Hotel for Business Checklist

Being out on the road for business or work-related activities can be part of the reason you originally took the job or maybe a slight downside to the whole package. Either way there could be the need to stay away from home from time to time. In my professional role as a consultant, overnighting for a couple of nights per week in Birmingham hotels on a fairly regular basis, I had plenty of time to hone a pretty comprehensive checklist for the ideal business stay.

Convenient for the airport or transport routes in/out. Whatever method of transport to or from the hotel, consider this journey so you are not late to start or possibly worse still – late home after the trip.

Close to the business if temporary commuting to an on-site location. If the hotel is your temporary base and a commute to the client’s site is a daily trip, then being on a good route (and provision for car parking) will be an advantage.

Late restaurant/24hr room service or nearby eateries. On occasion, working away from home for less than a full business week may mean late finishes to get the project done. You may need to eat at unsociable hours, where late night kitchen facilities will be a blessing. Additionally, hotel proximity to local dining areas is a worthwhile aim.

Early breakfast. At the other end of the day – either before travelling out to the client’s site or before heading back home – make sure that the breakfast times cover the start of your working routine.

Gym/pool/spa facilities. After a busy day, a great way to refresh and assist with a clean conscience if reliance on fine dining is part of the routine: have a swim between work and the evening meal.

Dry cleaning/ironing. Travelling light, but staying longer; recycling your office-smart clothes will be a worthwhile service.

Quiet location. To wake refreshed, try and get a hotel a little away from the late-night hustle and bustle – or at least a room with a quieter aspect (I always ask to be away from the lifts).

Connectivity. Of course there will always be that one e-mail or phone call you need to deal with back in the hotel – check the internet rates and conditions are to your liking (or that of your finance department) and cell phone coverage is good.

Desk, chair and office-style lighting. You may be used to working on a laptop on a train or a plane, but having a usable ergonomic environment to get some work done in a little more comfort is a must. Nice angle poise lamp too if possible. This also doubles up for a healthier way to “sit up straight” and enjoy a room service meal. Picture by Michael Gray via

Nearby entertainment. Chances are that if you have selected a hotel close to some restaurants there is also a selection of other places to relax in your down-time; pubs or cinemas for the evening or perhaps museums or galleries if you have a weekend stay over. I have learned the hard way through wandering around the back of an industrial estate after a poorly researched trip! Birmingham has a splendid reputation for Indian food.

TV channels. In-room entertainment may not be the top priority for a working trip, but the chance to relax and maybe catch up business news is definitely a nice-to-have.

Rooms or suites to have meetings. If your remit includes setting up a meeting or event, then the hotel may have some specific facilities and experience in helping you out. The associated infrastructure – projectors, flip charts, refreshments, etc. should seal the deal.

Loyalty program. If you are working on a long term project, with repeated journeys – once you have found somewhere you like, then sign up to the frequent stayer rewards program! Check as many of these items off as you can and at least your hotel business will be a pleasure.

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