Hotel Travel Desk – On a business trip several years ago, I checked into my hotel only to find that I had left an entire bag of toiletries at home. After frantically searching the area for a late-night drugstore, I finally paid a pretty penny for some overpriced, off-brand bottles at a bodega. When I returned to the hotel lobby, feetsore and $60 poorer, I mentioned my madcap dash around the city to the front desk agent. She gave me a sideways glance and then gave me a whole kit of toiletries for free.
Lesson learned: Always check with the hotel before buying something you forgot to pack. To give you an idea of the types of things that may be available, here are some of the things that many hotels offer on the house.
Hotel Travel Desk
Forgot to pack your shiny new iPhone 5S power cord? Other travelers’ forgetfulness can help you get out of this bind: Godling notes that in 2010, hotel rooms were the first to have mobile phone chargers, and hotels often provide spare chargers. So the next time your battery is dying and you just can’t stop it, pop down to the front desk and see if they have extras. Most likely, the front-desk agent will produce a box with a veritable rainbow of phone chargers.
Abidos Hotel Apartment Al Barsha, Dubai
You don’t need to buy every single map, travel book and city guide your local bookstore has to offer. Hotels often keep these guides stocked in the lobby or in each guest room. Some properties, like the Holiday Inn, offer a binder of local dining and attractions recommendations on each room’s work desk.
Domestic hotel rooms usually have a compact hair dryer available. But what about other hair tools like straighteners and curling irons? When it comes to free amenities, Kimpton is king: their “Forgot? We got it!” As an amenity program, Kimpton properties provide guests with a complimentary straightening iron or curling iron. Similarly, the Georgian Court Hotel in Vancouver offers a women-only orchid floor, where flat and curling irons are standard. Finally, Hyatt’s newly launched “Hyatt Has It” program offers curling and flat irons at select participating locations.
They get lost in the wash, discarded in gym bags and after a few wears, holly; No wonder travelers forget to pack them. If you do, don’t worry: some hotels offer socks for the absent-minded (and cold feet). Kimpton, for example, offers zebra-printed lounge socks at its properties. (They might be a little funky to pair with your business suit, but they’ll work in a pinch.) And as always, before you head to the store, check with the front-desk staff to see if they can offer you a freebie set.
Teen-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner are de rigueur, but often toothpaste isn’t included as part of your hotel’s bathroom-amenities package. (This highly entertaining bit of investigative journalism from Slate explains why.) But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dental hygiene. Some hotels—again, including Kimpton—often provide toothpaste, a toothbrush, and mouthwash for guests to inquire about. The Hyatt chain includes AquaFresh toothpaste in all guest rooms, and their pilot “Hyatt Has It” program also offers complimentary mouthwash.
Hotel Travel Park Lisboa, Lisboa
A sewing kit is essential for repairing wardrobe emergencies, from missing buttons to dropped hems, on the fly. However, needles and thread may not be at the top of your “must pack” list anytime soon. If you forgot to put a travel-sized sewing kit in your bag, don’t worry: Many major hotels, including Trump Hotels and properties in the Doyle Collection, stock them in the bathroom or on the nightstand. And if you can’t find the kit, call the maintenance or housekeeping department.
Don’t pack a whole pack ‘n play on your next vacation. Many hotel chains offer personalized stationary free kid’s amenities, from crayons and discovery maps to bathtub toys and doodling. (Some properties even offer mini bathrobes for your little ones.) To ease your pint-sized traveler’s ennui, let the hotel know that children will be present, so your room will have a welcome basket or other nifty amenities upon arrival.
I once took a panicked phone call from a family member wondering how he was going to fit six beach towels in his tiny carry-on bag. Don’t panic, make the world’s family members panic. Properties often include free beach-towel rentals at the rack rate of your room. Call ahead to confirm, but most beachside resorts, especially all-inclusives, offer this amenity. Some hotels even have free beach-chair rentals and/or complimentary snorkel gear, so you don’t have to lug your own flippers and masks. When booking your stay, it is important to note what is included in the rack or all-inclusive rate.
When traveling internationally, your electronic devices may require an adapter (changes the shape of the plug) and/or converter (allows your devices to operate at different voltages). Adapters and converters aren’t items you use every day, but are often forgotten when packing for overseas trips. Fortunately, as writer Rick Steves notes, hotels sometimes keep a box full of spare left-back adapters. And hostels that see a large amount of international student travelers often do the same. Inquire at the front desk before purchasing a new set, especially if they are expensive.
Mr Sun Hotel
A long, leisurely vacation is not the time to abandon your yoga practice. Get your fitness on in-room with complimentary yoga gear at many hotels. Kimpton, of course, offers a yoga mat in every guest room and on-demand fitness programming. Affinia hotels in New York City and Washington, D.C. offer yoga mats, blocks and DVDs, as does InterContinental Hotels Group’s holistically focused EVEN brand. Finally, Hyatt hotels also have yoga mats, available for purchase or on loan. Free international medical travel insurance concept with trial, stethoscope, passport, computer and airplane on desk office banner with global map
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