Let's Order Run Service

The Running Companion service

Mints on the pillow, cable on the television, fresh towels in the bathroom and all sorts of goodies in the minibar. Posh hotel living is almost like having an overly attentive mother. Suddenly someone is bringing you food, making your bed and forcing you to go outside and get a little fresh air and exercise.

Huh?

Forget the giddiness of paying $5 for an order of room service french fries in the middle of the night. Try rousing yourself out of bed at 5a.m. and going for a run with a hotel Running Companion — the latest craze at the Luxury Collection Hotel, where apparently they really mean it when they say they'll take care of everything.

"The idea started when I would go to New York City on business," says Susan Ward, director of sales and marketing at the Luxury Collection. "I wasn't so sure how comfortable I'd feel running in New York, so I just did flights of stairs to get in my exercise."

Now Ward and two other hotel employees have made themselves available as companions to travelers who can't stand missing a workout but don't know their way around the city — and to locals who spring for a swanky suite and wouldn't mind some company on their jog.

Ah, yes. Did we forget to mention that part? After driving you to Memorial Park in a sleek Lincoln Town Car, the Running Companions — all three of whom have run marathons — will actually jog with you at your pace. But that's not all. Once you've finished making your muscles burn, they'll escort you back to the Town Car, where fresh fruit, Gatorade and Perrier are waiting on ice in the back seat. Feeling a little slick from the sweat? Never fear. They wouldn't be good Running Companions if they forgot the plush hotel towel.

Perhaps it seems a little excessive, but Ward stresses it's just a nice service to make hotel visitors feel more at home. But whose home is that?

The Luxury Collection Hotel, soon to be the St. Regis, is located at 1919 Briar Oaks Lane, (713) 840-7600. The Running Companion service is complimentary for guests of the hotel.

 
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