From the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur

Hotels are upgrading their mattresses, pillows and linens in order to lull travelers to sleep-and, hopefully, back for another visit. Westin's "Heavenly Bed," which features a custom-designed, pillow-top mattress with 900 individual coils, three sheets, a down blanket and five goose-down pillows, was among the first salvos in what some hospitality insiders are calling the hotel industry's "bed wars."

Not to be outdone, Marriott introduced its "Marriott Bed," which includes a 7-inch custom-designed mattress and amenities similar to Westin's. Even independent hotels have jumped into the fray-and, at times, escalated the conflict. The Benjamin (left), an executive suites hotel in Manhattan, offers not only an upgraded bed, but also a "sleep concierge" who offers advice on how to maximize your rest. Amenities include everything from customized pillows to aromatherapy treatments, and if all else fails, the concierge can always send up a plate of fresh chocolate-chip cookies and a glass of warm milk. "A good night's sleep is your best tool for having a productive day," says the hotel's Mara Begley.

As hotels strive to one-up one another, the upshot of the "bed wars" is that you'll likely find a better bed waiting for you next time you check in.

My, Oh, Miami

Think of Miami at this time of year, and images of tropical beaches probably come to mind-unless you're here on business. Then this South Florida metropolis looks more like an opportunity: More than $50 billion in exports and imports came and went through U.S. Customs' Miami District last year.

Where to stay: The Doral Golf Resort & Spa (www.doralgolf.com) is an ideal place for a meeting, golf and a massage.

What to do: Head for Islamorada in the Keys for sport fishing (www.fla-keys.com).


Christopher Elliott is a writer and commentator and the editor of www.elliott.org.