Cheryl Cortez tells people to stay at the W chain of hotels. It isn't the room décor or the customer service, it's the Bliss soaps, shampoo and lotion. "I swiped all six items," says Ms. Cortez, 37, a corporate roadshow marketing specialist in Edina, Minn., of the Bliss brand bath products the hotel provides. "I remember telling the guys at my breakfast table they should take it all and give it to their girlfriend, or wife, or me," she says of a recent stay at the W in New Orleans. "The bath products are so good."
Travel-sized beauty and grooming products at hotels are something many travelers view as pleasantly scented parting gifts. They are also the result of global marketing and licensing partnerships that marry the beauty industry to the hospitality business. And in a world where travelers are restricted to three-ounce liquid carry-ons on airplanes, bath products in hotel rooms are gaining attention.
Hilton Hotels and Resorts announced in May it had commissioned six new products from the Peter Thomas Roth cosmetics brand for use in all 540 hotels in 78 countries worldwide. Hilton Hotels and Resorts ended its relationship with its previous beauty partner of four years, Crabtree & Evelyn.Hilton Hotels Corp.'s mid-market brands-Embassy Suites and Doubletree-now carry Crabtree & Evelyn.
These marriages and divorces are the result of agreements between hotels and hospitality supply companies, which frequently license beauty brands' names and formulations, then manufacture and sell the amenities directly to hotels. "After about five years, some hotels want a change to a brand that is hot, new, trendy, current-which was one of the requirements for Hilton," said Teri Unsworth, the account supervisor at Sysco Guest Supply who paired Hilton to Roth after an 18-month search process that began with 50 beauty brands.
"We are always looking for retail brands that are appropriate for our different customers," said Ms. Unsworth. Hotels, suppliers and beauty brands work together to either create a new line of products or choose an appropriate beauty pairing for each hotel.