In today's fast paced business scene, hoteliers must innovate daily to keep up with the ever changing needs of business travelers. It is no longer about just having restaurants that can host business lunches. According to a survey conducted by Travel+Leisure and Fortune, a hotel brand will only remain relevant to business travelers if it combines the traditional hospitality package with digital tools and tech-savvy design.
Below is a list of hotel chains that made it to the top 10 in the survey.
1. Ritz Carlton
This hotel emerged on the top of the list for having prioritized new design and great customer service. Ritz Carlton has an app that handles check-ins and check-outs, a strong Wi-Fi that is cost effective, great housekeeping and valet services among others. The meals and accommodation units in all of its hotels offer the best comforts in the hospitality industry.
2. The Luxury Collection
It may not have a recognized brand such as the Ritz Carlton, but the Luxury Collection represents the new trendsetters that are opening luxury resorts and hotels everywhere. The chain is opening 15 new resorts in far-flung places such as Odessa in Ukraine, Milan in Italy and Santa Fe.
3. The Kimpton
The vision of its founder - Bill Kimpton - is becoming a reality. The chain is especially notable because of its loyalty program that allows guest freebies such as free Wi-Fi after signing up. With a lot of emphasis on social media, the hotel is attracting the millennials in their droves. That it is renovating old buildings and turning them into magical hotels has shone the limelight on this brand.
4. Waldorf Astoria
This is part of the Hilton family. It is definitely a trendsetter if the hotels it has opened in places such as Dubai, Jerusalem, Beijing and Amsterdam are anything to go by. True, this chain has been in the market for a while, but it keeps innovating to meet the needs of high-end business travelers.
5. The Fairmont
If you want to know why the Fairmont chain has made it to the top 5 of the surveyed hotels, try to stay at any of its Canadian branches such as Banff Springs and Château Frontenac. Over the last few years, the hotel group has seen rapid expansion in Asia and the Middle East. Its UAE properties are particularly loved in the business travel circles due to their waterfront location in Sharjah, Dubai and Ajman. During your trip to Indonesia, look up Fairmont Jakarta...the level of professionalism and available comforts there will surprise you.
6. The Four Seasons
Four Seasons seems to always do well in remote, idyllic islands. That you can conduct business in far-flung islands such as Bora Bora and Bali sounds romantic. Lately though, it has been getting into the center of business travel with hotels such as Four Seasons Moscow and Four Seasons Johannesburg.
7. Grand Hyatt
This group is renowned for its grand architectural masterpieces. You are well advised to look up the Grand Hyatt Dalian in China. It epitomizes the prestige with which this hotel group carries itself. If you are more of a tropics guy, then you can never go wrong at Bahamas' Baha Mar Resort.
8. JW Marriot
The modern luxury vibe in this hotel group is irresistible. It is the place you take your guests to impress them. Popular culture such as art exhibition events and photography shows bring to fore the high tastes of its guests. The Marquis Miami, Grosvenor House in London and Atlanta's Buckhead are the best representation of this brand.
With a billion dollars war chest, this hotel group went hunting. It has bought luxury resorts such as Homestead in Virginia, Barton Creek in Texas and La Costa in California. It is the next big thing. Watch its space.
10. The InterContinental
This hotel group closes out top 10. Its chefs, concierge services and iPad guides and cookbooks set it apart from its rivals. Its kitchens around the world have become the benchmark in culinary exploits.
As a business traveler, you will enjoy staying in the above hotels. They will make your life easy. They let you concentrate on your core business of finalizing deals, beating deadlines and impressing potential investors. Welcome to the new world!