When running a small business, travel can be a significant part of your company's growing and expanding process. And while on the road, finding hotels equipped with any business amenity you might need is paramount.
Business travel doesn’t come cheap. But, with rewards, miles programs, and bargain-hunting sites, you can make these hotels fit into your budget. And, as I've noted before, the right hotel offerings are crucial to keep business running smoothly while you're away.
As a travel writer, I've spent the last few years staying in fantastic hotels across the nation and around the world. Through my experiences, I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorites for business (plus a few that my colleagues are unabashedly dedicated to).
Here are a few of the best options in cities that are often visited for business:
1. The Standard in New York, New York
It seems business travel takes everyone through New York at least once. There are dozens of quality options, but the all-ages vibe and the slick architectural design of the Standard Hotel make this one a Big Apple must-stay for me. My favorite features: complimentary WiFi, 24-hour room service, laptops for borrow, and the stylish yet surprisingly nice staff. And, unlike many Manhattan hotels, the Standard comparably is also quite affordable: a standard queen size room starts at $195.
2. Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas
While I’ve never stayed here, friends in finance and sales have repeatedly suggested the Adolphus for its stellar personalized service. The free WiFi isn’t just limited to guest rooms, but also to the public spaces. The hotel has a 24-hour business center that calls itself “your office away from the office.” There’s also a full service concierge and a super-convenient complimentary car service that drops guests anywhere within a three-mile radius.
3. Radisson Blu in Sandton, Johannesburg
With the World Cup rapidly approaching and development at a rapid pace, business travel to – and the potential for business – in South Africa is booming. While the Radisson might not have the best reputation in the U.S., in South Africa, it’s tops. The Johannesburg Radisson Blu caters well to the hardworking with eight specialized rooms for meetings. And, for anyone apprehensive about safety, Radisson Blu tackles it head on. The lobby is on the 13th floor, and key cards entries are required for every floor and elevator. The Internet is free, and the suites have separate office space that function well for private meetings.
4. The Ritz Carlton Hua Mao in Beijing, China
In a country that feels far from anything familiar to most westerners, the Ritz Carlton Hua Mao brings the west to the east quite well for business travelers. A small business owner and consultant friend of mine stays exclusively at the Ritz because of the personalized and attentive service: “You can give your USB drive to the doorman or the GM and everyone will know how to deal with it.” There’s a spectacular pool, free WiFi, and a business center with staff that has the answers to most any business needs.
5. The InterContinental Hotel in Hong Kong, China
Hands down, this hotel offers the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. The staff is bright and friendly – they know the answers to your questions, and know how to problem-solve and troubleshoot your challenges without hesitation. Feng shui-arranged rooms all have a breathtaking view of the harbor and skyline, the WiFi is free, and there are adaptors already waiting in your room for use. Feeling decadent after a long day of meetings? There is a bath concierge who will fill your tub for you, on request.
6. Four Seasons Macau Macau, China
With all the western business travel flowing mostly into mainland China and Hong Kong, Macau is the business respite – sort of – for those itching for a change of pace. The Four Seasons in Macau is a classic, understated spot without all the Vegas-style, flashy Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson accoutrement. (Visitors can check that out when they’re not sleeping comfortably.) Because of Macau’s Portuguese history, there are other high quality food options besides Chinese. Like all Four Seasons you get the same, consistent high-level multilingual experience no matter how foreign the land is. WiFi, plenty of international plugs, laptop and cell phone borrows, along with secretarial service and translation and interpretation services are aplenty. The Four Seasons also has an impressive conference space with two ballrooms – one holding up to 400.
7. The James Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
The boutique James Hotel is well-known forbeing a place that even the staff enjoys showing up to. Guests like doing their work there, too – and with ease. It's centrally-located, and there’s 7,000 square feet for events and conferences that can hold up to 220 people.
8. Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco, California
When a hotel responds by meeting your every whim, you know you’ve found a gem. The Mandarin Oriental in San Francisco has a particularly exceptional reputation. For example: forgot your cell phone charger? They’ve got you covered – you can choose from their selection. There’s free WiFi, and overnight dry cleaning too. Add to that the complimentary shoeshine service for those who like a quick clean-up, and you've got an ideal hotel for business.
9. The Ellis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia
Perhaps what makes the Ellis most impressive is it’s outreach and support for businesswomen. The Ellis has a "Women Only" floor that was conceptualized with the needs of the female business traveler in mind. The floor has secure keyed entry and female-centric amenities that any businesswoman on the road will appreciate.
10. La Samanna in St. Martin, the Caribbean
Should business lead you to the Caribbean (lucky!), the island of St. Martin is a comparatively affordable jumping-off point for business travelers. La Samanna, located on the French side of the island, accommodates nicely with a mixture of business and pleasure. When you're not networking by the pool, there's also a shaded business center at your disposal. Even though La Samanna doesn’t offer free WiFi, the ocean-and-pool-side access makes the $20 fee slightly forgivable.
11. Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janiero is another destination garnering a lot of business travel lately. The plans for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics is making the ever-developing city of Rio de Janeiro a bigger business hub in Brazil. At the Copacabana Palace Hotel, I personally loved starting my workday with the hotel’s epic complimentary breakfast buffet (complete with exotic fruits and massive tree-fallen coconuts to drink from), followed by some laps in the outdoor pool. There are also eleven-conference rooms that host to up to 1800 guests.
12. The Regent Berlin in Berlin, Germany
German business travel is no longer limited to Munich – Madonna, Rihanna, and Leo (DiCaprio) are just a few of the famous faces seen doing business in The Regent Berlin. The landmark hotel has an in-room personal shopping concierge service. The amenity is ideal for last-minute needs, or, for those who can afford the hotel’s “Travel Light” service. The service is a partnership the hotel has with Hugo BOSS where guests can be outfitted with a new wardrobe (not for free). On a more affordable level, there is free Internet access, a meeting butler that keeps all your meetings in order, and a three- hour express laundry service.
13. Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.
Our nation’s capital is another city with too many good hotels to choose from. But, if pressed to choose, I would name the Sofitel as my personal favorite. The location is exciting – just steps away from the White House. The events space is vast at 5,896 square feet with seven multi- purpose rooms, and the Sofitel offers their D.C.-based meeting planning team who will expedite all those event and conference details, so you don’t have to.