Hi, my name is Danielle and I love luxury hotels.  From Starwood and Marriott, to Viceroy, St. Regis and more, I love treating myself to occasional stays at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels.  However, no matter how fancy the hotel decor, not all luxury properties are created equal.  If you’re going to splurge on fabulous accommodations, don’t get short changed!  Before you book your next stay, make sure the hotel truly meets luxury standards by checking for these six must haves.


Free Wi-Fi

I’m just going to go ahead and say it.  No matter how big the brand or fancy the hotel décor, if you are still charging for Wi-Fi, in 2014, you are not truly a luxury hotel.  True luxury hotels know that they are dealing with guests of a certain caliber and who clearly have quality tastes if they are choosing to stay at a luxury hotel to begin with.  The reason they are dropping hundreds of dollars a night is because they expect the hotel to be covering the basics they need to feel comfortable.  The last thing they want to hear is that simply checking their email is going to cost them $20….per day!

24-hour Room Service

I know you’re probably thinking, “No one eats 24-hours a day.”  True, but after that one time you come back to your room from a late night/early morning of partying, have the munchies, and can’t get anything to eat…you’ll wish you had 24-hour room service.  Or what about that morning when you have the super early tour planned, the dining room doesn’t open until 8am, but you leave at 7am.  Trust me, it comes in handy.

All Remote Control Everything

One of my best luxury hotel stays was at Jumeirah Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.  What made it so great you ask?  Well outside of the amazing room view and décor, it was the remote that worked everything in my room.  Everything.  I could turn on/off lights for the entire room at once or individually, control my room temperature, the television, my iPod, call for maid service or signal that I didn’t feel like being disturbed, all from my bed…or tub.  Having this feature is so luxe that when I arrived, Jumeirah had an attendant escort me to my room to show me exactly how the remote worked.

Award Winning Restaurants

Naturally when you visit a new city you want to experience the best it has to offer, and that includes food.  However, one of the perks of staying at a luxury hotel is that the best is already at your fingertips.  No need to spend money on a car service or hop on public transportation to try out one of the hottest restaurants in the city.  All you need to do is take the elevator a couple of floors to find the city’s top restaurants and chefs ready to tantalize your culinary palette.  For example, the uber exclusive Las Vegas restaurant é by Jose Andrés exists, quietly hidden in a room adjacent to the award winning chef’s larger, more-well-known, other award-winning restaurant Jaleo, inside Marriott’s luxury hotel The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Private Check-in

Picture it, you’ve just gotten off a long flight, waited forever to grab your luggage and hail a taxi, the last thing you want to do when you arrive at your hotel is wait in line at the lobby check-in desk.  The best luxury hotels know you’re weary from your travels and start their top notch treatment from the minute you arrive with private check-in.  At the ultra luxe Hotel Beaux Arts Miami, guests are greeted by a personal escort upon arrival and personally escorted to their room so they can drop their heavy bags and check-in to their room in complete comfort.

Butler Service

Granted you won’t get this at every luxury hotel, but when you do, you’ll know that you are somewhere truly luxurious.  When it comes to personal butler service, no one does it better than St. Regis Hotels.  St. Regis Butler Service has been a hallmark experience for guests of the luxury brand for over one hundred years.  Every room at St. Regis hotels across the globe come with 24-hour butler service to satisfy every need from having a perfectly pressed suit ready for an important meeting, to a favorite book at hand for an evening read, to a thoughtful, last minute gift for a loved one, no request is too small or unattainable no matter what the hour of the day.  I had the pleasure of experiencing this pinnacle of luxury during a recent stay at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi and let me tell you, it is divine!