The readers of Travel + Leisure magazine have rated their top hotels, and the magazine has produced a “top 100” list from the results. The hotels feature a lot of beautiful views, enormous rooms and posh furnishings, and extremely expensive prices.
That’s all well and good, but it’s pretty much irrelevant to the travel that most of us experience. We’re business travelers, and except for rare occasions we don’t stay at places by lakes — unless you count those artificial ponds with the spraying fountain in the middle — or any staggering natural beauty. We’re in downtown areas for the most part, on a block of a city grid that looks pretty much like the next block over. So, the Travel + Leisure ratings might be interesting, but they don’t have much application to our daily business travel lives.
So, what do business travelers care about? Speaking for myself, I’d say the baseline needs are a place that is quiet and clean. Quiet, so I can try to get a good night’s sleep after after a busy travel and work day, and clean, so that I don’t notice dust bunnies under the bed or something left by the person who stayed in the room last night, and I can at least maintain the pretense that I’m not staying in a room that is probably used by hundreds of total strangers every year. After those basics, I’m looking for a room that has the right functional furniture — a desk is a must — a comfortable bed that isn’t covered in accent pillows that need to be thrown on the floor and that might trip me when I go to the bathroom, and an easy-to-use coffee maker that can make at least two cups of decent regular coffee. If you then throw in a shower with lots of hot water and decent water pressure, you’ve got a top 100 business hotel in my book.
No need for a mint on the pillow, or turn-down service, or a huge room. Just make sure I’m not awakened in the middle of the night by a party down the hallway, and I’ll come back.