Brand Wars: Hotel toiletries fit for a king
In our last installment of "Brand Wars," we introduced you to some of the world's hottest hotel designers. The design is a big part of what makes a hotel great, but a hotel must also pay attention to all of the small details to stand out in the luxury market -- such as the brand of its toiletries. Luxurious shampoos, conditioners, lotion, and more can make your morning shower much more than routine. Below, see how these toiletry brands stack up!
Gilchrist & Soames
- Where you can bathe in it: Trump International Hotel and Tower, Fisher Island Hotel and Resort, Biltmore Coral Gables
- Its ingredients for success: Founded in London, Gilchrist & Soames has been producing luxe toiletries for high-end hotels since 1975. The company only services 4- and 5-pearl hotels -- "it's our niche," their website says.
- Where you can bathe in it: The Alex Hotel, Tortuga Bay, Back Bay Hotel, Sofitel Los Angeles, Four Seasons Maui, Four Seasons Boston
- Its ingredients for success: In 1976, 23-year-old Olivier Baussan purchased a steam distiller and created a batch of rosemary essential oil. Since then, Baussan has created a cosmetic empire based on natural products and phytotherapy -- or healing through the medicinal properties of plants. L'Occitane is a favorite toiletry brand among many luxury hotels, including the Sofitel and Four Seasons chains.
- Where you can bathe in it: The Carlton Hotel, The Pierre, Campton Place Taj Hotel
- Its ingredients for success: After the company's flagship salon opened in London's Mayfair in 1973, Molton Brown quickly became a cosmetic empire. In 1978, it began to retail its own line of plant-based bath products -- the first line was created in a makeshift lab located in the kitchen above the salon. Today, Molton Brown carries such products as coco de mer body lotion and lili-pili shampoo and conditioner.
- Where you can bathe in it: Andaz Wall Street, Andaz Fifth Avenue, The Bowery Hotel, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
- Its ingredients for success: CO Bigelow -- which proudly claims to be the oldest apothecary in America -- was founded in the West Village in 1838. Today, the flagship pharmacy still stands, and the company has opened remote outposts in Illinois and Ohio. CO Bigelow products can also be found in Bath and Body Works stores.
- Where you can bathe in it: The Carlyle, Sunset Tower - Argyle, Gild Hall, 60 Thompson
- Its ingredients for success: Founded in the East Village 159 years ago, this apothecary once sold products like Attraction Powder and Money Drawing Oil. Today, Kiehl's is a premium brand that provides hotels with bath products made from natural ingredients.
- Where you can bathe in it: The Hay-Adams, Eventi, Sivory Punta Cana, Acqualina Resort & Spa
- Its ingredients for success: Famed for its paisley print, Etro began as a luxurious, ready-to-wear Italian clothing line in 1968. Since then, the company has expanded to produce home goods, purses, and toiletries.
- Where you can bathe in it: Hotel Palomar Los Angeles Westwood, Affinia Manhattan, Hotel Chandler
- Its ingredients for success: Aveda provides hotels with plant-based bath products in eco-friendly packaging. Bottles are made with post-consumer recycled plastic, and many of the products are produced with wind energy.
- Where you can bathe in it: Viceroy Santa Monica, Maison 140
- Its ingredients for success: Neil George -- opened in 2005 by British stylists Amanda George and Neil Weisberg -- is a posh L.A. salon that services the likes of Mary-Kate Olsen, Renee Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, and Cameron Diaz. Though the salon does not technically produce hotel toiletries, guests at the Viceroy Santa Monica and Maison 140 can find full-size bottles of the lush bath products in their rooms.
- Where you can bathe in it: The Ritz-Carlton Washington, The Franklin NYC, The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park, Ritz-Carlton South Beach
- Its ingredients for success: Founded in 1884, this Italian company first became famous for its high-end jewelry and watches. Now, it also produces a line of skincare products that use extracts from precious stones.
- Where you can bathe in it: The St. Regis New York, The St. Regis San Francisco, The St. Regis Washington D.C.
- Its ingredients for success: Remede is known for its anti-aging therapies and products that work to restore skin balance. Guests at St. Regis hotels can indulge in bath products like Remede's luxe "energizing cleansing body tonic."
- Where you can bathe in it: Betsy Hotel, Tribeca Grand Hotel, The Standard Hollywood
- Its ingredients for success: Launched in 2004, Malin+Gotez is a high-end apothecary based in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. Malin+Goetz products are made to restore pH balance in hair and skin.
- Where you can bathe in it: W Hotels
- Its ingredients for success: Bliss launched its first spa in 1996 in New York City. Since then, it has formed a partnership with W Hotels, so "grooming groupies" (as Bliss calls them) can enjoy treatments at select W hotels across the nation.