Hotel Turndown Treats Get Creative

Goodbye, humble pillow chocolate. You'll be missed.

June 18, 2014— -- That chocolate on your hotel pillow may soon become an endangered amenity.

Several hotels have decided to up the ante when it comes to the nighttime turndown treat. Travelers can now expect anything from pie to vegan cookies.

At the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast in Salisbury Mills, New York, innkeepers will introduce pillow mini pies this fall. Pies will change each week. Blueberry, Pecan, Apple and Pumpkin varieties are all on the schedule.

“We wanted to put the ‘sweet’ back in ‘sweet dreams’” said Dena Finneran, who co-owns the bed and breakfast with her husband, John. “Anyone can do a mint. We wanted to offer something fun and really delicious this fall when pie season is in full swing.”

At the Jade hotel in New York City, chocolates have been replaced with a gluten-free, vegan cookie at turndown as of last month. The cookie comes from all-natural, organic BabyCakes bakery.

JW Marriott last year initiated changes for late-night snacks property-wide as part of its "Nightly Refresh" program. Executive-level and VIP guests get "Wine Down" service with wine samples while all guests get Revive Oil, a "detoxifying, uplifting and exotic blend of essential oils to help revitalize and restore nature balance in the body" and Dream Bars made of chia seeds, crunchy almonds and coconut. The items were created with the hotel's brand partners and gives them more exposure to guests.

But its partnerships that might save the chocolate from becoming extinct. Barbara DeLollis, editor of Travel Update with Barb DeLollis, said guests expect chocolate and hotels already have in place reliable chocolate suppliers, which is "no small consideration when it comes to running an efficient operation."

She said travelers might instead start to see more interesting chocolates pop up on pillows. "They're turning to local, artisanal chocolate shops so they can give guests a 'local' experience that might be memorable," she said.