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Sunday 11 October 2015

When it can be worth paying more for your hotel room

Most of us, I suspect, shop around for the best deal when looking for a hotel room. 

But if you have business meetings to conduct, face-to-face interviews, maybe, then it can be well worth paying for more for your room, and perhaps even save you money in the long run.

I was recently a guest at the ultra-luxe Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney and had a room with access to the hotel's 30th-floor Horizon Club Lounge. 

If you think a lounge is merely somewhere to kill some time and have a cup of tea then you have not kept up with the new generation of lounges like this one, which also offers a private check-in to guests who book Horizon Club rooms and Diamond members of Shangri-La’s Golden Circle program staying in any room type

The Horizon Club offers a buffet breakfast from 6.30-10am daily, and until 11am on weekends. That's already a saving on a room only rate. 

There is a selection of soft drinks, teas and juices available all day - a saving on meeting in the lobby and paying lobby prices in a five-star hotel. 

Afternoon team and scones are served every day from 2-5pm - a perfect snack if you've been too busy to have lunch. 

Evening drinks and quality canapes are served every evening from 6-8pm, another money saver, particular if you eat enough to tide you through dinner.

Horizon Club Lounge guests are offered a free pressing of a suit or dress, and a complimentary shoe shine service - another useful saving. 

The lounge (did I mention the superb views of Sydney's iconic sites) is well equipped with newspapers and magazines (over 2000 are available digitally) and there is a computer and printer so you can print out boarding passes or overnight emails. There is free broadband wifi, too, along with a concierge service. 

And if you do want to hold a meeting you have access to a private meeting room for one hours at no cost. 

One of Australia's largest five-star lounges, it is described by Shangri-La as having “Australia’s best hotel view” - with a telescope available for guests to take in Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Add all the benefits up and it certainly might make sense to upgrade your room type. If you simply want somewhere to lay your head and watch TV then a standard room just about anywhere will do the trick.

Lounge benefits, of course, vary from hotel to hotel so it pays to do your research. 

Shangri-La Hotel, 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney. (02) 9250 6000. 


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