You might think that when it comes to travelling with an overnight stay for business purposes that it doesn’t really matter what kind of hotel you choose. As long as there is a bed and somewhere for you to shower in the morning then it’s all good. However, you couldn’t be more wrong. When it comes to a good business hotel, you will find there is a lot you should be considering before you click the ‘book’ button and send your hard earned money (or worse, your company’s) off to the hotel and this is especially key if you find that you are travelling a lot of business.
If you were travelling for leisure then there are certain standards that you would expect to be met, facilities you would look out for and review sites you would visit before making your decision. The considerations are no less when it comes to business travel, or looking at business hotels in London, for example. Here are our top tips for what you should be on the lookout for before you book:-
1. Complimentary Internet
It doesn’t necessarily need to be wireless although this is more common in today’s technologically advanced world but there should definitely be some form of complimentary internet service available throughout the hotel, including in your room. Whether you want to get online to answer work emails, compile that last minute presentation or simply to unwind and video call home to say goodnight to your family, a hotel should not call itself a business hotel unless it offers complimentary internet. This is fairly easy to check and should strike a hotel straight off your list if it isn’t available; often if a hotel charges for internet use then the costs are astronomical and you may find yourself in a work bind if you aren’t able to get online without a charge. Likewise, only have complimentary internet in the hotel lobby is pointless; who wants to sit and work where there is a constant stream of people and distraction?
2. Business Facilities
You are coming to the hotel to work so it makes sense that you would look for a hotel which offers high quality business facilities. This means working printers, fax machines and photocopiers and someone on hand to help guide you through getting yourself connected and running with the technology. Whilst these services will not always be complimentary, a top end business hotel will be upfront about the charges involved leaving you to decide whether it would be better to use the business facilities or find a local copy shop to do the work for you.
3. Room Service
If you’ve had a busy day meeting with potential clients or a long journey to reach your hotel then the last thing you feel like doing is making a reservation and sitting down in a restaurant to get something to eat. Worse still if there is no restaurant attached to the hotel and you end up driving around looking for somewhere to grab a bite. A good business hotel will offer room service until late in the evening. Additionally, the rooms should have complimentary in-room coffee and tea making facilities so that you can work late into the night without having to constantly order in refreshment.
Club Room at Park Grand London Lancaster Gate
4. A Wake Up Service
This can be a real necessity if you have spent many hours on the road or have worked late into the night and need to be up and out on time. However it is about more than just offering this service; a lax attitude to this type of thing can be a real turn off for guests. If you ask for a wake up call at 6.30am then it should come at 6.30am, not 6.40am or 6.45am.
5. Conference Room
Consider your plan of action for your business trip; will you need somewhere to gather together clients and customers or other employees? Do you have a big presentation to create which requires a lot of space? If the answer is yes, then look for a hotel which offers conference facilities enabling you to get your work done.
6. Fitness Facilities
It is vital when travelling for work that you find time to yourself, to switch off and not have to think about your to do list, even if it’s just for a short period of time. Making use of a hotel’s gym or leisure facilities is the ideal way to do this and should certainly feature on your ‘must have’ list when considering potential hotels. Spending half an hour in the gym can also help if you find yourself too wired after long hours sat in meetings or travelling and can’t get to sleep. A little bit of exercise can do wonders for your relaxation levels; even better if you find a gym with a spa and can book yourself in for a massage or treatment to help grab some precious ‘you’ time whilst away.
7. Concierge Service
A good concierge will be able to help you with everything from hailing a taxi to advising you on the best place to take your clients for a meal. Their local knowledge can be invaluable and it is well worth making use of the service if it is available.
8. Value for Money
When travelling for business it is likely that you will be working to a budget and so it can be tricky to find a hotel which meets all your needs but still comes under the company’s budget. This is where making connections with hotels can be a real key. If you regularly travel to London, find out whether hotels offer ‘frequent guest’ discounts or have a business club you can join; you may find this is more likely with larger chains but it is certainly worth looking into.
A decent breakfast is the best way to kick-start your day, especially if you know it is going to be a long one with limited opportunity to stop and grab something to eat. A complimentary breakfast is much better than having to pay as an additional cost but what you really want is to know that the breakfast you are being served is of a decent quality. It needs to be freshly made, with a large variety and available early. Many business travellers have to be up at the crack of dawn so any business hotel worth its salt should have an early bird style breakfast option.
The last thing you need when you are travelling for business is to be located miles away from where all the business will actually be taking place. Choosing a hotel which is centrally located is vital. If you are travelling to a big city, such as London, you shouldn’t find this too difficult but it is always worth triple checking the distance between public transport links, your meeting place or business centre and the hotel to avoid any nasty or unnecessary surprises upon arrival.