The Best Hotel Luxuries

There’s nothing better than coming back after a long day to a freshly-made bed… that I didn’t have to make! That is luxury to me. What says luxury to you?

I’ll go ahead and say that I’m a low-maintenance girl. I grew up on a farm where I bottle-fed baby goats and got attacked by a rooster (which scarred me FOR LIFE). I don’t wear a lot of make up (just eyeliner and mascara). I’ve also been told I don’t know how to dress myself. But even I know how to appreciate luxury! I’ve been missing travel, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, so I decided to come up with an appreciation list of the most luxurious things hotels do for their guests. Who knows how many of these will be left as a result of new COVID-inspired procedures?

Pillow Menu

Yes, a menu to help you select your perfect pillow! Some of the various options are:

  • Feather
  • Goosedown (which is apparently different from “feather”)
  • Buckwheat
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Memory foam
  • Body pillow
  • Cotton

I, personally, have never paid much attention to the pillow menus I’ve seen, since my head often ends up on the mattress instead anyway, but it’s a luxury that’s pretty impressive!

I’ll take my pillows with cute duckies on them, please!
What are those ducks about? Staying at the Peabody Memphis

Complimentary House Sweets

I don’t mean a foil-wrapped chocolate on the pillow (which is still nice). I’m talking about fresh-made, hand-wrapped, incredible sweets! The Hotel Sacher in both Vienna and Salzburg, Austria, provides a single-serving version of their signature, namesake sweet, the Sacher Torte, in guests’ rooms when they arrive. They also offer Sacher Tortes and white chocolate-covered bundt cakes with coffee in the lobby each morning!

Coffee and sweets each morning at the Hotel Sacher!
Get the whole story: Staying at the Hotel Sacher, Salzburg


Now, by “sauna” I don’t mean a stinky steam room in a hotel gym. I’m talking about wet saunas with herbal-scented steam, and dry saunas made entirely of cedar. We’ve been able to experience a few of these in our travels around the world. The most shocking one, however, was in Austria several years ago. Steve and I went in, wearing bathing suits or towels or something. And another couple walked in… and they took off their towels down to the waist. It was awkward for us… but not for them!

Soft Robes and Soft Slippers

There is almost nothing more luxurious to me than a hotel robe and slippers, especially cushy ones! It’s just so cozy. We have stayed in loads of hotels over the years, but my favorite hotel robes are the pink-and-white striped seersucker robes from the Royal Hawaiian. They actually did not offer slippers, but it’s Hawaii, so who needs shoes?! I actually liked them so much, Steve offered to get me one. It’s one of my favorite gifts ever!

I LOVE my pretty pink robe from the famous Pink Palace!
All the details: Staying at the Royal Hawaiian

Non-buffet Breakfast Included

Buffets have their benefits, but truly high-end hotels sometimes include made-to-order breakfast from a menu, and you can sit and order instead of worrying about leaving your purse on the seat while you’re at a buffet! We’ve had this luxury at hotels in Venice, Bali, Estonia, and Liechtenstein! It just feels more refined than a buffet, and you always know your food is fresh; it hasn’t been sitting under a sneeze-guard for a few hours.

Estonian breakfast, as ordered from a menu from Hotel Schlossle!
Want more special foodie finds? Check out my World Foods Page!

Butler Service

You read that right! We once stayed in a villa-style accommodation with butler service. It was pretty special! We didn’t take too much advantage of it because it just felt so strange to have a butler, but we did call to ask for a few things while we were there, such as breakfast to be brought to our villa and reserving a massage and spa treatments at their onsite spa! It truly was a luxurious experience!

Balinese breakfast from a menu and not a buffet, included in our rate and brought to our room by our butler!

A Private Plunge Pool

So, to be honest, Bali was not the best trip of our lives, but the best part was definitely our villa. We had our own private building—as in, no sharing walls or even entry spaces with anyone else. We had a large outdoor space and a separate, open-air living area as well. But the very best part was definitely our private plunge pool! It was truly all for us. And it’s a good thing, since it took hours to get anywhere and the walk to the beach was sketchy! We spent the vast majority of our four days in Bali in our villa and the pool!

Our private plunge pool!

A Doorman

This is a luxury we might be seeing more of in coming months and years. As a Southern lady, I love when someone opens the door for me. Not because I can’t do it myself, not because I’m Miss Priss, just because it’s nice to be acknowledged. And it’s nice to be greeted happily! I’ve stayed in maybe two or three places with doormen in the past, and I just love it.

Want to experience this for yourself? The next time you’re in D.C., regardless of political affiliation, you really should go to the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office. Their doormen are the kindest, friendliest, most attentive of them all! You don’t have to be a guest there, you can just go in and admire the historic building. It’s beautiful, and it’s nice to have the door opened for you!

The doormen at a hotel where we stayed in Morocco all dressed in traditional clothing.
All the details: Staying at the Trump Hotel, D.C.

Complimentary Water and Snacks

You know when you go into a hotel and there’s a bottle of water or two on the dresser, and they’re about $24 each? It’s so nice when they’re free instead! It’s a small thing that means so much after a long day of walking around a new place, or on an especially hot day. Flying is very dehydrating, and sometimes after a super long-haul flight I get incredibly thirsty. It’s nice to have water I know is drinkable there for me!

It’s also nice to have a snack. Sometimes you’ll find these in your room, down at the fitness center, at the spa, etc. Whether that’s a pastry, fresh fruit, or a culturally iconic treat, it’s just kind!

Welcome treats and complimentary water at the Hotel Sacher!!

Water, a Towel, and a Banana After a Run

This is one of those rare, ultimate-in-luxury kind of extras. Lots of people take a run in the morning, so sometimes a truly luxurious hotel will provide some added amenities for those of us who like to get in a morning cardio boost. It’s also nice when they provide running maps of the area!

Water, schented towels, banana, and even a running map for those unfamiliar with the area!

Turn-down Service

Turn-down service varies greatly by hotel, and to be honest, my husband Steve and I are usually already asleep before they come to our room to do turn-down service! They all “turn down” the bed for you, meaning they turn the covers down to make it easier for you to simply fall into bed. They may lay out a roomservice breakfast menu in case you’d like to order something in the morning. They might also put out a little mat and a pair of slippers for you. Sometimes there’s a chocolate, or possibly a mint. They also might check your towels and toiletries, and even freshen things up a bit. I love coming in, exhausted, and finding towels on the rack instead of hanging on the door and my bed turned down for my sleeping pleasure!

Turn-down service from the Hotel Sacher!
The best pillow chocolates include a caramel center and a touch of sea salt! These came from the Trump Hotel in D.C.!
Read next: Legendary Hotels of the World

Actually Luxurious Toiletry Items

I usually bring my own toiletries when we travel. I mean, I like to pack light, but toiletries are definitely not where most hotels spend their big bucks. We stayed at a truly legendary hotel in London last year, and everything about it was proper and beautiful and luxurious… but their conditioner made my hair stringy and their soaps dried out my skin! I wouldn’t call myself high-maintenance, but even I have my standards! So when I find truly luxurious toiletries at a hotel, I do a little happy dance and bring some of the tiny soaps home with me!

The best hotel soaps ever are the chocolate-scented ones from the Hotel Sacher in Salzburg and Vienna, Austria!

So what about you? What’s the most luxurious thing you’ve ever experienced at a hotel? Comment below!

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