You know it is a nice hotel when there is a turn down service. That is not to say that I have experienced this too often. But my travel in the early days was a bit posh.
When I was 24 years old, I took my first trip through Asia. We flew business class and stayed in the nicest places at every stop. It was the first time I had experienced little chocolates on the pillows that appeared while I was away at dinner. What a pleasant surprise!
Fast forward a bunch of years. Most of the time in between spent at places that had no stars, let alone extra special touches to make a guest feel more comfortable. Those were the budget travel years. And for the most part, that is still where I am today.
But every once in a while, we get a treat. Customers are being entertained and I get to experience how the 1% live. Here are 3 of my favourites.
- The Wickaninnish Inn – Tofino, British Columbia. After entertaining customers from Quebec and sending them home with personal coolers of freshly caught, wild pacific salmon packed in dry ice, I got to stay another night. Waking up on Mother’s Day with my husband beside me and an endless view of the Pacific Ocean – amazing. The turn down service included a weather report for the next day with surfing conditions. But the bed was the bed upon which I judge all others. Never before or again have I slept on such a bed.
- The Little Nell – Aspen, Colorado. Thanks to a corporate partnership with The Aspen Skiing Company, I have had the privilege of spending a few nights here. Beyond the luxury of the hotel and surrounding area, (which is impressive), the service is beyond compare. Included in the turn down is a small story book of bedtime stories, (not sure if I was meant to keep that, but I did), a jug of water, soft music playing, bedside weather forecast for the next day and of course, chocolates on the pillows.
- Bardessono – Napa Valley, California. When you feel like the staff of a hotel are trying to look after you, despite your best efforts to have too much fun in wine country, that is something special. Beyond the fact that the spa comes to your room, the turn down service includes flavoured water, chocolates and a poem. Now that is thoughtful. I keep wondering how I could replicate that feeling of being nurtured when I got home? But then I woke up, had to check out and realized I can’t afford a butler. Bummer.