Sure, you've used the standard hotel amenities that crowd the bathroom counter and dot your guest room's monogrammed pillows. But these days, miniature toiletries and stale mints just won't cut it for the pleasure-seeking traveler. Ten properties from around the country are taking their guest services to the next level, wooing visitors with everything from a personal tanning butler to free bike rentals for exploring the city. These A-list amenities prove that some of the best things in life really are free.
Fender guitar: Hard Rock Hotel, Chicago
According to the Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, "Serious guitars are the new in-room amenity." The lively hotel offers musically inclined travelers the opportunity to pick from a selection of 20 Fender guitars, including iconic Stratocasters and classic Telecasters, and rock out in the privacy of their own room. Whether you pull an all-nighter with your axe of choice or make music for just a few hours, the Hard Rock will provide a floor amp and top-of-the-line headphones so the neighbors won't call the cops on your party of one.
Bike rental: The Jane, New York City
Biking a city is a great alternative to seeing the sights through the dirty window of an overpriced tour bus. The Jane in New York City's West Village provides complimentary bikes, offering guests the chance to cruise the neighborhood on two wheels instead of four. Spend all day on your Brooklyn Cruiser City Bike, exploring hidden streets and popping into vintage boutiques. Then load up your bike's wooden basket with food-truck treats for a picnic and cycle to nearby Christopher Park, or feel the cool breeze while lunching alongside the Hudson River.
Lending library: The Heathman Hotel, Portland, Ore.
From John Updike to Alice Walker, many famous authors have rested their imaginative heads on The Heathman's pillows and thrown back whiskeys at the hotel bar. It's no surprise, then, that the property's on-site library, which holds more than 2,000 catalogued works by the register of authors who have stayed at the hotel, is one of the few of its kind in the country. Guests are free to browse the stacks and enjoy signed first editions in the library's well-loved plush chairs. Or, they can take a book back to their room if they just can't put it down.
Record player: Ace Hotels, various locations
If you're a hipster on the hunt for quirky accommodations, step into the vintage-inspired Ace Hotel and prepare to be impressed. No in-room iPod docks are needed here -- most suites at the Ace come with turntables and a carefully curated selection of vinyl for your listening pleasure. So once you and your friends have exhausted yourselves with witty banter, put the needle down on a record and get the dance party started.
Tanning butler: Ritz-Carlton South Beach, Miami
The Ritz-Carlton in South Beach, Miami, knows how to please its high-end visitors. Miguel Pando, the hotel's current Tanning Butler, spends his afternoons strolling the pool deck and beach area, obliging sunbathers with refreshing Evian facial sprays, personal sunglasses-cleaning services, and a variety of suntanning products. And if you're in town for the eye candy, this modern-day Jeeves isn't bad to look at either.
Pet goldfish: Hotel Triton, San Francisco