The latest trend in hotels catering to business travel is to drop the desk and business office for more open -cafe style open landscape office spaces somewhat mimicking co-work spaces.

I for one rarely use the hotel room desk with the exception for putting my briefcase on and charging my laptop and iPhone. 

Several bloggers have written about their displeasure with the lack of desk in room set up. Oddly enough a huge outcry of support for the hotel room desk. Most interesting was the shear volume of feedback on business hotel rooms and what they are offering. Also gone are the iron, hair dryer and even mini-bar has seen a welcomed make over. 

That being said Business Travel can be more pleasurable and productive if one prepares properly. Having stayed at all levels of business hotels here are some of my tips:

Sneakers, Shorts and Earbuds…

Sure, you meant to work out on that business trip. But lugging all your gear for a quick overnight can feel excessive. Westin’s solution: borrow it! Some hotels have recently raised the bar, loading every room with fitness equipment like yoga mats and exercise balls. You can queue up instructional videos on the TV and get your workout in without leaving your room. Many hotels continue to have fitness rooms so this is a play that remains. Some hotels are offering rooms with bikes in the room so you don´t miss that Peloton Workout..

Free Wi-Fi

A study by found that among business travellers, free Wi-Fi was a deciding factor in choosing a hotel for almost half of the respondents. But many hotels, especially those at higher price points, still charge guests to connect. If getting online from the room is a top priority, here’s a tip: many hotel loyalty programs include free Wi-Fi. Membership is free, so if you check in and join, you can save the $15 a day.

I have found from time to time that I have to use my Visiple account via 3 and 4G. It works just fine but I would expect more of a business hotel. Often it feels as though I am sharing bandwidth with every kid in the city (as they listen to their Spotify).

Robots and Tablets…

No need to go into this… 

Ok we will a little…

In Japan, a whole hotel staffed almost entirely by robots opened last year. The Henn-na Hotel has check-in robots, baggage boy robots, and even robots that control the lights or set your alarm.

Streaming services

You can log into your Netflix, Hulu, or Pandora accounts and pick up your queue where you left off. A number of hotels, like the robot-populated Aloft Cupertino, have Apple TVs hooked up in the rooms. Cool of course at a price. Standard internet access continues to be unstable at best unless you pay a premium much like GPS from your rental car agency. Even premium internet access leaves something to be desired. So maybe and hopefully better internet is on the investment dockets for business hotel chains. 

USBs and Outlets

Something I have missed during business travel are USBs and Outlets nearer to my bed. Often they are across my 200 sq ft. room:-) on the desk that looks like it came from a 19th century Whaling Ship. 

Sometimes the simplest amenities are the most important. Several chains are now placing them right next to your bed so you can chat with your family after a long day. 

For me it is important to have at least a comfortable bed, clean bathroom, and professional staff. If there is a well maintained pool I always find time to jump in and move a little bit. The same goes for the gym. Otherwise I prefer to be centrally located so I can walk around and enjoy some fresh air which always helps charge the batteries for a great day at and out of the office.