Swimming pools, complimentary breakfast, a fitness center, and an on-site spa: these are some of the things you might look for in a hotel if you’re traveling for leisure. And while everyone loves an infinity pool and continental breakfast, those traveling for business may have a few different requirements. Business travelers are often more concerned with Wi-Fi access and meeting spaces than massages and ellipticals.
So if you’re traveling for business instead of pleasure (or maybe a mix of both), here are the best hotel amenities for business travelers and where to find them.
A Functional Workspace
Plenty of hotel rooms have desks these days, but not all workspaces are created equal. Have you ever tried working from a hotel desk that didn’t allow you to scoot back in your chair without hitting the bed? No business traveler wants that. Instead, choose a hotel that offers more functional spaces so working from your room is a pleasure, not a pain. Depending on the hotel, that could mean a whole separate nook just for a desk and sofa or a high-top with a bar stool with an option to work standing up.
Marriott’s Le Meridien properties offer bar-height desks with tall stools as they’ve found that’s how more and more business travelers are working in their own office. Do you tend to roam with your laptop? Courtyard business hotels are adding mobile lap desks and swiveling side tables for those who prefer to work in bed or from the sofa.
Free High-Speed Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi is becoming increasingly standard at high-end hotels and with good reason: it’s one of the necessary hotel amenities for business travelers. Oddly enough, budget accommodation options have been offering it for years. Why more luxurious options tend to charge for it remains a mystery.
Fortunately, the Four Seasons offers complimentary Wi-Fi on a single network. It can also be accessed by an unlimited number of devices. Hyatt also offers the same perk. That means you don’t need to request a new password or pay extra if you need to connect your tablet, laptop, and phone plus all your partner’s devices.
InterContinental Hotels Group and many Marriott properties also offer members of their loyalty programs complimentary access. Additionally, if you are a cardholder of a business credit card, free internet access may be part of your benefits.
Practical and Technical Provisions
No matter how experienced a business traveler is, he or she still forgets things from time to time. Shampoo and lotion are standard amenities for all hotels, but some go the extra mile.
Hyatt hotels will likely have you covered with everything from lint rollers to combs. They’ll often be able to loan or sell a phone charger in case yours got left behind. Four Seasons Hotels will even loan you a smartphone to go with the charger. Hyatt and Kimpton both pride themselves in offering nearly anything you’ve forgotten—or weren’t able to fit in your carry-on. Both offer toothpaste, mouthwash, socks and even curling irons.
When traveling for business, productivity is often of high importance. Meetings sometimes need to take place and the hotel bar won’t always suffice. Fortunately, when meetings of the minds or small conference-style get-togethers must occur, many hotel amenities for business travelers include access to workspaces and conference rooms.
Marriott Hotels, for example, has a program called Workspace on Demand. Whether you’re a guest or not you can book small-scale meeting space in the hotel. Ace Hotel in New York has introduced a coworking space in the lobby where anybody—traveler or local—can work. In a Courtyard By Marriott hotel, non-guests can also utilize the co-working space style lobby complete with printers and nooks where you can conduct a meeting. All they have to do is buy a beverage or snack at the hotel cafe.
The new Plaza Workspace area within select Crowne Plaza Hotel lobbies has flexible meeting areas for working alone or for groups as large as ten. Hungry? Use a featured tablet to order food without ever leaving your work space.
If you’ve traveled for business, you know regular mealtimes aren’t often observed. Especially if you’re traveling through multiple time zones, it’s important to be able to grab a bite whenever you can. That means regular restaurant hours aren’t always convenient. Alternatively, room service may not be available. Fortunately, many hotels are taking notice and offering a wider range of options for late night or on-the-go nourishment.
At Even Hotels from InterContinental Hotels Group, there are multiple quick and healthy food options for busy workers. There are healthy options for dining in or grab-and-go available 24/7. Likewise, many Hilton properties have added 24/7 pantry-style grab-and-go markets ranging from snacks to full meals. Sometimes even beer, wine, and specialty items can be found. Westin properties, for example, often have a fine dining restaurant, cafe, bar and casual dining space.
The best hotel amenities for business travelers differ from those geared toward leisure travelers. While those on vacation may just need extra towels for the pool or even a pet psychic, business people are often more concerned with making it to meetings on time.
Hilton, Starwood, and Marriott hotels offer an app that allows you to request room services, manage your booking and more right from your phone. But the most valuable feature might be the digital key. It lets you unlock your room with your smartphone. You might forget or lose that plastic keycard, but you probably won’t forget your cell phone.
If your clothes got a bit mangled in transit, InterContinental offers guests one-hour suit pressing. At Four Seasons you can get that plus an overnight shoeshine. Westin Hotels offer running shoes to borrow if you couldn’t fit yours in your bag. Fairmont President’s Club members can borrow a whole outfit for their fitness routine. The Four Seasons app lets you request your car from the valet before even leaving your room. How easy is that?
Business Travel Has Never Been Better
With all of these hotels upping their game when it comes to hotel amenities for business travelers, traveling for business is not just becoming simpler but also more beneficial. It’s now just a matter of choosing the right hotel for your business travel style and enjoying the services hotels offer.
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