30 over-the-top hotel amenities around the world
While most can’t resist swiping those shampoo bottles checking out—they want you to take them, we swear!— nice toiletries just aren't enough anymore. Luxury hotels around the world are upping the ante by offering guests indispensable amenities they can’t find elsewhere. Whether you’re interested in tracing your ancient family history, browsing the web on a 24-karat gold iPad, or cruising along the coast in a European sports car, Stacker's rounded up 30 hotels that offer the best things—and experiences—money can buy.
Falconry at Ashford Castle, Galway, Ireland
This historic Irish castle has a number of luxurious amenities for guests, but one of the most popular is the in-house falconry program. Guests can participate in private ‘hawk walks,’ allowing the opportunity to fly the hotel’s Harris hawks. Surprisingly, the most popular avian species at the hotel isn’t a hawk—it’s Dingle, the European Eagle Owl.
Spiritual menu at Sentinel, Portland, Oregon
Whether you’re Taoist, Muslim, or Episcopalian, Oregon’s storied Sentinel hotel has you covered. The property offers a ‘Spiritual Menu,’ which lets believers borrow books of their faith—or simply allows those who are curious to learn a little more.
Porsche test-drives at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, Rancho Santa Fe, California
If German horsepower gets your wheels turning, you’ll love this amenity at California’s Rancho Valencia. Guests can choose from a 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster convertible, inspired by the company’s original vintage racecar, or a 2017 Cayenne SUV. The best part? If you fall in love, the team at Porsche of San Diego can help find your dream car to take home after your stay.
24-karat gold iPads at Burj al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Nothing says luxury like gold—and nowhere takes that more literally than Dubai’s Burj al Arab. The self-proclaimed seven-star hotel offers guests the use of 24-karat gold iPads, engraved with the hotel’s logo, upon check-in. The tablets can be used as a virtual concierge, sharing instant information on restaurant and spa menus, as well as private dining, butler and housekeeping services.
Personal submarine rental at Laucala Island, Fiji
If you’re spending the $5,000 per night that it costs to stay at Fiji’s private Laucala Island, you’ll likely expect a few over-the-top amenities. How about the use of a $2-million submarine? The resort has a DeepFlight Super Falcon submersible for guests to take 360-degree views of surrounding aquatic life.
Personalized sewing kit at One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico
Yes, a sewing kit is a fairly standard amenity at a luxury hotel. But it’s unlikely you’ve ever seen one like this. After unpacking your wardrobe, your butler at One&Only Palmilla delivers a personalized sewing kit to your room—with thread perfectly matched according to your wardrobe.
The fashion trunk at The Berkeley, London, England
Everyone loves playing dress up, so why not add a little vintage Chanel or Hermès to your dinner outfit? If you’re staying in a suite at The Berkeley you can do just that—the property will deliver their bespoke steamer trunk, stocked with vintage goodies, to your room. Choose a piece to borrow for the night, or should you fall in love, arrange to take your favorite items home with you.
In-house movie theater at Le Royal Monceau, Paris, France
Already home to a world-class art collection, Le Royal Monceau also houses its own private movie theater, Le Cinéma Katara. Hotel guests have exclusive access to the 99-seat theater, which is fully outfitted with sound and projection equipment, and a 23-by-10-foot screen.
Puppy playtime at Sunrise Springs Spa Resort, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe’s only destination spa is a lush desert oasis set on 70 acres with a furry, wet-nosed surprise lurking within: the resort offers a one-of-a-kind Puppy Enrichment Center, partnering with Assistance Dogs of the West to set puppies on the road to becoming service dogs. Alongside professional trainers, guests are allowed to play and engage with the puppies, contributing to the process of developing a physically, mentally and emotionally balanced service dog.
Lunch by helicopter at Gstaad Palace, Gstaad, Switzerland
Gstaad Palace has long been a glamorous ski hideaway and celebrity hotspot, but this year (until March 11), guests can enjoy the mountain’s fresh powder without skis or hiking boots. The resort’s new Lunch by Helicopter lets visitors climb aboard for a flight to the Matterhorn. Once there, the group will enjoy a champagne toast and lunch at more than 9,000 feet above sea level.
Genealogy butler at The Shelbourne, Dublin, Ireland
This timeless Irish landmark has hosted historical figures for centuries. The Irish constitution was even drafted at the hotel in 1922. Guests can discover their own Irish lineage with help from the hotel’s on-staff genealogy butler, Helen Kelly.
Champagne bubble bath at Il Salviatino, Florence, Italy
Florence’s chic Il Salviatino has a number of luxurious amenities—a chocolate bath or a room filled with roses, for example—but perhaps the most romantic—and priciest—is the hotel’s ‘bubble’ bath, which is a bathtub filled with your choice of prosecco, spumante or Champagne. Of course the pricy indulgence, which starts at €9,000 (approximately $11,000), includes a bottle for sipping as well.
Pepper, the humanoid robot, at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Nevada
The newest staff member at the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas is a little … different than her colleagues. Pepper, a humanoid robot, now works in the hotel’s 23rd floor Sky Lobby, serving as a technical ambassador. Pepper can discern a guest’s gender, approximate age and mood, and can assist with answering property-specific questions, as well as giving directions, telling stories, and even posing for selfies.
On-site olive groves at JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Venice, Italy
The JW Marriott in Venice, Italy, is set on Isola delle Rose, a private island that’s also home to more than 100 native olive trees. The trees are used to make the hotel’s exclusive olive oil, which is used in the spa’s Mediterranean Bliss treatment, a unique exfoliating treatment designed to nourish and soften the skin with sea salts. As an additional local flourish, the treatment is enriched with aromatic herbs, also grown on-site.
On-site skating rink at RiverWalk Resort at Loon Mountain, Lincoln, New Hampshire
This brand-new resort transforms its 167,000-gallon lagoon swimming pool into a skating rink each winter. The perfect ice surface is maintained by state-of-the-art cooling technology and a mini-Zamboni. They also host several professional shows throughout the season for guests to attend.
Fender guitar rentals at Hard Rock Hotels
Guests at Hard Rock Hotels can hold their own jam session when they reserve one of 20 different Fender guitars available. The guitars are accompanied by Nixon headphones and a Fender Mustang floor amplifier, making it easy to create a pop-up studio in your guestroom.
Aura architect at Mukul, Guacalito, Nicaragua
Before arriving at this luxe beachside resort, guests are contacted by their very own ‘aura architect,’ an expert who perfectly tweaks each room to the guest’s liking—whether that be with aromatherapy, healthy snacks, or ambient music. They’ll also offer a hand in planning wellness-related activities throughout your stay.
Unpublished letters at Segera, Laikipia Plateau, Kenya
Bookworms will love the Explorer Lounge at Segera, where owner Jochen Zeitz has made accessible his extensive collection of famous unpublished letters. With drafts written by Ernest Hemingway to Karen Blixen and David Livingstone, browsing Zeitz’s collection is truly inspiring.
Provisions cabinet at The Quin, New York, New York
The stylish Quin takes the quintessential minibar to the next level with its provisions cabinet. Rather than the same boring selection of greasy snacks and overpriced beers, the Quin’s provisions cabinet is stocked with things you might actually want: USB cables, cufflinks, and scented candles.
Floating champagne brunch at RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA, Bali, Indonesia
Floating markets are a trademark attraction throughout Southeast Asia, so why not a attend a floating brunch? An exclusive offering for villa guests at Bali’s Jimbaran resort welcomes you to start your day with breakfast served on a floating tray in your private plunge pool.
Tie butler at The Lodge at Sea Island, Georgia
This 40-room coastal hideaway offers guests a seasonal, curated selection of Peter Millar ties for gentlemen to borrow during their stay. Additionally, the hotel’s tie butler can offer advice on styling, as well as tying both classic and exotic knots. If you fall in love with your new accessory, you can take it home for $115.
Artists-in-residence at Hotel El Ganzo, San José del Cabo, Mexico
This quirky, art-driven hotel is a respite from the bland all-inclusives that dot Cabo’s coastline. The hotel hosts both big-name and under-the-radar bands and musicians throughout the year, offering rooftop concerts for guests. In fact, you just might get to hear the next big Grammy winner!
Pillow fights at Hotel Derek, Houston, Texas
No, your mom might not approve—but who’s gonna tell? This Houston hotel offers all the goods necessary for a bit of a melee: a load of extra-soft pillows and warm chocolate-chip cookies with ice-cold milk for sustenance afterward.
Quintessential Darcy package at The Darcy, Washington, D.C.
Live like a high-profile politician with this luxurious package from D.C.’s The Darcy. In addition to accommodations in the 900-square-foot Presidential Suite, guests are treated to an in-room caviar service, including two chilled vodka shots and Petrossian Royal caviar encased in foie gras. The package also offers a private appointment with custom-clothier Read Wall, or a floral-design session with UrbanStems, as well as a room visit from The Darcy’s cocktail butler.
Custom-made sailboats for children at Le Meurice, Paris, France
From the Philippe Starck-designed high chairs to the charming Pistache mascot, children are treated like royalty at this storied Parisian hotel. The real showpieces, however, are the custom-made wooden boats, ready to sail on the boat pond in the nearby Tuileries Garden.
Soap concierge at Viceroy Riviera Maya, Riviera Maya
File this under things you didn’t even know you needed. Once you arrive, the resort’s soap concierge will pay you a visit, presenting you with a variety of locally made soaps in different scents and types. Your selections are then cut by hand for your use during your stay.
Lamborghini driving experience at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria, Rome, Italy
VIP guests here are given the opportunity to drive one of Lamborghini’s top models—either the Lamborghini Huracán RWD Coupé or the Lamborghini Huracán Spyder—accompanied by a professional driver. The 30-minute test drive is available to Gold or Diamond Hilton Honors members staying on property.
Hot air balloon flights at Royal Mansour, Marrakech, Morocco
This hand-crafted property was literally built by a king—and it shows, right down to the elaborate activities and amenities available to guests. In addition to camel rides and sunset dinners in the Sahara Desert, a morning hot-air balloon ride over the Atlas Mountains is one such special activity in which guests can partake.
Costume room at Ballyfin, Laois, Ireland
Who doesn’t enjoy playing dress up? Ballyfin’s stunning selection of period costumes is available to guests, alongside trained dressers who ensure you look the part. Round out the evening with a lavish-themed banquet dinner. Ballyfin’s photographer will also be on hand to capture all the evening’s magic.
Tequila tour at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Punta Mita, Mexico
Hardcore margarita fans can get an in-depth look at tequila-making thanks to this resort’s exclusive $23,000 tour for two people. While it may seem staggeringly expensive, the tour includes a private helicopter ride to Jose Cuervo’s family-run distillery in Tequila, Mexico—naturally! After your private tour, enjoy a tasting and private lunch prepared by a Four Seasons chef while being serenaded by a mariachi band.