Extended-stay hotels -- complete with more amenities, such as kitchenettes, and usually boasting lower rates than traditional hotels -- have taken off, with consumer demand up 6.8% in the first quarter of 2004 compared to this time last year. Jim Holthauser, SVP of brand management for Homewood Suites by Hilton, says such properties are considered the "industry's best-kept secret" because extended stay makes up 36% of total hotel demand.

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