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It's on Us

On your next trip, let your hotel pick up the tab for extras.

With more hotels competing for fewer travelers these days, you can expect more bells and whistles--some of them free.

Meal Ticket: Trim your travel expenses, and get your days on the road off to a good start with a free breakfast. Interestingly, the least expensive hotel chains are the ones you can always count on for a free breakfast. Check out the chains with limited service like Baymont Inn, Comfort Inns, Country Inn, Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn, and Holiday Inn Express for a continental breakfast, usually including bread and pastries, cereal, fresh fruit, coffee, milk and juice. More expensive chains, such as Embassy Suites, offer a free full breakfast cooked to order-eggs, bacon, toast, the whole deal. Also, be on the lookout for specials at full-service hotels. If they're hungry for your business, they might offer to pick up your breakfast tab at the hotel restaurant, so always ask about this when making your reservation.

High-Speed Fix: Dislike slow dial-up connections at hotels but don't want to pay the fee (usually about $10 per day) for a high-speed line? Then check into hotels that offer complimentary connections. Wingate Inns and Hilton Garden Inns offer free high-speed Internet access to laptop-toting guests at every hotel-and both offer room rates starting at about $80 per night. Sign up for Wyndham Hotels' By Request program at www.wyndham.com, and get free high-speed connections, plus free local and long-distance calls.

Stress Less: If life on the road is wearing you out, you'll be soothed to know that hotels are adding spas faster than ever (although the services aren't free). Hotel giant Marriott jumped on the spa bandwagon in a big way at its newest resort, the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge in Phoenix. Its enormous Revive Spa boasts 41 treatment rooms, plus its own bistro, serving-you guessed it-spa cuisine.


Christopher McGinnis, CNN Headline News travel correspondent, is the author of The Unofficial Business Travelers' Pocket Guide.

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This article was originally published in the August 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: It's on Us.

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