LONDON, England (CNN) -- New York, London and Hong Kong are the business hubs of the global economy. All major banks have their headquarters or offices in these cities and it's the same for the hotel industry.
Before, business travelers were interested in only three things from a hotel -- a decent night's sleep, a shower and a good breakfast. Over the years, our lifestyle and the way in which we do business influence the choice of where we stay. We get an insight to how hotels carry out tests to ensure they meet the needs of their guests at Starwood's hotel lab for its budget boutique subsidiary Aloft in New York.
The rise and rise of boutique hotels has not gone unnoticed by the major hotel chains. Although Marriott International has its own luxury subsidiary hotel brands like the Ritz-Carlton, it has teamed up with hotel designer Ian Schrager to launch its first boutique brand later this year. We speak to both John "Bill" Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Marriott International and Ian Schrager.
Hyatt has introduced a new kind -- 'casual luxury' with Andaz. Hyatt has adopted the new wave of remote service by getting rid of check-in desks and the concierge. Guests are checked in on the way to their rooms on wireless computers.
Hotel charges are often a bugbear of business travelers who often pay through the nose for a simple breakfast. Andaz has made its pricing both transparent and all-inclusive: breakfast, Internet, mini bar, local telephone calls, laundry and unlimited movies. We visit the first Andaz hotel, formerly the Great Eastern Hotel in London.
We also visit the Peninsula in Hong Kong, currently celebrating its 80th anniversary, and find out what's changed at New York's Plaza hotel following its two-year revamp.