Editors' pick: Originally published Jan. 18.
Hotels are improving their amenities for business travelers, especially for road warriors who are seeking efficiency, easy access and comfortable work areas for extended trips.
One of the top priorities for people traveling on an extended trip is the quality of the work space, such as having enough outlets and a desk that is large enough to hold their computer, phone and paperwork, said April Masini, a New York-based relationship and etiquette expert and author.
"The work space in a hotel room is always key for me," she said. "There has to good lighting and enough of it. I also like it when there's a comfortable lounging area that I can use for reading or entertaining."
On longer trips, Masini seeks accommodations that feel more like home and less like an institution.
"A mini fridge that's stocked with my favorite foods and beverages is a plus," she said.
The location, room size and amenities are always the top three priorities for long-term business travelers, said Andy Abramson, CEO of Comunicano, a Del Mar, Calif.-based marketing communications company, who travels an average of 200 days a year. Newer hotels are a favorite, because they tend to have more modern amenities than conventional full-service hotels.
"Proximity to full service and fast casual restaurants and being nearby to pharmacies, supermarkets and convenience stores are important, as there isn't always a 24-hour restaurant on the premises," he said. "They tend to have more of a breakfast and dinner hour set up and that doesn't always correspond to when I'll be hungry or on property."
Being close to a dry cleaner and a laundry is a bonus, since not all hotels offer those services seven days as week, Abramson said.
One bedroom suites are preferable over studios, so "you're not trapped in your bedroom," he said.
"Being able to walk into the kitchen, open the refrigerator and grab some bottled water or juice is also a big plus, as you can stock up and keep working without having to take a break or pay for over priced room service," Abramson said.
Since business travelers spend a large amount of their time working, really fast, reliable WiFi comes first along with good cell phone reception, he said.
"The last two amenities are a flat screen TV with open HDMI ports," Abramson said. "This way I can connect my Google Chromecast to it and use my iPad or iPhone and stream what I want to watch versus the limited channels most hotels have."
The perk that is paramount to Abramson is being able to check out later to accommodate for meetings or a different schedule.
"It's an amenity I have from Intercontinental as a Royal Ambassador and I do stay in some as long as week at a time and being able to show up whenever is great when you have a red eye arrival," he said. "A late check out is well worth the price of the rooms - they allow me until 4 p.m. without question,and I've stayed as late as 8 p.m. without the extra night being charged."
Here are five hotels that are popular among business travelers who are on extended trips:
Located in Manhattan's Hudson Square and NoMad, these two boutique hotels opened in 2016 and tout their small modular rooms as efficient. While the average size of each Arlo Hotel room is only 150-square feet, travelers can still ask for a queen or king-sized bed that have two USB outlets in the headboard and still have room to store their luggage and work at their flip-down desk that contains another USB outlet.
The hotel encourages travelers to work at its communal tables, which are located everywhere on the premises. At the Arlo Hudson Square, the open spaces have Wifi available at its rooftop bar, library, courtyard, living room setting, and indoor bar. The option to use its check-in kiosks and app make it easy for road warriors arriving at unconventional times. The empty refrigerators also allow road warriors to stock it with their own breakfast items or snacks.
"Both Arlo properties were created with the business traveler in mind," said Jenny Robinson, director of business travel of Arlo Hotels. "The 'pantry' gives guests a choice of one-of-a-kind items that they can enjoy in their room without paying the industry-standard three time mark-up of a traditional mini bar."
With locations in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and London, the AKA hotels meld a luxury condo with a boutique hotel feeling and offer studios, one and two bedroom options. With high end furnishings, the rooms have large, full-size kitchens, long desks and the option to do laundry.
"AKA caters to the working needs of business travelers and feature complimentary conference rooms, business centers, work stations outfitted with computers, printers, and monitors, high-speed Wi-Fi, same-day valet dry cleaning and laundering services and an on-site laundry room," said Jenna Arin, managing director of AKA Wall Street. "Rather than room service, AKA provides travelers with fully equipped kitchens - making it convenient to prepare meals throughout your stay."
With 19 locations, the AC Hotels Marriott have a boutique atmosphere and are appealing to business travelers because of free Wifi, rooms that contain several USB outlets at the bed and desk and restaurant kallpods, which are electronic devices that have Bluetooth technology and allow guests to alert the servers when they are ready to be approached. Road warriors can thus conduct business meetings in the lounge without being interrupted by servers. When they want to order food and drinks, they can utilize the kallpods.
"The AC Hotel Chicago Downtown rooms have hardwood floors, luggage benches, allow you to access your personal Netflix account on the in-room television and complimentary bottled water in the mini fridges in each room," said Chris Zarek, general manager of AC Hotel Chicago Downtown. "We have high-speed internet because guests expect that."
Sutton Court Hotel Residences is a boutique style, extended-stay hotel located in Midtown Manhattan. The rooms are 600 square feet and the newly remodeled apartments feature large round tables in the apartment and double as a work station and/or a dining table and are "ideal for business travelers looking for a home away from home," said Katiria Astorga, assistant general manager.
Business travelers also have a direct landline, a fully equipped kitchen and DirectTV with HBO.
"Our apartments are more than a room with a view," she said.
Located globally and in 19 states, the Hotel Indigos are owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group. The Hotel Indigo Lower East Side in Manhattan offers complimentary Wi-Fi, a 14th floor sky lobby with spacious work stations and a marketplace where local snacks are sold.
"What makes Hotel Indigo Lower East Side different is the focus on being inclusive and welcoming to both guests and non-guests," said Tania Getzova, general manager. "The 14th floor workspace is open to locals to use as their workspace and they continue to use our space as a creative atmosphere to get work done and network with other likeminded individuals."