Chelsea offers 20% pay

MIAMI BEACH -- The South Beach Group, which encompasses eight small hotels, implemented a 20% commission policy at the 42-room Chelsea, valid for stays completed by Oct. 14.

Linsey Harris is the general manager of the hotel group, which is owned by local developer Alan Lieberman of Aventura, Fla.

The group has accommodations ranging from economy to upscale, Harris said, and each property has a distinctive decor.

The Chelsea at 944 Washington Ave. and the 49-room Whitelaw, 808 Collins Ave., are both personally run by Harris, who noted that her mother, Orysia Harris, is an agent with Protravel in New York.

The Chelsea, which provides an organic breakfast and a sake happy hour with sushi at no extra cost, was built in 1936.

It underwent an upgrade this year and has three suites and an outdoor restaurant as well as Asian-influenced guest rooms with high-speed Internet access.

The Chelsea and Whitelaw Hotel and Lounge each offer rooms from $125 per night, single through quad, through Oct. 14.

Each South Beach Group property's rates cover up to four room occupants.

Also, guest rooms in all hotels have a TV, stereo and in-room safe, and the Chelsea, Mercury, Shelley and Whitelaw also have refrigerators and minibars.

The Whitelaw and the other properties, she said, are all commissionable at 10%, with the exception of the 49-room Collins Plaza, which is used primarily for walk-in guests.

The other hotels also include the 49-room Chesterfield, 855 Collins Ave., which offers the group's lowest rates (from $89 a night) while the 49-room Shelley, 844 Collins Ave., includes a continental breakfast in its rates, which start at $109.

The group also includes the 17-unit Lily Guesthouse, 835 Collins Ave., remodeled in 1999, and offering suites and studios from $155 per night.

The 47-unit upscale Mercury Hotel & Resort, 100 Collins Ave., receives the most agent support, Harris said. Rates for its duplex suites, which have a whirlpool spa, include a continental breakfast and begin at $225.

The eighth hotel, the 45-room Angler, which is not yet open, will be the most upscale in the group. The recently acquired property at Sixth Street and Washington Avenue, will double in size to 90 rooms, once a renovation is completed.

A partial opening is planned for September. By mid-December a health spa is slated to be operating there.

Harris is interested in boosting the hotel group's agent business; she credits the trade with generating up to 20% of South Beach Group's guests.

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