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Photographs: Getty Images

Photographs: Getty Images

The business of travel

The business of travel

The easiest way of getting through life is to have rules of thumb for just about everything.

Take travel, for instance. Countless holidays in India have been spoilt because the holidayers forgot to ask their hotel two simple questions. one, do you give your hotel out for dealer conferences and company offsites, and two, do you give your hotel out for weddings? If the answer to either question is yes, the holidayers should simply pick another hotel. And ask the same questions again.

Photographs: Getty Images

Still, there are a few things that differentiate a good business hotel from a not-so-good one, and here is what travellers at the entitlement end of the spectrum should look for. (What? You’re not? Then you are reading the wrong magazine.)

The third is a meeting space that you don’t have to pay for. You can’t meet people in hotel lobbies (not unless the meeting is an accident and not unless the person you are meeting is a travel agent). And you definitely can’t meet people in your room. The trend among good business hotels seems to be to have a small lobby-ish lobby (where you can meet travel agents) and a bigger beverages (tea, coffee, drinks) lobby. And further down the entitlement end of the spectrum, good business hotels have executive lounges where frequent business travellers can sit for hours looking busy and important.

There are several other small things—pressing suits for free and in a few minutes, for instance—that good business hotels do, but there are two things that characterize the best business hotels. Interestingly, the first isn’t something a hotel can set out to achieve, but happens almost serendipitously, especially if the establishment has made a name for itself as a business hotel. This is to ensure that most guests in the hotel are business travellers. People who travel on business do not particularly like to stay in a hotel where most of the other guests are families on holiday. The second is to make the guests feel as if they are on holiday—even if it is for a fleeting moment.

Respond to this column at sukumar.r@livemint.com

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