Tired of staying in a blah “business hotel” when you’re sent on a trip to a fun international city ? Well, just because you’re there for work, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style, fun, or international flair.
These properties in some of our favorite cities around the globe set themselves apart from the biz traveler pack—with everything from in-room touches like fresh flowers and local art to cool frills like classic movies and aqua tracks—while still providing everything you need to get your job done.
1. Park Hyatt Beijing
Take your business travels to new heights at this striking hotel ensconced in a Central Business District skyscraper. The lobby is on the 63rd floor, and many of the major amenities (restaurants, bar, spa) are even higher up, so the sweeping views are pretty stellar. If you can tear your eyes from the cityscape, focus on work with in-room perks like oversized work desks and international power outlets. Or, after a day of meetings in the CBD (the subway is conveniently close for trips further afield), unwind at the heavenly Tian Spa , the state-of-the-art gym, or the pool with (of course!) a view.
2. The Ritz-Carlton Beijing, Financial Street
The Financial Street crowd flocks to this luxe Ritz for the great location in the west side's business district and for biz-friendly amenities like a 24-hour business center and technology "butler." But there's oh-so much pleasure to be had, too, in those well-appointed rooms (hello, featherbeds and plush robes) with tasteful Chinese accents and in-property perks like the sumptuous spa and round-the-clock fitness center. You can also catch a classic flick while swimming laps—black-and-white films are screened above the heated indoor pool. The signature Ritz service certainly doesn't hurt, either.
If you've got business in The City, you'll be well situated at this converted Victorian bank turned chic business boutique . You might expect the hotel to be a touch stuffy given the formality of the entrance (a dramatic domed atrium with marble columns), but this isn’t the case at all. The rooms are modern and comfortable, staff is friendly and helpful, and the biz amenities are top-notch. With complimentary daily newspaper and wireless, tons of plugs, a DDI telephone line, voice mail, and fax and modem point in-room, you'll be tempted to just work in your pajamas (though shoe shine is gratis for when you need to look sharp).
4. One Aldwych
Art meets tech at this smart boutique . The sleek, modern rooms are wired up with complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, fiber-optic reading lights, and power outlets galore. On the other hand, aesthetic in-room touches like daily fresh flower deliveries (really gorgeous) and original art keep things from feeling sterile. With the busy Strand and Covent Garden just outside the door and the lively Lobby Bar on the inside, the hotel really bustles, but rooms are peaceful and relaxing. Sink into those feather duvets or blow off work stress in the chlorine-free swimming pool with underwater music and mood lighting.
5. L’Hô tel de Sers
Back in the day, this elegant manor in the 8th arrondissement was the private residence of the Marquis de Sers. The property still doles out the royal treatment, but today with a much more modern edge. Aside from the gallery of gilt-framed oil paintings, slick minimalism (think mod Jetsons-esque loungers) trumps any vestiges of 19th century tradition. Rooms stick to clean, contemporary lines and bright, uplifting colors. It's fun to exploit the free Wi-Fi in the portrait gallery or take a business lunch in the versatile restaurant. Off the clock, indulge in the sauna or schedule an in-room massage.
6. Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière
This Champs-Élysées hotel is a spin-off from the legendary Le Fouquet’s brasserie, a stylish spot for a power lunch. Given that pedigree, plus the sweeping marble staircases, gilded mirrors, and miles of velvet, you might think it's too traditional for a business trip. Au contraire : the modern rooms with cutting-edge high-tech amenities (think multifunctional printers and LCD TVs hidden in the bathroom mirrors) make it quite hospitable to work goals. And if that's not enough, let your personal butler provide for your specific needs. Also, there's a great gym with an indoor pool and aqua track—almost unheard of in space-cramped Paris.
7. Le Méridien Taipei
Even if you're jet-lagged, every morning will be a good one when you start the day at this sleek property in Taipei's bustling XinYi district. The in-room Nespresso machine and daily newspaper delivery easily take care of your coffee and paper routine, but those wanting a heartier start can hit up the elaborate breakfast buffet with both Western and Eastern goodies (we’ve heard noodle soup is great for jet lag). Work should hum smoothly thanks to the virtual office media hub, IP phone, and high-intensity desk lamp. Ending your day will be pretty gratifying, too, whether you hit the gym and pool, dine on divine dim sum at My Humble House , or kick it at Quube lounge.
Photos of Le Méridian and Ritz-Carlton courtesy of The Purple Passport. Photo of One Aldwych courtesy of Sarah_Ackerman . Photo of Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière courtesy of Beanbag Amerika .
The Purple Passport is a web-based collection of chic, one-stop-shop guides to experiencing the world's cities in style. The site provides the full range of urban travel planning needs, from researching a trip start to finish, to reserving hotels, to creating an itinerary to be shared with travel companions. The Purple Passport team personally visits every spot that it reviews and never accepts compensation for featuring a venue on the site. First-person accounts of the team's travel experiences can be found on the companion blog, The Diary of The Purple Passport.More from this Author