Hilton's secret wing

Who knew that the Hilton Garden Inn LAX is where the Bev Hills-based hotel company tests out its new ideas? Actually, the hotel operates normally except for a secret wing that's code-named "University." As explained by Joe Brancatelli at portfolio.com, guests staying at the El Segundo property might be summoned to check out a "room of the future" (you need to be a Hilton HHonors Diamond V.I.P. member to be eligible). There are only 15 rooms in the University wing, and apparently there's heavy demand.

Besides next-generation design schemes and amenities—the wing houses everything from a new look for Doubletree rooms to a new version of Homewood Suites, Hilton's apartment-like extended-stay brand—there's also Room 267, Hilton's "technology room." As you might expect, it's stocked with the newest bells and whistles. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine called from Room 267 complaining that he couldn't operate the then-newfangled pod-style espresso machine. "It's complicated and challenging," Casaus says, "mostly because every possible new technology is in there and guests are sometimes overwhelmed."

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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