More hotel chains are transforming their bars from generic, night-time watering holes into all-purpose, anytime hangouts to please younger customers and boost profits.

"People's lifestyles have changed," says Michel Morauw, general manager of the newly refurbished Park Hyatt in Washington. "Not everybody wants to have a scotch and cigar at 11 p.m. in the bar."

Lodging consultant Bjorn Hanson of PricewaterhouseCoopers says many hotels are recognizing customers' changing tastes and responding. Compared with baby boomers, the under-40 set tends to spend less time in guest rooms and wants to do things in groups, Hanson says. And their tastes in drinks are more apt to include the exotic — a pear and elderflower martini, for example.

Morauw's Park Hyatt re-opened in June after a yearlong renovation with an airy, sunny bar just off the lobby. It had been in a dark corner. Designer Tony Chi included just eight bar stools. Most customers sit in overstuffed swivel chairs or on handcrafted Windsor benches.

Hyatt also added an adjoining tea room that sells pots of tea for $5 to $300. Tea "sommeliers" help customers select teas as they would vintage bottles of wine.

The area looked so inviting to hotel guests George and Patty Meillarec of Fort Lauderdale that they took their 8- and 10-year-old children there for snacks last week. Seated next to a window providing a bright garden view, the family munched on crab cakes, chicken wings and hamburgers.

"It looked very comfortable. The menu looked good. We wanted a cocktail after a long day of travel," George Meillarec says.

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