By Meghan Callaghan, Forbes.com Contributor
Luxury hotels are pretty good at ensuring you receive a VIP experience each and every time you visit, but some go well beyond the conventional with unexpected, over-the-top amenities. From exclusive private park access to personalized business cards for kids, these out-of-the-box amenities standout from the traditional robe-and-slippers routine:
For Those Who Want Access to the Latest in Fashion
Guests at The Joule Dallas can push a button on the in-room phone for direct-dial access to a personal shopper at the city’s preeminent fashion destination: Neiman Marcus. (The high-fashion department store’s headquarters are in Dallas and the downtown store is the company’s first.) The personal shopping privileges include complimentary champagne while you shop, a guided tour of the latest designer wares from Burberry to Chanel, and the advice of Neiman Marcus’ expert resident shoppers. The Joule is less than a block from the store and is a natural fit for the style-minded traveler—the contemporary Adam Tihany-designed hotel showcases art from around the world and includes original Gothic revival design elements. If you’re really looking for a fashionable getaway, consider the Jean Paul Gaultier Getaway package. It includes two tickets to The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art.
For Those Who Want Their Kids to Have a Blast
Kids won’t be left to entertain themselves at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago—they’ll be treated like VIP guests with special pint-sized amenities provided by the Trump Kids program. Perks include kid’s robes and slippers and a backpack filled with items such as a Trump cow plush toy, coloring books, movies and a chocolate chip cookie. But the signature keepsake for kids are the personalized Trump Kids business cards, printed with the child’s name and room extension. Children can also sip on drinks from the Kiddie Cocktails menu, which features a Kit Cloudkicker (coke, vanilla ice cream, Maraschino cherries and a gummy bear garnish). If all of these amenities fail to impress, we bet the complimentary in-room Wii will do the trick.
For Those Who Want to Borrow Before They Buy
While some think no trip to Santa Monica is complete without a stop at Fred Segal, Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel makes it easy to skip a visit to the iconic West Coast department store. The hotel offers a Fred Segal Lending Library, chock full of accessories guests can borrow (if booked in an oceanfront suite). There are nearly 50 items to choose from for women, men, kids, and even pets, ranging from a $9 children’s book to a $495 silver evening clutch. Feel free to borrow the Fred Segal goods (akin to when A-listers borrow couture for red-carpet events) and return them when you check out. If you see something you’d like to keep, Fred Segal Santa Monica is just a few blocks away from the hotel.
For Those Who Want to Play in an Exclusive Private Park
Even lifelong New Yorkers can’t enter the private Gramercy Park in Manhattan—it’s the oldest private park in the country, and only residents in buildings directly surrounding it have access to the beautifully landscaped grounds. But if you’re staying at Aby Rosen’s Gramercy Park Hotel, you’ll gain keys to the kingdom, albeit temporarily. Guests are escorted to the park by staff, as the hotel only has one key to use. The park gates are locked from both sides, which means you’ll need to call the hotel to get escorted back. It might sound like a hassle, but the calm among the calamity of New York is why nearby residents want this place kept private. The legendary hotel is known for its bohemian vibe, famous former guests (Humphrey Bogart, Babe Ruth) and its Rose bar, where guests can eyeball a collection of paintings by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Julian Schnabel—another free perk.
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.