Berkeley, California Hotel Shattuck Plaza Offers Complimentary Wi-Fi
Business travelers mean major business—40 percent of hotel customers in 2009 were business travelers, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. And that’s before you even look at the dollar amounts flowing into your hotel as a result of conventions and industry events. But business travel is fraught with stress. Not only are business travelers working, they’re possibly in a city that’s foreign to them, sometimes in a country whose language is incomprehensible, or sleeping in rooms without the personal touches that make up the comforts of home. But these travelers also need the tools to do their jobs efficiently. Great business hotels manage to marry the two—function and comfort.
Downtown San Francisco Hotel Vertigo is Conveniently Located Near Union Square
Executive Suites/ Exceptional Service
Good service for business travelers is about practicality without forgoing luxurious details. This doesn’t necessarily mean more things
, but more service, more thought given to anticipating the business traveler’s needs. The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner
provides kiosks on the hotel’s ground floor, just for printing out boarding passes, and the booths are kitted out in velvet and leather, so guests leave the hotel after spending their last minutes there feeling cared for. Plus, Tysons Corner’s exclusive Club Level boasts a private lounge with complimentary food and beverages, along with a concierge staff to fulfill guests every need. At San Francisco’s Campton Place
, business travelers can forget about the stress that comes with renting a car; the concierge takes care of rentals and has cars ready and waiting outside the hotel. And Blackstone
in Chicago goes one step further in fulfilling the guest’s Jeeves fantasy by providing a private concierge and access to a Lexus LS Hybrid hotel car. And if you enroll in The Fairmont Hotel
Group's President's Club
(complimentary) you get perks like a complimentary shoeshine in city center hotels, access to BMW bikes, and room upgrades.
Fresh Fruit in Guest Room at Campton Place - San Francisco, CA
Meeting Event Space
A well-stocked business center is a must. This means not just having the facilities to do business but maintaining them, and filling the printers with ink and paper regularly. Houston Hotel Sorella
has a business center with high-speed Internet access, and is equipped for the biggest events with over 18,000 square feet of meeting space, and another 14,000 square feet to come this year. Museum Hotel
in Wellington, New Zealand has ample space, but tailors their conference facilities to sustainably-minded business by using New Zealand's first certified carbon neutral audio visual company, Vision Media, for their audio visual equipment. And at the Millennium Seoul Hilton
in Seoul, South Korea, you can hold meetings in a conference room with natural light and mountain views, instead of the headache-inducing florescent overhead bars of light. It also gives a sense of time and place that removes the traveler from yet another anonymous-feeling business center that could be anywhere in the world. The Hilton Orlando
maintains a dual-identity of resort and conference destination by balancing a sprawling business and conference center (complete with UPS store) and a spa that celebrates the Florida orange tree with Neroli-based treatments. To heighten the experience and convenience, guests can get anywhere in the hotel—the pool, meeting rooms, cocktail lounge, you name it—within five minutes.
Hotel Zaza in Houston offers High-Speed Internet Access
Good Location for Business
When your guests roll out of a (hopefully comfortable) bed after working late, blurry eyed and frantically ironing their shirts, being at the epicenter of a city’s business world makes the pace of their day a little less frenetic. Luxury boutique hotel Le Saint-Sulpice
in Montréal, Québec is not only located in a picturesque part of the city—Old Montréal—but is also just steps away from the international business district. It manages to balance a serene décor with prime real estate. The guest feels pampered but is able to make their morning meeting. Being near public transport doesn’t hurt either—the Galleria Park Hotel
in San Francisco is located right near Union Square, mere blocks from the Metro.
Houston's Hotel Sorella Boasts a Sprawling Business Complex
Yes, it would be great to roll out the red carpet for every guest. But research suggests that budget is a major factor for business travelers when making their travel decisions. With more and more companies tightening belts in 2010 and 2011, making affordable housing feel top dollar brings in major business. Rooms at Chicago’s Crowne Plaza
clock in at under $200, quite the feat in the big city. But they substitute the sterile feel of a budget hotel with comfortable rooms with views over the Windy City. Touches like relaxing lavender room spray and ear plugs mean that guests can still enjoy the comforts of a luxury hotel without the price tag. Downtown San Francisco Hotel Vertigo
is conveniently near Union Square. It’s also seriously stylish on a budget, with a cheery orange and brown lobby, and modern décor and iPod docks in rooms.
Museum Hotel in Wellington, New Zealand has the Country's First Certified Carbon Neutral Audio Visual Company's Equipment
High Speed Internet
What did we ever do before the Internet? Free in-room wi-fi without a hard-to-find password makes working in your hotel room angst-free. High speed is recommended—guests will not appreciate the price cut in their rooms if their access to Google docs and company email (or the Friday song on YouTube
, either way) is impeded by sluggish Internet access. Hotels like Green Valley Ranch
in Vegas (baby) and Hotel Zaza
in Houston, offer high-speed Internet access so guests can conduct their business efficiently. And complimentary wi-fi is a nice added touch at Berkeley, California’s Hotel Shattuck Plaza
. It might even be worth building the cost of high-speed Internet into the room rate, so your costs are covered but using the Internet isn’t such a hassle for your guests.
Let’s face it; all of your business guests will have different likes and dislikes, needs, and pet peeves. But the little touches can make all the difference. After all, business travel is hectic enough. If you can alleviate some of that stress for your guests, you might see more return customers—and business from their companies.