It’s Fabulous Friday again and today I want to bring up a topic that is often forgotten about when we talk about hotel minibars and room amenities: Coffee & Tea Sets and my favorite brands.
We often talk about amenities like free minibars at Intercontinental for Royal Ambassadors where some guests make it a habit of knocking themselves out with liqour minis, but sometimes you just appreciate a nice cup of coffee or tea.
I recently stayed at a Swissotel that had my favorite tea, TWG, stocked in the minibar for complimentary use. Given how expensive this tea usually is (especially in the textile bags) I was really surprised to see this at a Swissotel and it wasn’t even a suite, just an Executive Level room. Likewise at the new aloft Taipei Songshan which had 2 bags of TWG English Breakfast Tea in the rooms. A week later I stayed at the St. Regis Tianjin which served Lipton teabags. Go figure!
Mind you, these cups in the rooms are not always the cleanest so usually I order fresh coffee cups and hot water from room service (usually without charge). I just don’t trust these water boilers and coffee cups in the room.
The same goes for coffee as well. I tend to seek out LeMeridien Hotels more and more these days because of their Illy Coffee brand standard. I love Illy and even though I’m not an avid coffee drinker, when Illy is available in the room I usually have a cup. Especially if the hotel provides fresh milk in the mini bar and not the disgusting powdered creamers.
With all the complaining about hotels, sometimes I’m really positively surprised when going to a hotel such as aloft and find such high quality items in the room. I think this has a lot to do with expectation management, when you’re running a St. Regis and provide your guests the cheapest stuff don’t wonder if people revolt. Contrary, to have proper coffee and tea at a select service brand such as aloft really sets the property apart.