The range of luxury toiletries for yachting has expanded immensely in recent years and choosing the best option for your guests can be a daunting task, especially if you are new to the chief stewardess role.
Here are a few important factors you might want to take into consideration when choosing your products and a few tips allowing you to put those final touches to your guest’s 6* experience onboard.
Perhaps the first thing when considering your choice of brand is the ethos of the boat and owner. Does your owner love having the best of everything and showing off to their friends? (luxury brand) Do they choose a healthy lifestyle and consider carefully everything they put into their body? (natural/organic brand) Is it a real “family boat” with a casual style and lots of friends and children? (full sizes, fun products for kids) A charter boat with a tight budget to adhere to and 24 hour turnarounds? (practical to use and value for money); Do they like trying new things and boutique brands? All of these things will make a difference as to what will work best for you. Obviously any personal preferences of the owner are also extremely important, so if you can find out if they have any preferences to fragrances etc and ranges they have used to before , that will greatly influence your choice too. Just to mention that some yachts do have one brand for the owner and another for charter, or even a different one for their personal guests. It really is a matter of preference but part of your job to make sure they know what is available and you hold stock accordingly.
Another very important factor is the interior design of the yacht. Certain brands would perhaps look amazing in a stark modern interior but would look rather out of place in a classic wooden and marble decor. Colour schemes are obviously also very important, paying special consideration for fixtures and fittings – gold with chrome would definitely offend the sensibilities of some owners!! Remember that often years of planning have gone into creating the perfect design of a bathroom and you must enhance that with your choice of toiletries.
The choice of bottle size may also influence your choice of brand. Pay attention to height restrictions that you may have if you need to display on shelves or in cupboards, or available counter space if you are using trays or baskets.
Full size bottles give a luxurious feel and are especially good for using in the master cabin. You may want a brand you can refill but do bare in mind that guests do sometimes take the bottles so make sure you have spares.
50ml bottles are good for smaller boats with smaller budgets or day-boats but I would advise 75ml or 100ml bottles if you don’t want to be changing them too often. 100ml is really the smallest size that would you want to refill – it is too time consuming otherwise. Some brands do have bulks available if you have built in dispensers, and you can then coordinate this with smaller toiletries and amenities for your guests.
As I have already mentioned, the owner’s personal preference is important when it come to the choice of fragrance. If you have a male owner making the decisions or predominantly using the boat you may like to consider something very unisex or perhaps even masculine. Some owners don’t like strongly fragranced products so you might want to steer away from some traditional Italian citrus scents and stick with something very natural or herbal, or even with very little smell at all. Other guests love the fragrances of certain well know brands and have favorites. Others love keeping the same products on board as it reminds them of the boat or special holiday times. If you like it too – so much the better!
Range of products available.
The range of products a brand has to offer is also a big consideration. Sizes available, bulk refils, matching vanity products (like toothbrushes and shower caps) , additional items like lip balm, shaving foam, perfume etc may also effect your decision. VIP collections for guest gifts are also a lovely thing to have on board.
The choice of liquid or bar soaps may depend on the equipment you have on board (pump dispensers and soap dishes) but always have a choice of each available to meet guest requests. It would also be prudent to have some natural products available in case of alleriges etc.
Organic and Natural Considerations.
Be aware that with Organic and Natural products the packaging can be deceiving as only a very small amount of the ingredients needs to be organic for them to state it on the label. If this is an important consideration for you please ask for advice and check labels carefully.
Price of products is becoming more and more of a consideration with most yachts now having some kind of budget constraints. Working out the best price/quality ratio for you is important but obviously you should never opt for cheap hotel style toiletries for your clients. Always remember just how much they are paying for their luxury charter or to own and run their personal yacht. Your guests are usually used to staying in the World’s finest hotels and will have even higher expectations onboard a yacht.
Generally toiletries are a very tiny proportion of the overall yacht operating budget so hopefully you can convince your captain/owner and manager to make the right choice and allow you to have the perfect toiletries on board.
Some other considerations and tips
Room fragrances, candles and reed diffusers can help add an overall fragrance signature throughout the boat and some ranges offer these lovely items. They can also be great guest or charter gifts. They are particularly useful on older boats where there are sometimes problems with unwanted odors.
Sunscreen baskets need to be provided with luxury product ranges. Lancaster, Clarins, Shiseido and Clinique are very popular choices and don’t forget specific Sports, Waterproof and Kids options. Supermarket brands are usually unacceptable and may well stain your deck towels.
Refreshing towelettes are a really useful item to have on board. Place some in the sunscreen baskets for guests to wipe their hands on or have them in the fridge to offer as ‘welcome towels” – this is a good option to busy sole stews who perhaps don’t have time to prepare toweling ones with essential oils.
Have a selection of items available that guests might request including : beauty items (nail polish remover, shellac remover pads, eye lash glue, tweezers, manicure kits, eye make up wipes, etc etc ) Sanitary items and men’s grooming products. You want to be as prepared as possible for all eventualities. Natural sponges, back brushes and loofahs can also be a nice touch, not forgetting bath oil etc if you have bathtubs on board. Professional hair care products like Kerastase, Redken and Moroccan oil are also a good option, especially for the master cabin.
Obviously the best way to make your final decision is to see and smell the products on board your yacht, so please contact me if you would like me to pass by your yacht to advise you if you are on the French Riviera. If you aren’t docked locally we can chat on facebook, email or phone and products can be delivered to the port or management company of your choice.
I can also send you an information sheet regarding the pros and cons of all the popular yachting brands and what is available in each range.
I hope you have found this guide useful.
Have a great season and looking forward to hearing from you!