Sponsored Poll: What’s the Most Important Amenity in a Hotel?

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 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.)

So, Readers, what is the most important amenity for you?

I think the top three most important hotel amenities are:

View Results

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Comments

  1. Free wifi, but only if it will actually be usable. I was at a hotel last week with free wifi, but it would take 2 minutes to load Facebook. It was also completely open so the bandwidth may have been eaten up by people not staying at the hotel.

  2. Pet peeve is that the more expensive the hotel, the more likely they charge for Internet access; also the more expensive the breakfast. My “other” is non-smoking rooms (or even floor). I recently stayed at a hotel that was entirely non-smoking, really nice!

  3. In the top 3 is QUIET. I have stayed in four star hotels where I could hear the man next door breathing, my neighbor’s TV, their shower, housekeeping chatting in the hallway. First of all, I don’t want to be reminded that I’m sleeping 8′ away from a stranger. Second, it can be hard to sleep if you’re in a different timezone, so other noises at night or in the morning are disturbing. Third, if I can hear my neighbor, can he hear me?

  4. In 2011, internet should not be an amenity, it should just be there. Same as water and electricity. The internet is a utility.

    Missing from the list: A robe

    Since Nancy listed a Pet peeve, I will add one. Lack of horizontal space for my stuff. Most hotel designs provide very little free surfaces and what space there is they cover it with junk.

  5. I usually pick hotels based on wifi, breakfast and rewards program. Proximity to the office is nice, too.

    BTW – I would just like to applaud you for filling a gaping void in travel discussion and information. I was traveling for work this week, and felt like a bit of an oddity. (I am a late 20’s female in consulting, and I travel reasonably often.) I found your blog via corporette, and I really enjoy it. So thanks!

  6. Aside from free & fast wifi, a decent gym is the most important amenity for me. That can be hard to tell from the website – most just list ‘fitness center’, and it can be a tiny room with a couple of treadmills/bikes in it, or a great set up with a variety of equipment, towels & water, and space for workouts. I also value healthy breakfast options (rather than a bunch of sugar & carbs). Having a good gym and healthy food choices makes travel easier for me.

  7. @TKA there are a ton of women out there doing the same thing you are, but not many of them blogging about it. I think RoadWarriorette is the #1 hit on google if you search for female business travel.

  8. Nancy hit on one of my biggest pet peeves – the more expensive the hotel, the more expensive the amenities. Why is it that I get free wifi at the Hilton Garden Inn, but pay $15 a day at a Fairmont? (actually, I don’t pay at the Fairmont as they give wifi free to their “president’s club” members, but my point still stands).

    Shouldn’t paying $200+ a night for a room entitle you to some amenities included?

    Wifi is a big one for me, but since I got my Verizon air card, it’s not as essential unless I’m out of the country. A good gym is probably highest on my wish list, followed by good breakfast (I agree doughnuts don’t cut it – give me eggs and fruit).

  9. Maybe this shouldn’t be considered an amenity per se, but a kind and helpful staff at the hotel are indispensible. There is nothing worse than calling or going down to the front desk to ask for a fix in your current room or a new room (because of a broken toilet, no hot water, even lack of towels or something simple) and being made to feel that you are the most annoying, bothersome thing that the staff has seen all night. Even when you are a good Southern girl devoted to catching more flies with honey and are super sweet and polite in asking for the fix. A good staff can make you feel like a million bucks and love a place that has all kinds of other issues.

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