In-room amenities have undergone a major upgrade. High-end toiletries from brands like Le Labo and C.O. Bigelow have become table stakes for luxury hotels, and many properties have elevated their grooming game with items like Dyson and T3 hair dryers — The Langham Hotels and The Encore Boston Harbor are two examples that offer these high-end heat tools, respectively.
Now, hotels are upping the beauty ante by offering beauty products in the minibar, allowing consumers to purchase a lipstick, for example, along with the usual nuts and bottled water. In short? A new era of the minibar has arrived.
RoomBar in-room minibar at Equinox Hotels
With perhaps the most robust offerings, Equinox Hotels provides its guests with RoomBar, a beauty-stocked minibar filled with a range of essentials for sleep, skin care and sexual wellness. “We flip the traditional minibar on its head,” said Ara Patterson, vp of food, beverage and spa at Equinox Hotels. In its RoomBar, the hotel carries over 80 products inclusive of supplements, proprietary teas, tinctures, sexual health products, beauty treatments, snacks, beverages and workout wear. “Our vision for the RoomBar was to create a one-stop shop to provide our ecosystem of products to guests who want to not only look good but also feel good,” Patterson said. She added that Equinox Hotels aims to provide a luxury lifestyle experience and create environments where guests can be the best versions of themselves. “This starts in your room, and having over 80 options for beauty, wellness, nourishment and lifestyle items at your fingertips is the ultimate luxury,” she said.
In terms of product sales, Patterson said beauty revenue is now neck-and-neck with the hotel’s food and beverage retail revenue. “The sales on beauty products represent around 60% of our total RoomBar revenue, and we average roughly $55,000 a month in total revenues from this area alone,” Patterson said. She added that guest feedback and frequent interaction with RoomBar beauty items confirm that the company is meeting a need. “It solidifies our innovative position that beauty and wellbeing are all-encompassing,” Patterson said.
RoomBar products are hand-selected to drive results and fit in with a high-performance lifestyle. One of the beauty product lines sold in RoomBar is from Dr. Lara Devgan, a plastic surgeon based in NYC, with whom the Equinox Hotel Spa has collaborated to offer an exclusive facial. Additionally, skin care from Biologique Recherche is sold both in the hotel’s spa and in RoomBar.
Soho Skin in-room at Soho House
In February 2022, members club Soho House introduced in its rooms Soho Skin amenity kits, featuring an edit of seven products from the beauty brand’s full range. “Members and guests were able to try and use the products and provide feedback ahead of [us launching] the full retail range,” said Sarah Graham, head of communications at Soho House. The products launched online to members in July 2022, and in the fall, they became available to the wider public online, as well as at Soho House’s Cowshed spas and Bloomingdale’s.
Soho House members now can book a Soho Skin facial that uses products from the company’s owned skin-care range. “It’s important to us that our products can be enjoyed in both a spa setting and at home,” Graham said. “The spas also provide us with a physical space where customers can interact with the product and receive advice from our therapists, so we are able to offer the 360 [-degree] experience,” she said.
The brand perspective: Repêchage
Lydia Sarfati, founder and CEO of Repêchage, said she sells Repêchage skin-care products at luxury spas and hotels including The Spa at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and the Conrad Spa at the Conrad in Ft. Lauderdale Beach, Florida.
Traditionally, most hotel spas have a higher percentage of massage rooms than facial treatment rooms and also do very low numbers in retail sales, Sarfati said.
“In most spas, 70% of their revenue comes from massage services, not from facials,” she said. “So, for us, to create a real game changer for the hotels and their spas was to offer training for the massage therapists around providing a 360-degree wellness experience by including skin care in their treatment. This introduces the massage client to skin care, and provides the spa and hotel with an increase in standard retail business.”
Sarfati said she found that, when clients are traveling, they typically don’t purchase full-size products. “We’ve found it to be advantageous to cater to spas, resorts and hotels by providing guests with our starter kit to purchase,” she said. The brand now offers six starter collections, formulated to pair with the brand’s six signature facials to make product recommendations easy for spa estheticians. Each kit contains five daily facial care products, allowing clients to maintain their skin routine on vacation and when they go home. “Many of the spas and resorts have included these Starter Kits into the price of their facials,” Sarfati said.
Repêchage also takes part in in-room amenities programs, for example, offering products as part of a Repêchage Wellness Program at Trump International Beach Resort Miami. This is another advantage and opportunity for the hotel and guests of its Aquanox Spa, she said. “The Wellness Kit leads you to continue the experience at the spa facilities because you now know they are using great products,” Sarfati said.
This new trend in the hospitality industry not only provides convenience for guests, but also generates substantial revenue for hotels.
Other properties offering in-room beauty for purchase
Prairie Glow Facial Kits at Jasper Hotel in Fargo, North Dakota
The Jasper Hotel has partnered with Vanity Bar, a popular local med spa in Fargo, to offer Prairie Glow facial kits in all rooms so guests can experience Vanity Bar’s best-selling, cult skin care without leaving their hotel room.
Skin Authority at Thompson + tommie Austin
Available to all Thompson + tommie Austin guests, the ATX Chill Skin Kit by Skin Authority includes Skin Authority products and a QR code to a pre-recorded video with a coach walking the guest step-by-step through a facial treatment. If a guest prefers to talk to a coach live, they can connect directly to Skin Authority to get questions answered or receive a personal walk-through.
Philosykos at Ritz Carlton Chicago
Available in guest rooms and gift shops, travelers can purchase Philosykos lotion, shampoo and conditioner to get the hotel experience at home.
House of Grō Eye Detox Brightening Oil at Casa Cipriani, New York City
Guests of the New York City-based Casa Cipriani have the opportunity to unwind in their luxury suites with the Eye Detox Brightening Oil from House of Grō within arm’s reach.
Shortly after integrating the Grō Glow Facial into its spa treatment menu, Casa Cipriani began offering House of Grō’s innovative Eye Detox Brightening Oil for purchase within its 47 luxury rooms and suites.
QMS Medicosmetics Kit at The Four Seasons Philadelphia Presidential Suite
For guests of its exclusive Presidential Suite, The Four Seasons Philadelphia offers a complimentary skin-care kit worth $948 featuring products by German skin-care brand QMS Medicosmetics.