How can I recreate a relaxing fancy hotel stay but at home?
April 13, 2021 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Seems like the case numbers are reducing in Scotland, which of course is great news for people surviving but also for other reasons, but it looks like it will still still be a while before we can stay in a hotel for leisure purposes. While I am waiting, can anyone suggest a way to recreate a relaxing fancy hotel feeling of a break but within my own flat?

I have a notion that just for a change of scene I'd like to stay for a night in a hotel in my city, even if it's only a budget one. My flat is quite cluttered so maybe just a break from that is part of the motivation. I will probably do that once it's permitted again. I do like the idea of doing what can at home to have a nice treat night that will give a similar feeling. I don't have the energy for a full de-clutter but maybe I could tidy one room, and I'll be changing the bed linen. Can anyone remember what things are usually in a posh hotel mini-bar (I've usually just been in ones with a kettle and not a mini-bar, but I think I recall one with bottles of water, peanuts, small Pringles, can't remember what else but I do drink alcohol occasionally). Can anyone recommend a fancy brand men's or unisex shower gel that I could get from Amazon UK? (the hotels I have been in have just had cheap stuff but I am trying to have a home version of a posh hotel evening). Unfortunately I just have a shower otherwise I would incorporate a long bath with bath salts.

Is there a meal you've ordered from room service that you remember being nice and that I could get from Just Eat or similar delivery app instead? Life is still pretty quiet and even a bit boring for me until I can sit in cafes and go to cinemas again so I'm prepared to spend quite a few quid to make it nice and relaxing. I have only stayed in a fancy hotel a couple of times in my life hence looking for tips from others. Thanks!
posted by AuroraSky to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Maybe Molton Brown for your shower gel? If you're splashing out, get a nice new bathrobe, towels, and slippers (+ pajamas?) to debut that night. Oh, and (if you're at all like me, who tends to use them when they're well past flat) replace your pillows.

Minis of your favorite mid-range boozes are a classic of this genre, though they're not always so easy to find. And I wouldn't call this "luxe," but really nothing says "hotel mini-bar" like a Toblerone bar.

Don't forget to put a chocolate on your pillow!
posted by praemunire at 9:55 AM on April 13, 2021 [2 favorites]

Make sure you fold the end of the toilet paper roll into a triangle.
posted by bondcliff at 9:59 AM on April 13, 2021 [11 favorites]

You can make your shower more fancy with steamer tablets.
posted by bleep at 10:07 AM on April 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

A plate with meats and cheeseswith berries or grapes always feels luxurious to me. Get something to use as an ice bucket so you can have a chilled bottle of water when you are all steamy from your shower.

Can you find a way to warm the towels? I often put my towel under a heating pad and switch it on when I step in the shower.

One thing that makes a hotel room feel 'away' to me is the lack of any of my usual distracting stuff. Maybe try draping a sheet over a bookshelf or over the clutter on your bedside table for a really quick fix?

Lighting can make a big difference. Bring in a lamp from a different room to get a new angle of lighting, or drape a colored fabric over (hopefully LED) bulb, or bring in some fairylights Just something you would not usually have in your room, to feel like it is a new space.
posted by buildmyworld at 10:20 AM on April 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Get a bed scarf or fold a blanket up to mimic one at the foot of your bed.

Luxurious or exciting meals for me would be:
grilled steak or fish, potatoes (roasted, French fries or baked), and arugula/rocket or spinach
fat, juicy burger with sautéed onions and mushrooms, French fries
miso soup, tempura, sushi

Gourmet coffee or tea for breakfast the next day
posted by carrioncomfort at 10:23 AM on April 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Minibar items: Evian, Pellegrino, a Coke, a Diet Coke, a split of wine, a split of Champagne, M&Ms, banana chips, macadamia nuts, chocolate covered cherries or raisins, yogurt covered pretzels, a mid-range chocolate bar (probably local to the hotel), a half can of Pringle’s. Maybe a single serving bag of a local brand of potato crisps (e.g. in New Orleans, probably some Zapp’s; in Pennsylvania some Snyder’s pretzels or Utz cheese balls). Maybe some cheese or caramel popcorn. Fill an ice bucket.

Towels: if you’re splurging, new, white towels. Hang one and roll a couple more. Buy a new robe. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion all in the same fragrance different from your usual, and top it off with one of those bottles of oil with the incense sticks in it on the counter.

Buy a local magazine you’d always overlook. Buy a newspaper. Rent a movie online to get that pay per view experience.

For the experience of a gift at check-in, get a bottle of Prosecco and some chocolate dipped strawberries. Put too many pillows on the bed. Buy a new alarm clock.
posted by fedward at 10:30 AM on April 13, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: The most posh hotel I ever stayed in had a steam-filled rail in the bathroom for heating towels. So maybe warm up your new towels right before you use them (hot water bottle from the microwave?), for an added touch of louche.

Get a men's shower gel with eucalyptus: smells lovely and opens up the sinuses & pores.

If you're ordering in, get a couple of small plates togeher: when would you ever cook TWO meals at one time??

Have fun!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:47 AM on April 13, 2021 [2 favorites]


First thing you need is change all the linens. Complete change of colors and tone and all that.

Then a mini-cooler. These are not real refrigerators (they are peltier coolers inside) so it can only chill your drinks a LITTLE, add small ice alternatives to keep things really cold. But it helps.

An essential oil diffuser and a set of essential oils will set the mood, as will replacing your existing lights.
posted by kschang at 10:57 AM on April 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you're in Edinburgh, order from Aurora at Home for an eponysterical and unfailingly delicious meal! One of my favourite restaurants in normal times, I've had at home from them once and wasn't disappointed.

But you'll need to do it this coming weekend as that's the last at home they're doing. Looks like they do cocktails too if that might make it feel extra-special.
posted by penguin pie at 11:24 AM on April 13, 2021

Best answer: Can you have someone come in to clean the bathroom and bedroom? Clean sheets and extra pillows. Put out lots of fresh clean towels and spray some pleasant mild scent, ideally lavender. Get fancy scented bath bombs and shower gel, shampoo, conditioner. Flower arrangement in bedroom and bathroom. A selection of movies you're not bored with; buy some if necessary. It's so fun to use hotel tv with zillions of channels. Wine in a bucket of ice, and nice wine glasses. Fancy meal on a tray with nice linens and china. Maybe a fancy cocktail pre-made. Turn off alarms and ringers.

Plan ahead for a good brunch the next day with bloody marys/ mimosas, fried potatoes, poached eggs, ham, and hollandaise can be made ahead so you just have to warm it while toasting english muffins. fruit salad is a good accompaniment. I don't know if eggs benedict is as popular elsewhere as it is in the US, but it's the default fancy brunch in USLand.
posted by theora55 at 12:03 PM on April 13, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: A key prop for room service is a tea-trolley. You can symbolically push it out the front door of the flat and leave it there until your end-of-staycation. For the authentic posh hotel experience you can copy my wife who ordered dinner-delivered at Caesar's Palace in Vegas. After fancy dinner and trimmings on expenses, she decided to push the trolley down the corridor away from her room only to hear the door close behind her with an expensive clunk.
posted by BobTheScientist at 12:56 PM on April 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: From my experience of UK hotels, the really posh ones have in-room tea which is Taylors of Harrogate.

The water is either Highland Spring or Harrogate Spring Water.

The shower gel is L'Occitan.

The beer is Peroni.

Pringles are inevitable.

The soundtrack is The Sea - Ina Wroldsen played quietly.

Most available on
posted by jacobean at 3:31 PM on April 13, 2021 [5 favorites]

If, by chance, you got china and sterling flatware as wedding presents, it's time to use them. Eat all meals on your best tablecloth, preferably white linen. Have a restaurant style breakfast: eggs, hash browns, french toast, waffles.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:09 PM on April 13, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: A pair of disposable slippers to go with your robe.

Give yourself "turn down service" at 5 pm. Put the chocolate on your pillow, place a hand-towel on the floor next to your bed with the slippers on it, turn on some mood lighting, and if there's a TV/monitor set it to a crackling log in a fireplace.

Write yourself a "thanks for staying here" note that's placed on your bed/desk next to a "welcome gift" - 2 chocolates in a small chocolate box, half-a-dozen macarons, or a small fruit basket. Comp yourself a full bottle of wine if it's a "special occasion" like Valentine's Day.
posted by A Blue Moon at 8:37 PM on April 13, 2021 [1 favorite]

Do you have waffle maker? Make waffles with whipped cream and fresh berries. Nice small luxury meal, easy to make and clean up. It's our goto for fancy hotel-like brunch at home.

If you have a toaster that can fit your waffles, make big batch and freeze them. Waffles toast very well, and then you can have the on-demand-no-cleanup hotel experience for a whole week.
posted by Ahniya at 4:59 PM on April 14, 2021

Sheets. OMG the sheets. I was a hotel housekeeper one summer but hope for the best with clean sheets.

Crisp white hotel sheets with crisp white hotel pillowcases. Hotel sex is one of my favorite sex.
posted by bendy at 11:01 PM on April 17, 2021

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