PHOTO: 7 hotel lotions to stash in your carry-on bag. (Photo by Scott Laird)
For bath & body addicts, hotel lotions are irresistible. They’re travel-sized, generally good quality (commensurate with that of the hotel), typically unique to the property or the hotel brand, and fragrant, which evokes reminders of the hotel and destination.
I’ve amassed a sizable collection of hotel lotions during my travels. Not only is it handy to have lotion in your carry on to combat dry aircraft cabin air, but it’s also soothing to create a lovely little envelope of comfort and fragrance for yourself when you’re traveling (provided you don’t apply liberally enough to intrude on other travelers’ space).
Here’s a list of several “pinch-worthy” hotel lotions from around the world to slip into your carry-on the next time you travel.
Palo Santo, Virgin Hotels, Chicago
Palo Santo is the unisex fragrant designed exclusively for Virgin Hotels by Red Flower. The fragrance is found only in their hotels and nowhere else and has woody notes (palo santo means “tree of life” or “holy wood” depending on how you translate). The fragrance is also used in public rooms at the Virgin Hotel, so an application of this lovely lotion will immediately take you back to your visit.
Koke‘e Body Cream by Malie, The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Honolulu
Malie products are made with botanicals from the Garden Isle of Kaua‘i, and while most fragrances in use at hotels and resorts throughout the 50th state tend to have floral notes, the Koke‘e fragrance evokes the fresh mountain air of its namesake rainforest high in the mountains of Kaua‘i with notes of the lush green maile vine. Malie products can be purchased at the Royal Hawaiian, or at select retailers in Hawai‘i and on the Mainland.
‘Aina Plumeria & Awapuhi Moisturizer, The Four Seasons Resort Lana‘i, Lana‘i
Plumeria and Awapuhi are some of the most utterly sumptuous fragrances of Hawai‘i; their combination is a blend truly fit for ali‘i – royalty. The lotions are made with kukui nuts grown on Lana‘i for a bath product that comes from the land, or aina. The products can be found at the beautiful Four Seasons Resort on Hawai‘i's most intimate island. Guests can contact the property directly to purchase replacements when their suitcase samples run out—or better yet, return for another stay.
White Tea Aloe Body Lotion, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide
Westin Hotels & Resorts was among the first major hotel chains to embrace the evocative properties of fragrance, selecting their now signature fragrance over a decade ago after an exhaustive search to find a fragrance that would feel “at home” in both urban and resort properties around the globe. The longevity of the fragrance and its popularity in retail sales through Westin’s Hotels at Home retail outlet is a testament to the allure of this exotic yet familiar fragrance blend.
Shanghai Tang Mandarin Tea Body Lotion, Mandarin Oriental, Miami
The Chinese luxury brand Shanghai Tang has a single U.S. location—the spectacular lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Miami. Fans of Mandarin Oriental know that each hotel selects bath products to fit the tone and tenor of their individual location, and the Miami property has looked to Shanghai Tang and their Mandarin Tea fragrance, with crisp citrus and rich tea notes infused into a buttery lotion that you’ll agonize over using sparingly for preservation or liberally for total nirvana.
Atelier Bloem Kadota Fig Body Lotion, Kimpton Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide
It’s easy to come out of bathrooms at Kimpton Hotels smelling like a garden party, with bath and body fragrances ranging from floral to woody to fruity. A fine blend of several fragrance notes is the Kadota Fig body lotion, which also contains hints of lemon, tuberose, sweet almond, olive and white fig, for an olfactory envelope that is utterly Mediterranean in character. Hotel Van Zandt, Austin.
Asprey Purple Water Body Lotion, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Worldwide
This spicy citrus scent almost smells like money and is synonymous with the luxury brand The Ritz-Carlton. It’s even available for purchase in the Ritz-Carlton store or directly from Asprey, the famed London luxury goods purveyor. In addition to body lotion, the fragrance is available in a full line of products, from cologne to home fragrance, but the products in guest rooms and suites are conveniently travel-sized.