Ever wish you could extend your vacation just a little bit longer? Perhaps taking the experience home with you would do just the trick!
The team at Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) has gone behind-the-scenes at a selection of properties within the portfolio to get insider tips and industry tricks from resident experts. From choosing art to complement a space to creating a home spa to creating stylish vase of flowers, here are a number of ways guests can recreate special hotel touches at home.
1. How to choose art to complement your space
– Janet Bao, General Manager, Pudi Boutique Hotel, Shanghai, China
“The moment they step into the lobby here at Pudi Boutique Hotel, guests feel as if they are staying in an art gallery. We mix oil paintings, wall decals, black and white prints, and sculptures from young Chinese artists with a modern style. The final result is totally showstopping. We actually get a lot of interest in our decor choices. Furthermore, guests may purchase the black and white prints and some of the other pieces of art and take them home to add to their own collection. A few tips when choosing art for your own home – choose a painting the width of your mattress to hang over your bed for dramatic effect in the bedroom – pick out colors from the painting in your cushions and bedding too. For example, if you’ve bought some new elephant-themed art prints, you might want to pair it with some grey cushions and bedding. This is just an idea though! It is worth investing in special lighting to highlight artwork. And I like to choose one color as a central theme and select pieces incorporating this color to draw the whole art collection together – at Pudi Boutique Hotel red copper is featured in most of our artwork to add a strong Shanghai feel.”
2. How to create your own home spa
“Home scrub for skin like velvet, it works! Mix up some medium coarse salt or sugar (sugar is milder in texture and better for sensitive skin), cover the sugar/salt in grape-seed oil and some lavender essential oil. After being in the warm to hot bath for five minutes, the skin has softened enough to scrub your legs arms and body as you bathe, the scrubbing circular action will remove dead skin and the oils will nourish, soothe and heal. Use with a loofah or exfoliating gloves. After the bath, shower with warm water to remove excess oils and pat dry, moisturize if necessary.
For a very gentle effective face peel; wash your face with a mild PH balanced cleanser. Mix fresh lemon juice with live natural unsweetened yogurt leave on your face for 15 minutes (avoid eye area) and gently wash your face. Use a gentle toner and apply moisturizer. Very deep cleansing – try this regime 3 times a week and see the difference.
Bring your spa to your bed – try adding lavender/rosewood to the final rinse in your wash cycle for your sheets!”
3. How to serve wine like a Sommelier
– Mark Severs, Restaurant Manager, Wentworth Mansion, Charleston, USA
“I have many guests order a bottle of wine that they are familiar with and have enjoyed at home. It is amazing how many times the guest will comment how much more pleasing the wine was here at the restaurant. There is infinitely more that goes into the tasting of wine than just the actual flavor – it’s the temperature, the stemware that it is served in and the feel it has on your hand, the visual presentation of the wine, the food you are enjoying with the wine, the surroundings in which the wine is being consumed, and the company that you are sharing.
The first step in wine presentation is making sure your bottle of wine is at the correct temperature. The temperature will be different for whites and reds, as well as for wines with different weights. Once the bottle is selected and you have the correct temperature, I like to present the bottle of wine. Tell your guest which wine you are serving, including the year. When pouring, twist the bottle about 180 degrees and wipe against a napkin so that no wine is spilled. For white wines, I will typically ask whether they would like the bottle kept on ice or on the table. Some of your heavier whites (chardonnay) will benefit from a little warmer temperature. Make sure you top up your guests’ glasses throughout the evening.”