Vroom vroom with the room.
By Traveling Lamas Guest Writer Karen Hershenson
When my husband and I decided to leave New York City for a quick weekend getaway that would grant us access to a beach, allow us to explore a quaint town, and wouldn’t require that we hop on a plane, we zeroed in on the storied Ocean House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island (above). It didn’t hurt that we’d also read about their partnership with Mercedes-Benz, which offers guests the opportunity to borrow one of their latest vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis – so we opted not to rent a car.
After arriving at Amtrak’s Westerly stop in Rhode Island (from New York’s Penn Station), we were promptly picked up by a member of Ocean House’s staff – a complimentary service available to all guests staying at the main hotel or at the Weekapaug Inn, a sister property located nearby. As we approached the historic waterfront property and saw the fleet of slick, silver Mercedes-Benz models ready to be driven, the cards in my memory bank flipped back to the first time I watched in awe as the hard top of a silver Mercedes convertible folded back into its pre-retracted form. I was eighteen. I also remember searching online, later that day, for the newest used hard top silver Mercedes convertible I could potentially afford! While that lofty purchase never happened for me as a late teen, this hotel stay managed to resurrect a dormant dream.
The Ocean House Mercedes-Benz fleet via @mhershen
The sexiest convertible available was the 2017 SL450 roadster, so that was our preferred choice throughout the weekend. I loved how the seats contoured to my body, cocooning me at every turn. The Ocean House had two SL450s and when both were already out, we drove the E400 Cabriolet – not a hardtop convertible, but still quite nice.
These strategic partnerships between luxury automobiles and elite hotels is certainly a unique travel perk that piqued my interest. Varying from test drive experiences to chauffeured transfers and joyrides, here are a few more hotel-car partnerships to put on your radar. For car enthusiasts, these can certainly add a few more destinations to your travel list very quickly!
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Four Seasons Vail – Mercedes Benz
Mercedes-Benz offers leisurely test drive experiences at a number of luxury hotels and resorts, including select properties from the Four Seasons, Auberge Resorts, and Montage Hotels – and of course, Ocean House (Relais & Chataeu).
Soho House – BMW
Fairmont Canada – BMW
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Canada offers BMW owners and its Fairmont Presidents’ Club Members complimentary chauffeur service in several BMW models, including series 7 sedans and the X5. In the U.S., all guests can enjoy courtesy transfers and local rides at Fairmont properties across the country through their partnership with Cadillac – although Fairmont President’s Club members and guests on Fairmont Gold floors receive priority.
Inspirato – Cadillac
Cadillac is also the official automotive partner of Inspirato, a members-only luxury vacation club, offering guests complimentary use of Escalades and CTS vehicles in several Inspirato destinations including Aspen, Beaver Creek, Sonoma, Nantucket, Kiawah Island and more.
St. Regis – Bentley
Rolls Royce – The 13 Hotel
If you’re ready to break the bank, book a room at the soon-to-open The 13 Hotel in Macau, China, claiming the title of most expensive hotel ever built at a mere $1.4 billion. Along with 24-hour butler service in every room, guests will also be privy to the luxury property’s partnership with Rolls Royce. 30 bespoke Phantoms are at the ready to transport guests in need of a ride, while 2 Gold Phantoms (the most expensive Rolls Royce has ever built) will be reserved for use by select, and very lucky, guests.
All above images courtesy of their respective properties, except where noted.