by John Egan

By now, you've come to expect Wi-Fi service and a host of other standard amenities at hotels. But some hotels, including several in Houston, kick their amenity offerings up a notch or two. Here are seven not-so-standard but oh-so-cool amenities at hotels in the Houston area.


1. Craving a bedtime snack that harkens back to your childhood? The Magnolia Hotel Houston serves complimentary milk and cookies from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

2. At the Four Seasons Hotel Houston, guests and restaurant customers can snap up complimentary selfie sticks for photo forays on the property or around Houston. "It is not a pilot program for all Four Seasons. It's something our team came up with on their own, but we've seen a great response to it," a Four Seasons representative told Skift.com.

3. Two black swans liven up the landscape at the Omni Houston Hotel; you can watch them being fed at various times of the day. By the way, the swans don't have their own rooms. Oh, and you can't take them home.

4. Plenty of hotels succeed at replicating the comforts of home. But Hotel ZaZa Houston takes this a step further. Some of the hotel's suites feature gourmet kitchens equipped with stainless steel appliances. In select suites, you'll even find a washer and dryer.

5. Want to relive a little bit of your childhood? At Hotel Derek, you can arrange a pillow fight for $75. The hotel will stock your room with 10 extra-soft pillows for the battle, plus jumbo boxing gloves so you can duke it out in case of a tie. Included in the package is a post-fight treat: warm chocolate chip cookies and cold milk.

6. Care for a spot of tea? Hotel Granduca hosts a traditional afternoon tea in the bar and the lobby. Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance.

7. Need to get your suit pressed for an all-important meeting in the morning? Looking for that bestselling book that your friends have been recommending? The butler service at The St. Regis Houston is at your service. The hotel promises that "no request is too small or unattainable no matter what the hour of the day."

Learn more about the evolving Houston Convention District at visithouston.com/meetings/