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Luxury hotels leaving surprising turndown treats on guest beds

Siwak is the nightly treat at Angsana Riads Collecton
Siwak is the nightly treat at Angsana Riads Collecton
Courtesy Angsana Riads Collection

Most hotel guests (the Diva included) love to find surprises on their bed when they return to their room after the maids have done their magical turndowns. Once during a stay at the Four Seasons Maui a gold necklace was placed on my pillow. Okay this was a special amenity as part of a writer’s visit, but it was a huge surprise. For years when staying at the Haleklulani in Waikiki sea shells were left on pillows along with a tiny orchid (things change so not sure whathttp://www.halekulani.com they do now).

Belmond Charleston Place honors their Colonial roots with a Southern favorite at turndown, the Benne Wafer.
Courtesy of Belmond Charleston Place

At the Boca Raton Resort and Club (now a Waldorf Astoria property) in Florida the maids would leave little gifts on the pillow and create art with the hotel robe and/or your night clothes if you left them visible. Then they would arrange your bathroom toiletries in a gorgeous display. They might still do this.

Savvy hotels throughout the world know that guests, especially women, get a thrill out of finding a gift on their bed, most leave mints of fine chocolates while some we discovered recently go out the box with:

A ‘Siwak’-- a branch of the tooth root tree which has been used through the ages as a traditional Arabian toothbrush. Guests at one of the six Angsana riads in Marrakech find these cultural icons on their pillow as a celebration of Moroccan history (more modern versions of toothbrushes are also available from the concierge team should a guest forget theirs). In 2014, guests can enjoy the 20th Anniversary Package at Angsana Riads Collection with a minimum stay of three consecutive nights including welcome cocktails, 20 percent off on food and beverage and a 90-minute spa treatment.

Golden Gate Bridge Delicacy: The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco wows guests with a its charming "Golden Gate Bridge" amenity of decadent house-made candy and confectionary alongside a bottle of champagne. It is one of many memories (#RCMemories) guests are invited to enjoy while staying at the hotel.

Signature Sweets: at the divinely decadently-opulent Signature Suites at La Mamounia, turndown treats include seasonal fruits and homemade Moroccan pastries displayed beautifully on special three-level and two level silver platters and a decadent chocolate bar. Champagne, mineral water, almond milk, orange juice and grapefruit juice with vanilla are also served. In addition, fresh white roses are placed in the room.

Tales from the Bush (nothing to do with our former President’s book about his dad): Belmond Safaris in Botswana offers treats for tots providing stories from the wild. Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge, Belmond Khwai River Lodge and Belmond Eagle Island Lodge each share a unique bedtime "Tale from the Bush" story filled with animals and wildlife created by Bontekanye Botumile, a descendant of a long line of storytellers. As the sun sets over the wilderness of Botswana, unwind with the kids in the luxurious lodges by learning about the sacred animals of Botswana, following the story of the village livestock and discovering the spirit of the Knob Thorn tree. Children can learn from the stories that are inspired by ancient beliefs, and continue the tradition of sharing the colorful tales.

Bene wafer on your pillow: At the Belmond Charleston Place (formerly an Orient-Express property before a name change) you will find a Benne Wafer on your pillow at night. It’s a sesame seed cookie named Bantu word for "sesame," which was brought from West Africa and planted extensively throughout the South. The toasted sesame seeds are mixed with brown sugar, flour, vanilla and other ingredients for a nut-like flavor. Served with coffee or just as a snack, the Benne Wafer is the perfect bedtime treat after a day of exploring the historic city.