Long, long ago when I looked at show houses on Sundays I saw a shelf in a bathroom stocked with lovely small bottles of bath oils and shampoos. The kind of bottles you get in hotels. I thought it looked cute and started collecting the little bottles whenever I stayed in a hotel. (An aside: I assume it is OK. If I used the bottles they were always replaced the next day with new full bottles, so I assume they throw the used bottles away, thus making it OK for me to take it. Someone, please comment and let me know if these bottles should not be removed. I will never take something like a towel from a hotel.)
I collected these small bottles for a while, in order to also have a shelf full of pretty small bottles in my bathroom. I never thought it looked as nice in my house as it did in that show house.
Eventually I had so many that I started using them. I then discovered that most of the products inside these little, cute bottles are really cheap rubbish; especially the shampoos and conditioners. However, there were a few notable exceptions.
The range in the hotel was fairly large. There was a shampoo (grapefruit and rosemary), conditioner (geranium and May Chang), body wash (geranium and neroli), body lotion (grapefruit and sweet orange), bath salt (grapefruit and lavender) and bath foam (rosewood and lavender) and a glycerine based soap (rose geranium and lemon) in my bathroom. The soap was soft and delicious. I was so sad when the tiny soap was used up and since it was so soft it did not take much. The shampoo and body wash had a very mascular smell, which I guess made sense in a hotel where most guests would be male. Both were just OK. The body lotion was very thin. The conditioner and bath foams smelled lovely. The conditioner is amazing. I have never before really liked a hotel conditioner (and have in fact stopped taking them home). This conditioner is thick and really does the job.
Beautiful earth claim that their products are natural and green. They sell a lot more on their website, which is worth a look.
The other amazing hotel was Granny Mouse. They are in the Natal Midlands. Although this is a smart boutique type hotel, they catered well to families and by children really enjoyed their stay. The best touch was when both boys received a Ben 10 bathrobe. They were so impressed.
Unfortunately Granny Mouse did not offer small bottles I could take away, but had a giant glass container of bath salts with herbs and a bottle of bath oil that smelled heavenly (lavender). These looked home made, the kind of thing you would buy in the Midlands Meander.
My all time favourite I got in a Marriot hotel in the United States. It was from Bath and Body Works.
You could even buy the full size products from the hotel. The product was called Aromatherapy Orange Ginger. It came in a shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. I have stopped taking conditioners, since I have never liked it, not even this one. But the smell is divine and I loved using the body lotion. Although the fragrance is called orange ginger it smells like orchids or lilies to me, especially a while after you have used it. I would love to buy this body lotion locally.
And just to show that I am not unique; other people have also written blogs about hotel toiletries, and they have also liked the Aromatherapy range in the Marriot.