Photo: You can't beat a hotel with glowing guest reviews. Shutterstock.
For some, hotel experiences are not much to think about. Some people rarely visit hotels, while others may feel like they’re in hotels more frequently than their own homes. But for many, if you’re not paying for luxury stays, hotel visits are typically underwhelming. With newer methods of lodging such as Airbnb, the hotel experience is becoming more and more a thing of the past. But that doesn’t keep some hotels from competing for guest experience excellence.
When we think of what could make our hotel stay a bit better, some people may think more chocolates, hotel decor, or extra towels. But other times, it would be nice to simply have some daily comforts that hotels usually can’t offer. It’s nice to go to a hotel simply because you feel as though you’re being spoiled with regular room service and many conveniences on hand. But the hotels that stand out the most are the ones that take their service just a bit further. And by doing so, will make their guests forget the comforts they may have left behind at home. If you want to know the hotels that truly take the guest experience to the next level, keep reading.
Two King Beds AND a hot tub for $80/night?!
This Redditor, OctopusMacaw, convinced us all it’s time to book a trip here: “Marina Copan, in Copan Honduras, not too far from the Mayan ruins. It is like a colonial government house turned into a beautiful hotel. We got a room with 2 king beds and hot tub and a couch and high wood beamed ceilings, for about $80 per night. Amazing service too. We went during the “rainy” season, which really meant it rained once each afternoon from 3 to 5 pm. Great place, and great time.”
When you’re booking a hotel for $80/night, I think you expect that it’s going to be the bare minimum. But this hotel truly offers a luxury experience with an affordable price tag. Copán is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization in the Copán Department of western Honduras, not far from the border with Guatemala. So as far as exploring an amazing culture and area, you can’t beat that either.
Sometimes it’s nice to know you don’t have to travel far for these little luxuries. So instead of heading down to Honduras, you may have the pleasure of stumbling upon a hotel where they offer this little luxury. Imagine it’s late at night and you have a hotel room that is in a less than well-lit area. Fumbling around with a key in a strange place is not ideal. This is especially the case if you’re a female traveler.
This hotel decided to put that issue in the past. No more fumbling around after a fun night of drinking in a new area and coming back to your room, unable to get the darn key in the hole. This hotel has installed light up key holes on all of their doors so their guests don’t have to do this awkward key dance anymore. And if you’re wishing you were able to implement this clever hack into your life, you can! You can buy a handy version of this here.
I think it’s normal to worry about the cleanliness of a room where an unknown amount of people have stayed. What have they done there? Where have they made a mess? One such area of concern for many is: What’s under the bed? I know many people that will gauge the cleanliness of a room by sneaking a peak underneath the bed. But this hotel didn’t want their guests to worry about germs or the boogeyman.
Imagine the quirky delight of checking under the bed for dirty secrets and finding this hotel is one step ahead of you! The staff places a sign beneath the bed that reads the following: “Yes, we have cleaned under here also!” It may seem to be a small and silly measure for a hotel to take, but when you’re worried about the cleanliness of the room you’re staying in, that extra level of attention to detail can help you rest easier.
Let’s be honest, all of us want to feel a bit like a luxurious movie villain every once in a while. They have so many cool hidden lairs and gadgets, that it’s hard not to be envious. Some people even go as far as creating hidden rooms inside their own homes to get a little taste of this thrill.
But don’t worry, if you don’t have the budget or know-how to create your own hidden space, this fancy hotel has you covered. This seemingly innocent white bookshelf opens into a hidden pool room! That’s right, even you can experience the excitement of hidden spaces.
One experienced hotelier and Redditor, bigbossodin, brags about this experience in Kyoto, Japan. “In the Gion district in Kyoto, Japan, there is a Ryokan called Shiraume. By far, the greatest hospitality I have ever experienced in a hotel, and I work in the hotel industry. I went there for my honeymoon. While expensive, it was worth it. Easily the nicest people I’ve met.”
Kyoto, Japan is easily one of the destinations in the country that has been growing in popularity in recent years. And at the end of the day, there is nothing that feels more special and luxurious than people that are genuinely attentive and kind to their guests.
While many of us rely heavily on our weather apps to tell us whether or not the weather is in our favor, when you’re on vacation, it’s easy to forget. It’s nice to unplug and not be attached to your phone when you’re on vacation. Or maybe you’re on a business trip and rushing to your first meeting of the day.
Well, this hotel has all of those scenarios covered. They have a mirror in each suite that indicates the general weather conditions outside. While it doesn’t cover the exact temperatures, more than likely you will know the general temperature range of that time of year anyways! Now all you have to do is dress accordingly.
This next guest service may not seem geared towards guests. But in the grand scheme of climate change, this is a big step to take for a big hotel. In our daily lives and industrial economy, our carbon footprint weighs heavily on the planet’s shoulders.
Cedar House Sport Hotel decided to take a small step in the right direction by going an alternative route with their business cards. Marketing uses an environmentally friendly way of creating their business cards so they’re made out of recycled wood. This eliminates the need for toxic processes you would typically find in paper making and uses recycled materials. If all businesses took a small step like this, our stay on hotel Planet Earth would be a lot more enjoyable.
Some people go on vacation to get away from people and the hustle and bustle of daily life. Many times, that means going to a destination that is abundant in wildlife. This leads to the unique and once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the local flora and fauna.
But when some wild guests became regulars at this hotel, management wanted to make sure that this reptile was just as comfortable as any other guest. That means enforcing strict policies to protect the monitor lizards from paying hotel guests. It’s an amazing experience to see monitor lizards up close and personal, but you better follow the rules and respect the wildlife.
Unless you’re in a romantic drama, elevators can get pretty boring. For others, elevator rides can be stressful. So why not lighten the mood and give elevator riders something interesting think about. Such as horses, bananas and pigeons?
This is another small detail that some people might not think contributes to guest experience. But with a lighthearted math scale on an elevator wall, it’s hard not to chuckle. Sometimes, a hotel experience can be all about bring an unexpected smile to somebody’s face.
Most animal lovers can agree: humans can really suck. So it doesn’t make sense when you’re planning a vacation that your four-legged companion can’t come with you. Many hotels have this policy. Many pet owners are hard pressed to find a hotel that will lodge their furry friends. But this hotel feels strongly about only one type of mammal on their premises:
It reads: “Dogs are welcome in this hotel. We never had a dog that smoked in the bed and set fire to the blankets. We never had a dog that stole our towels or played the T.V. too loud, or had a noisy fight with his traveling companion. We never had a dog that got drunk or broke up the furniture… So if your dog can vouch for you, then you’re welcome too.” When the hotel puts their pet policy in those terms. It’s hard to argue.
This one Redditor, ejz2205, is not your typical guest, but the hotel prepared for their guests so well, they didn’t even notice the extras. “STORY TIME went on a cruise with my dad when I was 16 (divorced family, so full family vacations are a no). One of the stops was Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Dad didn’t reserve a rental car because “there would be plenty left” there were none left. But what they did have was a scooter. fast forward 3 hours dad and I are definitely over max weight on this stupid scooter riding around trying to find a public beach. I decided I had to use the restroom and the closest one was the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
“I walk into the restroom and it was all marble. No joke. And I saw a stack of pool towels that were totally for guests and I had the most devious idea (I am my dad’s daughter afterall). I grabbed two towels and met my dad outside, when he saw the towels he got the same exact idea. Next thing I know we are lounging by the pool that is literally 20 feet away from the Caribbean Sea and I was sipping a wonderful strawberry daiquiri when an employee offered me a chilled moist towelette. By far the nicest hotel I’ve ever not stayed at.” Just to be clear, we don’t condone sneaking into hotels, but this story was too good to not share.
We were impressed with the hotel that preferred dogs over humans. But this next hotel is another animal ally! It’s very hard to find a place that allows dogs, but it seems almost more impossible to travel easily with a cat. There are so many comforts that a cat needs that would be needed. This hotel thinks of everything that would be needed to bring a feline friend.
This hotel quickly made themselves known as a cat-friendly establishment. This Redditor, DocCaliban, put it simply: “I asked the hotel if I could bring my cat. This is what we arrived to.” And then posted the photo you see above. While it doesn’t seem like people regularly bring cats to this hotel, this is heart warming to see.
While many of us can’t afford the intense first class accommodations featured in some luxury aircrafts, it’s nice to dream, right? Well, this quirky hotel decided to give their guests the experience of sleeping on a plane… without having to sleep on a plane. But most sleepers don’t mind being planted firmly on the ground.
This unique hotel is made from a Boeing 737. Many of you will recognize the interior aesthetic of the classic plane. This hotel tries to stick to the unique feel and design of this symbolic aircraft. And while you might not be sleeping in the sky, it’s pretty nice to know that you’re not a mile above the ground.
One uncomfortable and unfortunate event that can happen in a hotel is housekeeping interrupt some private moments. And while a lot of places have little cards to hang on the door handle outside of the room, it seems like this is becoming a more antiquated way to tell hotel staff “not now”.
Really, this is a simple and brilliant idea. And let’s say hotel goers are sleepy or tangled in a more intimate moment… this eliminates the need to fumble around with a door hanger. The creators of this idea will probably revolutionize the hotel business and make millions.
When you’re traveling with children, even the most mundane tasks can feel a bit boring and painful. Going up and down the stairs, for instance, turns into a chore. But for a family-friendly hotel, it’s smart to have solutions for this sort of problem. Behold, the red slide:
Comfort Suites said “no more boring stair trips”. Any child (and maybe adult) will squeal with glee when the car pulls up to a hotel with a giant red slide attached. This slide creates a quick route from the top level to the ground floor. But be careful about your attire when you go down. The rash you can get with shorts is unpleasant.
One simple Redditor foregoes posh luxuries for this wholesome interaction: “For value and friendliness, the Holiday Inn Express in Lexington KY, off of Sharkey way. There’s a young guy who works there who memorizes all of the guests names. No matter how long it’s been since you’ve been there, he always greets you by name. Such a nice touch when you’re a road warrior.”
Of course it’s always nice to have extra luxury items and features during a hotel stay, but even a simple Holiday Inn can be transformed by the people that run it. This young staff member must also have an impeccable memory to be able to recall names like this!
Sometimes, going to a typical hotel room can be boring. So some people want to camp to save a bit of money and for the experience of being in the great outdoors. But with the outdoors comes many risks and complications: animals, bugs and temperature are just a few. But this hotel tries to remedy all of those concerns.
This adorable and cozy camping feature was the solution hotel staff came up with. But you get to keep all the luxuries of a five-star hotel room. You can order things such as expensive champagne, pastries, and comfy beds. I would trade traditional camping for the luxury of a faux camping trip any day.
Bathroom luxuries have come a long way in the past 30 years. When you’re in a hotel, state of the art shower technology and spa-like features are a big must for some travelers. When you’re in a new place, it’s hard to figure out how to adjust the shower water temperature to that perfect setting like when you’re home.
This hotel takes that comfort level into consideration. While you can buy this type of shower head online these days, it’s nice to know that many hotels like this one are keeping up with the times. You can easily read the temperature of the shower. And who knows? Maybe it will inspire you to update your own shower situation when you get back home.
Sometimes, the most wholesome events can cement a hotel into the hearts of their guests. The attention to detail in setting up a room is sometimes all that is needed. When this family let a hotel know ahead of time that they would be traveling with their daughter, the hotel staff’s misunderstanding turned into a heart melting experience.
Jennifer Wright, who went to a hotel along with her parents for a food festival, shared this wholesome image on Twitter and Reddit. Apparently, the hotel staff assumed it would be a little girl staying, not a grown woman. But that didn’t matter to Jennifer. It looks like she has a fuzzy travel companion for life now.
As technology advances, we can only expect for hotels to progress with it. For many people, these new and cutting edge amenities are worth the entire trip. But whether your a tech nerd or not, it’s hard to deny that this hotel’s robot butler takes the cake for guest service technology.
This sweet little robot butler roams the hotel in search of guests to serve. How? you might ask. This little butler exists to serve the hotel’s guest cold drinks. There are few experiences that can beat being served by a robot butler.
One Redditor, dingofarmer2004, really knows what to look for in a hotel. He says: “Cosmopolitan in Vegas. Three words: Japanese Soaking Tub. It overlooks the Bellagio fountain. Wife and I had champagne in there and barely left the room the whole trip. Plus customer service is bonkers there, and the best burger I’ve ever had was at the Henry in the lobby.”
Las Vegas is known for top-notch experiences, but it seems like this one my make the top tier list. And with a view as desirable as the Bellagio Fountain, I’m not sure I’d want to leave my hotel room either. For those not sure of what the Japanese soaking tub is all about… This type of tub has been used in Japan for centuries as an indoor extension of bathing in the country’s plentiful hot springs. The bath has always held significant importance in Japanese culture to cleanse and purify both the body and soul, and this ritual is now catching on in the West.
There are few things more magical than visiting an aquarium. The calming blues, the graceful fish, the soothing sounds. Even in the middle of a crowd, there’s something calming and serene about aquariums. That’s why many people make an enormous hobby out of maintaining their own private aquariums. So it makes sense that some hotels find an aquarium to be the pinnacle of calm for their guests.
This hotel room photo may be hard to believe, but it is very much a reality for this hotel. Imagine going to your room and being able to see the underwater wildlife that you can only find in documentaries. Of course, this might not be suited for people that have genuine anxiety of the ocean.
This lady loves this hotel so much she just might marry it!
It’s hard to beat a firsthand guest review. They can either make or break a hotel. But for the Betsy Hotel at Southside Beach, a customer review offers nothing but glowing reviews: “Everyone in this hotel works to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. We had 100% exceptional service 100% of the time. Front desk staff even helped us check in to our flight on the way back and always remembered our names. Room service and housekeeping were prompt and polite and fulfilled all our requests right away. e.g. I called Front Desk to ask where the ice machine was and they offered to bring ice up to my room.”
The guest goes on to gush about more than just the staff: “Beautiful, clean, modern and cozy. Beds were very comfortable. TV in the bathroom mirror… Hello! Lots of clean towels, and luxurious bathrobes. I fell in love with the room as soon as I opened the door. And the Rooftop Patio! Really cute, has a cool laid back bohemian theme and is just beautiful. Very cool background music. Amazing view of the ocean. Great little nooks and set up. You can have drinks up there, order food, chill out, and there are sunbathing loungers as well.” We may have to take a trip specifically to experience this hotel!
In the United States, it’s somewhat of a hotel tradition to have the Bible in a bedside drawer of a hotel. But why is that? We can thank Gideon International for this sacred hotel amenity. The organization was formed in 1899 after three traveling salesmen met in a hotel room, and by 1908, it was distributing Bibles to hotels around the United States, according to the Los Angeles Times. But for some, the Bible can be somewhat offensive. Especially if a guest does not practice the Christian faith.
An interesting solution to the Bible conundrum was posed by this hotel. They decided to switch out the Bible for a more secular option. They offer both a copy of the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. This could be a great option for the casual political enthusiast, history lover, or literature buff.
Traveling can be a lonely experience for some. Especially for those who have to travel frequently for work. Bringing a family member, loved one, or pet might not always be an option. The Hotel Charleroi Airport, in Gosselies (near Brussels South Cherleroi Airport), wanted to solve this problem for solitary travelers.
They decided to start a new amenity for guests: “Rent-A-Fish”. For only €3.50 (or about $4 USD) per night, a guest can receive a goldfish companion for their visit. Hotel manager David Dillen told The Independent that the policy has been quite popular with guests for several years. “We started a few years ago. The idea was to surprise our guests, as we always try to do,” Dillen said. “It’s brilliant to see how people react to it. They smile, they take pictures to put on social media. We rent a few fish per week.” Don’t fret, animal lovers, these fish are very well cared for there at the hotel!
A more and more common issue that all businesses are trying to keep up with is our impact on the environment. One such issue is the uncontrolled disposal of cheap electronic goods. Humans generate around 40 million tons of electronic waste every year, worldwide. That’s like throwing 800 laptops every second. And while this hotel cannot regulate all electronic disposal, they decided to try and help where they could.
These hotel owners came up with a genius idea of creating an earphone garbage bin for users to throw away their earphones if needed in order to recycle them afterwards. Even outside the hotel realm, this should be regularly implemented, as it will decrease our environmental impact.
Vacation is a time to let loose and splurge a bit. That means many of us who go on vacation will forego our usual healthier eating habits to indulge themselves a bit. That means more sodas, alcoholic beverages and other drinks that contain empty calories.
This hotel realized that you don’t need to sacrifice tastiness for being healthy. You can have both. They make sure to keep their guests supplied with natural fruit juice dispensers. That way it still feels luxurious and tasty to indulge in a drink. But it’s a much healthier alternative to sodas. They just take the effort out of having to drink healthy!
You may see a growing trend in hotels on this list. Many seem to be trying to stay environmentally conscious. Another huge environmental issue humans cause is water consumption. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that we are privileged to simply be able to turn on a shower or faucet and have temperature controlled running water. So it may be harder to grasp for some that we are at a very real point of not having enough water for future generations.
This hotel uses a device to elevate consciousness about water use. It basically measures the liters of water used in your shower. It also shows a melted ice casket when you exceed the limit of average water usage. Very useful indeed.
These days, almost everybody has a smartphone. They’re pretty much glued to people’s hands. Vacation or travel does not create an exception. So it’s nice to know that when you go to bed in your hotel room, there is a secure place to keep your device while you sleep. Plus, it’s really cute.
This little phone bed is not only a cute little accommodation, but it also offers a solution for a different problem. People are glued to their phones at bedtime and this could be a potentially harmful habit. The blue light that your smart phone emits is not only bad for your vision, but it’s bad for your brain too. Research has found a correlation between suppressed levels of melatonin and exposure to blue light. Melatonin is a hormone responsible for controlling your sleep-wake cycle.
This particular accommodation has been a rare fan favorite for many years now. Origami is a type of Japanese discipline which consists of folding paper without performing any cuts to it with scissors, creating interesting shapes and characters. But some hotels have taken it to the next level by creating origami out of towels.
It seems as though this particular hotel staffer has a lovely sense of humor. Many hotels will offer teddy bear origami towels, bird origami towels and many others. But this origami bird reading a newspaper adds a layer of comedy to this hotels experience.
Another environmentally conscious hotel! With the world struggling with climate change and other environmental disturbances, it’s refreshing to see humanity banding together to confront issues. Once again, water consumption is a major issue for hotels. Water accounts for 10% of an average utility bill, and by implementing sustainable practices, hotels can reduce water consumption by 50% per guest.
This hotel decided to implement change by installing toilets that re-use sink water as flush water. And it makes sense! It also seems like this would be an effective solution for small spaces as well. So if you’re somebody who values sustainable practices and optimizing space, this might be one to take home!
The most famous Icelandic cat is no doubt Pál Dánielsdóttir, a small tabby cat with a steady job. Pál has probably one of the most demanding jobs as the Mousekeeper at Fosshótel at Hellnar village on Snæfellsnes peninsula. This hardworking tabby cat even has his own identification card!
A spokesman for Fosshótel told Morgunblaðið that so far Pál is the only Mousekeeper employed at the hotel chain, but that the management is looking into adding more Mousekeepers. “We try to create a positive and fun atmosphere for our employees and guests. This is an kind of experimental position, but if this goes well we will look into adding more Mousekeepers.”
Many people find collecting the tiny toiletries at hotels to be a fun part of the trip. And who doesn’t love free stuff? Some hotels offer soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, towels, and sometimes even ducks! Yes, ducks. Some people make a hobby out of going to the chains that offer ducks and collecting them all! But this hotel adds a little more luxury to their free amenities.
This hotel hands out Neutrogena body care kits for their customers with a duck-tastic addition! These cute little white rubber duckies are a guest favorite at this hotel. But another amazing part of this is that you can get a whole set of Neutrogena products as a perk of your stay. Those don’t run cheap at the drug store!
Like we mentioned earlier, it’s hard to make it in a world so attached to their smart phones. Hotels have almost always offered landlines to contact people outside of the hotel and the front desk. But this hotel took their phone accommodations to the next level.
This hotel has its own mobile fleet, meaning you can use the phone whenever you want to. You are free to take it around town, and best of all, free unlimited mobile data. It also makes it more convenient for hotel staff to respond to texts and calls via mobile phones rather than the traditional lines being all tied up.
A huge travel headache is the worry that comes with taking your personal belongings away from home. Laptops, phones and other valuable items feel a little extra vulnerable when you’re staying in a hotel. Theft of these items could happen anywhere, at any time.
One solution that some hotels have started implementing is a safe with a plug in port. This could be particular useful to those who travel for work. Imagine having a safe to charge your laptop in so you can leave the room with complete peace of mind.
Neutrogena pops up on this list yet again. It could be a Neutrogena conspiracy to take over the luxury hotel product world, but who cares? All we care about is the fact that this is some of the most clever origami we’ve seen in a hotel so far.
Origami is such a fun way to display the mundane items like towels. They’re almost too cool to unfold. And paired with this luxurious set of Neutrogena products, it seems like this hotel really enjoys paying attention to detail. But what we want to know is: how long does it take staff to learn and perform this origami?
You know we had to just add in a couple of cool all-around travel experiences. And how can you beat a castle? I mean… it’s a castle. Thornbury Castle is a stunning 16th century Tudor mansion in the Cotswolds. It offers guests the unique opportunity to sleep in the same bedroom as one of the most famous couples in history – King Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn.
Exposed stone walls are punctuated with the same arrow-slit windows Anne Boleyn gazed out of almost 500 years ago. The decoration is as close to authentic as possible and a night in the Duke’s Bedchamber at Thornbury is the height of 16thcentury opulence. A journey back through half a millennium of British blue-blood history.
Steamy bathrooms do seem to be a bit of a “First World Problem”. But it can be aggravating when you’re in a hurry to get ready. If you’re taking a shower and the mirror fogs up, sometimes you’re forced to extreme measures to continue getting ready. This hotel found the perfect solution.
This hotel installed anti-steam mirrors for their hotel guests to enjoy. For the hot shower-taker, this can be a major life saver. This is even something that is affordable and easy to do at home. So you can take a little bit of a luxury hotel comfort home with you.
Traveling seems to come with its own set of issues. Whether it’s a family trip or a business trip, it can be easy to forget things. When you’re caught up in fun and schedules, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of lost things in hotel rooms, some more unusual than others! Some of the most left behind items are phones, jewelry, passports, and clothes.
This is a simple, yet brilliant solution to this issue. This hotel provides a checkout list of all of the common items forgotten in a hotel room. And it’s probably not only to benefit the guest, but so they don’t have to deal with panicked guests looking for their lost item.
Pillows and their firmness can be a bone of contention between sleepers. Some love the squishy comfort that a soft pillow can offer while others need the solid support of a firmer pillow. But finding that special pillow at a hotel is usually fairly difficult. You usually get saddled with one choice.
This hotel used words sewn onto the pillow cloths, with “firm”, and “soft” legends, that show either how hard or soft the pillows are. So, those that like soft pillows pick the “soft” ones, and the ones that like firm pillows pick the “firm” ones.
This particular amenity will be appealing to those who wear makeup. I’m sure we’ve all been there, you get to a hotel and need to remove makeup… only to realize the only thing you have is a pristine, white towel. It’s easy to imagine that housekeeping is not fond of black smears on white towels.
Well why don’t more hotels not offer this simple solution?! A black hand towel provides the perfect material to wipe off makeup without leaving behind any of the unpleasant stains. And it probably saves housekeeping tons of time. Sometimes it even causes towels irreparable damage.
We saved a truly unique experience as the last one on the list. Sometimes new hotel plans consist of demolishing historic buildings to make way for new construction. Sometimes the cost of demolition is actually cheaper than what it would be to restore an older building. But this hotel decided to take the opportunity to use this unique building to their advantage.
One hotel decided to turn this bank into a unique lodging. This particular shot is taken of the hotel’s meeting room. It’s a beautiful integration of architecture. But a word to the wise: don’t shut yourself in; we don’t know if they know the lock combination.