Guests have come to expect several standard amenities when they check into a hotel. But several properties offer unique amenities that make meetings, events and hotel stays especially memorable.
From classic hotel elements that promote mindfulness to fun group activities that promote team-building, these hotels and resorts have kicked up their amenity offerings to provide unique guest experiences.
The Adolphus Hotel, Dallas
Guests at The Adolphus Hotel in Dallas can access a barbershop right in the hotel lobby. It opened in May, part of a massive renovation of the 106-year-old hotel.
The business represents a partnership between The Adolphus and Brass Tracks, an Oak Cliff-based barbershop.
Guests can enjoy the barbershop’s specialty straight-razor shaves, trims and pompadours. The barbers use a variety of unique grooming products, including Brass Tack’s signature Easy Rider Beard Oil, a bergamot-scented oil that helps to detangle, soften and moisturize.
Offering barbershop services to hotel guests has two key benefits for The Adolphus. First, the barbershop has allowed the hotel to position the lobby as a central gathering place. Second, the new amenity also attracts customers to The Adolphus who are not hotel guests.
Four Seasons Hotel Houston
Guests at the Four Seasons Hotel Houston can now enjoy playing some of the world’s most famous golf courses without ever having to leave the city.
The hotel was the world’s first location to add a Topgolf Swing Suite, a virtual simulator that allows guests to play courses like Pebble Beach and St. Andrew’s from one of two simulator bays. The Four Seasons added the Topgolf Swing Suite to its lobby in January 2017 as part of its lobby renovation.
Though several Topgolf Swing Suites have opened since, there are currently only two locations in Texas. The other location is 5 Under Golf Center in Beaumont.
The addition of the virtual simulator allows the hotel to achieve its vision of creating “Houston’s Living Room,” says Tom Segesta, general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Houston.
“We wanted to have an engaging, energetic space where you can gather with family, friends and coworkers in a living room where you share the day’s activities and create memories over food and drink,” Segesta says.
In addition to offering virtual golfing, the suites can simulate carnival games, baseball pitching and zombie dodgeball. Up to 16 people can play golf at a time, and up to 40 people can hang out in the area to watch the games and enjoy food and drink from the hotel restaurant Bayou & Bottle.
For guests who want more of a workout, the hotel’s massage and fitness center (also renovated in 2017), offers 30-minute soccer workouts taught by Michael Chabala, a former professional soccer player who played for the Houston Dynamos.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
Looking for new ways to inspire collaboration and teamwork amongst your group members?
The JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa has some unique ideas, from coordinating a catapult launch to flying a drone through an obstacle course.
In the resort’s “Fire It Up Catapult Launch,” teams construct a working catapult that will launch tomatoes or eggs. Teams get two opportunities to put their catapults to the test. In the first, guests launch eggs or tomatoes for distance using a measurement grid. The second test focuses on accuracy, requiring teams to launch objects into various-sized containers at different distances.
In “Game of Drones,” teams are introduced to flying a drone and must pass a series of “basic training” events before the real drone racing may begin. Team members are each given a different role and are prompted to fly the drone through different areas of the obstacle course. Guests can then race their drones head-to-head or compete in a timed event. The JW Marriott offers videography for the event as an optional add-on.
For groups that want to take on a gauntlet of challenges, the JW Marriott offers a Rodeo Olympics, including horseshoe tossing and 9-feet-tall-by-9-feet-wide hamster ball races.
Lake Austin Spa Resort
Booklovers and guests looking to unwind will enjoy Lake Austin Spa Resort’s multiple lending libraries on the property.
Guests can explore multiple spaces including the Garden Library, which overlooks the resort’s expansive gardens, the Living Room library and the Lake Room library.
Each space offers couches and soft seating to sink into, plus gorgeous views of Lake Austin and the surrounding property. In addition to the resort’s interior rooms, guests enjoy grabbing one of the outdoor hammocks to crack open a new book.
The libraries fit with the 40-room resort’s overall atmosphere, says Jeff Holland, director of sales and marketing.
“When our owner took this place over, he wanted it to have the feeling and warmth of what it would be like at a lake house, instead of an opulent hotel,” Holland says.
Each of the libraries offer an eclectic collection of books. Some are written by Austin authors or feature local history, flora or fauna. Others are New York Times bestsellers or cookbooks. Although the books move around the resort as guests borrow and return them, the Lake Room library is especially nature-driven, given its location overlooking a bird sanctuary.
When guests tear themselves away from reading, they can take part in an array of outdoor activities on or near the water. Groups can take part in team-building activities, or even have a quick meeting or meal on large paddleboards that can accommodate up to 10 people.