Best Hotel Perks for Business Travelers

By Joel Fineman, Staff WriterSept. 13, 2012
By Joel Fineman, Staff WriterSept. 13, 2012, at 1:20 p.m.
U.S. News & World Report

Best Hotel Perks for Business Travelers

Hotels become temporary homes for business travelers. Therefore, these particular guests demand more from their accommodations. A simple room with a bed will no longer suffice. They're looking for a cozy urban nook in which to unwind and amenities that cater to their transient lifestyle.

Hotel brands offer attractive extras for this coveted sect of the traveling population. As Wi-Fi is now a requirement rather than a luxury, hotel managements have engineered innovative allures. Many of these bonuses come with hotel loyalty programs. Upon enrollment, these select guests receive slightly reduced room rates along with some freebies. However, not all loyalty programs are equal. With this in mind, U.S. News Travel aimed to discover the best perks for business travelers. Here are the hotel programs, services, and amenities that take the cake.

To the exhausted traveler, the mini bar can be the cruelest form of temptation. Imagine: Jetlag has set in; traffic delayed your arrival for an hour; and now the hotel restaurant and lounge has closed. The lone source of solace sits tucked under the counter in your very own room. But, should you indulge in a cocktail or some macadamia nuts from the mini bar, the hotel slaps you with a hefty receipt. While Kimpton isn't promising an all-you-can-eat buffet, the trend-setting brand has instituted a "Raid the Mini Bar" Policy for visitors that belong to its InTouch Loyalty Program. This perk entitles guests to $10 of mini-bar credit ($15 in NYC) per stay. Kimpton's InTouch Loyalty Program costs nothing to join and also provides free Wi-Fi and exclusive promotional offers.

The Fairmont Fit is tailored to the athletic business traveler who packs a lean carry-on. Members of the Fairmont President's Club (a loyalty program with free enrollment) can simply ring the guest services desk to receive adidas workout apparel, including shorts, T-shirt, and even running shoes. These items are delivered to the guests' rooms and can either be returned or purchased at the end of a hotel stay. Travelers can even rent MP3 players pre-loaded with a variety of tracks for their daily jog. There is a $10 fee per stay for the Fairmont Fit program, which comes on top of the other Fairmont President's Club benefits. Capitalizing travelers should be on the lookout for a new complimentary BMW shuttle service at select Fairmont properties.

It's important to know that you'll get a good night's sleep in a hotel room. Travelers with allergies know this necessity better than most. That's why every Hyatt (in North America, at least) maintains an inventory of Respire by Hyatt—Hypo-Allergenic Rooms. Partnering with PURE Solutions, Hyatt treats each of these rooms with extreme care, encasing mattresses and pillows with protective hypo-allergenic coverings and using a medical-grade purifier to filter out dirt and other airborne allergens. While they're regularly cleaned and checked on, these rooms are re-certified as über clean every six months. Allergy-prone guests are sure to rest easy, knowing dust bunnies are nowhere in sight. This perk doesn't come free, though. It costs an additional $20 to $30 per night.

Starbucks coffee is a staple in the diets of many American business travelers. They've become immune to long lines, schooled in their verbiage, and accustomed to their uniform offerings. Knowing their orders by heart, these suit-wearing, card-carrying individuals require their Starbucks like it's water. Courtyard by Marriott recognizes this need and has rushed to their aid. Serving Starbucks coffee in all of its North American properties, the hotel chain can actually say it helps guests out of their morning stupor with a fresh cup of joe. Plus, in the 500-plus Courtyards that boast a "Bistro," visitors can get a signature brew 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The front desk staff is cross-trained to make Starbucks drinks and will serve coffee upon request, when the "Bistro" is closed.

While extended-stay properties automatically win over road warriors with ample space and a division between sleeping and living quarters, Residence Inn goes the extra mile, stocking the fridge with groceries. You can order comfort foods or basic ingredients to make a home-cooked meal. Either way, avoiding a trip to the nearest fast-food joint is a blessing. Most kitchens come equipped with a refrigerator, coffeemaker, microwave, dishwasher, cook top, and (in some locations) even an oven. Plus, should you forget to arrange for grocery delivery, you can always raid The Market, a 24/7 self serve pantry, for snacks or a drink.

The Mandarin Oriental brand is renowned for providing lavish accommodations and exceptional service, but its Suite Arrival really caters to the luxury business set. This smartly named feature provides sleek transportation (in the form of a limousine) to or from a local airport. However, you must choose which direction you'd like the Mandarin's chariot to take you because it's only a one-way ride. Should you bring your own wheels, this package can translate into one complimentary night of parking. You can select the Suite Arrival program when you book your room.

When business travelers visit a city, they may or may not be accustomed to the sights, sounds, and tastes of their temporary residence. Either way, it's nice to have a friendly face that can help them navigate the local scene and answer any questions. To make this transition as painless as possible, Waldorf Astoria has deployed its "True Waldorf Service"—a program that assigns qualified guests with a specific concierge. This service member is visitors' primary contact before, during, and after their stay. He or she happily makes accommodation and transportation arrangements as well as greets travelers upon arrival. This extra attention allows each hotel stay to be personalized.

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