Hotels Driven to Luxury

Luxury seems to love company. At least two luxury automobile companies — Lexus and Mercedes — have partnered with luxury hotel companies to showcase their products. For hotels, these relationships serve a dual purpose: they link their names with other well-known luxury brands and usually include access to their partners' autos for use as courtesy cars.

This kind of formalized symbiotic relationship started in 2003 when Pebble Beach Resorts in California named Lexus as its “preferred vehicle.” In turn, the automaker developed a Pebble Beach Edition Lexus with special colors and amenities. Guests at Pebble Beach's several resort properties are able to test-drive the cars or commute to various venues at the resort in special Lexus guest transportation vehicles.

Last month, Lexus unveiled its sixth version of the Pebble Beach Edition line. The new models, which will be built in limited quantities, include a hybrid car and a hardtop convertible.

On a broader scale, Lexus also recently struck a deal with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in which two of the carmaker's hybrid vehicles — a sedan and an SUV — will be used as courtesy cars for members of the chain's President's Club. In addition, Fairmont created Lexus Hybrid Living Suites at its San Francisco and Washington, DC properties to further cement the marketing link between the two companies.

The suites feature an array of environmentally sustainable elements, including compact fluorescent lighting, eco-friendly paints and ff&e made from recycled and eco-friendly materials such as bamboo. Guests who rent the suites also have complimentary use of a Lexus hybrid vehicle during their stay.

On a local level, the One Ocean Resort in Atlantic Beach, FL has a deal with Mercedes to use several of the luxury carmaker's vehicles as courtesy cars to transport guests to nearby destinations, including a local country club the hotel uses as its golf course.

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