Hotel rooms the new showrooms

Summary:

I recently read a brilliant article about stealing toiletries from hotels, and it got me thinking about my own five fingered habits. Most of us take the toiletries when we leave a hotel, yet some are more brazen with their theft, taking everything from linen to art on the walls. While I don’t think it’s healthy to go that extreme with your souvenir taking, they are onto something. 

I recently read a brilliant article about stealing toiletries from hotels, and it got me thinking about my own five fingered habits. Though guilty of taking all the toiletries when I leave, I prefer to think of them as hotel giveaways. I’ve built up such a stash that friends are given options when they come to stay at my house.

Most of us take the toiletries when we leave a hotel, yet some are more brazen with their theft, taking everything from linen to art on the walls. While I don’t think it’s healthy to go that extreme with your souvenir taking, they are onto something.

Molton Brown: My new obsession. Photo: Hotel Indigo Hong Kong
Molton Brown: My new obsession. Photo: Hotel Indigo Hong Kong

We all want that hotel feeling at home. But instead of getting your friend to create a diversion as you walk out the front door with a flat screen TV under your arm, it might be worthwhile checking to see whether the hotel has a retail shop.

Hotels are beginning to realise that people want a hotel experience at home, and as such have started selling some of the features and fittings in their rooms.

I first encountered this at the Hotel Indigo Hong Kong, which was basically a live in showroom where you could buy almost everything in the room. I ended up buying two of their goldfish cushions, accepting defeat when I couldn’t stuff them into my bag. The cushion covers were reasonably priced, making it an attractive buy.

Everything from the cushions to teapots are for sale. Photo: Hotel Indigo Hong Kong
Everything from the cushions to teapots are for sale. Photo: Hotel Indigo Hong Kong

Another hotel chain to join this growing trend is the Art Series Hotels, who have opened a store called The Artefacts. Alongside prints, candles and furnishings such as throw pillows and linen, guests can buy almost everything from the hotels, even the bed. I’m waiting to hear back whether kitchen sinks are on the list.

Personally I think this is a pretty good move for hotels. If the items are reasonably priced, then hotels could be onto a retail goldmine. If not, they could just end up like the lonely duty free cart on a plane – nobody is interested in buying that stuff.

Are you a fan of hotel giveaways? What’s in your stash? 

Written by
Chris Ashton
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