CHAINS LOAD UP ON AMENITIES
The sprint among most hotel chains to see who can provide the most amenities to their guests continues at breakneck speed. Three chains recently announced their latest offerings:
The most innovative idea came from Hyatt Hotels, which says it will become the first hotel chain to offer free satellite radio service in all of its guest-rooms nationwide. Starting this fall, Hyatt and its partner XM Satellite Radio will begin to add the service to 50,000-plus rooms in the continental U.S. Once installed, guests will have access to more than 150 channels of commercial-free music, news, talk, sports and entertainment on custom-designed tabletop radios.
The most offbeat new amenity belongs to Jameson Inns, the Atlanta-based owner, operator and franchisor of 123 properties. Following receipt of a blessing from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company launched the Jameson Stock Awards frequent stay program.
Jameson will give participants a share of the company in exchange for their business. The program awards 10 percent of a member's hotel room charges in the form of common stock. Customers enroll online and need to stay at least three nights in a 12-month period to qualify.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts took a much more traditional approach by upgrading its line of bathroom amenities. The new Hilton Serenity Bath Collection features products from Crabtree & Evelyn's La Source line along with custom-designed stainless steel accessories. Full rollout of the program will be completed this fall.
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