 30 minutes with the swipe of a tablet. The Four Seasons San Francisco has a Tesla car to take guests anywhere within a two mile radius. And the 1 Hotel in Miami Beach also offers guests Teslas to use within a three-mile radius, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. So, no, you can’t ride to the club like you’re a Pitbull.
In-room wine dispensers
There’s nothing worse than craving a good glass of red wine before bed – then realizing you’ll have to find the nearest liquor store after you’ve already put on your pajamas. Miami Beach’s Confidant has solved that problem by outfitting some rooms with Plum Wine Machines, which dispense glasses of pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, chilled to the perfect temperature.
Gyms that don’t require you to leave your room
Long gone are the days when the dull, dusty elliptical trainer doubled as a hotel gym. Now, luxury gyms are the norm, and hotels that want to get a leg up on the competition are installing fitness equipment in individual rooms. Westin announced a program this year to put — the spin bikes that let you virtually participate in classes anywhere in the world via a mounted screen — in guest rooms. And many properties in the Even Hotel chain offer in-room gyms with resistance bands, exercise ball, yoga mat, yoga block, and fitness videos available on demand.
The breathtaking city of Cusco, Peru is a striking tableau of mountain scenery and Spanish colonial architecture, but the towering 3,400-meter (11,200-foot) elevation might leave some guests feeling deprived of oxygen. That’s why the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco has a built-in oxygen station in every room to help travelers acclimate faster and spend more time enjoying the view than breathing.
Books near your bed
In the deluge of smart TVs, on-demand programs and Netflix in your bedroom, we sometimes forget how nice it is to end the day wrapped up in a good book. A company called Bedside Reading has partnered with several luxury hotels to put free books in rooms – and guests can even take the book with them when they check out. So no need to rush fifty shades lighter because you have a short stay. The program is currently running at Mandarin Oriental in New York and Washington, Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, Acqualina Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles, Florida, and other locations.
Just like you have to drink coffee in Seattle, you have to have at least one donut in New Orleans. Instead of sweating through the line at Café du Monde, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside offers cooking classes to teach guests how to create their own versions of local culinary delights. In addition to donuts, guests can learn how to mix hurricanes, cook okra, and make their own crawfish muffled and the po’boys.
Showers on arrival
Few times in life do you feel like taking a shower more than after a long flight. But what happens when that flight arrives in the morning and your hotel room isn’t ready? The Canopy by Hilton Washington DC Bethesda North, located outside of Washington, has created a “transfer lounge,” which serves as a kind of lobby locker room where weary travelers can shower, shave, and freshen up s they arrive before check-in.
Meal kits and other food deliveries
For long-term guests, cooking in your room can be a nice break from restaurant fare, but there’s no guarantee of a grocery store nearby. The Montrose West Hollywood offers a blue apron-inspired service that provides guests with meal prep kits for pizza, chicken wraps, steak or salmon. Other hotels have partnered with companies like Delivery Dudes to offer more delivery options than traditional room service. And the next Nobu hotel in Toronto will offer room service from the widely acclaimed Nobu Restaurant.
Robot butlers bringing you ice cream
The ultra-futuristic H Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport has a butler who will bring you towels, snacks, toothpaste or even ice cream on your order. The robot’s name is Hannah and she’s been known to roam the halls of Hotel H at all hours without needing a break or a tip.