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Andaz 5th Avenue Sends You Home With a Little Something Extra

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  Site Where: 485 5th Avenue [map], New York, NY, United States, 10017
July 19, 2010 at 9:21 AM | by | Comment (1)

We've heard of welcome amenities, and turndown treats. But we don't remember ever being offered a departure amenity—not before we were checking out of Andaz 5th Avenue recently.

Like check-in, the check-out process at the new hotel was casual and friendly with no formal lines at the front desk. We especially liked the offer of a bottle of water to take with us, since it was close to 100 degrees outside. Then we heard the magic words: "If you'll follow me, we have a little something for you..."

Intrigued, we followed our host to the table in the middle of the lobby, where a white box sat on top. Closed, it looked completely innocuous, the kind of piece you wouldn't even notice. If you did, you might assume that it held room keys or some other hotel-admin stuff to help those floating hosts in the lobby.

But of course, this is what we saw when our host opened the lid:

· a Fat Witch Baby Brownie
· a tin of C.O. Bigelow Peppermints
· a mini tube of Bigelow Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel; and
· a tube of Bigelow Lemon Lip Cream

We're such a sucker for mini products, especially those that come gratis, that were momentarily dumbstruck when our host said, "Take whichever one you like."

After our mini brain explosion, we settled on the lip cream, having already enjoyed enough free snacks in our room upstairs.

On a return visit, we asked to peek at the stashes of products used to replenish the departure amenity box and learned that the most popular items were the mints and the brownies. The least popular? The anti-bacterial hand gel. So much for hygiene.

Which would you choose? Have you enjoyed a hotel departure amenity elsewhere in your travels? Let us know in the comments below.

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Goody Bags

We stayed at the Stephanie Inn on the Oregon coast a couple of years ago, and got a goody bag on checkout that had chocolate chip cookies and a bottle of water in it.  Nice surprise.

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