If you thought a hot towel was a nice touch, prepare to step up your globetrotting game at one of these domestic and international properties that offer a whole lot more, the second you step foot inside their lobby doors. From cool cocktails and pet-friendly lounges, to medieval staff costumes, a rent-a-pet (goldfish) program, and a chat bot concierge who gives directions and tips—here’s where to stay when you want a one-of-a-kind experience.
If you just can’t with the whole wait for your keys in misery and hand over all your cards for incidentals deal, venture across the pond for a stay at one of the UK’s luxury Edwardian Hotels. Not only do they offer a virtual online check-in process, which allows you to select specific floors, in-room amenities, pay up-front, and grab your keys quickly when you show up to get your trip started, but they also have an SMS chat bot concierge aptly named Edward, who can give real-time directions and tips, connect guests with a human helper if needed, and customize individual itineraries. BRB, packing our bags.
Carpe Diem Santorini
For those wanderlusters who can’t wait to get acclimated to island time quick enough, you’re in luck. The check-in desk at Carpe Diem doubles as the pool restaurant bar, which means you can sign your paperwork as you snack and sip. Ah, vacation.
The Inn at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach Resorts
This one’s adorable if you’ve got kids! Upon check-in at The Inn at Spanish Bay, your little ones will be able to take part in The Family Explorers Package to explore the hotel—and the beautiful Pebble Beach region through a scavenger hunt map that leads them through the exciting histo-ry of the hotel and the natural beauty surrounding it. The package also includes complimentary meals for kids (ages 12 and under), along with complimentary tennis, golf at the par 3 Peter Hay Golf Course; and a horseback trail ride when accompanied by an adult.
The Villa Casa Casuarina
Anyone who’s a mega fan of Gianni Versace (or fashion in general) needs to add this Miami hot spot to their list of places to visit. Opulent and over-the-top, The Villa Casa Casuarina (the designer’s former home turned boutique hotel) will blow your mind from the second you arrive, especially if you book The Villa VIP Experience Package. That comes with black car service for two people to and from the airport, glasses of champagne upon arrival, and an exclusive escorted tour of grounds, including an inside look into Versace’s bedroom, bathroom, pri-vate kitchen, and more. Sign us up.
La Bastide de Gordes
Keeping with the medieval theme of this French hotel in Provence, the staff is required to wear period costumes at all times, but seeing them for the first time pulling up to the Louis XV-ish gem is really the best.
Jet-setting with your pooch? They’re in for an (actual) treat when you check into Hotel Providence. The AAA Four Diamond property has a doggy lounge in the corner of their lobby complete with plush pillow beds and bowls filled of canine-friendly biscuits and bones. Because Fido needs pampering too.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
Stunning settings and blissful relaxation is a given in Hawaii, but the Andaz Maui is also worth a visit for their welcome libations. Choose between lavender lemo-nade, a passionfruit daiquiri, or a mai tai, all made from local fresh ingredients and sit back and enjoy the panoramic views of the resort's five pools and the ocean, while the staff takes care of you.
The vastly growing Moxy hotel group (Moxy Times Square is the most recent to open) is so concerned about guests having a great check-in experience, that they’ve made their common areas party-ready spaces. AKA they’re so fun you’ll barely remember to go upstairs when you’re ready to sleep. Expect to find DJs spinning at any given time, plug-and-play lounges with power outlets and com-munity tables for co-working, grab-and-go cafeteria-esque food nooks and the Moxy Digital Guestbook, streaming videos and images tagged #atthemoxy for visitors’ pre-elevator amusement. Oh and did we mention there’s keyless entry system through the Marriott mobile app and a complimentary cocktail when you arrive? New favorite.
The South takes its great libraries seriously. So much so they filled The Restori-an’s Culture Library with Assouline books, magazines, and art journals for guests to enjoy and “Restoration Librarians”—the property’s interpretation of traditional concierges—to chat with, to plan your stay. There’s a spin though… instead of offering flat-out reccos, these literary pros will give personalized rec-ommendations for your Charleston experience via story-telling and nods to his-tory.
HGU New York Hotel
Arguably one of the best parts about staying in a hotel is for their ultra comfy beds. Down comforters, plush blankets, and sink-into-them soft pillows are what makes it so hard to leave, but at HGU—a 1905 Beaux-Arts landmark build-ing turned hotel—they are taking the whole pillow thing to the next level. Upon check in, you can partake in their pillow concierge service where you choose from Plush Down, Plush Down Alternative, Firm Down Alternative, Memory Foam, and Extra Long & Maternity and once selected, these white pockets of bliss will magically appear in your boudoir so you can snooze just the way you like. Another bonus? They also offer VIP access to partner amenities like colo-nics and cryotherapy at Vitality NYC and IV nutrient therapies and booster shots (AKA hangover lifesavers) from REVIV (which can be done in-room). Simply in-quire with the front desk to book.