Quirky hotel amenities: TPG staff, readers share their favorites

Mar 27, 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

They’re the perks that make a hotel stay more memorable. From the most predictable and basic like a couple of bottles of water, to much more original — and in some cases, downright unique amenities. Sure, some perks have been pared down or even discontinued during the COVID-19 pandemic, but plenty remain.

As a kid I remember staying at an Embassy Suites hotels on vacation, and my parents ensuring that we were back from our daytime excursions in time to enjoy drinks and snacks at the “Manager’s Reception.” Years later, my wife and I hastened our trek back to the Westin Versa in downtown Napa to partake in the complimentary wine tasting (or at least, the wine tasting that was included in our daily resort fee).

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

wine tasting at Westin Versa Napa
Complimentary wine and cheese at the Westin Versa, Napa. (Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

When I think through amenities I’ve enjoyed while staying at hotels, I think of the giant complimentary paella snack at the Westin Grand Cayman where we spent our honeymoon, the dogs up for adoption (and pets and walks) at the Aloft in Asheville, North Carolina, and the Peloton bike I got to use at a Marriott in Virginia.

lobby at Aloft in Asheville
The dog pen in the lobby at the Asheville Aloft features dogs up for adoption. (Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Honestly, though, most of these pale in comparison to the ingenuity of, and in some case quirky, amenities my TPG colleagues and some of our readers have experienced when we polled them.

To best lay this all out, I’ve categorized these unusual amenities.

Related: How hotel amenities can improve a business trip

Excursions and activities

BinocularsSenior Aviation Business Reporter David Slotnick received them for the purpose of plane spotting at the Grand Hyatt Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). And Zachary Goldman got them for whale watching while staying at the Waldorf Astoria.

Lego Butler – Coordinating Editor Christine Smith remembers this from her stay at Ashford Castle in Ireland, where the property will deliver a set to children (for $44) along with its other perks “exclusively for (their) younger guests” like board games, homemade cookies and a personalized bedtime story.

The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana. (Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Electric bikes – Director of Video Tom Grahsler was able to rent them while staying at the Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana. On an expansive property, he said having a motorized mountain bike was “awesome and fun.”

Pulse bookSenior Writer Katie Genter found this in the lobby during her stay at the Andaz Capital Gate hotel in Abu Dhabi. It provided local secrets from past visitors, and was a good tool to get ideas on what to do, she said.

Other TPG readers mentioned gondola rides at the Hotel Kette in Venice, and complimentary guided horseback rides at the Tabacon Thermal Resort and Spa in Costa Rica.

Comfort and luxury

CarsManaging Editor Clint Henderson got to enjoy a Maserati courtesy car and chauffeur service during his stay in Italy at the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan. Points and Miles Reporter Kyle Olsen remembers the complimentary day use of luxury Lexus cars at Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas. Another TPG reader remembers one hotel where they offered a Rolls-Royce.

large room with white Christmas tree, balcony and staircase
Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. (Photo courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts)

Get tucked into bed by Snoopy – This was a pre-pandemic favorite of Family Travel Writer Tarah Chief, offered at the Knott’s Berry Farm Hotel in Southern California.

(Photo by powerofforever/Getty Images)

Heated toilet seatsSenior Hotels Reporter Tanner Saunders previously shared his enjoyment of this bathroom amenity available at lots of international hotels, which he first experienced during a stay in Japan. On the same topic, Ben Smithson remembers one hotel stay where there was a fireplace in the bathroom.

Related: Hotel views you’ll want to see for yourself

Food and Drink

Rum and Coke – Senior Editor Benet Wilson recalls finding a six-pack of Coca-Cola and a bottle of Cruzan Rum while staying at a hotel on the Caribbean island of St. Croix.

Beer – Social Media Manager Mimi Wright remembers the beer on tap (to complement the shower beer fridge) at the BrewDog Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Similarly, a TPG reader remembers the built-in brewery at the Grove, a “brewtique” hotel in Ontario.

BrewDog Hotel in Columbus. (Photo by Mimi Wright/The Points Guy)

TPG readers also chimed in about the late night peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the Le Pavilion New Orleans, champagne vending machines at Lennox Miami Beach, and similar machines vending wine at the St. Regis in Washington, D.C.

Music

Record Player Director of Content Nick Ewen said he enjoyed this at the music-themed Elizabeth Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection property in Fort Collins, Colorado. Nick noted it was fun teaching his daughter a way to play music that did not involve an iPhone or Alexa.

Another TPG reader remembered a Sarasota hotel that offered ukuleles in their room.

Pets

“Borrowable” Dogs – Director of Content Andrea Rotondo took note of this option at the Ritz Carlton, Bachelor Gulch in Colorado, where the hotel housed a St. Bernard that visitors could spend time with.

Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Colorado. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Other readers recalled dog cocktails at a Virgin Hotel in Dallas, dog massages at a hotel in Los Cabos, and goldfish pets for the length of your stay at the Kimpton Monaco in Denver and the Maximillian in Prague.

Related: Most Dog-friendly hotels in America

And then there are these amenities that are truly quirky

Ghostbusters slime – multiple TPG staffers and readers mentioned this quirk at the Curtis hotel in Denver, where there’s a Ghostbusters-themed suite.

At various other properties, we heard about bunk beds built into book shelves, guitars and amplifiers available while staying in soundproof rooms, custom thread sewing kits to match what you packed, mineral water from nearby hot springs piped directly into room and shoes available for workouts.

Memorably quirky

From enhancing your visit to turning an otherwise routine stay into a truly luxurious one, or in some cases, just making your stay more entertaining, there’s no doubt that unique amenities help form the memories we carry with us after a stay at any given property.

If there’s any amenity you’ve experienced that’s even quirkier than anything on this list, we’d love to hear about it! Connect with us on our Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages and let us know about your favorite quirky hotel amenity.

Featured image by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.