Entrepreneur magazine, February 1999

If you've seen one hotel room, you haven't seen 'em all. Unless, of course, you've checked out the concierge floors under construction at the newest business- travel hotels.

These special club levels, which feature everything from dual-line speakerphones and in-room faxes to printers and upgraded toiletries, are finding a lot of fans among frequent travelers. Hoteliers report that the deluxe rooms invariably sell out first, so in response, they're upping the number of executive-level offerings.

The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, for example, recently spent more than $3 million to overhaul its existing club level and create a new concierge floor, where guests will find a lounge with complimentary newspapers and a breakfast bar.

If the new concierge levels sound great to you, get ready to pay. A recent survey of 3,000 properties by PKF Consulting found that hotels charge a 60.3 percent premium for the privilege of staying on their executive floors. That means you'll shell out an additional $56.81 per night over and above the standard room rate.

Some properties, however, are resisting the club-level practice. At the 15 Loews hotels in North America, you'll find a special "Did You Forget" closet stocked with many extras including a tie, a computer and even diapers--all of which are provided free of charge. Says Debra Kelman of Loews: "We wanted to anticipate all of our guests' needs."

Christopher Elliott is a writer in Los Angeles and a columnist for "ABC News Online."

Contact Sources

Loews Hotels, (800) 23-LOEWS, http://www.loewshotels.com

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, (416) 361-1000, http://www.toronto.com/sheratoncentre