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Surprising Bedtime Treats Delivered at Hotel Turndown Time

Surprising Bedtime Treats Delivered at Hotel Turndown Time


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Hotels are serving more than a piece of chocolate with extraordinary nightly turndown services

Turning in for the night is a routine activity at most hotels, many of which mark the moment with a ubiquitous piece of chocolate placed on the pillow-top during nightly turndown service. But the simple slumber-time sweets may soon be passé, as more and more hotels are offering extraordinary bedtime treats during nightly turndown services.

See Surprising Bedtime Treats Delivered at Hotel Turndown Time Slideshow

While the origin of the nightly turndown ritual is challenging to pinpoint, the custom of placing chocolate on hotel pillows is said to have begun when actor Cary Grant used chocolate to woo a woman during a stay at the The Roberts Mayfair in St. Louis.

From cookies and milk and bedtime stories for younger guests at the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, N.H., to custom cocktails for couples at Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro in Chicago, these pleasing pillow-top treats are sure to delight travelers young and old.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.


WHAT'S NEXT CRAFTS, SCENTS AND SNACKS

At the Ana Mandara Resort in Nha Trang, Vietnam, stirring sticks and napkin rings made from local coconut wood greet guests at bedtime. At the five-month-old Amanwella Resort in Tangalle, Sri Lanka, turndown gifts, below, include seashells, cinnamon bark and microseed bracelets.

"Each of our gifts helps a family less fortunate than ourselves," Amanwella's manager, François Richli, said of the souvenirs, which are made by communities affected by the tsunami in December.

Starting last spring, the Lajitas Resort, near the Big Bend National Park in West Texas, has eased guests into slumber with sachets of locally grown fresh herbs. At the Renaissance Westchester Hotel in White Plains, guests get a one-ounce tin of Badger Sleep Balm. To satisfy the desire for midnight munchies, many hotels offer snacks that go above and beyond the boring truffle. The W Hotel in Sydney puts Jujubes on pillows, and the W Mexico City offers a local nightcap: a minibottle of tequila.

At the Eden Roc Renaissance Resort & Spa in Miami Beach, candies like Smarties, Bit-O-Honey and Pixie Stix reflect the hotel's retro vibe.

At a handful of hotels, the turndown treat has migrated to the bathroom. Since mid-June, the W Hotel in San Francisco has left mini GoSMILE teeth-whitening ampoules and toothpastes on vanities, and Shutters on the Beach has stuck "Me Time" lists on bathroom mirrors, offering activities ranging from rides on the Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel (free) to surfing lessons ($150). The mirror is a better gift than a pillow, said Armella Stepan, a hotel vice president : "It's there when you brush your teeth in the evening and first thing in the morning." JENNIFER TUNG


Matzo brei is a Jewish staple that mixes scrambled eggs and French toast.

Matzo brei is essentially scrambled eggs with pieces of matzo thrown in. The key to a good brei is rinsing the matzo under some cool water so it's soft by the time you add it to your pan.

Once added in, the butter and eggs coat the matzo in a similar style to French toast. It's great with salt and pepper but sprinkling sugar on top is also a tasty way to enjoy the dish.

This simple recipe from The New York Times' Melissa Clark will have you cooking up matzo brei in no time.


Paris Hotel Offers the Fanciest Mini Bars in the World — and Everything’s Free for Guests

Fauchon L'Hotel brings all of the fine French brand's renowned luxury touches to your suite.

Even the staircase is a work of art.

Hot pink accents are inspired by the brand's classic chocolate boxes.

The Gourmet Bar sits pretty in every single suite.

The bubbly is an effervescent touch.

The hotel will pack up any goodie you don't finish on your trip.

The suites are truly stunning.

The views are unparalleled.

The decor is oh so striking.

T he Fauchon Paris brand is most commonly known as a premier breeding ground for luxury chocolate, food and delicatessen goods.

Settled cozily in the La Madeleine neighborhood in Paris, the Fauchon shop buzzes with travelers and locals alike, hoping to spy the magic trickling out of the shiny boxed chocolates, adorned with a crisp pink bow.

Or perhaps spy the pastry chef hand-crafting a batch of fresh macarons. Think of a fancy, French Whole Foods. And then take that up a notch. If a Texan ventures to Paris, it’s likely a Fauchon box of chocolates or cookies will journey back with them through customs when arriving state-side.

Since the inception of the brand in 1868, Fauchon has been a curator of talent to share the excellence of French cuisine globally. More than 150 years later, the brand is acclaimed the world over and available in stores on a multitude of continents, including Asia and South America.

The French brand decided to expand its expertise to the luxury hotel space in September 2018. It opened its first hotel, Fauchon L’Hotel, set in Place de la Madeleine, a stone’s throw from its Paris store.

The Fauchon brand’s legacy as innovators of fine Parisian gastronomy leans on its pillars of service excellence, decadent gourmet cuisine, luxurious five-star hospitality and tailor-made local experiences in cities around the world. That is all embodied in its first hotel.

From the minute guests step foot in the lobby, they are greeted with a living room setting and freshly baked macarons for the taking. From that moment on, this decadent hotel feeds guests every chance it can, with anything but the usual mini bar in each of the 54 rooms.

They are officially dubbed Gourmet Bars, and we really mean the fanciest chest of delectable goodies you can imagine. Each Gourmet Bar is nestled amidst a custom pink armoire, with many doors and drawers for guests to be surprised and delighted. The hotel staff even offers Gourmet Bar customization, according to preferences: salty, sweet or tasting — a combination of the two.

Be sure to discover the drinks cabinet of the towering pink chest. There you’ll delightfully stumble upon wine, spirits, champagne, water, juices and soft drinks.

The best part by far? It’s all free for hotel guests. Restocked daily, there are more than 150 Euros of products in each room, including Fauchon champagne, foie gras, macarons and other assorted treats.

The Gourmet Bar sits pretty in every single suite.

No one ever looks forward to bedtime in Paris more than a Fauchon L’Hotel guest. And what you don’t consume during your stay, the luxury hotel team will pack up for you to take home.

As if the treasure trove of snacks and sips wasn’t enough to make the trip to Paris worth it, the amenities don’t stop with your taste buds.

The hotel also offers a pillow menu, to accommodate any type of sleeper, as well as nightly surprises at turndown. We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but you may find a night mask just in time for tuck-in.

No Ordinary Paris Hotel

Hotel guests will notice the common thread of brand resemblance from the Fauchon shop to the hotel rooms.

The pink and black palette serves as the tapestry for the entire French brand footprint, mixing contemporary and classicism to represent the epitome of Parisian charm.

In the guest rooms and suites, the design alternates between powder-pink velvet accessories with straight curves and rock variations, black herringbone floors and carefully restored French shutters. And some of the guest rooms and suites even have city views that include looks at the Eiffel Tower.

One never forgets their sweet stay at Fauchon L’Hotel. Especially one’s stomach.


Mansion Superior Room

Immerse yourself in the cozy comfort of one of our Superior rooms. With king or queen-sized beddings and views of Lake Toxaway Mountain and the championship croquet lawns, each room has its own special character. The combination of intimacy, personalized service, and attention to detail makes for a truly unique luxury hotel experience.

Room amenities include a feather-top mattress and feather pillows, complimentary high-speed internet access, television, iron and ironing board, hair dryer and two plush bathrobes.

Guests in our Superior Rooms must be comfortable walking up a flight of stairs. Lakeside Suites and entry level Hillmont rooms do not require stairs.


How to Use Guest Welcome Packs to Improve Your Bookings

A welcome basket will not only impress your current guests, but it will also entice other potential visitors to book your vacation rental home. When travelers are looking to book a vacation rental home, they often rely mostly on other travelers’ reviews. When you take the time to include small, complementary items in your vacation rental welcome package, you will find that your ratings will go up.

Guests feel like you’ve taken a personal interest in their comfort and that you are going the extra mile to make sure they have an enjoyable vacation. They will include these small gestures in their reviews, and other guests will be more likely to book with you.

You should also include the vacation rental welcome basket in the description and photos of your property. Potential guests will see the pampered treatment they could receive if they stay at your property versus your competitors. So once you have included a welcome package, don’t forget to add it to the list of amenities you offer and include it in your photo gallery to get the best results.


4 - Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate? Isn’t that better for you than milk chocolate? Doesn’t it contain antioxidants and magnesium, an essential mineral for sleep and your mood? Yes, dark chocolate is definitely a better option than its milkier counterpart, and I’d definitely recommend munching on it as a snack….during the day.

Tucking into a bar of dark chocolate before bed, on the other hand, is different. While raw chocolate made using cacao might be rich in nutrients, it also contains caffeine. In fact as the percentage of cacao increases, so too does the caffeine intake with a 1.5 ounce serving of 80% cacao chocolate providing around 40mg-75mg, which is quite impressive when you consider that coffee contains between 100-300mg of caffeine per 8 ounces. 4

So while it is definitely a delicious and nutritious alternative to conventional chocolate, just make sure you keep it away from your bedtime routine!


What does the Queen eat for breakfast?

Did you know that the monarch enjoys a pre-breakfast each day? We're so copying this.

House and Garden reported that the Queen starts her day with Earl Grey tea &ndash minus milk and sugar &ndash and a side of biscuits alongside her corgis. She then takes her main breakfast in her private dining room in Buckingham Palace cereal, yoghurt, toast and marmalade are said to be the mother-of-four's favourites.

The Queen also likes fish for breakfast, as revealed in Dinner at Buckingham Palace, a book based on the diaries and personal recollections of royal servant Charles Oliver. An extract told how the Queen "has been partial to kippers since the war years" when she and Princess Margaret were at Windsor Castle.

"Kippers, in a number of uncomplicated variations, have remained a favourite with the Queen ever since &ndash for breakfast, as a savoury or a late-night supper. The queen is also fond of smoked haddock as a breakfast dish."


Hana Momiji Sapporo Hotel 花もみじ

Our stay at Jozankei Onsen was at the Hana Momiji Sapporo Hotel. It is a large hotel with updated interiors and offers many amenities for guests.

Unlike standard hotels, hot spring hotels (called ryokans) are meant to rejuvenate their guests – heal the body and mind by bathing in hot springs, eating delicious and nutritious food, and enjoying delightful tea and treats.

At Hana Momiji Sapporo Hotel, they generously offered complimentary coffee, tea, manju snacks, and wine in the lobby lounge for guests.

Hana Momiji special manju for guests

complimentary tea and drink station

Onsen – Japanese Hot Springs

If you’re not familiar with onsen, we have a detailed post on Japanese hot spring etiquettes and popular onsens throughout Japan.

Staying at a hot springs hotel is an interesting and unique experience and one of our family’s favorite things to do in Japan.

sign for bath option including private baths

massage chair for guests

Hotel Room at Hana Momiji

We booked a standard room that’s set up like most typical ryokan hotel rooms. It had a main tatami sitting/sleeping area and sitting space with two chairs next to the windows. At night, the tatami area is converted for sleeping with futons. This is usually done while guests are eating dinner.

After arriving in the room in a ryokan, guests are served green tea and a small snack. On the table was a small steamer with warm manju inside waiting for us!

warm manju inside steamer

After snacking and drinking tea, it’s off to bath time and then dinner!

view of hotel garden from the room

Kaiseki Meal

One of the biggest highlights at any ryokan stay is the dinner meal. The meal is usually a kaiseki meal showcasing seasonal local ingredients.

Not knowing what will be served, there’s always a surprising element to Kaiseki. And we love it when our expectations for the meal are exceeded. At Hana Momiji Sapporo Hotel, the standard meal was very luxurious compared to most ryokans.

It featured Hokkaido’s famous seafood such as crabs, uni, and abalone.

appetizers

shrimp and assorted sashimi

crab legs

Our dinner was phenomenal and we couldn’t wait to eat the fabulous Hokkaido food for the remainder of our visit.

beef for grilling

abalone in clear soup

simmered vegetables

Book with the hotel directly

Getty Images

Hotel booking websites, like TripAdvisor and Hotels.com, are an easy online way to figure out which hotels in your price range have open rooms. But once you’ve decided where to stay, book directly with the hotel. For one thing, most hotel inspectors book directly. You might be flagged as a hotel critic or writer and be given special treatment. Note that hotel inspectors are actually trained to look for special treatment, and we might abandon an inspection if we think we’ve been flagged by staff. After all, we’re trying to figure out how hotels actually treat real guests. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cash in on a suite upgrade or complimentary bottle of Champagne.

More importantly, third-party booking sites usually get the worst and tiniest rooms – the rooms that haven’t yet been renovated or are located near the noisy ice machine. Hotels usually keep the best rooms for themselves to sell directly to guests. If you find a great deal on a third-party booking site, the hotel will often price match it to keep your business with them directly.

Accountability is also important. If something goes wrong, like the need to cancel or change the dates of stay, the hotel is way more likely to work with you to find a solution or reschedule for the same price if you’ve booked with them. There are lots of third-party hotel booking reservation horror stories out there.


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