The hotels belonging to Small Luxury Hotels Inc. offer IBM PCs in their rooms, opera-singing hostesses in their lounges and original Van Goghs in their dining rooms.

Co-founder Jane Levant, a former travel writer who saw a need for an organization that would link the "five-star, five-diamond hotels" in this country, said she hoped her association would grow very slowly. "Our criteria are very tight so that we can pick some of the finest small hotels in the country," she said.

And, like these hotels, the 10-member association is so small that it can afford to offer personal service.

Levant meets every two months with special sales personnel from each of the hotels to pool resources for marketing projects.

One of the ideas created by the group is an interhotel referral service that Levant said she hopes will enable "her" members to send their patrons to small, luxurious hotels in every city across the country in the future.

Hotels are considered for membership in this elite marketing association if they have 250 rooms or less and provide their patrons with privacy, dignity and personal attention. Levant also evaluates the architecture of the building and the quality of the food.

The Grand Hotel on M Street is the only Washington hotel to become a member of Small Luxury Hotels Inc.

Aside from offering the usual secretarial services and telex capabilities for the executive and personal interperters for the foreign traveler, The Grand has opera-singing hosts and hostesses who entertain guests with light opera between filling drink orders.

The association is presently considering a Washington and a Baltimore hotel for membership. TRADE

Former Agriculture secretary John A. Knebel has been named president of the American Mining Congress. Knebel, who served as Agriculture secretary for a year in 1976, is currently a partner in the Washington international law firm of Baker & Mckenzie. Knebel succeeds J. Allen Overton Jr., who is retiring after serving as association president for 22 years.

Arlington developer Steve Caruthers is the newly elected president of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Caruthers is president of Caruthers Development Corp. and general partner in Caruthers Investment Associates, both of Arlington. Twenty-three years ago, when Caruthers' father served as Arlington Chamber president, there were plans to build or buy a permanent office for the chamber. Caruthers plans to follow up on his father's goals in the upcoming year. He also emphasized the need for Arlington to "catch up" with its neighboring jurisdictions in developing a marketing program that would attract new business to the area. OTHER

Sharing International, the nonprofit organization representing 12 American international relief groups including CARE and Save the Children, has announced plans for its first Workplace Contribution drive. The group will ask for donations of between $5 and $250 this spring from employes of U.S. companies. Westinghouse International is the first to participate by handing out brochures to its 125,000 employes nationwide. All money raised by Sharing International is distributed evenly among its 12 member groups, the organization said. This makes it easier for people who were unable to decide which organization to support in the past, a spokesman for the group noted. The Bethesda-based Sharing International will sponsor a kickoff for the campaign Feb. 20 on Capitol Hill. The drive will run from April 7 to May 23.

Montgomery Community Television, the nonprofit group that manages cable access channels 22 and 30 for Montgomery County, has appointed Donald Katzen community relations director. Katzen has been public-relations director at the Capital Centre for the past seven years, where he marketed both sports and entertainment events.