Nearly all hotels offer package options designed to enhance a guest’s stay and overall experience. But some resorts are offering truly extravagant amenities. From the quirky to the just plain bizarre, some hotels have determined that these odd extras are exactly what they need to set them apart from the rest of the pack.
Even stranger, guests are willing to pay excessive amounts for these services. However weird and wild the offering may be, guests can be certain that they’ll receive a genuinely memorable experience and some seriously unique stories to pass along.
The name really says it all. At the Happy Guest Hotel in Warrington, UK, the staff just wants to please their guests. They are willing to go the extra mile to make that happen, even if it means accommodating the lonely customer.
The management provides clients with a unique service—a sleeping partner in the form of a goldfish. Guests who opt for this scaly company are charged £5 and a goldfish named “Happy” is placed in their rooms.
The hotel’s website boasts that the world-famous goldfish provides guests with company for the evening and instills a sense of joy in the client, one that creates a truly interesting environment. Guests making a reservation online can book Happy ahead of time to ensure that their little buddy will be waiting in their room upon arrival.
So why a goldfish?
Well, the hotel’s owner believes that this little fish provides a sense of comfort, a sounding board, and unconditional love to the guest after a hard day. The owner states that clients may even find themselves missing Happy between stays. Never fear, though. Happy or his stand-in will be available for your next stay.
Combining the nostalgia of a slumber party with the comforts of a five-star resort sounds like the perfect combo. The Ritz-Carlton has long been known as a top hotel, offering several services to enhance a guest’s experience.
However, the Ritz in Palm Beach, Florida, offers some extra-special attention to guests traveling as a family—the family pillow fight package. This package costs a whopping $60 and includes a bag of satin pillows, a CD, and a book of family games to play together.
Although the cost of this family package may seem rather steep, the management at the Ritz believes that it provides an opportunity for families to bond over fun and feathers. Songs on the included CD are meant to rile up the pillow participants, featuring classics like “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”
We are all familiar with packing in a hurry and forgetting some of the most essential items for a marvelous vacation, like a bathing suit. To avoid taking a dip in your birthday suit or heading over to the hotel gift shop which so often stocks less than stylish options, the Standard Hotel chain has come up with a rather innovative solution—a bathing suit dispenser.
The vending machine offers big name brands like Quiksilver and style options for both men and women. Available in an array of different sizes and colors, the designs are inspired by the look and feel of the hotel chain.
The machine even prints local hot spots on the waistband so that guests can hit the town after their dip in the pool. The trunks and two-piece suits are not cheap, however. Expect to spend at least $75 if you forget your suit.
The Su’ruff Camp at Loews Coronado Bay Resort & Spa offers a unique opportunity to give our furry friends a chance to ride the waves. The surfing camp at this San Diego–based hotel caters specifically to Fido, giving him a chance to shred some waves instead of shredding his toys. The owner of the surf academy believes that all dogs have the ability to surf; it simply takes a little training.
The hotel holds an annual dog surfing contest where all breeds can come together and compete for the honor of best surfing pooch. Other pet perks at the hotel include pet walkers, pet sitters, and even a special pet room service menu with all types of canine delicacies. The pets are treated as true VIPets when they come to Loews.
Providing the perfect scent for guests is important to the staff at Rosewood Hotel properties. It’s a rather brilliant move given that TSA restrictions severely limit the amount of liquid that a passenger can bring on a plane.
Rosewood Hotels has designed their olfactory experience in a truly luxurious manner, with a fragrance butler serving up a variety of bottled perfumes and colognes.
Available for sniffing 24 hours a day, the butler features top brands such as Hermes, Chanel, Givenchy, and Dior. Each hotel has a curated list of scents that reflect the setting of the resort. If someone wishes to mist themselves in a specific scent, they simply ring up the butler and he will arrive, silver tray in hand.
At the Ashford Castle in Ireland, a guest who is planning to pop the question to his significant other has the option to deliver the engagement ring in a truly memorable fashion—by owl. Dingle is a European eagle owl that has been living at the castle since 1999 and has talons large enough to clutch a sizeable rock.
There are many birds living on the grounds as the castle has a falconry school. Guests can take classes with the animals to learn about the ancient form of falconry. Of all the birds on the grounds, none is more popular than Dingle, perhaps because of his romantic job.
The three-night proposal package offered by the hotel includes a couple’s massage, champagne, a boat ride, a cozy dinner by candlelight, and the grand finish—Dingle swooping in to deliver the ring. With a cost of around $2,000, this service fills up quickly because it is probably one of the coolest ways to pop the question.
One hotel chain has become creative with their unromantic “I Hate Valentine’s Day Package,” especially for guests who are opting to enjoy this Hallmark holiday their own way.
For those who wish to celebrate the holiday solo, Night and the Time Hotels in New York has quite the evening planned. It begins with a table for one at the upscale restaurant Serafina where the diner will be given a free double shot of liquor upon arrival. If the guest decides that he or she would rather stay in, the hotel sets up the “adult entertainment” channel in the room for 24 hours of viewing pleasure.
The housekeeping staff also offers a special turndown service for the haters, which is known as the “Love Hurts” turndown. It includes black candles, a box of tissues, two mini bottles of tequila, all-you-can-eat ice cream, and a wide array of breakup movies. For the morning after, the hotel staff provides guests with the final hurrah—breakfast in bed and a few self-help books.
The Best Man for Hire service at South Carolina’s Wild Dunes Resort ensures that the groom will not be without a companion on the big day. The hotel insists that the groom be fawned over and receive the attention that the bride traditionally gets on her special day.
Thus, the Best Man for Hire package aims at providing the ultimate wingman. This pseudo best man will not disappoint his groomzilla, handling everything from delivering the perfect best man speech to administering CPR on a wedding attendee in trouble.
Obviously, a couple who employs this best man is doing so with a sense of humor and deep pockets because his services are certainly not cheap. The groom can expect to pay $150 per hour, $650 for a half day, $1000 for a full day, and $2000 for a weekend.
Although the air in Boston is certainly not as polluted as many other big cities around the world, that is not stopping Boston’s Revere Hotel from selling personal oxygen devices (PODs) to its guests.
For those who want them, the PODs are available at $40 a pop in all of the hotel’s suites. That may seem inexpensive at first, but the PODs contain only 2.5 ounces of oxygen. That’s a full 40 breaths, which comes out to a whopping $1 per inhale.
According to the Revere, the 18-centimeter (7 in) oxygen bottle is sleek and perfect for traveling around town. It fits easily inside a handbag. Apparently, the POD offers a rich, refreshing dose of clean pure air that will revive the busy tourist. The hotel also states that the bottle can be used with one hand and requires minimal effort.
Technology surprises us at every turn. For example, the Henn-na Hotel in Japan uses a robot staff to help guests with their every need. The robots check in guests, carry luggage to rooms, and make cups of coffee. The robots are known as “actroids,” a type of humanoid robot.
The actroids closely resemble young Japanese girls, even down to hand gestures, facial expressions, and speech. The robots are known to giggle at guests’ remarks and have the ability to switch languages between Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.
The humanlike robots were created at Osaka University and manufactured by Kokoro, the same company that licenses Hello Kitty. The university has been working on the actroids for well over a decade and continuously strives to make them more advanced. The robots even have software to sense moods.
Lee DeGraw is a freelance writer with an inquiring mind. She can usually be found huddled beside a campfire with her nose in a book.