The Mail Bag: Little Bottles of Soap!
We here in Travel Central get innumerable packages, envelopes, postcards, notes on carrier pigeons, etc., and I never fail to be amazed at the lengths to which some folks go to to get our attention.
That brings me to last week's delivery from Starwood Hotels & Resorts of a package touting Sheraton's new bath line. Don't get me wrong: I'm pro-bath. Dig showers. Love that just-washed smell.
But I really question the amount of money that went into this thing: a foot-long wooden crate about six inches high that contained a messy heap of faux grass, a loofah, a tangerine, a sprig of mint stuck in a hydration tube and hotel-room size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and lotion. A swoony press release announced that Sheraton's new signature room amenities, "Shine" (a combo of mandarin and mint), is "one component of a larger effort to revitalize the guest experience at Sheraton's 408 hotels."
I mean, who would take the bait and spread the news about this sort of thing? Oh. Never mind.
It did bring up a bigger question, though: Does anybody care? Does anybody really choose a hotel by its bathroom amenities? Would you go to a Sheraton over a Marriott because you didn't dig the bath gel?
I imagine I'm like many travelers in that I just use whatever is in the room. I rarely travel with my own shampoo or bath gel anymore -- just not enough room for it in that little clear plastic bag that I have to show to the TSA at security. So I depend on the kindness of hotels to provide for me when I arrive.
(And am I the only one tempted to grab a few extra shampoos every time I see that lonely maids cart in the hallway? I never do -- really! -- but, man, there's always a part of me that says I should have some extra on hand just in case.)
So, good luck to Sheraton, and thanks for that sprig of mint. I'm just wondering what sort of results you'll have.
Anyone care to share whether they've helped themselves to that cart in the hallway? I won't say anything. And would you go to a hotel because the shampoo smells minty?
And while we're at it:
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