by Jonathan Vatner | January 01, 2007

It’s not the biggest line item on the budget, but paying as much as $80 per gallon for coffee might just be the most annoying one. For a short time, two Chicago hotels are offering the best price on coffee in the market: free.

For meetings held between December 2007 and March 2008 and booked through the end of this month, the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers and the Westin Chicago River North promise to provide at no cost Starbucks coffee at midmorning breaks.

“Coffee is a hidden budget breaker for meetings,” says Mike Cassidy, area managing director for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “We want to keep it affordable.”

Now if only the cocktails were free, too.