Mary Thurwachter | Special to The Palm Beach Post
With the pandemic curbing travel plans during the past year, more folks have been opting for close-to-home getaways. Cool pools and luxurious accommodations with picturesque views and great restaurants are all part of the allure. But some hotels have come up with creative guest experiences to sweeten the deal.
Here are a few of them.
Be serenaded in your room with ‘Suite Sounds’
The W Fort Lauderdale found a way to turn up the volume on a staycation experience. The beachside hotel partnered with EntertainmentResource.net to offer a lineup of in-suite live experiences appropriately called “Suite Sounds.”
Guests choose from five musical experiences — a keyboardist, a DJ, saxophonist, acoustic guitar duo or a violinist. The performers give private concerts on the balcony overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or inside guest suites.
Depending on your vibe, the performances can be a rev-up for a wild night out on Las Olas or a romantic evening in. Tunes can be customized and all song requests are welcome.
Prices start from $350 for a 30-minute performance, with options to add a second performer for an added cost. Bottle service is also available for an extra charge.
Only those who book one of the W’s Oceanfront Suites are able to reserve the special in-room concerts. Reservations must be made a week in advance and the maximum number of people who can be in the suite during the performance depends on suite capacity. For details, visit www.wsuitesounds.com.
Book Butler thickens plot at The Ben
The Ben West Palm, an Autograph Collection Hotel, has a new amenity of great appeal to bibliophiles — a Book Butler who brings books to guest rooms from a specially curated in-room menu.
Launched in February, the service allows guests to order the book of their choice after simply dialing “0” from their in-room phone to connect with the Butler, who delivers the book to their room along with by a custom designed tasseled bookmark.
Readers with an appetite for a bit more than literature can order Book Bites, specially paired small plates.
Books are complimentary to guests, who may take them home after check-out or leave them as a donation to the West Palm Beach Library Foundation.
The program pays homage to the The Ben’s rich literary history. It also honors the late Byrd Dewey, whose fondness of storytelling is revealed through other touch points throughout the hotel, including literary-themed design elements, such as guestrooms that feature secret sliding bookcases.
The Ben opened a year ago but the late 19th century origins of the property have always been grounded in literature and storytelling. Byrd Spilman Dewey, an author and columnist, moved to South Florida in 1892 and lived in an estate originally named Ben Trovato, The Ben’s namesake and a term loosely derived from an Italian phrase meaning, “even if it isn’t true, it’s still a good story.”
The Book Butler amenity not only offers a glimpse into the rich, literary-inspired backstory of The Ben and its muse, Byrd Dewey, but also celebrates a local establishment through a partnership with the Palm Beach Book Store. For details, visit www.thebenwestpalm.com and thepalmbeachbookstore.com.
Speakeasy with a heart for bartenders
The Hyatt Centric Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale serves up an amenity worth toasting. The hotel, located in the city’s tallest building, turned one of its guest rooms into an intimate speakeasy. Access involves a reservation, a password and an unmarked key.
Inside Nine01— the name of the establishment (and the room number) — parties of up to six enjoy classic Prohibition vibes with bites and libations to match. A cocktail menu with drink names like “Late Check Out” and “The Butler Did It” is complemented by a roaring 1920s decor including bookshelves lined with vintage titles, a record player, plush velvet furniture, inspired playlists, antique artifacts and artwork.
A special feature of Nine01 is its bartender-in-residence program, which spotlights some of the best mixologists from across the country, many coming from bars closed or open with reduced hours due to the pandemic. Bartenders are flown in, provided with a room and earn wages and tips.
The menu for Nine01 showcases innovative flavors with dishes like mini Connecticut-style lobster rolls; roasted bone marrow with spicy pickled vegetables, peach and mango; and house fried potato chips tossed in duck fat and served with truffle crème fraiche.
There is a food and beverage minimum of $50 per person, with a one-hour minimum for 1-2 guests and a two-hour minimum for 3-6 guests. For details, visit www.Roomnine01.com.
Yoga, spa services and Happiness Boxes
Wellness and safety are at the forefront of a new amenity at Crane’s Beach House Boutique Hotel & Luxury Villas in Delray Beach. Called “Be Well,” the amenity is a customizable wellness program that provides guests the opportunity to reset their minds and bodies in a pretty tropical environment near the beach.
Offering a variety of spa treatments, yoga modalities, acupuncture services, health food options, and self-care products, the wellness program also features a menu of wellness options that can be experienced in-room in the privacy of one of its 28 suites and villas, or within the serene settings of the hotel’s lush courtyard.
To offer the services, Crane’s partnered with certified health and wellness providers in Delray Beach, Bella Reina Spa, yoga and meditation instructor Rose Bruce, acupuncturist, Dr. Tony WIlcox, and Loosen-Up massage therapy. A Wellness Concierge helps guests arrange appointments.
The in-room spa services are provided by Loosen-Up and include both Swedish and deep tissue massages. Off-property spa services are provided by wellness partner Bella Reina, who has created a custom menu of full day spa packages that include the Ocean Jasper Palm Massage, the Frangipani Coconut Pedicure and the Goji Papaya Facial.
Bella Reina’s Happiness Boxes, each containing a Coconut Lime Shower Bomb, Florida Fresh Mango Sea Salt Scrub, Dr. Grandel Hyaluron Ampoule, Biodroga De-Stress Relief Mask, SuperGoop Glow Screen SPF40, and a Lavender Restful Eye Pillow, were designed to rest, reset and restore the mind and body without leaving the comforts of a hotel suite.
Guests who want to incorporate a healthy diet into their wellness program will have options, including seasonal fresh fruit baskets and delivery from local organic, vegetarian or vegan restaurants.
Complimentary Stay Safely sanitation kits, which include two disposable face masks and one pair of single-use gloves, are given to each guest. For details, visit www.cranesbeachhouse.com