|by Michelle Baran||Hotels, Packing||24|
I am not one of those people who hoards little bottles of hotel shampoos and body wash. In fact, I can't stand clutter. So, a hotel has to stock a really great or unique product line for me to want to take it to-go.
In fact, I might even go so far as to call myself a hotel toiletries snob. The way I see it, the products are the grand finale, the last hurdle for total approval of a hotel room. That said, I also feel this little twinge of guilt when I stash all of those products in my bag for future trips.
This probably doesn't come as a huge surprise to most travelers, but I have to admit that I was somewhat relieved when Laurie Goldstein, a spokesperson for Marriott International told me that "the hotels actually want guests to take them home." (Whew!) "We can't use the items that are open and we hope that it reminds them of what a great time they had at the hotel."
Her comment did, however, start me thinking: I wonder how hotels choose the products they stock in the bathroom?
"For Starwood, branding speaks to every aspect of the guest experience, your greeting upon arrival, the design of your guestroom, the scent in the lobby and even the toiletries. As we like to say, everything communicates," noted Jennifer Leemann, a spokesperson for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Indeed, the toiletries they stock are arguably an extension of the different Starwood brand experiences.
For instance, W hotels stock Bliss lemon + sage toiletries (I've experienced, very yummy smell); Aloft hotels stock Tried and True by Bliss; and Westin hotels feature a signature White Tea Collection (also easy on the nose).
And while it's always nice to find those comforting, familiar brands (L'Occitane, Aveda), it's also fun to discover new products while traveling.
Ace hotels collaborated with Janet Jay, a soap-maker from Portland, Oregon, to stock a hand-produced line called pearl+.
"It reminds me so particularly of the Ace, of the feeling of adventure that comes with travel, and the thrill and comfort and beauty we hope staying in our hotel imparts," said Alex Calderwood, co-founder of the Ace hotels, of pearl+.
Ace also sometimes stocks Rudy's Barbershop products in some of its hotels, which I recently experienced at the Ace in Palm Springs—a musky, masculine smell, and a refreshing change from more fruity, feminine scents.
So what about you? Do you care about hotel toiletries as much as I do? Do you have a favorite? Let us know by voting in our poll or commenting below.
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