The Best Hotel Toiletries: Where to Try and Buy
Updated August 5, 2019
Using hotel toiletries can often be a disappointing experience—the flimsy soaps dry out your skin, the shampoos leave your hair looking flat, and the hand lotion smells like cheap perfume. However, there are some well-known companies—like Fresh, L'Occitane, and C.O. Bigelow—that offer luxurious and effective travel-size products at resorts and hotels around the world. Here's where to try them out and buy full versions for yourself online.
When we tried salon staple Aveda’s Rosemary Mint shampoo, we knew it stood out from regular hotel products. The formula protects hair from damage while still giving it definition and body. The energizing scent alone might be enough to win you over.
Where to try: Renaissance Hotels nationwide
Where to buy: www.aveda.com
This line is the brainchild of celebrity hairstylist Julien Farel, who has tended the famous tresses of stars such as Kate Moss, Richard Gere, and Giuliana Rancic. The brand’s Vitamin Shampoo features "Anti-Aging Balance Technology" that supposedly preserves color and brightens hues, while vitamins make strands more resilient against breakage.
Where to try: some Loews Hotels locations, including the Loews Regency New York Hotel
Where to buy: www.julienfarel.com
Named after William Beekman’s farm, built more than 200 years ago in upstate New York, Beekman 1802 uses natural products, often provided by local farmers and artisans. The company’s Fresh Air line was inspired by life in the countryside. The entire collection, which includes body lotion, shower gel, and bath salts, has earned rave reviews online, but one of the clear standouts is the conditioner. The product’s versatile formula keeps hair smooth in the driest of winters and frizz-free in humid summers. The faint citrus fragrance also makes it great for daily use.
Where to try: The Algonquin Hotel in New York City and the Lenox Hotel in Boston
Where to buy: www.beekman1802.com
Fresh's lip-care products have a devoted following, but the company's skincare line is worth discussing as well. This bath and shower gel has a formula that packs a punch: shea butter to comfort, citrus fruit extracts to revitalize, and vitamins C and E to protect. The refreshing scent, which has hints of pink grapefruit, lemon, and tangerine, will linger all day.
Caudalie’s story began in the vineyards of Bordeaux, the source for many product ingredients to this day. The Fleur de Vigne shower gel balances citrusy notes of mandarin orange and grapefruit with woodsy scents like cedar. It's the kind of fragrance that lingers after a day of wine tasting, lounging at the beach, and exploring romantic villages.Where to try: The Plaza Hotel in New York City
Where to buy: www.caudalie.com
From the fashion house that crafts sought-after scarves and 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. The soap 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
L'Occitane started out at the local markets of Provence, before eventually spreading to more than 2,000 boutiques worldwide. Shea butter has been a key ingredient in the brand's products for decades. In particular, the shea butter soap is a useful everyday product. It’s moisturizing, lemony, and made with a 100% vegetable base, so it’s never overpowering.
Here's another L'Occitane shea butter product that has won over beauty editors—and travelers—worldwide. What makes it a must-have? An ultra-rich formula that leaves hands feeling incredibly moisturized without feeling the least bit greasy. Add in almond extracts and coconut oil, and you've got the gold standard for hand creams everywhere.
Where to try: Four Seasons Resorts nationwide
Where to buy: www.usa.loccitane.com
As the oldest apothecary in America, C.O. Bigelow (founded in New York City in 1838) knows its way around bath and body products. But even this veteran didn't think to sell its lavender- and peppermint-flavored body lotion on its website—until the product proved such a hit at hotels around the country that the demand was too strong to ignore. The lotion's lovely scent is calming yet fresh, and the formula is the perfect balance of thick and absorbent, so it moisturizes the skin without leaving oily residue.
Although Diptyque is best known for its candles, the brand is no slacker when it comes to face and body care either. The company's body lotion supplies a fragrant and luxurious yet never overpowering experience. 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 the ones in Boston and Taipei
Where to buy: www.diptyqueparis.com
A natural fragrance plus a skin-softening, oil-free formula add up to a great go-to lotion, and this Malin+Goetz product is just that. It has vitamins to nourish skin, honey and bergamot extract to soothe, and shea butter to moisturize. Opt for a full-size bottle or a grab-and-go kit with travel essentials in 1-oz. bottles.
Where to try: Hotel Commonwealth in Boston as well as Morgans Hotel Group properties, including the Delano South Beach in Miami
Where to buy: www.malinandgoetz.com
Products that do double duty are hard to resist, especially when you're on the road and trying to keep your luggage as light as possible. This best-selling face wash from Bliss spa is a great two-in-one: a gel cleanser and a gentle exfoliator. It gets rid of dirt, makeup, and dry skin, all at the same time. The product is oil-free and made with soothing botanical ingredients, making it safe for all skin types. Plus, the light, fruity scent is pleasant but not overwhelming.
Where to try: W Hotels nationwide
Where to buy: www.blissworld.com
The amenity program at Conrad Hotels & Resorts offers guests at its 20 locations around the globe a selection of products from three high-end brands: Aromatherapy Associates, Shanghai Tang, and Tara Smith Haircare. You can choose your amenities before you arrive or make a selection on the premises.
All three brands offer the basics: shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, and shower gel. But each line is unique. Aromatherapy Associates showcases essential oils and natural ingredients, Chinese fashion brand Shanghai Tang's luxurious items are infused with a signature Mandarin Tea fragrance, and Tara Smith Haircare's vegan products are all-natural and made without animal products or animal testing.
A standout among all three brands is the Refinery Revitalising Moisturizer from Aromatherapy Associates' skincare line for men. The moisturizer is 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