Businesswoman listening to earbuds on airplane

From on-demand barre classes to a book lending program, leading companies are enticing travelers with exciting new perks. (Getty Images)

Let's face it: Two brands are better than one, especially when they're collaborating together in the travel space. When one brand is a best-in-class in the hospitality industry while the other dominates another sector and they team up to offer game-changing privileges, it's a win-win for companies and consumers. From a hotel partnering with a premier ballet company to a cruise line sailing with the most sought-after chefs on earth, here are exciting new alliances delivering innovative travel tools, perks and services.

[See: 8 Airport Amenities That Will Make You Look Forward to Flying.]

Grab-and-Go Wi-Fi

The line at the vending machine installed in Oakland International Airport isn't packed with jetsetters in search of candy, snacks or soda. Instead, globe-trotters are searching for Wi-Fi access. Thanks to a new partnership between Skyroam, a global Wi-Fi provider, and ZoomSystems, an automated retailer, passengers in select airports – including San Francisco International Airport, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport – can get Wi-Fi on the go via vending machines. The hot spot rentals dispensed connect users to the web in more than 100 countries. For $9.95 per day, users have unlimited surfing. When they return from their trip, they simply mail the unit back in a prepaid envelope that comes with the device.

Baby Gear Delivered to Your Destination

This summer, Destination Hotels & Resorts announced a new partnership with baby gear rental company Babierge. The leading renter of baby equipment, Babierge's inventory includes cribs, strollers, play pens and toys. Guests can now book a room and baby gear online at the same time. Upon arriving at any of Destination Hotels' properties in the U.S. and the Caribbean, guests will find their items set up and waiting for them in their room. Destination Hotel guests also get an exclusive 10 percent discount on Babierge's rental fees – typically around $12 per day for a stroller or crib and $8 per day for a cradling swing.

Hotel Rooms with a …Tattoo

If you've ever dreamed of getting inked by one of the stars of TLC's "Miami Ink," visit any of W Hotels four New York City properties to skip the artist's multiyear waiting list. In May, W Hotels, in partnership with Espolòn Tequila, announced an in-house Tattoo Series. Celebrity tattoo artists will temporarily move into the hotel and turn the largest suites into tattoo parlors with incredible views of the city. The series runs through the fall.

[Read: The Best Free Hotel Amenities and Experiences.]

Loyalty Points and Shopping Perks

In the past, you had to use hard-earned hotel loyalty points on award stays, or if you were lucky, you had the freedom to apply them toward airfare, rental cars, subscriptions and other travel expenses. But recently, Hilton added more benefits to its rewards program, giving Hilton Honors members the flexibility to use points to buy products on Amazon.com. The loyalty program's 60 million members can now use their points – awarded for staying at Hilton properties or shopping with a partner credit card – to shop for almost anything on Amazon.com. It's the first time the online retailer has teamed up with a leading hotel group.

Hotels With Perks for Book Lovers

Last April, the Laurel Inn, a Joie de Vivre boutique property in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, began a partnership with Books Inc. – one of the oldest independent booksellers. The Book of the Month club is exclusive to hotel guests who can read the designated book on-site during their stay (the book changes monthly, but always highlights the City of the Bay). Guests can also take advantage of a 20 percent discount on the title if they purchase it at one of Books Inc.'s three locations in San Francisco, where consumers receive an additional 10 percent off all titles.

At-Sea Epicurean Delights

Foodies previously turned off by subpar cruise ship buffets can now rejoice. In early 2017, Windstar Cruises announced an expanded culinary collaboration with the James Beard Foundation. Passengers on every Culinary Cruise Collection voyage can partake in cooking demonstrations featuring James Beard Award-winning chef recipes from the likes of Maria Hines and Michel Nischan. Some voyages will even feature James Beard Foundation nominees and winners, including celebrity chef and "Top Chef" winner Hugh Acheson.

[See: 7 Pro Carry-On Packing Hacks for Your Next Weekend Getaway.]

On-Demand Workouts

JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts just made it a lot easier for guests to stay fit and maintain their workout regimen on the road. Thanks to a new partnership with the Joffrey Ballet, the brand's properties will begin offering on-demand barre class workout videos in its guest rooms. The videos, filmed at JW Marriott Los Cabos Resort & Spa, star two of Joffrey's professional ballet dancers. "Behind the Barre" is currently available at JW Marriott Essex House in New York City and will be rolled out in more properties this fall.


10 Innovative Hotel Room Designs


Photo Gallery
Woman sitting in bedroom of California luxury resort reading a book.
EVEN Hotels.
Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.
LEGOLAND Hotel.
Aloft Santa Clara.
Holiday Inn.
Moxy Hotels.
Walt Disney World Resort.
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
NYAH Hotel.
ACME Hotel Company, Chicago.
|

Take a virtual tour of unique, tech-forward rooms.
What makes a hotel room great? The perfect mix of tech-savvy yet functional apps and features, superlative amenities and amazing aesthetics help some suites outshine the rest. "Anytime that you can make a guest feel like a place that they are staying in is specifically tailored to them, that spells success," says Miguel Baeza, partner at hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates. Here are top hotel rooms that elevate guests' stays with creative, forward-thinking designs.
(Getty Images)

EVEN Hotels
EVEN Hotels from the InterContinental Hotels Group, which features properties in New York, Connecticut and Maryland, has reimagined the wellness concept with rooms designed to help travelers keep their health on track, maintain their fitness routine and eat and sleep well. Each room features a workout zone with resistance bands, a stability ball, a yoga mat and free workout videos on demand. Choose to work at your room's standup desk or sit on the ergonomic chair or stability ball. In every room, you'll also find adjustable mood lighting (try the disco setting), cork flooring for sound absorption and natural eucalyptus fiber bedding that creates a cooling effect to promote sleep.
(Courtesy of EVEN Hotels)

Hilton McLean Tysons Corner
At Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, a property that serves as a test site for the company's future technology and design rollouts, you'll find two fitness rooms: one themed around cardio and the other around spinning. Once guests enter the room with the digital key on their phone, they will find a cardio machine, such as an elliptical or spin bike, as well as additional equipment, a full-length mirror, a bench for seated exercises and a sports performance floor. What's more, the fitness area has been incorporated into the room's design to be space efficient and allow for plenty of room for both workouts and other daily activities.
(Courtesy of Hilton McLean Tyson's Corner)

LEGOLAND Hotel
Families will love the attention to detail at LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND California Resort, where the designers incorporated amenities geared toward youngsters. If you need a few quiet moments, send the kids into their section of the room filled with bunk beds. If the kids want to watch TV, there are even child-friendly channels playing in their area. Other family-friendly touches include a kid-size peep hole in the door, "treasure" in the in-room safe after they problem-solve to determine the combination and up to 12 different LEGO models in every room, each of which has a theme, from Pirates to Kingdom to Adventure and Friends.
(Courtesy of LEGOLAND Hotel)

Aloft Santa Clara
Inside the Aloft Santa Clara's hotel rooms, guests can simply say, "Hey Siri!" for immediate service, thanks to the property's new voice-activation technology. Known as the top-secret "Project: Jetson" until recently, the technology lets guests interact with their room using Apple's Siri. With the platform, guests can use a custom app on the in-room iPad to change lighting (simply say "Good Morning" to turn on the lights), adjust the temperature, play their favorite iTunes music through the room's Bluetooth speakers and even set personal lighting or heating and cooling preferences. The tech-forward rooms are also available at Aloft Boston Seaport.
(Courtesy of Aloft Hotels)

Holiday Inn
In 2016, Holiday Inn began opening properties with revamped rooms designed to create a cozy, home-away-from-home feel. Featuring sleek, modern and bright decor, the new rooms offer an area for hanging coats and bags, removing shoes and charging devices. In a new room category, you'll find a king bed and a trundle-type bed, which doubles as a sofa for day use and turns into two twin beds for guests at night. Guests will also find a rollaway desk that can be used for work or dining.
(Courtesy of Holiday Inn)

Moxy Hotels
The Moxy brand from Marriott, which targets millennial travelers, has reimagined the hotel room concept through the lens of Gen Y travelers. Tech-savvy and affordable, Moxy, which currently has properties in New Orleans and Tempe, Arizona, features industrial rooms with concrete floors and exposed concrete columns. Plus, each guest room features open storage, with a peg wall to hang hats, purses and other accessories and a wall containing a fold-up table and chair that can be taken down to use as a desk or for meals. Plus, Moxy properties feature keyless entry, copious USB ports and the ability to stream content from a personal device to the TV.
(Courtesy of Moxy Hotels)

Disney's Art of Animation Resort
As you might expect at a Walt Disney World Resort, you'll find plenty of Disney-themed spaces, but this property goes above and beyond. The Art of Animation room tells the story of the animation process from pencil sketches to storyboards through four themed hotel wings: "Cars," "Finding Nemo," The Lion King" and "The Little Mermaid." The Cars Cozy Cone Suites offer an especially creative design with a toolbox as a dresser and a sofa bed that looks like a classic car's bench seat, among other features. Plus, the room is practical for families with a kitchenette and three beds, including a trundle bed that also transforms into a table for in-room dining.
(Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort)

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
As the most lavish room at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, the Bret Michaels Rock Star Suite was designed by the singer himself. A spin on the traditional penthouse, this suite lets you feel like you are living the high-flying life of the legendary rocker with 9,000 square feet to accommodate a DJ booth and bar, a dance floor, a screening room, a full terrace with a hot tub and fire pit and a billiards table. Plus, a tech-smart remote allows you to set the LED lighting to match your mood, and adjust the settings for a hydro spa bathtub, a Bluetooth waterproof speaker and high-tech theater and soundstage for guitar jam sessions.
(Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya)

NYAH
NYAH, which stands for "Not Your Average Hotel," may have created the ultimate tailor-made hotel room. Each room features custom-built beds that fold up or down to convert into bunk beds, couches or a single king bed. Designed to meld the comforts of a select-service hotel with the feel of a peer-to-peer rental, guests can choose to room with fellow travelers or strangers to pay a lower fee for a hostel-type accommodation. Plus, each bed comes with its own locker for securing personal items, as well as a personal charging station. Located in Key West, Florida, close to Duval Street, guests are close to all the action in the Keys.
(Courtesy of NYAH)

ACME Hotel Company, Chicago
While small in size, the ACME Hotel Company, Chicago manages to offer a variety of utilitarian benefits. Inside the well-appointed rooms of the Chicago outpost, you'll find a lipstick nightlight in the bathroom mirror, a modern handprint work of art over each bed and flying mannequins in the courtyard out the window. Apart from its hip decor, the hotel offers functional features and services, including a sink, microwave and minifridge, a chalkboard and a "Knock & Drop" room service, where items are left outside your door in a brown paper bag – no tip or donning a robe needed.
(Courtesy of ACME Hotel Company, Chicago)

Woman sitting in bedroom of California luxury resort reading a book.
EVEN Hotels.
Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.
LEGOLAND Hotel.
Aloft Santa Clara.
Holiday Inn.
Moxy Hotels.
Walt Disney World Resort.
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
NYAH Hotel.
ACME Hotel Company, Chicago.

Take a virtual tour of unique, tech-forward rooms.
What makes a hotel room great? The perfect mix of tech-savvy yet functional apps and features, superlative amenities and amazing aesthetics help some suites outshine the rest. "Anytime that you can make a guest feel like a place that they are staying in is specifically tailored to them, that spells success," says Miguel Baeza, partner at hospitality design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates. Here are top hotel rooms that elevate guests' stays with creative, forward-thinking designs.
(Getty Images)

EVEN Hotels
EVEN Hotels from the InterContinental Hotels Group, which features properties in New York, Connecticut and Maryland, has reimagined the wellness concept with rooms designed to help travelers keep their health on track, maintain their fitness routine and eat and sleep well. Each room features a workout zone with resistance bands, a stability ball, a yoga mat and free workout videos on demand. Choose to work at your room's standup desk or sit on the ergonomic chair or stability ball. In every room, you'll also find adjustable mood lighting (try the disco setting), cork flooring for sound absorption and natural eucalyptus fiber bedding that creates a cooling effect to promote sleep.
(Courtesy of EVEN Hotels)

Hilton McLean Tysons Corner
At Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, a property that serves as a test site for the company's future technology and design rollouts, you'll find two fitness rooms: one themed around cardio and the other around spinning. Once guests enter the room with the digital key on their phone, they will find a cardio machine, such as an elliptical or spin bike, as well as additional equipment, a full-length mirror, a bench for seated exercises and a sports performance floor. What's more, the fitness area has been incorporated into the room's design to be space efficient and allow for plenty of room for both workouts and other daily activities.
(Courtesy of Hilton McLean Tyson's Corner)

LEGOLAND Hotel
Families will love the attention to detail at LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND California Resort, where the designers incorporated amenities geared toward youngsters. If you need a few quiet moments, send the kids into their section of the room filled with bunk beds. If the kids want to watch TV, there are even child-friendly channels playing in their area. Other family-friendly touches include a kid-size peep hole in the door, "treasure" in the in-room safe after they problem-solve to determine the combination and up to 12 different LEGO models in every room, each of which has a theme, from Pirates to Kingdom to Adventure and Friends.
(Courtesy of LEGOLAND Hotel)

Aloft Santa Clara
Inside the Aloft Santa Clara's hotel rooms, guests can simply say, "Hey Siri!" for immediate service, thanks to the property's new voice-activation technology. Known as the top-secret "Project: Jetson" until recently, the technology lets guests interact with their room using Apple's Siri. With the platform, guests can use a custom app on the in-room iPad to change lighting (simply say "Good Morning" to turn on the lights), adjust the temperature, play their favorite iTunes music through the room's Bluetooth speakers and even set personal lighting or heating and cooling preferences. The tech-forward rooms are also available at Aloft Boston Seaport.
(Courtesy of Aloft Hotels)

Holiday Inn
In 2016, Holiday Inn began opening properties with revamped rooms designed to create a cozy, home-away-from-home feel. Featuring sleek, modern and bright decor, the new rooms offer an area for hanging coats and bags, removing shoes and charging devices. In a new room category, you'll find a king bed and a trundle-type bed, which doubles as a sofa for day use and turns into two twin beds for guests at night. Guests will also find a rollaway desk that can be used for work or dining.
(Courtesy of Holiday Inn)

Moxy Hotels
The Moxy brand from Marriott, which targets millennial travelers, has reimagined the hotel room concept through the lens of Gen Y travelers. Tech-savvy and affordable, Moxy, which currently has properties in New Orleans and Tempe, Arizona, features industrial rooms with concrete floors and exposed concrete columns. Plus, each guest room features open storage, with a peg wall to hang hats, purses and other accessories and a wall containing a fold-up table and chair that can be taken down to use as a desk or for meals. Plus, Moxy properties feature keyless entry, copious USB ports and the ability to stream content from a personal device to the TV.
(Courtesy of Moxy Hotels)

Disney's Art of Animation Resort
As you might expect at a Walt Disney World Resort, you'll find plenty of Disney-themed spaces, but this property goes above and beyond. The Art of Animation room tells the story of the animation process from pencil sketches to storyboards through four themed hotel wings: "Cars," "Finding Nemo," The Lion King" and "The Little Mermaid." The Cars Cozy Cone Suites offer an especially creative design with a toolbox as a dresser and a sofa bed that looks like a classic car's bench seat, among other features. Plus, the room is practical for families with a kitchenette and three beds, including a trundle bed that also transforms into a table for in-room dining.
(Courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort)

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya
As the most lavish room at Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, the Bret Michaels Rock Star Suite was designed by the singer himself. A spin on the traditional penthouse, this suite lets you feel like you are living the high-flying life of the legendary rocker with 9,000 square feet to accommodate a DJ booth and bar, a dance floor, a screening room, a full terrace with a hot tub and fire pit and a billiards table. Plus, a tech-smart remote allows you to set the LED lighting to match your mood, and adjust the settings for a hydro spa bathtub, a Bluetooth waterproof speaker and high-tech theater and soundstage for guitar jam sessions.
(Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya)

NYAH
NYAH, which stands for "Not Your Average Hotel," may have created the ultimate tailor-made hotel room. Each room features custom-built beds that fold up or down to convert into bunk beds, couches or a single king bed. Designed to meld the comforts of a select-service hotel with the feel of a peer-to-peer rental, guests can choose to room with fellow travelers or strangers to pay a lower fee for a hostel-type accommodation. Plus, each bed comes with its own locker for securing personal items, as well as a personal charging station. Located in Key West, Florida, close to Duval Street, guests are close to all the action in the Keys.
(Courtesy of NYAH)

ACME Hotel Company, Chicago
While small in size, the ACME Hotel Company, Chicago manages to offer a variety of utilitarian benefits. Inside the well-appointed rooms of the Chicago outpost, you'll find a lipstick nightlight in the bathroom mirror, a modern handprint work of art over each bed and flying mannequins in the courtyard out the window. Apart from its hip decor, the hotel offers functional features and services, including a sink, microwave and minifridge, a chalkboard and a "Knock & Drop" room service, where items are left outside your door in a brown paper bag – no tip or donning a robe needed.
(Courtesy of ACME Hotel Company, Chicago)

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Tags: travel, vacations


Katie Jackson has been a travel contributor for U.S. News since 2015. She began her career in 2011 as an on-air travel spokesperson for NBC LA before she transitioned into travel writing in 2013. Her work has appeared at USAToday.com, FoxNews.com, OutsideOnline.com, Bicycling.com and in The Sunday Times. Travel, adventure, luxury and anything requiring the signing of a waiver is in her wheelhouse. She spends most of the year traveling internationally, but when she's not on a flight, she's at home in Montana with her Leonberger, Zeus. You can follow her travels on Instagram at @katietalkstravel.

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