Travel Smart :: Affinia Hotels, New York & Chicago

Traveling is fraught with worries. Did I remember my cell phone charger? Will my luggage arrive on time and intact? Security agents confiscated my expensive moisturizer again!

Affinia Hotels has added to its guest-friendly reputation by creating new services to help alleviate some of the worries and stress. Their TravelSmart program introduced this month offers a variety of time- and panic-saving devices and in-room amenities to keep guests calm.

For the traveler who won’t leave the technology behind but forgets the various attachments needed to keep the technology working, Affinia is offering the 24/7 Technology Butler powered by iGo. The program delivers universal chargers and adapters to guest rooms round-the-clock so that a minute of work – or You Tube viewing – isn’t missed. The equipment works with notebook computers, mobile phones and MP3 players, and the iGo technology allows users to charge several devices from just one adapter.

Affinia’s Technology Butler service is one of several programs starting to be offered by hotel chains as they realize that connectivity means more than just providing in-room dataports. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago provides a personal computer connectivity kit upon request. Inter-Continental hotels offer adapters and other equipment.

Affinia Hotels also has expanded its Airline Restriction Relief program to include a wider range of complimentary toiletries that are provided to guests who may have lost theirs to security checks or absent-minded packing. Now available are toothpaste, shaving cream, hair spray, nail polish remover, deodorant, mouthwash, contact lens solution, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.

Lugging luggage can be torture through long terminals and belligerent baggage claim carousels. To make that aspect of traveling easier, Affinia is offering a free luggage-shipping service for its guests. For those who need to just dash from a room to an airport, the hotel chain offers paperless checkout wherein the hotel bill is emailed to the guest after the stay ends. And for those travelers who really can’t get out of the door on time, Affinia Hotels now have a “print and sprint�? service that allows guests to print boarding passes before leaving the hotel.

The services are being offered “to help alleviate the stress of travel and help business travelers be as efficient as possible while on the road,” Chief Marketing Officer John Moser said in a statement. “We’ve added amenities to help anticipate our guests’ needs while enhancing the comfort of their stay.�?

Affinia operates hotels in Manhattan and Chicago. For details about the individual hotels or the TravelSmart program, go to www.affinia.com.

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