Featured Gear Tips

7 Ways a Concierge Can Save Your Bacon

When you pay your room fee, you’re paying for every single amenity the hotel offers. Why not use them? Here are 7 things you can get at your hotel—if you just know to ask.

1. Laptops or tablets: If you happened to leave yours at home, you’re not out of luck — many hotels have a few they allow guests to borrow or rent. Ask your concierge what’s available. Naturally, you can always use the business center for free. A few very tech-friendly hotels, such as NYC’s Eventi, have even more up-to-date equipment, such as laptops with plug-in keyboards, Kindles and Nooks, digital cameras, and GoPros.

2. Chargers and cables: They’re one of the most common items left behind in hotel rooms, so even small hotels hang on to a few different varieties, and will let you borrow them free of charge.

3. Beach gear: Beach towels are generally already in your room when you check into a seaside location, but you’ll have to ask for the rest. Call the front desk or ask your concierge for hotel-furnished beach chairs, snorkel gear, beach toys, or boogie boards.

4. Hair tools: Every hotel room has a hair dryer, but at a growing number of chains, you can ask for a curling or straightening irons if you should want to give your child (or yourself!) a special style. Both Hyatt’s Hyatt-Has-It and Kimpton’s “Forgot It? We’ve Got It” amenities programs, for example, offer these to guests along with other sundries.

5. Yoga mats and classes: Hyatt-Has-It and “Forgot It? We’ve Got It” both offer free yoga mats to their guests, as does the wellness-centered EVEN brand of Intercontinental Hotels on the east coast. Some hotel chains, such as Kimpton, Westin, Affinia, and Peninsula Hotels, also offer free yoga classes in some locations to guests in need of some peaceful zen.

6. Gaming systems: If you have a child you can’t tear away from games, you won’t have to if you stay at one of the many chains that offer complimentary or by-the-hour rentals. At many hotels in the Loews, Embassy Suites, and Kimpton chains, gaming systems are in-room or available by request. Some Holiday Inn branches offer KidSuites, with bunk beds and ready-to-go game systems.

7. Baby gear: You probably already knew you could request a crib for your hotel room, but some chains go above and beyond in terms of outfitting traveling babies. Marrriott’s Tots Travel Too program offers parents bath toys, outlet covers, disposable bibs, and baby toiletries. Hyatt’s Babies Travel Lite and Wyndham’s Jet Set Babies allows parents to pre-order baby equipment like diapers and formula; whatever you order will be waiting in your room when you arrive.

More amenities your concierge might have:
Board games
Children’s books
Childproofing kits
Child-sized robes
Free kids’ snacks
Free tickets to family-friendly attractions
Record players
Special pillows