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Free ride on souped-up bikes for hotel guests

26/03/2014
TAMM. Products. HOT/Feb. Blue Bike with Basket. 6 December 2007. The Age. Pic By Mike Baker. mba071206.002.003 © Provided by The Age TAMM. Products. HOT/Feb. Blue Bike with Basket. 6 December 2007. The Age. Pic By Mike Baker. mba071206.002.003

Hotels offering bikes to their guests as a way to see the local sights isn't new, but some are now taking the concept to another level with souped-up versions of standard two-wheelers.

At 45 Park Lane in London, for example, guests have access to Brompton bicycles in the hotel's signature purple color. Le Meurice in Paris has pistachio-green bicycles with green baskets, gold bike locks and decorations featuring the footprints of the hotel's mascot, Pistache.

The Gramercy Park Hotel in New York recently introduced Lorenzo Martone-designed bikes that are all white with bright red chains and "GPH" license plates. Chebeague Island Inn on Chebeague Island, Maine, has LL Bean-designed bikes, and Montage Kapalua Bay, opening this spring on Maui, will have Panama Jack bikes in different styles and colors - each one will also have touches like bottle openers.

Besides their good looks, the best part about these bikes might be that using them is free. Misty Ewing Belles, director of public relations for Virtuoso, the luxury travel network, says that upscale properties are putting effort into how their bikes look because of the growing popularity of biking and as a way to extend their brand. "With bike shares taking off in cities, there is a desire to be more mobile in that way," she said. "Luxury hotels are recognizing this and are offering it as an attractive amenity for their guests."

NEW YORK TIMES

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