By Wendy Lemlin
You've checked into your really cool hotel room for a romantic getaway and begin to peruse the mini-bar. Champagne - check. Dark chocolate - check. Sophisticated black-and-silver box marked "Luxury Intimacy Kit" - wait, what?
From San Diego to South Beach, and Costa Rica to Canada, some of the hippest lodgings are putting the "hot" in "hotel" by including luxury romance kits from San Diego-based company New Indulgence. The sexy care packages are also sometimes included in romance-themed promotional deals, like ones offered at the newly remodeled Hotel La Jolla in La Jolla Shores and The Keating in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Seven different kits (all for sale via New Indulgence's website) range from $11-$100. They're elegantly packaged and contain anything from condoms, lube and feather ticklers; to an assortment garters, vibrating "toys", massage oils, lacy eye masks, silky restraints, chocolate body paint and naughty games.
New Indulgence was born in 2008, when the housing bubble burst and mortgage broker Barb Greiert was looking to move in another direction. A causal conversation with friend Jim Dearing, creative director at a Los Angeles ad agency with many hotel clients, planted the seed.
"Jim remarked that most people stay in hotels for either business or pleasure, and that hotels could do more to push the pleasure aspect," Greiert says. "We became business partners with the mission of bringing romance and passion to lovers all over the world. If hotel guests are there for a romantic getaway, we like to think that our Luxury Romance Kits can help turn an ordinary stay into an extraordinary one."
She smiles and adds: "I left the mortgage business because it was on a downward turn. With New Indulgence, let's just say things are looking up."