The best new hotel perks for 2015

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The year is already filled with exciting hotel trends and innovations: social media hotel booking, advanced room key technology, the shift to a boutiqueification of hotels. Some of my favorite upgrades, however, are the creative perks properties are starting to dish out.

Free booze

Yes, you read that right. At a number of Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants they’re offering free alcohol at night to guests through a new nightcap program. For those picturing free-flowing bottles of Cristal, you better check your expectations. The hotels are actually offering a small tasting with a snack — think small pours of Port paired with cookies over a bottle of Chateaux Margaux with lobster tails.

Kimpton isn’t new to handing out free booze. The hotel chain also offers a Hosted Wine Hour, a delightful free wine perk at many hotels nowadays, like Affinia NYC, West Inn & Suites in California and Mirbeau Inn & Spa in the Finger Lakes, to name a few.

Free Wi-Fi

How about some free Wi-Fi with that Pinot Grigio? Another perk that will have most travelers kissing their laptops is complimentary Wi-Fi becoming the norm. Not only that, but those who share online will find themselves being rewarded with even more perks, which hotels like Marriott, Kimpton and the Union Street Guest House have already embraced.

New partnerships

Partnership programs that help hotel guests earn points in new ways are also a growing perk trend. The recent collaboration between Uber and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Basically, Starwood Preferred Guests can earn 1 Starpoint per dollar spent during an Uber ride. This is a pretty sweet deal, especially considering Starwood has one of the industry’s best transfer point programs, with 30+ airline transfer partners.

All-inclusive hotels

And if you haven’t heard about the recent Virgin Hotels launch in Chicago, the entire property is essentially one giant perk. Said by many to be the most technologically advanced hotel in the US, guests enjoy an extremely flexible cancelation policy (up until midnight of the day of your booking), no added fees or room-service surcharges, a reasonably-priced mini bar, complimentary Wi-Fi and free business center access. Oh, and did I mention they drive guests around in a Tesla Model S P85D, the fastest four door vehicle in history? Hopefully you’ll never need a reason to go to go 0-60 in 3.2 seconds on vacation, but if you ever do, Virgin Hotels can help.

What’s your favorite hotel perk?

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