As we all continue to stay inside and socially distance amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s normal to start feeling rather stir-crazy. Even though you might not be able to pack up your suitcase and jet off on a dreamy getaway right now, there are still ways to bring your favorite vacation vibes into your current everyday life.
We are all spending way more time at home than we normally would, so why not try to make your current accommodations feel a little more staycation-like? Whether you’re a frequent traveler or an occasional wanderer, there are easy ways to bring your favorite hotel features into your daily routine. Observer spoke with top hotel directors, owners, concierges and specialists from all around the world, to hear about their favorite tips and tricks to give your present home situation a little hotel-inspired makeover. Below, see the best, simple ways to transform your home right now.
Make your bed everyday.
“The ultimate in re-creating a hotel experience at home is getting that amazing hotel sleep,” explains Bettina Landt, the General Manager at White Elephant in Nantucket. “My personal advice is to make your bed every day. It starts me off on the right foot, even if I cannot remember what day it is while in quarantine!”
Display fresh flowers and treat yourself to a special meal.
“Arrange fresh flowers, which you can even pick from the yard, to display around your home,” suggests Marie-France Grégoire, the Chief Concierge at La Réserve Paris Hotel & Spa. “Cook a dish you wouldn’t ordinarily make. If you’re feeling ambitious, perhaps one from a famous chef like Cyril Lignac of Aux Près. Enjoy your meal with a bottle of fine wine (my go-to is Cos d’Estournel). Oh, and indulging in a nightly bath before slipping into a fluffy hotel robe helps too!”
Set the table.
“We deserve to feel tranquil and relaxed when we are at home, especially when we can’t travel,” says Juan Martinez, the Housekeeping Manager at Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya. He suggests adding flowers and plants to your home to make it feel alive, and keeping your dining room table set with plates, utensils and cloth napkins, just as you would see in a restaurant.
Give yourself nightly turndown service, complete with a chocolate on your pillow.
“While quarantining at home may not feel like the most glamorous of staycations, there are a multitude of ways you can elevate the experience to that of your favorite luxury hotel. At the Malibu Beach Inn, we encourage guests to focus on relaxation and wellness during these tumultuous times. Anyone can access their favorite chocolatier (ours is Vosges Chocolates) and prepare themselves a nightly turndown ritual,” offers Laura Willens, the director of sales and marketing at Malibu Beach Inn, a Leading Hotel of the World. “We suggest lighting a candle or preparing a diffuser with your favorite hotel scent before indulging in the pillow time treat. Your dreams will be ever so sweet.”
Recreate your favorite travel memories at home.
“What makes a trip memorable is often an exquisite combination of being in a beautiful location and having experiences that bring you small pleasures,” says Sylvia Wong, the owner of The Roundtree in Amagansett. “Maybe it was the joy of sitting in a quiet corner of the garden with a good book, or the adventure of trying a new cuisine…While we wait for the world to return to some semblance of normalcy, recreating these small elements at home can remind us of the joy of travel.
Transport yourself to Greece with a Mediterranean aperitif.
A trip to the Greek islands is out of the question right now, but you can bring a little of the Mediterranean into your home. “Treat yourself to an easy Mediterranean snack to perfectly accompany your evening aperitif or glass of wine,” suggests Agapi Sbokou, the owner of Crete’s Phaea Resorts. “Mix some olives with a some orange zest, rosemary and olive oil. Toss them together and put them in a preheat oven for a few minutes. You will feel instantly transported in the scented garden of Cretan Malia Park.”
Try aromatherapy with an aroma reminiscent of your favorite getaways.
“One of the biggest trends for 2020 is aromatherapy. Certain natural fragrances have the ability to prompt our brains and bodies to perform better while reducing stress,” says Kamala Nayeli, Director of Spa & Wellness at Halekulani. Find your favorite memorable aroma and spritz it around.
Create your own vacation atmosphere with activities and dessert treats.
Kylie Rae Fitzgibbons, the director of happiness (a job title we truly strive towards) and general manager at JL Bar Ranch, Resort and Spa in Sonora, Texas suggests bringing the ranch vibes into your home. “Create a homemade chalkboard ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign to hang outside of your bedroom door,” and later on, “build your own s’mores by the fireplace.”
Indulge in breakfast in bed this weekend.
“Serve that Saturday morning breakfast in bed,” says Jacu Strauss, Creative Director of Lore Group, the hospitality brand behind chic spots like the Pulitzer, a Preferred Hotel in Amsterdam. “Indulge with a stack of pancakes and fresh red fruits, cappuccinos, orange juice and oven-baked croissants. Why not add a glass of fizz? We’re not going anywhere today.”
Put on that fancy robe and pull out the bedtime chocolates.
“Swap your sweats for a plush robe, and do turndown service for yourself,” Jared Prichard, the General Manager at the Bobby Hotel in Nashville, suggests. “Draw the blinds and shades before bed however you like, whether you want to block out all the light or wake up to the sun. You can even set out your slippers and leave chocolates on the bed.”
Create a boutique hotel vibe at home by getting rid of clutter and adding a new scent.
“Begin by clearing out your bedroom and bathroom, as these are the spaces you would normally enjoy while staying at a hotel,” instructs Sean Cummings, owner of the International House in New Orleans. “Pack away the non-essentials and keep the countertops clean and simple. I recommend remaking the bed with freshly made sheets spritzing with a refreshing floral scent as we head into summer. Subdued lighting balanced with lit candles creates a relaxing ambience.”
Play background music you actually like.
“Put on some background music that does not disturb your work or relaxation, but just blends in,” says Mikael Forselius, the general manager of the Britannia in Trondheim, Norway. “Or, maybe you want to put on something that rekindles memories from a place you’d love to go back to, like an album you played while you were traveling to a special place.”
Bring your favorite hotel pampering rituals to your bath at home.
“Remember the healing power of water. How about a hot shower with a wonderful natural shower product listening to your favorite playlist?” proposes Mariana Palmeiro, the wellness expert at Beau-Rivage Palace in Lausanne, Switzerland. “There is nothing like a warm milk bath or a bubble bath to make you feel totally relaxed and to give you the right tone to think positively, and even practice your favorite mindfulness ritual or read your latest favorite book. It is very often a ritual we make time for when we stay in a beautiful resort, but why not make it part of your weekly ritual at home?”
Live your most decadent life with little bedside luxuries.
“Keep a little bag of bite-size treats next to your bed, iron your sheets and add extra pillows on your bed for more decadence,” says David Bueno, the general manager at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C., because if there’s one common thread through all our favorite hotel tips, it just might be a chocolate snack by bed. “Eat dinner with linen napkins, candles and add a little table decor to match the theme of your dinner. Use a pretty cocktail glass, and make a small plate of appetizers.”
Try to ease up on the artificial lighting.
“While at home, opt for natural light whenever possible, open those windows to create air flow, and when you do need to use artificial light, try yellow bulbs as opposed to fluorescent ones,” recommends Carl Hunter, the eco ambassador at St. Lucia’s Jade Mountain resort. “These use less energy, not to mention, they’re easier on the eyes when you’re working from your kitchen, couch, or living room all day.”