When you have a work laptop, you can leave home but you never really leave the job. Because of this, when I travel I almost always have to stay in a good business hotel, because of the amenities they offer. These are my personal preferences to have, but you’ll find that just about every good business travel blogger agrees with me on what makes a good business hotel.
o Free wireless Internet – Most business hotels provide free wifi these days, and I steadfastly avoid those that don’t. When I travel it is important that I be able to quickly and easily check my email and get online, so I can work and maintain contact with clients. Having to plan Internet costs into my budget, or (God forbid) having to drive around to find a coffee shop or a library that offers wifi, is not either “quick” or “easy.”
o Internet cafe – There are times when I need to print something, and I can assure you, I don’t travel with my printer. There are other times when my laptop is acting up, or I can’t get online for some reason, or something like that. A good business hotel really needs to have an Internet cafe or a computer room on premises, where guests can go to get online, check email, print, or whatever else they need to do.
o Shuttle service – Okay, when you are traveling on business you don’t always get to rent a car. Usually you go from the airport to a hotel that is located near the business park. Then you go from the hotel to the client’s office, conference location, or whatnot. You aren’t exactly driving around sightseeing, and your employer often doesn’t see a car as a necessity. So which business hotel do you think I’m going to choose? Right — the one that will drive me around. (Within reason, of course.)
o Breakfast – Maybe this is just me thinking with my stomach, but I find it can be very difficult to get up early, get ready for my day, and get breakfast in an unfamiliar city. I much prefer to stay at a hotel that provides some kind of breakfast, whether that is just a fruit basket and muffins, or something a little more substantial. As long as coffee is included, I am content!
Most of the nice hotels these days provide at least a couple of the things listed above, things that in my opinion are a necessity any time you are traveling for work (or at least traveling with your work). Finding a hotel that offers all of these things, on the other hand, can be a bit tricky, so sometimes I do have to pick and choose which is most important to me. When it comes down to it, that is definitely the wifi and computer access — those are just things I cannot live without when working from the road!