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Hotel freebies we love

Tracy E. Hopkins is an accomplished writer, blogger and editor living in New York City. She has expertise covering travel, fashion, health and entertainment.

Free perks that keep hotel guests happy

Free hotel perks and incentives go a long way in making a guest's stay memorable and enjoyable. While free Wi-Fi and free breakfast are always appreciated, unique items like cake pops left on your pillow really stand out. Here are a few creative hotel freebies to perk up your next trip.
Photo credit: Limelight Hotel

Outdoor fitness fun

Many hotels like the posh Opus Hotel Vancouver offer free bike rentals, and at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago younger guests can enjoy being wheeled around in a Radio Flyer wagon.

For runners, INK48 Hotel in New York City wants to make sure their guests stick with their fitness goals while on the road with the “Forgot It, We’ve Got It — Runner’s Edition” amenity kit. It's packed with a map of the Hudson River running path, use of a pre-loaded iPod Shuffle with headphones and a sports watch, and you'll find an energy bar and sports drink waiting in your room upon return.

Skiers will flip for two complimentary ski programs offered by the Limelight Hotel in Aspen — one gets you on the mountain before it opens to the general public, and another is an all-day guided tour with a ski instructor. The hotel also has a fleet of snowshoes free for guests to use.

Spirits to lift your spirits

Sipping sparkling wine and nibbling on Brie and crudites in the Hotel Giraffe’s elegant living room-reminiscent lobby will make you feel like a true Manhattan socialite. Similarly, all Kimpton hotels host a free wine happy hour every evening from 5 pm to 6 pm (we especially love the artful ambience at the Hotel Palamor in Phildelphia). Kimpton loyalty card members are also treated to a $10 credit ($15 in New York City) for mini bar goodies.

For a wholesome nightcap at West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad, California, guests snack on milk (soy and almond are available) and freshly-baked cookies left in the lobby each evening.

Let us entertain you

Music enthusiasts can rock out with “The Sound of Your Stay,” a free music amenity program at Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos. Upon check-in, guests are provided with several creative music options to enhance their hotel experience, including a code to download a 15-song playlist assembled by music pros and celebrities, a menu of 20 Fender® guitars and basses to play during their entire stay, or the use of a laptop loaded with digital mixing software and SOUL by Ludacris headphones.

Meanwhile, travelers who would rather cozy up with a good book or chick flick will feel at home at The Library Hotel in New York City, which gives guests access to DVDs, daily newspapers and a classic collection of over 6,000 books.

B Hotel
Photo credit: B Hotels & Resorts

Tempting turndown service

We like chocolates as much as the next girl, but many hotels have stepped up their turndown service favors. As a brand, B Hotels & Resorts in Florida has replaced the traditional mint or chocolate on the pillow with individual-sized packets of Jelly Belly jelly beans.

To cater to foodies, The Willows Historic Palm Springs Inn serves a variety of gourmet turndown treats, including ginger snaps with fresh crystallized and ground ginger, H.K. Anderson pretzels filled with peanut butter, and a delicious mix of cashew, almond, Brazil and Macadamia nuts tossed in sea salt.

And beer lovers can raise a glass for the nightly beer turndown service (one craft beer per night) at the Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles International Airport, where guests can check in any time of the day or night. With the hotel’s Beer Club Package, the guest’s mini-fridge is also stocked with three of their favorite beers upon arrival.

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