The Best Hotel Toiletries: Where to Try and Buy
Using hotel toiletries can often be a disappointing experience — the flimsy soaps dry out your skin, the shampoos leave your hair feeling greasy and only half-cleaned, and worst of all, you've never heard of half of the brands! However, there are some well-known companies that offer luxurious and effective travel-sized products at resorts and hotels around the world. After you enjoy the best shampoos, body lotions, and more, from top brands like Fresh, L'Occitane, and C.O. Bigelow, buy full versions for yourself online.
When we tried salon-staple Aveda’s Rosemary Mint Shampoo, we knew it stood out from regular hotel shampoos. The formula, which contains rosemary and peppermint, protects hair from damage while still giving it definition and body. Its energizing scent also makes it a great product with which to start your day. Use it in the morning and you'll be ready for a jam-packed day of sightseeing.
Salon staple Aveda offers its Rosemary Mint collection, which contains rosemary and peppermint to invigorate the hair and body. The shampoo, which is best for those with thin to normal hair, is supposed to defend strands against damage while still giving them definition and body. The scent alone might win some over.
Where to Try: Renaissance Hotels nationwide
Where to Buy: www.aveda.com; $13.50–$40 for full-size bottles from 8.5-oz to 1L
This line is the brainchild of celebrity hairstylist Julien Farel, whose past clients have included stars such as Kate Moss, Richard Gere, and Giuliana Rancic. The brand’s Vitamin Shampoo similarly aims high—the breakthrough Anti-Aging Balance Technology supposedly preserves color and brightens hues, while vitamins make strands more resilient against breakage.
Where to Try: Some Loews Hotels locations, including Loews Regency Hotel, New York
Where to Buy: www.julienfarel.com; $23 for a full 6.8-oz size
Named after William Beekman’s farm, built more than 200 years ago in Upstate New York, Beekman 1802 aims to use natural products and work with local farmers and artisans to produce its wares. (Its owners are travelers, too, having competed on CBS's The Amazing Race.) The company’s commitment to purity shows in its Fresh Air line, which was inspired by the simplicity of life in the countryside. The entire collection, which includes body lotion, shower gel, and even bath salts, has earned rave reviews online, but one of the clear standouts is its conditioner. The product’s formula is versatile and keeps hair smooth in the driest of New York winters and frizz-free during the hottest summer days. The faint citrus fragrance also makes it great for daily use.
Where to Try: Refinery Hotel and Algonquin Hotel, New York City; The Lenox Hotel, Boston
Where to Buy: www.beekman1802.cm; $7.50 for a full 8-oz. size
Caudalie’s story began in the vineyards of Bordeaux, France, and the product ingredients actually come from the grapevine where the company was established in 1995. The Fleur de Vigne Shower Gel, which has fruity notes like mandarin orange and grapefruit, and more musky scents like cedar, reflects the brand’s emphasis on the power of the outdoors. Its founders may have intended that the scent would linger even after a day of wine tasting, lounging at the beach, or even just walking around the city.Where to Try: The Plaza Hotel, New York City
Where to Buy: www.caudalie.com; $12 for a 200-ml size
From the fashion house that crafts sought-after handbags such as the Birkin, the Eau d'Orange Verte soap is classic French luxury in a refined, perfume-infused package. Formulated with the brand's acclaimed fragrance, it has an enticing scent, with woodsy and fruity notes. It may be too fragrant for some, but for those who enjoy scented bars, Hermès is not a bad place to start (especially on vacation).Where to Try: Some Sofitel hotel suites
Where to Buy: www.usa.hermes.com; $31 for a full 3.5-oz size
What makes it a must-have? An ultra-rich, shea butter-packed formula that leaves hands feeling incredibly moisturized without feeling the least bit greasy. Add in almond extracts and coconut oil, and it's the gold standard for hand creams everywhere.
Where to Try: Four Seasons Resorts nationwide
Where to Buy: www.usa.loccitane.com; $12–$28 for full 1-oz. and 5.2-oz. sizes
Being the oldest apothecary in America (it was founded in New York City in 1838), it’s not surprising that C.O. Bigelow knows its way around bath and body products. Its Lavender & Peppermint Body Lotion was actually such a hit at hotels around the country that the brand had to make the product available on its website. The lovely scent is calming yet fresh, and the formula is the perfect balance of thick and absorbent, so it moisturizes the skin without leaving any oily residue. It’s a great way to start and end the day.
Where to Try: Soho Grand, New York; The Press Hotel, Portland, Maine; Hotel Adagio, San Francisco; The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Where to Buy: www.bigelowchemists.com; $9–$12 for full-size bottles from 3.4-oz to 5.2-oz
Although Diptyque is most well-known for its candles, the brand is no slacker when it comes to face and body care either. Its body lotion exemplifies the company’s devotion to providing a fragrant, luxurious, yet simple experience for its customers. The lightweight formula quickly sinks in, leaving behind only supple skin and a refreshing aroma of orange blossoms.
Where to Try: Select Mandarin Oriental hotels, including Boston and Taipei
Where to Buy: www.diptyqueparis.com; $58 for a full 6.8-oz size
Where to Try: Hotel Commonwealth, Boston; Morgans Hotel Group properties, including Clift San Francisco and Delano South Beach, Miami
Where to Buy: www.malinandgoetz.com; $74 for a full 16-oz. size
Where to Try: W Hotels nationwide
Where to Buy: www.blissworld.com; $24 for 6.6 oz.
It makes sense that hotels would stock Molton Brown’s Sleep: Cedrus Temple Soother to help their guests get a night's rest. It's meant to be applied to the temples, and it gives off an aroma to aid relaxation. Moroccan cedrus oil, Bulgarian lavender, and sweet orange oil are the secret ingredients, and they're ones that you might not find in other products.Where to Try: The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York City
Where to Buy: www.moltonbrown.com; $27 for 0.3 oz.
All three brands offer the basics: shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and shower gel, however, each is unique. Aromatherapy Associates offers products with essential oils and natural ingredients, Chinese fashion brand Shanghai Tang's items are luxurious, infused with its signature Mandarin Tea fragrance, and Tara Smith Vegan Hair Care's formulas are 100% vegan and all-natural.
A standout product is the Refinery Revitalising Moisturizer from Aromatherapy Associates' men's skincare line. It's packed with anti-aging ingredients, plus sandalwood and vitamins C and E to bring hydration and moisture to the skin.
Where to Try: Conrad Hotels & Resorts worldwide
Where to Buy: www.aromatherapyassociates.com; $65 for 50 ml