Hotels offer in-room style shopping

Kelly O'Mara

The next time you visit the St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami, The Berkeley in London, or The James in New York, you might find more than just alcohol and candy in the minibar. A growing number of high-end hotels have begun providing in-room shopping, with stylish clothes and accessories offered alongside more traditional treats for purchase.

The St. Regis is the most recent to add designer items to its minibar, with Neiman Marcus providing the fashions based on a personal style survey guests fill out before check-in.

Visitors answer questions like, “Who is your style icon? Betty Draper, Kate Moss, Grace Kelly, Lady Gaga, or Angelina Jolie?” and provide measurements, which Neiman Marcus personal shoppers then use to pick out pieces that will line the closets and drawers upon their arrival. You have three days to send the pieces you don’t want back via the butler service.

But watch out, these items are not for loan. And you don’t want to get into an argument at check-out over whether or not you really took those Louboutin shoes.

“We are forever aiming to surpass our guests’ expectations and offering them an unrivaled experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” said Marco Selva, St. Regis Bal Harbour general manager.

The St. Regis’ personal shopping experience isn’t one of a kind, however. It comes close on the heels of several other hotels offering in-room shopping for the traveling fashionista.

This past August, The James Hotel in New York started providing guests a box of accessories (presumably next to the box of mints and tiny Jack Daniels) by New York-based designers and selected by the celebrity stylist Mimi Lombardo. And The Berkeley in London has, since 2011, gone a different route with its selection of goodies, providing a trunk of vintage items for hotel goers to peruse.

The Fashion Trunk, as it is called, can be delivered to a guest’s room for free, filled with vintage items selected and organized by Atelier-Mayer. Unlike the St. Regis’ shopping experience, these can be worn for a night out as either the cherry on top of your outfit or as a complete ensemble. Or, drape yourself in vintage and put on a fashion show around your room.

And, if “they find that they cannot live without the Christian Dior necklace or vintage Chanel pink resin earrings,” explains The Berkeley, then guests can order the items through the concierge. Of course, because the fashion trunk is entirely vintage goodies, acquiring them is a bit more complicated than walking off with a hotel bathrobe