What do business travellers want? Top accommodation needs

Accommodation essentials for business travellers

What do business travellers want in a hotel? Fast and reliable Wi-Fi is key, along with an adequate workspace and proximity to the central business district.

Safety is another important consideration, as well as quality food and drink options, and a smooth check in and out. Our complete guide to what business travellers need in a hotel is below – plus our handy accommodation guides to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Sydney.

Your guide to business travel accommodation

When travelling for business, it’s important to maintain a normal routine for maximum productivity. Whether business travellers are away for one night or one week, if you’re the person who makes all the travel arrangements, it’s your job to make sure the accommodation has everything they need.

What do business travellers need in a hotel?

Stable internet connection

It should come as no surprise that one of the top hotel requirements for business travellers is a fast, reliable and free Wi-Fi connection.

A good hotel option will have an easy-to-access Wi-Fi connection in each room, not just the lobby, and there shouldn’t be any daily data restrictions. A hotel well set up for business travellers will include Wi-Fi as part of the package, not as an add-on.

Adequate workspace

For productivity to remain high, a business traveller needs a dedicated space to work. Depending on your traveller’s requirements, that might be a clean desk in the room or an accommodation option with an available meeting or conference room.

Some hotels are even embracing the evolution of business needs and creating shared or co-working spaces for the modern business traveller. The hotel lobby might share space with an eclectic coffee shop or have private meeting pods.

When you book accommodation, make sure to check with the traveller and arrange any meeting rooms required.

Proximity

Travelling to and from the hotel can be a real hassle, so look for an accommodation option close to your travellers’ meetings. If you have the budget, opt for a hotel in a good location, so your travellers won’t waste time and money on local travel. That will also save on worry about getting to where they need to be on time.

If your travellers need to use public transport, check to make sure they’re within easy walking distance to their transport options. They won’t be happy campers if the only train stop is 5km down the road.

Quick check-in and check-out

The arrival and departure process should be simple, efficient and require no extra fuss from your business travellers. Maybe they’ve just spent 17 hours on a plane or are staying in a different country for the first time – the last thing they’ll want to do when they arrive is fill out 10 paper forms.

Communicate with the hotel and supply as much information as possible before your business travellers arrive, so all they need to do is show some ID.

Fitness facilities

Business trips aren’t holidays, so most travellers want to keep up their regular exercise schedule. That means for many travellers an onsite or nearby fitness facility is a must.

The hotel might have a dedicated gym space, or they might offer discounted concession cards to nearby gym. Some hotels might also offer group fitness classes or yoga.

Food and drink

It’s important your business traveller has easy access to healthy and nutritious meals.

Let’s start with the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Your business traveller won’t want to waste time in the morning looking for somewhere to eat and get coffee, so make sure the hotel you book has reliable room service or breakfast buffet options.

It’s also important for the hotel to have a restaurant or evening room service. If your business traveller has any dietary requirements, check that the hotel can cater for them. Also make sure rooms are stocked with essentials like bottled water, tea and coffee.

Iron and ironing board

An essential for any business traveller – the humble iron. Look for hotels that have good quality ironing equipment readily available, so your business traveller arrives for work crinkle-free.

Safety

Keeping your business travellers safe should be your number one priority. If they’re travelling alone or to a new city for the first time, pick a hotel that’s staffed 24/7 or has electronic access for guests only. If your travellers are bringing expensive equipment, their hotel rooms will also need a safe.

Choice and cost

While most business travellers won’t be paying for their own accommodation, they’ll still have a budget they’ll need to stick to. Think carefully about that budget, look for options that offer the best bang for buck, and present travellers with a few choices. They’ll appreciate being able to choose the one that best suits them.

Flexible loyalty programme

If your company travels a lot for business, it’s likely you’ll visit the same destination more than once – even multiple times a year. Once you’ve found the perfect accommodation, ask if they have a flexible loyalty programme your business can join and take advantage of. It’s a great way of being rewarded for repeat business.

Special amenities for long-term travel

Travellers who are away for longer than a couple of days will require special amenities. So, when planning for longer business trips, look for travel accommodation with laundry or dry-cleaning facilities.

You’ll also want to book a hotel in an area where there are things to see and do during evenings and weekends – restaurants, movies, theatres and museums. Some hotels will even host their own social and networking activities, to help connect those staying for an extended period.

Ample power outlets

This is small but surprisingly important point. We’re more plugged-in and reliant on technology than ever before, so any hotel room you book should have plenty of conveniently located power outlets. If all else fails, see if the hotel can provide a power extension socket.

Comfortable, quiet night’s rest

With business travel comes long days and short nights, so it’s important a hotel has comfortable beds for a good night’s sleep. Check whether the hotel provides an electric blanket, spare pillows and blankets, especially during the wintertime.

Rooms with blackout curtains can be a great option if your traveller is a light sleeper. If the hotel is in a busy area, ask for a room near the back of the premise or on a higher floor.

Somewhere to unwind

After a long, challenging day of work, sometimes all you want is a good glass of wine. A hotel with a bar can seem like a luxury, but it’s often cheaper than the mini-bar service.

Getting to the hotel

If you can, book a hotel’s shuttle to pick your business traveller up from the airport, making sure the hotel has all the correct flight and arrival information. If a shuttle isn’t an option, ask hotel staff to recommend the easiest transfer method – taxis aren’t always the best solution in some countries.

Personalised experience

Lastly, look for accommodation where your business is appreciated, and staff know how to look after business travellers. Hotels that understand the needs of business travellers will happily tailor a room, and their service will be well set up to manage your requests – pre-communication, mobile check-in and room entry options, and simple expense reporting, to name a few.

SmartSTAY: check in to better value

To make life even easier, Corporate Traveller have partnered with SmartSTAY hotels – there are over 2500 available worldwide – to provide business travellers with the added value and hotel experience they need.

Every time you check in to a SmartSTAY hotel, at no additional cost you’ll receive free breakfast and free Wi-Fi, and you can choose a third ‘value add’ depending on how you travel.

Value adds to choose from:

  • Upgrades on arrival
  • Late check-out 
  • Early check-in
  • Free car parking
  • Food and beverage discounts

Business travel accommodation tips for Auckland

Auckland is a great place to visit, with restaurants and cafés galore, wine bars and night clubs, world-class shopping, art galleries and museums. The wider Auckland region boasts stunning beaches, wildlife encounters, island adventures, vineyards and endless water activities. But Auckland is also large, spread out and split into many districts.

If you’re headed to New Zealand’s largest city for a business trip, here are a few things to consider when booking accommodation.

Auckland’s international and domestic airports are a decent drive from Auckland Central – taking between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. The SkyBus runs between airports and the city, leaving the airport every 10 minutes during peak times. There’s currently no direct train line to the city from the airport.

When choosing accommodation in Auckland, look for a hotel that has an inclusive airport shuttle service. It’ll save your business traveller a lot of time and hassle. If the flight home has a very early check-in, you could also consider booking a room for one night at an airport hotel.

Our hotel recommendations:

SkyCity Grand Hotel

Ideally situated in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, the SkyCity Grand Hotel offers guests a truly five-star experience.

Services worth mentioning include:

  • Free, unlimited Wi-Fi for all guests
  • Business Centre available to book for up to 8 people includes: Wi-Fi, AV, wireless screen mirroring, printing and conferencing. Catering is available too, on request.
  • The hotel breakfast and all-day restaurant Gusto at the Grand
  • 24-hour gym, heated indoor lap pool, sauna and spa pool
  • 24-hour room service is available, otherwise take your pick from 20 nearby restaurants, bars and cafés
  • 24-hour dedicated staff
  • Executive car service
  • Daily laundry, dry-cleaning and pressing service available
  • East Day Spa for luxury beauty and health services

M Social Auckland

Functionally chic, this contemporary boutique hotel overlooks the vibrant Princes Wharf in Auckland’s CBD.

You’ll enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, stay fit at the hotel’s fitness centre, and when you’re hungry, take a seat and dine at their restaurant Beast & Butterflies.

We love M Social’s new app, which allows keyless room entry and instant access to information about the hotel, best accommodation rates and local surroundings.

Business travel accommodation tips for Wellington

Well-known as the ‘coolest little capital in the world’, Wellington has a lot to offer business travellers. With its eclectic art scene, restaurant and café culture, and active outdoor lifestyle, there are plenty of options.

Wellington’s downtown area is super compact, meaning hotels, restaurants, cafes, attractions and transport are all within walking distance. There are also plenty of taxi, shuttle and ride-sharing services available in the city.

Getting to and from Wellington is easy. Flights take less than an hour from most of New Zealand’s main cities, and Wellington’s airport is only a 15-minute drive from downtown. Taxi ranks can be found directly outside the airport’s main terminal. Alternatively, there’s the Airport Flyer bus service.

Wellington offers free Wi-Fi in the CBD, available for 30 minutes at a time. You could also download the free Welly Walks app, which shows the numerous walkways running through and around the city. All the walks have images, maps and instructions on how to get around.

Our hotel recommendations:

Rydges Wellington

This 4+ star hotel is centrally located in the heart of the capital, with harbour and city views. Business guests will enjoy modern facilities, including free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and a leisure centre.

All rooms feature:

  • Flat-screen televisions
  • iPod docking stations
  • Kitchenettes

For longer-term business travellers, you could consider one of Rydges’ apartment-style suites, which include washer and drier facilities.

Rydges also has a conference venue that can host anything from a small board meeting to an event for several hundred people. The space is flexible with various options for set-up, free Wi-Fi throughout, integrated audio and visual equipment, and additional amenities like catering and presentation equipment are available on request.

QT Wellington

Art lovers – this one’s for you. Situated in a beautiful harbourside location, QT Wellington is the perfect place to mix business with pleasure. This boutique hotel is the epitome of cool luxury. Its walls play host to a curated collection of ‘high and low-brow’ art, providing a creative and comfortable space for the modern business traveller.

The hotel’s café Lobby Lounge is the perfect place for business travellers to check their emails while enjoying a cup of coffee. Even meetings are a new experience, with a range of sophisticated spaces available to book, all with the best of modern technology.

Business travel accommodation tips for Christchurch

Often referred to as the gateway to the South Island, Christchurch has always been a great travel destination for business travellers. Despite everything the city has been through in recent years, business is booming.

If travelling to Christchurch for work, here are a few things you should consider.

Christchurch is easy to get to by air from across New Zealand, with direct domestic and international flights arriving daily. If your accommodation doesn’t provide a shuttle service, you can catch a taxi right outside the airport terminal. Alternatively, Christchurch Airport also has a regular bus service connecting to the city.

Once you’re in the city, getting around is also easy. Christchurch is mostly flat, so walking and cycling are great transport options. Public bus services are also available.

For travel outside of Christchurch into the wider Canterbury region, it’s best to hire a vehicle, which can be collected from the airport – just make sure your traveller has the right travel insurance.

Our hotel recommendations:

Crowne Plaza

Crowne Plaza in Christchurch offers modern accommodation for the business traveller. Each room is installed with high-quality technology including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi streaming, high-definition televisions, bathroom speakers and controls, electronic service indicators on the doors, and plenty of USB ports for your devices.

The hotel is in prime walking distance of the centre of Christchurch and includes business traveller-friendly features like:

  • Four meeting rooms
  • Fitness facilities and wellness options
  • Access to power everywhere, so you remain charged and productive
  • Quiet-zone rooms
  • Premium bedding and wake-up call service
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • Freshly prepared meal options that are ready quickly

Sudima Christchurch City

Emerging as part of the sparkling new Christchurch City, Sudima is everything you’d expect from a five-star boutique hotel. Ideally located on Victoria Street you’ll have your pick of the Garden City’s best cafes, restaurants and bars, with the beautiful Hagley Park and CBD just nearby.

The luxury hotel is also perfectly set up for the business traveller with conveniences like laundry facilities and dry-cleaning services, 24hr reception and room services, unlimited Wi-Fi and onsite restaurant and bar. Each of the luxuriously appointed rooms are equipped with Amazon Echo Dots, comfortable beds and work desks. For post-work wind downs, guests will also enjoy a free evening drink and canapes and access to a gym, yoga, stocked mini bar and streamed movies. Massages and other treatments in the spa complete the relaxation, with a la carte breakfast available in the morning.

Business travel accommodation tips for Sydney

Despite having to work, a business trip to Sydney can be exciting. A few things you’ll need to know before you land.

Sydney isn’t well-equipped with Wi-Fi, so your best bet is to buy a Telstra hotspot, which will give your traveller access to the internet right across the city.

The fastest way to get from the airport to the city centre is to catch the Airport Link train, which stops at various stations in the CBD. Or you can catch a taxi or Uber direct to your hotel.

If you do need to travel across the city, public transport is easy to use. Buying an Opal card is the best option because you can load it for several-day use.

Sydney is full of hotel options to suit all kinds of budgets, but the city often has an undersupply issue, so you’ll need to book early. Sydney Harbour/Circular Quay is the number one go-to area, because of its convenient proximity to the city centre.

Our hotel recommendations:

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Each Sofitel draws inspiration from local culture and tradition, while celebrating innovation and the French art de vivre, to offer a one-of-a-kind, luxurious hotel experience.

Sofitel Sydney is no exception, with 590 rooms spread over 35 floors in Darling Harbour’s tallest building. Business travellers will make good use of the hotel’s technology in every room, unique dining experiences at the on-site restaurant and bars, and well-being services including a gym, infinity pool, pillow menu and indulgent in-room bath experiences.

Located next to the new International Convention Centre, and a short walk from the CBD across the historic Pyrmont Bridge, Sofitel Sydney is a fantastic option for your next business trip to Sydney. Private transfers, rental vehicles, limousines and shuttles to and from the airport can all be organised on request.

QT Sydney

This hip, boutique hotel gives guests a taste of the city’s edgier side with highly curated art, bold interior design and historical architecture. If you’re looking for the city’s epicentre of cool, QT Sydney is it. The 200 guest suites represent the best in hotel design – luxury, design and the latest tech, all in the heart of Sydney’s CBD. You’ll enjoy luxurious bedding, free Wi-Fi, walk-in showers (and some rooms have oversized soak tubs, too). When it’s time for dinner or drinks with clients, Gowings Bar & Grill, the Gilt Lounge and Parlour Cucina are right on site and all favourite haunts of the city’s coolest residents. For a wind down there’s the luxurious spaQ, and the convenience of 24-hour room service and valet parking.

With all that combined it’s no surprise that QT Sydney took out TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame Title for 2019.

Right accommodation: happy, productive traveller

While travelling for business can be exciting, it can also be exhausting. When booking accommodation for business travellers, make sure you know what they want from their hotel – what meetings they’ll need to attend and where, that they’ll have easy access to nutritious food, and will find it easy to travel to and from the airport and around the city. Little things like Wi-Fi, power outlets, ironing and an onsite bar and gym can make the world of difference. Doing your research and finding the perfect accommodation for your business travellers will help keep them focused and productive.

If you’re a little unsure where to start, Corporate Traveller’s SmartSTAY hotels are a great option. The professional travel management company specialise in making business travel easy, and with a SmartSTAY hotel, you can be sure your business traveller will have everything they need.

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