Coddled and Connected

Hyatt International plugs into the Asia meeting market. Luxury is no longer enough in a luxury hotel: Today, business travelers also want connectivity. Hyatt International has heard that message, and late last year launched a technology concierge program at all 80 of its properties to help tech-troubled guests. Besides helping you get your e-mail, technology concierges can obtain adapters, find local tech service centers, or suggest local Internet Service Providers.

Hyatt International's new 555-room Hyatt Regency Shanghai, which opened in August, embraces this coddled-and-connected philosophy. Guest rooms not only offer fluffy down duvets, spacious marble-and-glass bathrooms, and spectacular views--the hotel occupies the 54th through 88th floors of China's tallest office building, the Jin Mao Tower--but they also feature several ways to get you online.

Want to use your own laptop? Each desk has a high-speed, Category 5 modem connection, and spare modems are available. You can also use a wireless keyboard--standard in all Regency Club suites and available for other guest rooms--to connect to the interactive TV via the GuestLink Plus system. It offers Internet links to news, business, and weather sites, plus e-mail. There's also a TV link to room service. You can even program the TV to turn on as your wake-up call. Another nifty tech touch: The dimmer controls on the desk lamps operate by passing your hand sloooowly over a sensor.

Almost 1,000 miles to the south, at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, a similar philosophy was in place when the 572 guest rooms were refurbished last year. In addition to adding down duvets--of course--rooms were redesigned with a focus on connectivity. The TV set, now a business tool as well as an entertainment center, was placed on a pedestal that can be rotated to reduce glare. There's a wireless keyboard in every guest room and high-speed connections, via the On Command system, to the Internet, e-mail, cable and satellite TV, and movies. You can surf the Net using the TV remote as well as the keyboard. Each room also has a workstation: Adjacent to the desk are cabinets containing a fax machine with dedicated number, an electrical outlet for recharging a mobile phone, and plenty of storage space. -

Asia Resources * China National Tourist Office

* Hong Kong Convention and Incentive Travel Bureau--

* Japan Convention Bureau

* Korea National Tourism Organization

* Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, Convention & Incentive Division

* Philippine Convention and Visitors Corp.--

* Singapore Exhibition and Convention Bureau

* Taiwan Visitors Association

* Thailand Incentive and Convention Association--