Spooky Sheets & Goldfish Bowls: Totally Ridiculous & Amazing Hotel Amenities

Most of us have no desire to stay in a smelly, haunted hotel room. But for the select few special flowers who delight in creepy crawlies, the Mama Hotel is just up your alley. Designed to celebrate the arrival of the Jessica Chastain movie “Mama” on DVD (eh, it was just okay), the horrific hotel inside London’s Holiday Inn Camden Lock allows guests to sleep in rooms inspired by the scary film. And it’s not just the decorations: Guests will also be privy to encounters with “paranormal beings.”

That’s certainly a hotel for a certain kind of lady. But that’s hardly the only unique amenity. Guests at the Happy Guest Hotel Lodge in Dutton, England, can request a pet for the duration of their stay. Sure, they’re only goldfish, but lodge owner Jeff Riley says they’ve been a hit with weary, lonely travelers. “Obviously it can’t talk back but it can wiggle its fins and swim around the tank––it will give guests someone to talk to and unload the troubles of the day.” And they’re not the only ones — the Kimpton hotel chain also offers a goldfish-on-demand service for kiddies.

After the jump, some of the most strange and surprising guest amenities at hotels around the world.

1. Record Players: Lots of places now offer in-room iPods and iPod docks. But the Ace Hotel in New York has outfitted some of its rooms with record players and stacks of vintage vinyl. And it’s not just random John Denver LPs and Styx records, either. Everything’s been carefully culled by noted downtown record store Other Music.

2. Pillow Fights: The Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach wanted to do something special to lure carefree and presumably very wealthy families in. So they offer a pillow fight service, complete with more than three dozen pillows, baby-size boxing gloves and post-fight milk and cookies. That’s rich!

3. Guitars: The Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago offers guests the opportunity to majorly shred: rock wannabees can borrow one of the hotel’s  17 electric and acoustic guitars for a little practice. Never plucked a string in your life? The hotel als offers an in-room video tutorial or the option to take classes locally. Plus, the best part? Each guitar comes with a personal sound system that ensures that your sweet music doesn’t become somebody elses’s problem.

4. Swimsuits: Forgot to pack your suit? No problem. At the Standard chain of hotels they’ve installed poolside swimsuit vending machines. They’re available in four styles.

5. Waves: But what if you remember your swimsuit but aren’t so sure about surfing? The Harbor Beach Marriot in Ft. Lauderdale has a friggin’ wave simulator pool, so kids and adults can learn to ride waves safely.

6. Oxygen: Another Klimpton hotel — Klimpton’s Aspen outpost, actually — offers its high altitude travelers an oxygen bar to refuel at the end of a long, breath-deprived day.

7. Barbies: The Hôtel Plaza Athéné offers two rooms that are perfectly Barbie-fied for the Barbie fanatic that never grew up but somehow still has a lot of money to burn.

8. Paragliding: At the Six Senses Hideaway at Zighy Bay in Oman, you can only arrive via speedboat, Jeep or strapped to the chest of a professoinal paraglider. We are totally not kidding about this.

9. Pet Psychics: Are you a crazy cat lady or dog person? You can check in with your animal at the Hotel De Luxe in Portland, Oregon, and enjoy tons of pet-specific amenities, including in-room readings from a renowned pet psychic.

10. A Massage … On A Gondola: You know how sometimes there are things in this world that you can’t even imagine inventing? That’s how we feel about the Loew’s Coronado Bay Resort’s massage-on-a-gondola option. Yeah, nothing like eing naked, on a gondola, with some massage therapists and gondoliers.

11. A Hammock. In The Bathtub: Again, blame it on my entirely middle class lifestyle, but I never even imagined something like hammocks in the bathtub. Like, where do people come up with this stuff? Regardless of whichever fine baby genius created this amenity, you can find it at W Hotel’s Mexico City outpost. 

Tell us: What’s the strangest, most intriguingly weird thing you’ve ever seen at a hotel?

[Room key image courtesy Shutterstock]

Tags: hotels, travel