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Our name is HotelChatter and we are addicted to hotel toiletries.
Designer, cult, no-name motel brands Ė we canít get enough. We stash them away every night in our suitcase, so housekeeping gives us more. We check out with bagfuls of the stuff. We havenít bought soap or shampoo in years.
Hotel toiletries are the first things that always crop up in those articles that always crop up Ė the ones asking what is ok and not ok to take from hotel rooms. (Spoiler: itís always the toiletries and stationery thatís ok, everything else is off limits.)
Recently weíve noticed a decline in hotel toiletries. Smaller bottles. Fewer restocks. A sparser selection of products. Those wall dispensers that, much as we want to be eco, we canít quite get around to accepting.
We live, of course, us inhabitants of HotelChatter Towers, surrounded by hotel toiletries (a shoebox of soap, one of shampoo and conditioner, one of body lotion). And we tend to grab them without much thought Ė itís hard to remember just where that bottle of CO Bigelow came from, after all.
But, spring cleaning this week, we stumbled upon another shoebox full of body lotion Ė one collected in happier times, around 2006-2008. Perhaps itís coincidence, perhaps itís pre-financial crisis, but we noticed that most of these bottles had been personalized to the hotels Ė and we had a Proustian moment, there in the bathroom, remembering the various trips.
Regardless of whether it's a huge resort or a small inn, bathroom amenities are so commonplace now that we simply expect them to be by the sink in every room. But next time you come across Aveda products at a hotel, don't take them for granted. As it turns out, not all conditioners are easy to come by.
As a male contributor on this site, I sometimes have a hard time understanding all the hype over our stories on toiletry products. Consider me a changed man. On a recent stay at the Inn at Lost Creek in Telluride, I learned that carrying certain brands isn't as easy as just calling up and ordering them.
Aveda, for example, requires properties to complete an application to purchase its products, which includes three pages of environmental analysis. A spokesperson for the company said it all goes back to the green beliefs of its original founder, and that a lot of the questions revolve around the idea of recycling and ecological policies of the hotel. Do you have recycling cans in your lobby? Do you recycle towels? Do you have someone who oversees your recycling programs?