A great location, friendly service, and an executive lounge are three things that can make a hotel appealing to business travellers – but what about the room itself?
Sure, you’ll want a comfortable bed: and a view is always nice.
Beyond those basics, though, a lot can make or break a stay. Here are five things that many business travellers appreciate after checking-in.
A proper working desk, with a suitable chair
Business travel often calls for work beyond office visits and scheduled meetings, with a quiet hotel room in prime position to be a traveller’s perfect workspace – provided that room comes equipped for business.
There’s simply no replacement for a proper in-room desk. While sofas or armchairs suffice for a quick email or two, when there’s serious work to be done, the furniture should reflect that.
Ideally, the desk would be free to move around the room, such as over by a window. After all, there’s little point in having a nice view if you’ll spend most of the day staring at a blank wall!
At that desk, you’ll also want to be comfortable.
Small designer seats look nice in photographs, but they’re rarely practical for all-day use.
Being able to request a height-adjustable office chair – a feature Hilton Sydney now provides for those who ask, having removed them from rooms during recent renovations – ensures you can make the most of that work time, in comfort.
Power points: plural
From smartwatches and smartphones through to headphones, tablets, laptops, power banks, electric shavers, hair straighteners – and for some tech-toting travellers, cameras too – rooms with few power points simply don’t meet the needs of modern guests.
When you add in the multitude of hotel appliances that require power, such as minibar fridges, TVs, bedside clocks, lights, and coffee makers, it’s clear that power points for guest use should be separate.
Being unobstructed, unoccupied, easy to access, and located where you’ll need them most, we’d expect to find power points near working desks, sofas or armchairs, and on both sides of the bed: ideally, with AC and USB ports for convenience.
In fact, with many modern devices now supporting wireless charging, having those capabilities in the room makes forgetting your charger a problem of the past.
Not just ‘free’ WiFi, but high-speed WiFi
Basic WiFi is just like a sofa or armchair – it’s fine for emails, but high-speed WiFi is what’s often needed to get the job done.
Many hotels do make speedy WiFi available, although it often attracts a hefty access charge: and what you’d pay over just a night or two can easily exceed the cost of a month’s high-speed connection at home.
Where those charges do apply, we’d expect they’d at least be waived for a chain’s top-tier travellers, and arguably its mid-tiered guests too.
Even as business travel begins to bounce back, video conferencing still has its place.
If the two intersect – such as to keep in touch with the office, attend to other clients on your normal schedule, or to catch up with family back home – high speed is what you’ll need.
Your devices, on the hotel’s TV
In the years gone by, hotels often ‘locked’ in-room TVs to the house entertainment system – much to the chagrin of their guests – but many are now unblocking those precious HDMI ports and giving guests the freedom to connect their own devices.
For business travellers, packing a simple HDMI cable could make for a better-prepared presentation, by using the in-room screen as you would a projector while rehearsing your pitch.
Unwinding after a long day? Use that same setup to watch your favourite shows from your gadget on the big screen, just like at home.
Even better, if the in-room TV supports Apple AirPlay, or Chromecast – a more universal platform available to both Apple and Android devices, as well as Mac and Windows computers – you’ll be able to watch what you like, without the cable.
Combine that functionality with high-speed WiFi, and you’re onto a winner for not only business guests, but leisure travellers too.
First class amenities
On quick overnight business trips, or even journeys lasting a few days, business travellers tend to pack light.
That means not lugging around one’s own collection of toiletries and amenities – aside from a few basics – and instead relying on those supplied by the hotel.
Quite often, the first clues of quality come from the conditioner.
If a room only has 'conditioning shampoo', it's fair to say that any expectations you have should be lowered considerably.
Other common items like shower gel, shower caps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and cotton buds or tips are also ideally found in the room.
Some hotels make these available 'on request', but nobody likes to be kept waiting: especially when you've just arrived, or need to get ready for a meeting.
Executive Traveller readers, it’s over to you: what makes a great hotel room for business travellers in your books? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below!