Paul James
Upscale hotels offer clients insider's access
Upscale hotels offer clients insider's access

For your next vacation, top hotels would like you to try something extra special, perhaps a VIP table at a hot Hollywood club, seats at a New York fashion show or a behind-the-scenes tour of a world-famous Italian theater. As they recover from a brutal economy that slashed rates, occupancy and cachet, select luxury hotels are borrowing the messages and methods of tour operators that emphasize travel as not just a destination, but as an indelible experience, all wrapped up as a pre-priced — or even complimentary — service or package. Savvy, high-end customers aren't always swayed by a free spa treatment or a third-night-free stay, promotions that have been popular during...