What Is the Most Important Amenity in a Hotel?

by Country Inns & Suites
Thursday, February 3, 2011

In support of the current “Country Means Business” promotion, Road Warriorette will be featuring a weekly sponsored post on behalf of Country Inns & Suites and has been compensated by Country Inns & Suites for her contribution.

When deciding where to stay for a business trip, there are multiple considerations. Sometimes you just feel lucky to get a hotel within 20 miles of the office, as was the case when I was in a tiny town in Georgia last year. But when you have options, sometimes it can get overwhelming. Here are a few things to look for when deciding on your hotel.

Location. Different locations are important for different reasons. Obviously, proximity to the office can make things a lot easier. Commute time is shorter, and possible delays due to traffic are minimized. Sometimes, however, you want to be close to other things, like downtown, shopping, or the airport. This December I went to Pensacola, and the office I was visiting was as far away from the beach as you could get.  But I figured if I’m going to be in Florida, I’m staying at a beach. Even with the thirty minute drive, it was totally worth it.

Food. Will you be working late? Do you need to have room service available? Or is it enough to have good restaurants nearby? And what about breakfast? Do you enjoy the traditional continental option, or or will you build your own waffle?

Hotel amenities. Do you need a hotel with a gym or a pool? What about a fridge in your room? Will you need to print, copy, or fax anything while you are there? Do you need a universally accessible room? And of course, what about beds? Do you prefer a king, or two queens? Does bedding matter? Other amenities to consider are free breakfast and high-speed internet.

Reward programs. I highly, highly encourage you to try to stay at the same family of hotels whenever you can. Free trips are one of the best rewards for all of your business travel. The Home Warrior and I have taken many flights on American Airlines and Southwest from rewards points, and have been able to stay in hotels across the country for free. Another benefit? Once you attain Elite status you will often receive bonuses at check in, such as room upgrades, bottles of water, a free movie, or extra reward points. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up, and most families of hotels have multiple price points. (Check out the Carlson family, which includes Country Inns & Suites by Carlson, Park Inn and Radisson hotels.)