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The Best Business Hotels of 2008

Nothing stimulates us less than a business trip to some soulless hotel with a trouser press a back-alley view. Thankfully. we rarely encounter such horrors these days. We have collaborated with Fortune magazine to come up with a shortlist of 50 fantastic business hotels, which our judging panel will whittle down to ten deserving winners.

THE JUDGES
MELISSA BIGGS BRADLEY
Founder, www.lndagare.com

DAVID CUSH
CEO, Virgin America

SIMON DE PURY
Chairman, Phillips de Pury

KONSTANTIN GRCIC
Industrial, product and exhibition designer

BJORN HANSEN
Hotels analyst, PriceWaterhouseCoopers

BOB JEFFREY
CEO, J Walter Thompson

MASAKO KUMAKURA REDAELLI
Worldwide communocations d•rector, Boucheron

AMBRA MEDDA
Co· founder and director. Oesign Miami/Basel

DEBORAH MEYER
Vice president and chief marketing officer. Chrysler

DENNIS PAPHITIS
Founder and director, Aesop

Often on their own and in need of special services to accomplish their tasks, business travelers have come to expect a lot from their hotel of choice.  These days, for the most part, they are getting it.  As new hotels appear and old one get contemporary makeovers, designers nearly always consider high technology a must. That being the case, the lines are blurring between what constitutes a business hotel and one aimed more at tourists. While big hotel chains (Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Four Seasons) still dominate the high-end business sector, there are plenty of independent and boutique hotels going after the same clientele.

According to Travel Smith Research, a leading lodging industry data provider, the most important thing to the business traveler is location.  The hotel doesn’t always need to be near a convention center. but will probably be selected according to convenience of a meeting location. Often that’s in the hotel itself, in which case it should be easy to find and well equipped.

Many business travelers world from their room, making a desk with good lighting and the ability to plug a number of devices into one place imperative. Furniture, such as chairs, should be functional.  Good conference capabilities, such as speaker phones and secretarial service upon request, are am must. And nothing will spoil a business trip faster than computer problems with one one around to solve them.  Top business hotels now have e-concierges available around the clock. At the very least, there should be an engineer on hand, or even computers available to rent if something goes askew. Wireless internet service in room is a must.  Some hotels are still chagrin for this service, but most are moving in the right direction of making it complimentary with the room price.

Like other traveler, those on business are becoming more sophisticated and now appreciate a unique experience A beautiful contemporary design or a hotel that plays on its history will typically be chosen over a dull box of a room, particularly for those travelling outside their own country.  Additionally, since they are often on their own, business travelers look for excellent public areas, such as good restaurant or a lively bar.  High end in-room entertainment systems, an exciting room service menu and, since meeting often take place into the evening, a comprehensive room service wine list makes in room entertaining even better.

Together with Fortune magazine, we have shortlisted the best new or newly renovated hotels that meet some or all of the requirement most important to those travelling specially on business.

 

North America- United States

Atlanta, Twelve Centnnial Park- www.twelvecentennialpark.com

Boston, InterContinental- www.intercontinental.com

Boston, The Liberty – www.libertyhotel.com

Chicago, Trump International – www.trumpchicagohotel.com

Dallas, The Ritz-Carlton- www.ritzcarlton.com

Dallas, The Stoneleigh, www.stoneleighhotel.com

Denver, The Ritz-Carlotn- www.ritzcarlton.com

Greensboro, Proximity – www.proximityhotel.com

Houston, Zaza – www.hotelzaza.com

Los Angeles, THompson Beverly Hills -thompsonhotels.com

Miami, The Tides – tidesouthbeach.com

New Orleans, Maison Orleans (Club Level)- ritzcarlton.com

New york, Royalton- royaltonhotel.com

New York, Guild Hall – thomsponshotels.com

New York, The plaza- theplaza.com

San Diego, The Keating- thekeating.com

San Francisco, InterCntinental -intercontinental.com

Scottsdale, Firesky- fireskyresot.com

CANADA

Tornonto, THe Hazelton-thehazletonhotel.com

Montreal, Opus-opushotel.com

SOUTH AMERICAN AND THE CARIBBEAN

Argentina

Buenos Aires, NH Lancaster – nh-lancaster.com

Brazil

Rio de Janeiro, Fassano – fasano.com.br

Seo Paulo, WTC- wtchotel.com.br

Puerto Rico

San Juan, Condado Plaza -condadoplaza.com