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Extra! Extra! Hotel bonuses for business owners.

By Christopher Elliott

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

Christopher Elliott is an Orlando, Fla., writer and independent producer who specializes in technology, travel and mobile computing. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and online. You can find out more about him on his website or sign up for his free weekly newsletter.

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