A large part of my job as a travel writer is reviewing hotels. The quality of the bed linens is crucial to my rating, but what will make or break you in my book are the bathrooms. Part of the evaluation I do is examining the hotel toiletries and sometimes the lack there of. It is annoying, at best, to try to fit “needed” toiletry items into the TSA approved gallon-sized zip lock baggy. Mine is usually full because I hate to be caught off-guard. I am a “just in case” traveler who despises over-packing, but find it difficult to avoid. I don’t like to waste precious time shopping for forgotten essentials when visiting someplace spectacular. Wouldn’t it be super to have a definite answer, before packing, as to what amenities will be in your hotel bathroom?
The types and quality of the sample size amenities vary greatly and are unpredictable. Most every hotel in the world provides the standard bar of soap and bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Three star hotels typically have one super tiny bar of generic soap, a shampoo and conditioner bottle and sometimes a moisturizing lotion. Four star boutique hotels tend to have a small brand-named facial soap, a larger one for the tub or shower, perhaps a shower gel, but for sure recognizable name-brand shampoos, conditioners and lotions. Many four stars have, in addition, a disposable shower cap and perhaps a shoeshine cloth. Luckily the toiletries in Paris are very French – high quality, smell wonderful and organically based.
Five star properties offer pure luxury brand toiletries like Bulgvari or l’Occitane. All of them will have generous sized shampoo and conditioner portions. They have lotion and at least two bars of soap – one for the bath/shower and one facial type. Extra helpful goodies include emery boards, Q-tips, shower caps, mouthwash, cotton balls, natural body sponges and aromatherapy bath salts where applicable.
Once you get to know a hotel, it is easier to pack your travel toiletries and skip any items that you are positive will be there upon your arrival. Perhaps hotels would open to the idea that they may create more loyal guests by providing a list of bathroom items included in the room description during the booking process that clients could rely upon. I don’t necessarily think we need to know the brand names of the items, but for luxury bookings it would be a plus to know the added value.
It may not seem like a big deal to the occasional traveler, but to me it would be hugely helpful to skip the exercise of liquid replenishing before each trip. It would also lighten the load in my luggage, giving me more space and baggage weight allowance for souvenirs. How fab!
What do you think? Would you benefit from knowing ahead of time what toiletries will be available in the bathroom?
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