I’m not talking about hotels that cater to business travelers, with rooms replete with printers and a Starbucks squarely planted in the lobby. Those hotels are great, too, but I don’t have a deep longing to be transported to them.
Last year, I spent three out of every four weeks in those kinds of hotels traveling for work. Although they all excel at what they do, I’d rather be home if possible. I’m talking about the most fantastic, continuously top-ranked, luxury properties in the world, which folks voluntarily travel thousands of miles to. The kinds of places where you hope no business center exists and where your cellphone doesn’t get a signal.
Unquestionably, there is something magically relaxing about stepping into a room, or sometimes a villa, at one of these top-tier properties. They’ve figured out the simple but worthwhile elements that make it feel like you’re getting a visual massage when you step into your quarters.
A little more than a week ago, I returned from three such properties all located in various parts of Thailand, where I observed firsthand how they instantaneously unwind tired guests with what goes into their rooms. These easy-to-implement elements below might not push off your desire for an early spring, but they will certainly get you closer to making your home feel as relaxed as a five-star resort:
1. Place a bowl of fresh fruit in your bedroom or living room: At every property visited, fruit was abundantly displayed in the main living space. Putting fruit in a bowl is nothing new to most people’s kitchens, but moving that bowl of fruit into the living room, family room or bedroom sitting area somehow creates a warm ease in those spaces.
2. Forgo bath mats for a beautiful rug runner: Of course it’s true that most bath mats can be tossed into the washer and dryer, but they often look it, too. Consider a lush rug runner instead. It delivers so much more bang for the buck in the looks department, and a good rug runner actually gets better-looking with age. At the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, every bathroom is outfitted with exotic tribal runners that you’d normally see in high-end residential hallways but add a special touch of unexpected luxury in front of their bathroom vanities. Every time I brushed my teeth it felt special!
3. Transfer your bath/shower toiletries into attractive dispensers: No matter how great your shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and other bathroom essentials are, the plastic bottle packaging probably isn’t the most attractive part of your bathroom. At the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, contents are transferred into attractive dispensers that enhance the overall visual appeal of the bathroom.