Your favorite things might be different than mine, but just for fun, here are my family’s top eight favorite things about staying in a hotel. When we travel, it is usually as a family with our daughters (one is married with a toddler, and the other is in her late twenties and often brings a friend along). When we go in a group like this, we normally stay in a mid-range priced hotel – not the cheapest, but not expensive, luxury hotels either. There are some additional amazing things that you get at top of the line hotels, but that is not what we are talking about in this post.
- The View
My very favorite thing, and the first thing I check out, is our view. I request the highest floor available and a special view (lake-view, falls-view, ocean-view, city-view, or whatever makes sense where we are staying). I cross through the room and throw open the curtains and hopefully am able to say “Wow.” I love to look out the windows and enjoy the scenery or the activity. We have had some amazing views, and my favorite view so far, I think, was in Las Vegas, where we overlooked the Bellagio fountain from the Jockey Club Hotel (and, of course, I don’t have a good photo of it at this time).
- Toiletries/Beauty Products
My girls like to see what toiletries the hotel provides. This could be anywhere from amazing products from a local spa, from Bath & Body Works or another special line of products, or sometimes the same line that we use at home. But it is fun to smell and indulge in whatever products are there. (Tip: If you bring your shampoo and other toiletries from home and do not need to use what the hotel offers, the complimentary toiletries are a great donation to a food bank or homeless shelter because of their small size.)
- Black-Out Curtains
When you are on vacation, there are some days that you might not want to wake up as soon as the sun comes up. At home, our room begins to get light as it gets light outside, but in a hotel, you can close the double (or triple) curtains so that you have no idea when daybreak happens. Your body’s interior “clock” might wake you up at a certain time anyway because it is used to it, but to me, it’s a nice surprise to get an extra hour or so of sleep because the room is so dark and quiet. When we go on trips, we are often much more active than a normal week at home, so we need to grab whatever rest we can.
- Swimming Pool/Hot Tub
Even if you have one at home (which we don’t at this point in our life), it is nice to have a hot tub that you can sink into at the end of an active day, and/or a pool that you can jump into to cool off and play around.
Some of the mid-range hotels do not provide them, but when you have a thick, white fluffy robe waiting for your use, it just feels luxurious. After a dip in the hot tub and pool, you can come back to your room, shower, and slip into a nice, comfy robe and lounge around for a while.
- Room Service
Again, not all hotels have a restaurant on-site, and therefore do not offer Room Service, but when they do, this is my younger daughter’s favorite thing. If you do decide to lounge around the room(s) for a while, and to not get fixed up to go out to eat, it is nice to have a meal brought to you and set up for you to enjoy while you relax. When she was little, she would always ask if she could call and order a slice of “midnight layer cake” for an evening treat.
7. Free Breakfast
It is especially nice when your hotel does have an on-site restaurant and you can grab a free breakfast there before starting your day. It’s a chance for everyone to sit together and talk about the plans, and to work out any logistics needed if all are not doing the same things. Even a hotel with only a continental breakfast is good, because you can still get your coffee, juice, and basics to fuel you up for your day ahead.
- Free Wi-Fi
This is normally essential to us, because we often need to stay in touch with people even when we are traveling. Even on trips where we strive to basically unplug and not stay attached to electronics, at least basic e-mail and social media are available using the hotel’s free wi-fi, in case it is necessary.
Two bonus favorite things are:
- Maid Service
You might choose to keep your “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door because of things you prefer the hotel staff not touch or move, but if that is not the case, how nice is it to have someone come in and replace your towels, clean your bathroom, and make your beds? This is something that does not happen for you at home (unless you are the mom – LOL), and it is great to walk back into a room at the end of each day that is clean and orderly.
- No honey-do projects
When at home, there is ALWAYS something around you that needs to be fixed, cleaned, or organized. When you are staying in a hotel, you can’t deal with those things. You are almost forced to just relax and/or just have fun. Those projects can wait until you return from your trip. While you are on vacation, just indulge yourself and enjoy!