Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Banyan Tree Mayakoba

When luxury hotels do battle trying to one-up each other, the guests reap the benefits. Some amenities come and go—remember when suites had to have a fax machine? Others become so popular that they get folded into the requirements for AAA 5-diamond awards, like having three phones in the room or a shower stall separate from the bathtub.

According to this story in the Wall Street Journal, the real competition is taking place in the bathrooms. One new development has already popped up in the new St. Regis in Mexico City: a TV embedded in the bathroom mirror. It sounds kind of silly now, but maybe later we’ll be going, “Remember when you couldn’t watch the news while you shaved?”

The article says the Four Seasons group is making these embedded TVs and digital clocks standard in all new renovations and new hotels. You can expect a hotel owned by Kohler to set the tone on this, so they’re not holding back.

The American Club, a resort hotel in Kohler, Wis., owned and operated by kitchen and bathroom furnishings maker Kohler Co., is scheduled to complete the first phase of room renovations May 1. The renovations include revamped showers with multiple showerheads, including an overhead “rain” shower, two body sprays attached to the wall and a hand spray. Some higher-priced rooms include a “flipside handshower” that changes the spray pattern with a flip of the shower head, and one room features a large soaking tub for two people with a tiny-bubble massaging feature and chromatherapy.

You can see my favorite bathroom in this video tour of Casitas del Colca in Peru. Heated floors, big tub, indoor shower and outdoor shower. It barely edges out my second favorite one: the Banyan Tree Mayakoba, pictured at the top.

What gets you jazzed up in new hotel bathroom developments? What aspect is the most important to have?