Ten of the greatest hotel souvenirs you’re allowed to take home
Forget pocketing a few toiletries – you can leave these luxury hotels with anything from a kimono to a puppy … or a diamond.
You can’t take it with you … or can you? Anybody who’s honest will likely admit to snagging the occasional bar of soap or bedside notepad from a fabulous hotel. But what about the truly spectacular amenities you wish you could take home? If you’re staying at Blackberry Farm, odds are that the throw pillow on your bed or jar of preserves at your breakfast table is up for grabs — nearly everything at the Tennessee resort is for sale.
The trend is catching: Luxury hotels around the world are offering guests the opportunity to take special souvenirs home — for a price. Whether you’re eyeing a classic tea set in London or pining for a traditional kimono in Kyoto, you’re in luck. These hotels have the souvenirs you’ll actually want to pack up, take home, and cherish long after your holiday is over.
Is there a better souvenir than a diamond? Cape Town’s Ellerman House has partnered with Benguela Diamonds to offer guests the opportunity to go on a “diamond safari” and travel to the west coast of South Africa, where they will join Benguela divers to hunt for their perfect sparkling stone. Guests can either dive along with the experts or relax above water and wait for the undersea bounty to be brought to the surface. Upon sorting through the day’s findings with an expert, guests can then select a rough diamond to be cut, polished, and set into a custom piece of jewellery.
Hanging in the closet of every suite at the quintessentially British Claridge’s hotel are two Burberry trench coats — one for her and one for him. These classic weatherproof London staples are available for guests to use throughout their stay — but they are also a sample of what guests can bring home as well. For those travellers who simply cannot part from their new Burberry, the hotel will deliver a brand-new coat from Burberry — whose boutique is located just a few short blocks away — upon checkout.
The Beverly Hills Hotel
The Beverly Hills Hotel might not be located on the beach, but the Dorchester Collection hotel still makes plenty of waves with its custom-made surfboards. Created exclusively for the hotel by Los Angeles designer Estrada Surfboard, the 1.8-metre surfboard dons the property’s iconic banana-leaf wallpaper on the front and signature green and white stripes on the back, making it a must-have accessory for West Coasters — whether they hit the waves or not.
Palace Hotel Tokyo
Guests who purchase the Adoring Tokyo package at the Palace Hotel Tokyo will get to take home the ultimate Japanese jewel: an akoya pearl, renowned for its near-perfect shape and beautiful shine. Travelers can choose to set their 8-mm pearl in a ring, a set of earrings, or a necklace. The package also includes a stay in either a Deluxe with Balcony guestroom or an Executive Suite, and a bottle of champagne upon arrival.
The Ritz London
Afternoon tea at the Ritz London’s Palm Court is a British institution filled with freshly baked scones, savory tea cakes, and, of course, Champagne (not to mention tea). Visitors who wish to take home the elegant ambiance and sophisticated style of this long-standing tradition can pack away a signature Ritz London China tea seat. The hotel’s two designs — the classic Ritz London turquoise and a floral forget-me-not design — are available as gift sets with two teacups and saucers and a matching tea strainer.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch’s Bachelors Lounge — a speakeasy-style cigar bar — recently partnered with Fumar Cigars to offer one of the most expensive cigars in the world: His Majesty’s Reserve Gurkha. This rare cigar is composed of 30-year-old tobacco, and the filler is seventh prime 27-year-aged Dominican. The entire cigar has been infused with a full shot of Louis XIII cognac. Only 300 boxes were made in 1999, the last of the original blend. Guests can smoke His Majesty’s Reserve at the lounge or bring one home to savor.
In this one-of-a-kind souvenir from Charleston’s the Restoration, guests can dream up, design, and ride off on a fully customised motorcycle hand-built by local craftsman Ivan Remus. The hotel’s Open Road project offers private consultations with Remus so guests can conceive their own dream bike. From there, Remus secures the base bike and parts to customise it, completing the project in anywhere from 4 to 9 months.
While a jar of preserves may be enough for some guests at Blackberry Farm, for others, nothing less than a new family pet will do. It’s easy to fall in love with the hotel’s truffle dogs — or Lagotto Romagnolos — which are bred on property and can be seen playing outside at the hotel. Those who purchase one of these curly-haired darlings are guaranteed a well-trained new best friend — all thanks to Blackberry’s dog trainer Jim Sanford, who teaches the pups basic skills and tricks before travelling in person to deliver them to guests. A favorite among animal owners, this program currently has a 3-year waiting list.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
Anyone who travels to Kyoto is bound to be swept away by the beauty of the Japanese city’s romance and ritual. Bringing a piece of it home is especially easy for guests who stay at the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, which offers the Kimono Experience, a package that invites guests to don a traditional kimono of their choice while staying at the hotel. As a keepsake, guests can also take home a yukata, a lightweight kimono worn during the warmer months.
The Resort at Pedregal
Mexico’s Resort at Pedregal is one of Los Cabos’ most romantic resorts, with 66 villas and suites featuring private terraces, plunge pools, and handcrafted furnishings. For couples who wish to take a bit of the resort’s magic home with them, the Pedregal offers the opportunity to commission custom handcrafted leather headboards, designed by artisans in Guadalajara. The beds are available in a variety of colors and designs, ensuring that Mexican spice stays with guests long after they have gone home.