A doctor in the house

Now you can order up a little crisis intervention with your continental breakfast.

The Nob Hill Lambourne in San Francisco already has plenty of amenities to make business travelers physically fit for corporate competition: treadmills and all-natural honor bars in guest rooms, aromatherapy and massage services. To round things out, the hotel has added therapeutic services for the mind as well. Dr. Charmian Anderson, a therapist for business executives, is on call for guests at the Lambourne, a 20-room Joie de Vivre hotel.

"If you flubbed a meeting in a big way, and it got to your core issue of low self-esteem, you might give her a call," says hotelier Chip Conley. Sessions will be along the lines of coaching rather than deep psychoanalysis. "You're not going to get into childhood issues," Conley explains.

Anderson, who has been working with high achievers for more than 17 years, expects that clients will think, "This is perfect. No one knows me here. I need a rescue party, and I can speak to someone who does this all the time."

The service is being test-driven at the Lambourne, and if guests respond, Dr. Anderson's services will also be offered at two other Joie de Vivre hotels in San Francisco. The cost is $150 per 50-minute session, but all-day sessions can be scheduled.

While several guests have inquired about the service since its inception last September, as of mid-November there had been no takers. But Conley thinks Anderson's mere presence is a stress reducer. "Simply knowing she's here gives you peace of mind."
—Mary Huhn