Hotels Cash In on '50 Shades' Craze
When a new craze sweeps the nation, you can bet the travel industry will try its darndest to figure out a way to capitalize and cash in.
The "50 Shade of Grey" phenom novel, which ABC News reports earns its author nearly $200,000 per day, has spawned a trio of hotel packages ready for your inner Anastasia Steele to book.
(I did not read this book. I had to ask someone who did to tell me about the hotels' various roles, or lack thereof.)
At Portland's Heathman Hotel, where Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele have a few steamy moments, there are two add-on packages available. The "Inner Goddess Addition" costs just $40, but only includes a bottle of Pinot Gris.
However, the $2,750 "Charlie Tango No Limits" package includes far more: Appetizers and white wine (this must be a theme in the book) at the hotel restaurant for six people, a helicopter tour of the city, roses for the ladies in the party, dinner at the hotel and limo transfers.
Hints for non-fans: Steele is constantly talking with her inner goddess, Grey has a helicopter named "Charlie Tango," and the couple drinks Pinot Gris.
Both packages are add-ons and room rates apply.
In Seattle, where the majority of the book takes place, the Hotel Max offers the "Fifty Shades of Seattle" package which includes a two-night stay for two in an Artist King room on Hotel Max's 8th floor, where the hallways are decorated with "The Making of a Date," which according to the hotel is "a series of alluring, larger-than-life photos by Seattle photographer Amy Mullen that are sure to set the mood for love," a 30-minute helicopter ride with Seattle Helitours and chauffeured, luxury town car to take you there and back.
Fifty Shades of Seattle package rates begin at $1,669, plus tax and room assignments on the 8th floor are based on availability. The two-night package is available through Sept. 30, 2012 and must be booked at least seven days in advance. To book, call 866-986-8087 or visit hotelmaxseattle.com.
Three of the women-owned boutique Personality Hotels offer a "Fifty Shades of Women" package that include accommodations in San Francisco's Union Square at the Hotel Diva, Hotel Union Square or Kensington Park. The package comes with an intimacy kit, the details of which you can read about on the hotels' website.
Rates start at $369 per night, excluding tax and based upon availability. Valid year round. For reservations, call 800.553.1900 or visit personalityhotels.com.