Is this the creepiest — or best — hotel welcome amenity ever?

Nov 30, 2021

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If you Google “hotel welcome amenity,” odds are that you’ll find a picture of a bottle of wine, along with some chocolates and a fruit plate.

Would your wedding photo come up in that search? Probably not.

Well, can you imagine my surprise when I walked into my room during a recent hotel stay at The Norman in Tel Aviv, Israel, only to find a wooden picture frame on a small table with my wedding photo inside?

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At first, I was speechless. Maybe my wife asked the hotel to print it out, as far-fetched as that seemed.

Nope, she told me, when I called immediately after seeing the photo.

While the hotel never explicitly confirmed that they printed the wedding photo, the check-in agent who escorted me to my room told me that the hotel likes to keep tabs on who’s staying there.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Clearly, someone on the team had put all the pieces together, maybe saying to themselves, ‘Zach Griff happens to be a travel reporter with an active social media presence — and he also recently got married.’

‘What better way to personalize his stay than by printing out a picture of his wedding?’ someone must have thought.

Though I was initially creeped out, the surprise quickly wore off, and it didn’t bother me much for the rest of the stay. Perhaps the hotel thought my wife was coming along for the trip — not a bad assumption given that I inadvertently booked the room for two guests.

But it was clear that the hotel “knew” who I was — I was greeted by name during most interactions with the staff, and everyone was eager to lend a hand and ask how I was doing.

Either way, this welcome amenity has proven to be divisive.

In fact, I posted an Instagram story about the wedding photo and 72% of viewers thought that the welcome amenity was creepy.

Responses to my Instagram poll. (Screenshot courtesy of Instagram)

After the stay, I took the photo home with me — I didn’t want it left inadvertently for the next guest — and asked my family around the Thanksgiving table their thoughts on the amenity.

Nearly everyone thought it was strange. After all, if the hotel is Googling me and printing my wedding photo, what else is the hotel doing when someone actually famous is staying there?

The few who considered it to be one of the best and cutest welcome gifts appreciated this level of personalization more than anything.

And regardless of how you feel, I now have another wedding photo on my desk — without going through the hoops to print or frame it myself.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.

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