* As hotel rates continue to climb, many properties appear to be looking for ways to help you believe you're getting what you're paying for. Look for deluxe amen-ity packages and other new services. Here is a sampling:
* No surcharge for local and 800 calls. Many hotels are trumpeting this long-awaited guest-bill relief. Among them: the Wyndham Anatole Hotel, all 26 Canadian Pacific Hotels, and the San Juan Marriott.
* The Park Hyatt Los Angeles and the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in McLean, VA, have introduced new, personalized room amenities. The 367-room Park Hyatt offers a range of packages from the "bath turndown" (rubber ducky, loofah, bath salts), to the "movie turndown" (candy, popcorn, soda, and your choice of two movies). At the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, the "fiesta turndown" gets you tortilla chips, dip, and Mexican beer, while the "health nut turndown" offers bottled water, granola bars, trail mix, and fruit.
* The Buena Vista Palace Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Village has introduced Direct Inward Dialing (DID), a new system that allows people to phone directly into guest rooms. Callers bypass the hotel operator so guests receive faxes (with hook-up of a fax machine or computer with fax capability) and e-mail (for guests with computers) directly in their rooms.
* A new "Extended Office" allows guests of the Hayes Conference Center to forward e-mail to a personal mailbox at the San Jose, CA property. Personal in-room computers feature a full range of office software and an Internet browser. The new service, developed with Hewlett-Packard and Netscape, is available in the center's 135 rooms and 15 meeting rooms.
* Frequent Hilton International corporate guests will soon be able to be contacted at a singlenumber that will automatically follow them to any of 160 chain properties. The new system, called HINet, is the result of an agreement with Australia-based Telstra. The initial roll-out of HINet is already under way in Asia-Pacific and European properties.
* And, finally, The Casablanca, a New York City boutique hotel, has begun serving complimentary daily grape juice to guests, after news that "flavonoids" found in grape juice (and red wine) could help prevent blood clots. Bottoms up!