Top Hotel Toiletries

by Karen Kwan

Show of hands if you scoop up the toiletries when you stay in a hotel? Surely I can’t be the only one. I used to snap them up as a rule (the petite packaging make them perfect for travelling, and I especially appreciate the conditioner since European hotels never seem to supply it). But once I started travelling regularly, I became much more discerning about what toiletries I’d bring home.

Here are five great toiletries that are a nice little extra treat—and the hotels where you can find them.

L’Occitane en Provence at the Four Seasons

I covet all of the products from this French company, so was delighted to discover them in my room at the Four Seasons at Troon North in Scottsdale, Arizona. The hand cream is a beauty staple and the Shea Butter Extra Gentle Soap is subtly scented (hotels with their own soaps are often too heavily fragranced for my taste), feels fantastic on the skin, and lasts for ages. Best of all, there was a full-sized bath bar (score!) for the soaker tub—and, since I never used the tub, you can bet that bar went right into my suitcase.

Malin + Goetz at The Maritime Hotel

It’s been many years since I stayed at The Maritime and yet I still remember that this hotel stocks the bathrooms with this New York apothecary’s goods. I wasn’t even aware of the brand back then, but the simple packaging appealed to me and then I tried them and fell head over heels—I dare you to try the Peppermint Shampoo and not crave a mint Aero bar. Hotels always get bonus points in my book when they carry a cool brand of toiletries and, yes ma’am, the Maritime’s one of my faves in NYC.

Bliss Spa at the W

One whiff of Bliss Spa’s Lemon + Sage Soapy Sap shower gel, found at W Hotels, and I feel like I’ve been transported to the Big Apple (a.k.a. one of my favourite cities). The sleek and modern Bliss Spa was one of the first of its kind to make a name for itself for its exceptional products and treatments—one that, ages ago (before I started travelling regularly), I used to read about in fashion magazines and dreamed of going to one day. Ironically, I have yet to go to a Bliss Spa (must rectify that!), but I sure enjoy their refreshing bath goodies.

Cutler at the Gansevoort South

Hydrating moisturizers, avocado-oil bar soaps and superb hair products from Cutler (the salon with outposts in Miami and NYC) greeted me in my room at the Gansevoort South (which is now The Perry) in South Beach, Miami. And you know how important appearance is in South Beach—these products will help you freshen up so you’re ready to cruise Ocean Drive.

C.O. Bigelow at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

With perhaps the largest suite I’ve ever stayed in and paparazzi permanently at the hotel entrance (although I never did actually see any stars), the Roosevelt definitely had an air of glamour when I had the chance to stay there a couple of years ago. But never mind all that; what matters is that there are C.O. Bigelow products in the room. As a beauty junkie, scoring products from this New York apothecary is always a major score. How can you resist the old-fashion-style brown bottles? And I’m quite certain their lavender and peppermint shampoo is simply the best fragranced shampoo I’ve ever used—and I just realized that I’m all out. Note to self: pick some up in NYC ASAP (or book another stay at the Roosevelt!).