10 over the top hotel trends

Long gone are the days when it was enough for hotels to win over travellers with the standard offerings of comfortable lodging: well-appointed rooms, a convenient location, reliable service and enticing dining and entertainment options. In an effort to attract today’s increasingly savvy traveller, some hoteliers are getting, shall we say, creative in their offerings. Here are ten of Travel & Leisure’s top hotel trends that have us scratching our heads.

Underwater speakers

Some hotels are attempting to draw business by offering swimming pools with underwater surround sound. While this may appeal to some swimmers, what if the music selection isn’t to your taste? Many guests may prefer some solitude and to swim in peace.

Statement beds

While the bed is arguably the most important part of a hotel room, is it really necessary to boast about headboards the size of billboards, mountains of pillows, platforms, footboards and so on? With all the added upholstery that needs to be removed, it makes it harder to do the main thing you bought the room for in the first place – sleep.

Outrageously high thread count sheets

While high thread counts are the biggest hype in the bedding world, there comes a point where that big number is just for show and doesn’t actually provide any added comfort. A 400 thread count sheet is generally thought to be the best option around, as anything higher is likely made of inferior fiber two-ply yarns that feel heavier.

Exposed bathrooms

Making guest rooms feel like luxury spas is all the rage, with some hotels even putting tubs in the middle of the room and adding glass walls. But what if you are sharing the room with a friend or co-worker? Awkward.



Cabanas used to be a cozy place to read or relax in the shade. The new version sees them as mini nightclub VIP rooms which can be rented at a premium price. Full bar and restaurant service is available 24 hours a day, along with wi-fi and widescreen televisions.


As if room service and housekeeping weren’t enough, some hotels are now offering up faux butlers and speciality concierges to do the basics for you. They will draw your bath, lay out your clothes, grill your dinner or even clean your sunglasses, depending on their speciality.

Pet pampering

It wasn’t long ago that you would struggle to find a hotel that even allows pets – now there are hotels that offer up plush pet bedding, treats, toys, pet room service menus that go far beyond kibble, and luxury spa services such as in-room doggie massages and pedicures.

Pillow menus

High-quality down pillows have always been the standard at a good hotel, with alternatives available for those with allergies — but now some hotels are offering up pillow menus just in case you’re in the mood for Tempur-Pedic pillows, body huggers, neck rolls or buckwheat-and-lavender-filled cushions.

Turndown poetry

Some hotels are upping the ante on the standard chocolate on the pillow by adding a card with a poem inside. Good idea – or trying too hard?

Bedside control units

While getting out of bed to close a curtain isn’t a problem for most folks, some hotels now offer the option of a bedside controller that allows you to stay in bed while operating the curtains, lights, temperature, television and music. Unfortunately, figuring out how to operate the controller usually takes much more time than getting up yourself to turn the lights off.

What do you think of these trends? Let us know in the comments!

Sources: Travel & Leisure, CNN

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/Ercan Sucek

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