Meeting planners who want to arrange a more memorable hotel stay for their attendees seek something extra beyond cozy beds, modern bathrooms with roomy showers and a great view. Adding gravy can suffice, such as an amazing pool, an exceptional restaurant, over-the-top design or all of the above. But for some guests, a special in-room amenity could fit the bill. Here are five such plusses that promise to add a "wow" factor to your attendees' visit:
Those who like to fall asleep reading a good book will love Bedside Reading, a program established in 2017 to create partnerships between book publishers - who get to promote new works by their most exciting authors - and luxury hotels seeking to pamper guests. The concept is simple: Participating hotels offer their guests an in-room selection of "real" books, ebooks and audiobooks. Selections like newly discovered authors from independent publishers and bestsellers from major book houses span the publishing world's gamut of genres: fiction, nonfiction, children's, business, memoirs and more. Guests can add the books to their personal library or leave them for their successors. Participating properties include the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, Calif.; the Conrad New York; the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.; and the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, among others.
When planners do their job well, attendees' creativity follows them from the meeting room to the guest room. That's when Hard Rock Hotels' Sound of Your Stay program comes in handy. Available at properties like the Hard Rock Hotel Universal Orlando, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, the program has three components: Tracks, which allows guests to download expertly curated playlists to listen to in their rooms; Picks, which lets guests reserve a Fender guitar that comes with headphones and a Fender Mustang headphone amplifier; and Wax, which provides a Crosley turntable in-room with a curated selection of vinyl records.
In the age of streaming media, DVDs might sound like a relic. To baseball fans who are lucky enough to stay in the Baseball Suite at Boston's Hotel Commonwealth, however, they're a treasure. Inspired by the hotel's neighbor, Fenway Park, the one-bedroom suite is filled with classic memorabilia, a large collection of cards and a DVD library with more than 40 classic films for enjoying on a 50-inch flat-screen smart TV. Although it won't appeal to everyone, it's the perfect way to inspire a baseball-obsessed VIP in advance of a high-stakes meeting.
Binoculars and a Star Chart
On a former cocoa plantation set on a volcanic ridgeline 1,000 feet above sea level, the adults-only Ladera Resort in St. Lucia is famous for its tropical views. The property -- which last fall introduced a new indoor/outdoor event space, as well as its first private buyout offer for meeting groups -- has gone to great lengths to ensure guests see as much of those views as possible. Each of the 37 suites and villas has an open-air, three-wall design and a private plunge pool so that guests can spend as much time as possible gazing at the Piton Mountains. Each room also comes with a "Necessaire Kit" containing slippers, eye masks, binoculars and a star chart so guests can see as much from their rooms at night as they do during the day.
You expect to find tequila shots at a raucous bar on a Saturday night, not in your room at a luxury resort. Yet this is what awaits guests at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort, in San José del Cabo, Mexico. Known for its collection of more than 150 premium tequilas, as well as its trained Tequila Masters - aka Tequileros - the resort welcomes visitors to their rooms with ceramic decanters of the spirit, accompanied by tasting instructions for doing a proper shot: Start with spiced pumpkin seeds that awaken the palate, sip the tequila, sample each of three different varieties of salt, then finish with lime juice, almonds and, finally, dark chocolate, all of which are provided.