Choosing a hotel for business travel

How do you choose your hotel for business travel? Reader D asks….

Hi RW! I am traveling for my job several times in the next few months. Whenever I look at all of the hotel options I get overwhelmed. How do you choose which hotel to stay in?

Great question! The right hotel can really have an impact on how your trip goes, so it’s a good idea to spend some time choosing the best place for you.

First off: Make sure you check your corporate travel policy before booking any hotel. There may be preferred hotels, brands, and rates that you are required to choose.

Beyond that, the first thing I look at when deciding on a hotel is how far I’m willing to travel to get to the office, and how far I’m willing to travel to get to and from the airport.   There is almost always an option near or on the airport grounds, but whether I choose that hotel depends on what my priorities and arrival time.

  • If I’m on a trip for multiple days I almost always will choose a hotel close to the office.
  • If the office I’m visiting is not close to the airport, for an overnight trip with a late arrival I will often choose to stay close to the airport.  After a long day of travel I want my trip to the hotel to be as short as possible so I can check-in and rest up.
  • If a short morning commute is a priority then choose a hotel near the office.  Also, if the commute time is long due to traffic I’ll forgo the extra sleep and stay closer to the office to avoid showing up late.  
    • Note: A good way to get an estimate on traffic and travel time is to look at Google Maps before your trip. You can choose your departure time so you can see how long it takes during rush hour.

There are few other things to consider, such as food preferences, whether or not you need a gym, and of course, the rewards program. I typically stay at Marriotts these days, so choose a Marriott property whenever possible (with Hilton’s as a backup).

Readers, how do you choose what hotel you’ll stay in on your business trips? What are the most important criteria?

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Comments

  1. I’m a fan of Candlewood Suites. The rooms are always in gr8 shape. I can cook my own food Plus if I need to do a small load of laundry it’s free. I have a few dryer sheets and a couple all pods in my carry on
    I normally do all my laundry the last night of my stay so I can put away the clean clothes when I get home.

  2. Every hotel has its advantages and disadvantages. Im on a 300 night trip now. I stay at Hilton properties in Tampa. I have over 30 options near work. Some charge parking, my firm doesnt pay for that. Most have powdered eggs for breakfast. Im tired of them. With my status, some had better point options, up until today (new point system). I stay near the beach on weekends, and near work during the week. I know which pools are in the shade in the afternoon, so I avoid them if laying out is on my agenda. Ultimately I end up at Hilton (proper). Decent rooms, 50 inch TVs, decent exec lounge freebies, coffee is fresh, on-demand. Parking is close to door. But no laundry…
    Newer Hampton Inns are similar to a Hilton, but powdered eggs. Try them all out if you can…youll be surprised how many you’d never go back to. And yes, only bring liquid or liquid pods for laundry, that dry stuff dont work in HE very well.

  3. My decision-making process for hotel selection:
    1. Safety.
    2. Travel convenience. (I agree with everything you mentioned about convenience, but safety takes priority for me; I will travel a little longer if it means staying in a safer area.)
    3. A “fitness center” with some weight equipment.
    4. In-house restaurant. Sometimes, after a long day at a customer site, I want a decent meal without having to go out. And hotels with restaurants usually have made-to-order breakfasts. Agree with @Steve: I am tired of powdered eggs.

  4. Safety is always number one. Especially as a woman traveling alone.

    I have a per night budget amount that I am supposed stay under, but for some cities, that amount just isn’t going to happen and fortunately my boss understands. In the past year, Hilton properties seem to be cheaper than the Marriot ones, so now Hiltons are my first choice. Trying to stay brand loyal has personal perks by adding up points to use on my vacations and increasing my status. I’m a HH Diamond member, and the elite status gets me free upgrades and other nice goodies.

    I agree with the others; those powdered eggs are getting very old! I balance commuting distance to the customer site with the nicest hotel I can get away with booking and still staying within budget. I’d much rather drive 30-45 min to and from a Hilton proper, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn or DoubleTree with fresh, cooked to order omelets, than only 5 min from a Hampton Inn. I’ve also been surprised by the fact that sometimes those nicer properties can end up being a lot cheaper than a Hampton Inn.

    I don’t need or even use the kitchens when I stay in a place with them, and I’ve never needed to use a laundry on the road in the past three years I’ve had this job. So, neither of those options are something that I need consider when choosing a place. But, I can see how those are great options for people to consider if they are used.

  5. Powdered eggs? Really? You had all my respect until that comment. As a veteran of 30 years in the food & beverage business and a fellow road warrior , I have to set the record straight. The only powdered eggs these days is in NASA. The eggs you are getting are “liquid eggs” but nevertheless they are real eggs. Your best bet in most hotels is to avoid the carbs and eat fruit, yogurt. And oh by the way, that cute little perfectly folded omelet and those biscuits were cooked weeks ago , frozen and shipped to their destination.

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