Nothing says status like a hotel bathrobe.


When Marisa Coulson, her husband and daughter moved to Mallorca from New York in 2019, she packed her collection of hotel-branded items, including a sweatshirt from the Sunset Beach Hotel on Shelter Island; a Dunmore hat on Harbor Island, Bahamas; and a “vintage” sweater frayed at the seams from the Chateau Marmont, a West Hollywood hotel known for its famous residents and scandals.

The hotel's merchandise “is a 'if you know it, you know it' kind of thing,” he said.

“When you see someone wearing something from a place that's special to you, it's like you belong in the same club,” Coulson, 44, said. “We both love the same thing, know the same place and experience the same thing. It vibrates and I appreciated it.”

Brand name clothing and other products are nothing new. And from the corner coffee shop to the local mechanic, putting a name and logo on a t-shirt or baseball cap and selling it for extra income has never been easier. But in recent years, some hotels (particularly luxury properties) say they have seen increased demand for hotel souvenirs, and hats, T-shirts and towels with the properties' insignia have become highly sought-after loot among the “stealth wealth.” “. place.

Regardless of what the items entail, there is no need to stay at the properties. “Nothing sells as fast as big hotel merchandise,” said Brett David, owner of Spring Street Vintage, a business in New York City that sells second-hand hats, T-shirts and sweatshirts for prices from $50 to $140. in places like the Beverly Hills Hotel and Marmont Castle.

“When I get things from the hotel, things go pretty fast and I can't always get them that often,” he said, adding that two customers got into a bidding war over a particular sweatshirt from Chateau Marmont.

Desired items range from hard-to-get: a hat that costs 35 Swiss francs (about $40) at the Paradiso Mountain Club & Restaurant at Badrutt's Palace in St. Moritz, Switzerland, which in winter can only be reached by chairlift , skiing or snowshoeing. to those that are difficult to afford, like the $18,645 chess board at the Eden Rock Hotel in St. Barts.

“Hotel branded merchandise demonstrates a level of access,” said Sarah Wetenhall, 46, CEO and president of Colony Palm Beach, which she and her husband bought in 2016. “It shows that you're part of a certain social circle.” ”. Along with the hotel's popular items already available, including the Johnnie Brown baseball cap ($50), Colony Hotel x Petit Plume women's pajamas ($94) and the property's signature scented candle ($65), this year the Colony plans to sell handbags. Custom embroidered Saint James shirts and brand name toiletries.

Harsch Kumar Sood, a 39-year-old London real estate developer, said his collection of hotel items includes toiletries from Dean Street Townhouse in London, ashtrays from Le Sirenuse in Positano, Italy, and about seven bathrobes that found their way into his suitcase. after staying at the Leela Palace in New Delhi.

“Now we all take 3,000 photographs a day, but I don't look at old travel photos very often,” he said. “Travel merch is another way to remember and think about how lucky you are to have experienced something.”

The draw is there even for those who have not been guests of the hotel. Jeff Lyles, 37, a DJ and event coordinator from Napa, California, who works under the name DJ Flamingeaux, often buys concert merchandise from hotels. This includes coasters from the Peacock Room at the Kimpton Hotel in New Orleans and a sweatshirt for his wife from Hotel 1 in Miami Beach.

For Lyles, using the merchandise also serves as walking advertisement for his work. Someone who makes a connection with him through a hotel logo on a cap or sweatshirt “might become a friend and I can introduce my music to someone.”

When Brooke Palmer Kuhl, 46, owner of RSBP, an events and public relations company in Tampa, Florida, graduated from college more than two decades ago, she began collecting beach towels at luxury hotel properties despite who had not yet traveled to most of them. “I would ask people to bring me one when they went somewhere,” she said. The towels arrived, then the Christmas tree decorations (“because not all hotels make brand-name towels, believe it or not”) and the glasses.

Now, her collection of products (about 50 towels and ornaments equal to two Christmas trees) serves as a checklist of places she aspires to go and places she's finally visited. “It started with 70 percent places she hadn't been and 30 percent places she had been, and now it's probably the other way around,” she said. “Before I was at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande, people brought me glasses from there. Then I turned 40 there.”

In December 2022, Rosewood Hotel Group launched online merchandise sales for a handful of “pilot properties,” including the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, Rosewood London and the Carlyle in New York, which sells items such as the Gallery Afternoon Tea Set ($295). , Carlyle baseball cap ($60) and Bemelmans Bar cocktail napkins ($75). Marlene Poynder, Carlyle's general manager, said the hotel expected its overall merchandise sales to increase 25 percent this year compared to last year.

Pamela Benger, 54, founder of the pet company Phantom Pooches, is a frequent guest at the Carlyle. She gave all of her loved ones Carlyle-themed candles and knitted hats this past holiday season, she said.

“Because the property is my home away from home, it means something when I give that gift,” said Ms. Benger, who lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, but stays at the Carlyle so often that she named one of their poodles the name of the property. “And it was very well received.”

Other properties, including the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood, do not sell items online, preferring to offer products in the on-site gift shop or reserve them for guests.

“It shouldn't be that anyone can buy it. It doesn't make it feel special anymore,” said Jeff Klein, the hotel's owner. “It's really for our customers to enjoy.”

In mid-December, the hotel posted on Instagram that new merchandise would be available in the gift shop the next day. The collection, which included matching sweatshirts and sweatpants with an image of the Tower Bar's famous ice cream menu and T-shirts with the words “Rude Guests Will Be Eaten Whole,” sold out within an hour, Klein said.

Since then, items have been appearing on eBay, selling for more than double their original price. A sweatshirt, which originally cost $160, was listed for $850.

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