Home Suite Home? 200 Nights in a Hotel

Most Loyal Hotel Guest

When Caroline Bowen arrives in her hotel room -- and it is her hotel room -- the closet is already filled with her clothing, cosmetics are stacked in the bathroom and on top of the dresser sits a framed photograph of her grandchildren.

To call Bowen a road warrior would be an understatement. Last year she spent more nights -- 207 in total -- in New York's Omni Berkshire Place hotel than anywhere else, including her two homes.

Bown lives in Hilton Head, S.C., and has another house in the Waynesville, N.C., in the Smoky Mountains, but spends most week days at her New York office or on the road.

Since 2000, she has spent 1,110 nights -- or the equivalent of more than three years -- in Omni hotels. The next closest guest has logged 860 nights.

Her loyalty has led to some very special perks.

Whenever she checks in there is a bottle of wine -- chardonnay or Sancerre in summer, a red in the colder winter months -- waiting in the room along with a cheese and fruit plate. Extra blueberries are always added because the hotel staff knows she particularly likes them.

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But the real treat is the extra closet installed just for her in her room on the 20th floor.

The hotel hired a company to refurbish the closet for Bowen, president of the Connaught Group, a women's fashion company that sells clothing under the Carlisle, Per Se and Etcetera brands. She has the closet's only key, allowing the hotel to rent out the room on the rare occasions when she's not there.

Inside the closet are 13 pairs of shoes, 30 to 40 belts, dozens of dresses, scarves, handbags and even some workout clothes. The bathroom is stocked with her personal hairdryer, makeup, electric toothbrush and mouthwash.

"This is my room," she said from the room's plush sofa. "I get very special treatment here. I need a place that I can feel like is home, and that's what this is."

Given her position, Bowen can only wear her company's current season's clothing.

So how many articles of clothing are in the packed closet?

"I don't want to tell you," Bowen said laughing. "It's the business I'm in."

Hotel chains worldwide are known to go above and beyond to reward guest loyalty. The Hyatt Regency Aruba places weights and a workout mat in the room of a guest who has been staying there for 20 years and doesn't like working out around other people.

The Waldorf Astoria Grand WaiIea stores one guest's own personal bed. And Loews spokeswoman Emily Kanders Goldfischer said the Loews Regency in New York has performed a variety of unexpected tasks for frequent guests, including coordinating a jet at the last minute to the Bahamas for a business meeting and tracking down a hard-to-find designer bag for a guest's wife.

Hotel Loyality Programs

Bowen's frequent trips to New York and elsewhere in Omni's collection of 43 hotels in the United States, Canada and Mexico has made her the top guest in its loyalty program.

She has racked up plenty of free nights, but given her hectic schedule, she said, "I don't want to travel any more than I have to."

Bowen's company offered to put her up in a luxury Manhattan apartment, but instead she chose the Omni , which is literally across the street from her office. Most days when she leaves the office, she just crosses the street, quickly freshens up and then runs out to business dinners or events.

And of course she never has to clean the room.

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