11.29.17 / Global

A Hotel Life’s 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Give Good Gifts!

For some the act of gift giving is a cause of stress. Knowing what a person wants or needs creates pressure for people who want nothing more than to nail it with the ideal gift. We see things a little differently: the best gifts are the ones that are unexpected, a little eccentric, and preferably not something the person would have bought themselves. Gift giving should be as fun as the gifts that are given.

Nonetheless, we wanted to make that process a little easier by selecting some of our favorite gift ideas this year. There’s something for everyone, all types of people and every price point. From a pair of socks you won’t want to leave the house in, to some in-flight mixology, to an iPhone game for your most meditative of friends. We’ve got you covered with our fail-proof Holiday Gift Guide:

For the Party Hoppers:


Gem & Bolt Mezcal

Our mezcal of choice comes straight from Oaxaca, made with fair trade and sustainable practices (the better the distillation process, the less of a hangover—within reason). It’s also the only mezcal on the market distilled with damiana, an ancient Mexican herb said to elevate mood. But most importantly it tastes good, and it’s the kind of spirit you’ll want to sip on from the beginning to the end of a good night.

$50 at Reserve Bar



Bill Brewster Tribal Rites Vinyl

Get the crowd moving with this killer compilation from one of Britain’s best selectors. The famed DJ, known for his weekly podcast of immaculate selections aptly titled ‘The History of DJing’ puts together a timeless compilation in Tribal Rites. Covering some of the most magnificent and under-the-radar tracks of the last few decades, it deserves a place in any collection.

$30 at Amoeba


Studio 54 Book

For anyone who has listened wistfully as a raconteur describes the nightlife of the past, this is the book for them. Because with Studio 54, you’re hearing it from the man himself. Ian Schrager (before he was the Ian Scrager we know) talks about his storied venue, with an array of photos that will transport you back to an era that has never felt more relevant than now.

$75 at Barneys New York 


Gucci Neck Bow

So you’ve had the mezcal, listened to the tunes, and flipped through the pages of nightlife history. Now you need to put on your dancing shoes and hit the town. Don’t just throw on your usual attire—think about how they did it in the ’70s, and it’s no surprise why it’s the decade en vogue right now. This Gucci neck tie is for the kind of person who knows style is an integral part of nightlife, and a little bold, cheeky fun is appreciated by everyone.

$180 at Gucci 

For the Perpetually Pampered:




Byredo Gypsy Water Hand Cream

Perfumes have their place when people are going out, but there are better ways to get the same alluring scents while still getting some functionality. Hand cream is our pick; with all the washing we do plus the cold, dryness of winter, you need the proper salve to keep your hands soft and hydrated. With Byredo’s Gypsy Water, not only do you protect your hands, but you get one of their most desirable scents wafting around every time you move your hands. Just make sure the recipient doesn’t get caught smelling their hands—it’s never a good look.

$36 at Net-A-Porter


Tom Dixon Charcoal Diffuser

It’s easy to feel like a kid in a candy store when you’re in a Tom Dixon shop. The designer has a wide array of goods that meld with different environments and are composed of a range of materials like brass, brushed silver, and iridescent glass. This Water Charcoal Diffuser does double duty, offering both a refreshing aroma based on fresh sea air and a beautiful design touch with the mouth-blown glass flask.

$115 at Mr. Porter


Corgi Cashmere Socks

Few things are as luxurious as fine gauge cashmere, but why limit it to sweaters and scarves? Real luxury is wrapping your feet in cashmere, and few pieces of clothing will make you feel as cozy as a pair of cashmere socks. It’s definitely indulgent—not many are willing to dish out Jacksons on fabric most people won’t even see. But that’s what makes it a perfect gift, the kind of thing a person doesn’t know they need until they have it (and wiggle their toes around for a few minutes).

$165 at Mr. Porter


Haekels Rose Bath Oil

Haekels is a natural skincare and fragrance brand from the UK that has quickly gained recognition for their luscious products and eco-friendly sourcing. Using locally sourced botanicals from Margate, Haekels develops products with the goal of replenishing the body. The Rose Bath Oil does that and more; as the reship oils nourish your skin, you’ll drift in your tub as the scent of wild dog rose and English birch leaf envelops you.

~$50 at Haeckel’s


For the New Wave Jetsetters:



Thom Browne Passport Holder

Anyone who has ever left the house in a hurry knows the dread of realizing you left something behind, but none more so than someone who has forgotten their passport. With a stylish passport holder, not only will it be hard to forget, you’ll probably want to carry around your passport even when it’s not needed. Thom Browne has been as successful with his line of accessories as his profound and groundbreaking fashion, with his signature red, white, and blue stripes a point of pride for anyone who holds on to one.

$459 at END Clothing


Carry-On Cocktail Kit

If a flight is over 3 hours there’s a good chance we’re having some mini-bottles of booze sent our way. But as frequent visitors of dimly-lit cocktail bars, sometimes a soda mixer just doesn’t cut it. Enter the Carry-On Cocktail Kit by W&P Design. Each tin contains the ingredients (but you’ll have to provide the booze) for two servings of Bloody Marys, Moscow Mules, Hot Toddys, and more. The right way for in-flight imbibing,

$24 at W&P Design


Citix60 City Map Art Print 

Travelers do their best to capture the charm of a city during a short period of time. With the Citix60 collection of city maps, they can be reminded any time. The brand enlisted an array of illustrators and graphic designers to capture the vibrancy of major cities in these colorful prints. These maps may not do much to help you get around, but the charming drawings are a perfect addition to any design-centric home or office.

$80-130 at viction.ary

For the Budding Zen Masters:



Bragi The Headphone

Wires are out. Headphones are still catching up—even the best ones tend to sacrifice audio quality when ditching the cord. But Bragi’s headphones offer the best of both worlds: the portability and sleek profile with strong sound quality that surpasses many other truly wireless buds. When you’re on a busy train or plane, there’s no better way to zone out than popping these in and listening to some buddhist chants (but more likely something equally meditative like some Phillip Glass).

$149 at Bragi



There’s a reason there’s a ‘gift’ option in the App Store, and we’ve come a long way from Candy Crush and Temple Run. When it was originally released for Playstation in 2009, Flower was an entirely unique game designed only to stir emotions and create positive feelings in the user. There are no characters, dialogue, or prompts; you simply control the wind. To boot, it won a BAFTA and is part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

$4.99 on the Apple App Store


David Lynch “Catching the Big Fish”

If you didn’t know who was a Lynch fan before, you found out this past summer. The revered filmmaker brought back arguably his most famous project Twin Peaks for a long, enchantingly bizarre third season 26 years after its predecessor. Fans have always been itching to get insight into the mind of one of the most original artists in the world, who happens to also be a major proponent of transcendental meditation. In his book “Catching the Big Fish,” Lynch delves into both his creative process and the effect meditation has had on him, making this a great book for fans, creatives, and meditators alike.

~$10 at Amazon

For the Art School Dropouts:



Leica Sofort

Film cameras are back in style, but no matter where technology takes us, instant film will always be the most fun way to take photographs. There are many options when it comes to instant cameras, from Polaroid to Lomography to Fuji, but if you want to get points as a gift giver, the famous red dot is a safe bet. Leica surprised and delighted their fans with their most quirky (and least expensive) model yet in the Sofort—and it’ll be sure to please anyone on the receiving end. Bonus points if you get the limited edition Jean Pigozzi LimoLand model.

Starting at $299 at Leica DC


Maurizio Cattelan Museum Scarf

What better way to show your appreciation of the arts by wearing a museum scarf designed by famed artist Maurizio Cattelan? Known for his satirical work and whimsical shows, Cattelan brings his eccentric touch to wearables with scarves emblazoned with ‘Guggenheim,’ ‘MoCA,’ and ‘New Museum’ among others. The bold designs are perfect for the maximalist fashion of the moment making it a timely gift.

$65,  each scarf is exclusively sold at its respective museum


Postalco Jotter

Great ideas need a starting point, and iPhones don’t always cut it. Having a place to lay down creative ideas, thoughts, doodles, or anything else goes a long way to making it a reality because it’s physical, it exists. For that we look to Postalco, a Japan-based notebook and accessory maker focused on using high quality materials in everything they do. The Jotter is the perfect desk companion, with the size and paper stock ideal for bringing your ideas into the world.

$12 at Need Supply


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