For a lot of Ambitionistas, travel is often a mix of business and pleasure. And so choosing the right kind of hotel that can accommodate your packed and varied itinerary is crucial. And you probably have noticed via my Instagram that I have been traveling quite a bit.
While I’ve been lucky enough that my travels take me to places (read: cities) that I wanted to go to anyway, a great hotel often makes or breaks the stay. So what does an Ambitionista need to pay attention to when choosing a hotel that caters to both work or play?
When Picking a Hotel for Business :
Always consider the location: Where you will be spending the majority of your time? If attending a specific conference for the duration of your trip, it’s best to stay at the hotel where it is being held (or as close to the venue as possible). If however, you have multiple events/meetings to go to throughout your stay, pick a central location that makes it easy to go to different parts of the city much like I did during my latest trip to NYC, where I stayed at the London NYC which is located smack in midtown Manhattan, and enabled me to zip all around the city quickly as needed.
Check out the cafes and restaurants in the hotel before booking if you are going to have lots of coffee, lunch or dinner meetings - Depending on your industry, the image you want to create and your location, staying in a hotel that has both a chic yet laid-back cafe and bar , and a fine dining restaurant is a godsent. In my last New York trip, I was able to pack in 6 meetings in a whole day in style ( I am working in the fashion industry) because I was having the meetings all from my hotel's cafe. In between meetings, if I needed to freshen up, all I needed to do was go back to my room. So yes, even though my hotel is a little bit more expensive, the time saved (and deals closed) is priceless.
When Planning a (Mostly) Vacation Trip:
Think of what you want to do during your business trip. Are you going to be doing a lot of shopping, sightseeing and exploring, or will you staying in one area? Pre-booking, get your google map out and pin your must visit spots as well as your tentative hotels. In a city like NYC or LA where traffic is heavy at best and hideous at its worse, choosing your hotel's location is not something you want to leave to chance.
A standard room, a grand suite or something in between? Will you be in a situation where your hotel room also doubles as a pre-event prep and gathering spot or just a place to crash? When I am in town for an event, a larger room is always necessary as I tend to have makeup and hair people, a photographer and a couple of friends in my room all at the same time.
Other questions to consider :
Do you work out or want to work out, and at what kind of hours? Is having an outdoor jogging/walking trail something you really care about? Be honest now.
What is the total cost of stay - look at the add-ons, that $199 per night hotel might seem cheaper, but the $299 hotel might have complimentary wifi, is nearer to my clients ( so I save on taxi fares, time and energy), has wonderful on-site restaurants and cafes I can host meetings in, has an excellent business center, complimentary shuttle to and from the airport and/or parking, daily breakfast and pressing service. If you can do more work and achieve more if staying at a better hotel, I always consider that a priority.
Thank you The London NYC for hosting my stay. All indoor photos are taken at the all-suite The London Hotel, NYC while all outdoor photos are taken right outside the hotel. The opinion and thoughts in this blog post are strictly my own.