Hotels have a ton of free amenities just waiting for the travellers savvy enough to ask for them.
Since many of these items aren’t found in the rooms themselves, guests often don’t even realise they’re available.
We asked representatives from Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels and Resorts to help us put together a list of free amenities you should ask for on your next trip.
It turns out you can often get everything from GoPro camera rentals to curling irons sent straight to your room — free.
Talia Avakian contributed reporting on a previous version of this article.
Phone chargers and adapters
If you forgot your phone charger or just don’t have the proper adaptor, check with the hotel’s front desk; they will often lend out their extras.
Participating hotels include the Sheraton Puerto Rico, which recently launched its Energizer Butler program that provides complimentary chargers for a variety of mobile devices. Ditto for Kimpton and Hyatt hotels.
Some hotels have been trying out pillow menus that allow guests to select their preferred pillows based on their level of firmness, shape, and suitability for sleeping habits.
Some help decrease snoring, while others were basically made for a lazy morning in bed. Conrad Hotels offer guests the option to select from their extensive pillow menu or even pre-book their favourites though the mobile concierge app. Acqualina Resort & Spa also offers the service free.
Curling irons and straightening irons
For ladies who forgot to pack a straightening or curling iron, several hotels will have them on hand. Hyatt hotels, Kimpton hotels, and the W Paris-Opéra include these items in their list of complimentary amenities available on request.
Rent a high-quality vehicle free of charge. Thompson Chicago has a partnership with Lexus that allows guests to test-drive an LS 460 luxury sedan, an LX 570 eight-passenger luxury SUV, or an IS 350 convertible for up to four hours.
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa offers three Porsche models — the 911 convertible, the Panamera Hybrid, and the Cayenne GTS — that guests can use for up to four hours after submitting a request to the bellman.
At the Beverly Wilshire, a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce Phantom is available for guests on a first-come, first-served basis from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Guests can take the car anywhere within a three-mile radius.
For those who like to get a workout in while travelling, several hotels have complimentary yoga mats you can rent and use right in your room. Hyatt hotels, Affinia hotels in New York City and Washington, DC, and the W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island are a few of the hotels who offer the mats free.
A sewing kit can be your best friend when clothing tears or a button falls off. Thankfully, hotels often keep sewing kits on hand. Hotels that have complimentary sewing kits include the W South Beach, the W Retreat & Spa on Vieques Island, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, and Casa Marina.
Some hotels also offer complimentary Kindle readers that can be used for free in the hotel. Trump Soho, Revere Hotel Boston Common, and The James New York are a few of the hotels where complimentary Kindle use is offered poolside during the summer.
Toothpaste and mouthwash
Basic toiletries like mouthwash and toothpaste can often be requested from hotels. Conrad Hotels and Waldorf Astoria hotels both provide this complimentary service, as well as Best Western and many others. You’ll also often find shaving cream and floss.
Nail polish remover
Maybe your nail polish chipped during the trip, or maybe you just didn’t have time to remove it before leaving. Either way, the problem can be solved with complimentary nail-polish-remover wipes. They are usually available on request at Affinia hotels, Omni hotels, and Wyndham hotels.
Resealable plastic travel bags
Instead of packing all of your child’s toys during your next trip, try asking for new ones when you check in. Many hotel chains offer children’s amenities that range from crayons and discover maps to bathtub toys.
As part of a guest experience program introduced in 2015, guests at 17 Marriott hotels in the Caribbean and Latin America can rent out GoPro cameras to take on their adventures.
When in need of extra outlets, an extension cord is your best bet. Instead of packing one yourself, simply ask for it during your next check-in, as some hotels will have them on hand. The Hilton West Palm Beach and Kimpton hotels are among those hotels.
Many hotels carry board games that are available for guests upon request. Request board games to your room at Dorchester Collection hotels and the Corinthia Hotel, or participate in board game competitions at resorts like
Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort.
In addition to yoga mats, there’s a variety of workout gear available to be borrowed from hotels. For example, Westin hotels have partnered with New Balance to offer guests shoes and clothing that cost a flat $5 for your entire stay. Simply request your shoe and clothing size, and they will be delivered to your room.
Hyatt hotels provide free weights to guests, and Hilton Garden Inn offers its complimentary Stay Fit Kit, which includes a Pilates band, yoga mat, straps, abs ball, three-pound hand weights, and a resistance rope.
Certain resorts will host special events and even plan complimentary courses for guests. Keep an eye out, and ask the hotel concierge about opportunities you can take advantage of.