Top business stays: New York City
(Reuters.com) - Headed to the Big Apple to clinch that deal or check in on a valued client?
Online lodging experts Oyster (www.oyster.com) has prepared a breakdown of the best hotels for business travellers in the city that never sleeps (even if you do).
New York is particularly well suited for the frequent-flying set: This is a place where running to FedEx in the middle of the night or cutting people off on the sidewalk during rush hour is widely accepted. The city's hotel occupancy rates continue to be among the highest in the country, because this is still the place where travellers, and especially business travellers, want to be.
1) Eventi (Avenue of the Americas near 30th St., Chelsea, <bit.ly/idvNCV>)
· Business Staples: 20,000 square feet of event space; and room service, a business centre and fitness centre open around-the-clock
· Stand-out Feature: Four gourmet to-go restaurants from Jeffrey Chodorow at Food Parc
· Downside: Gritty northern Chelsea location
2) Millennium Hilton (Church St. near Fulton St., Financial District, <bit.ly/OAxIZF>)
· Business Staples: A location within walking distance of both Wall Street and New York City's state and federal courthouses; a well-equipped 24-hour business centre; the hotel's own conference services and audio-visual staff; and 3,500 square feet of meeting space
· Stand-out Feature: One of the city's only indoor hotel pools, for laps before meetings
· Downside: Noise from Ground Zero construction
3) Sofitel New York (44th St. near 6th Ave., Midtown West, <bit.ly/l6407>)
· The Business Staples: Everything around-the-clock - free 24-hour business centre; modern, 24-hour gym and 24-hour room service
· Standout Feature: Excellent multilingual staff includes a Les Clefs d'Or concierge and members who speak French, Spanish, German, Arabic and Russian
· Downside: No spa
4) Gramercy Park Hotel (Lexington Avenue near 21st St., Gramercy, <bit.ly/ApzScI>)
· Business Staples: Excellent 24-hour business centre with private offices available; video-conferencing services; audio visual equipment; and conference facilities for up to 50 people
· Stand-out Feature: 24-hour, multilingual secretarial staffing
· Downside: Small standard rooms
5) The Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park (West Street near Battery Place, Battery Park City, <bit.ly/lkVX4t>)
· Business Staples: Six large meeting rooms; a state-of-the-art boardroom; and solid business centre with a fax machine, colour copier and high-speed internet connection
· Stand-out Feature: A special "Conference Concierge" and in-house audio-visual department
· Downside: Limited nightlife and dining nearby
6) The Alex Hotel (East 45th St. near 3rd Ave., Midtown East, <bit.ly/4ivb1F>)
· Business Staples: An excellent gym; kitchen-equipped suites for extended stays; location near the U.N. and Midtown corporate offices
· Stand-out Feature: Tight security designed to protect U.N. diplomats includes a 24-hour guard and surveillance cameras monitoring both entrances
· Downside: Some rooms face unattractive inner courtyard
7) The Benjamin (East 50th St. near Lexington Ave., Midtown East, <bit.ly/N6j5ri>)
· Business Staples: Amazing beds; central Midtown location; kitchenettes; a solid fitness centre; and a bar that's popular with the post-work business crowd
· Stand-out Feature: A sleep theme, which includes a "sleep concierge" and pillow menu, as well availability of white noise machines, satin sleep masks, slippers, "sleep snacks," and a dream dictionary
· Downside: Poor views from some rooms
8) The Empire Hotel (West 63rd St. near Broadway, Upper West Side, <bit.ly/dgdbO3>)
· Business Staples: Free fitness centre with sauna-style showers; excellent beds with Frette linens; secretarial services, a courier and a notary public; same-day laundry, or rush two-hour laundry
· Stand-out Feature: Popular rooftop bar for after-work drinks
· Downside: Small standard rooms
9) Kitano (66th Park Avenue near 38th St., Murray Hill, <bit.ly/N2UY2y>)
· Business Staples: Quiet Murray Hill location; laptop rentals; private 24-hour office for 15-minute (or longer) rental; meeting rooms; free passes to the New York City Sports Club
· Stand-out Feature: Soundproof windows
· Downside: No on-site gym (but free use of nearby New York Sports Club)
Here's a few more reasons why NYC is the business travel capital of North America:
*The city that never sleeps: Flight delayed? You won't be stranded at the airport at 3 a.m. In fact, with the plethora of activities to keep you occupied at this hour, it'll feel like just another New York afternoon. Hail a cab, grab dinner, unwind with a cocktail, check into your hotel, burn some calories at the gym, or make those photocopies you need for tomorrow morning's meeting.
*Great transportation: Yes, the MTA has had its share of epic screw-ups, but in general the New York subway system is efficient and easy to use. And for business travellers whose discretionary funds allow them to skip riding with the 99 per cent, cabs and car services are great and readily available, as well. Short of cash? After you've finished watching news updates and Jimmy Kimmel repeats in the back of the cab, swipe your credit card as an easy and convenient alternative.
Caution: If you're going far away, make sure to get in the backseat before you tell the driver where you're headed. Additionally, most car services can pick you up anywhere in the city in around five minutes, and often charge similar or only slightly higher rates.
*Great food, for any budget, at any hour: Even airport food is often a step above (particularly at the JetBlue terminal in JFK). If you want to rub elbows with the powerful while you dine, consider 540 Park at the Loews Regency, where the "power breakfast" is an institution. Mayor Bloomberg and the Tisch family (who, incidentally, own the Loews hotel chain) -- have been known to grab a coffee and an omelette in the handsome dining room, as have many other notables in politics and finance.
*Rushing is accepted and encouraged: If you're running late for a meeting, you're in good company. Studies show New York City has the fastest walkers in the United States. Don't forget your walking shoes.
*Amazing coffee: Forget Starbucks. Try Stumptown Coffee, Ninth Street Espresso, Gimme! Coffee, or Porto Rico Importing Co. And, if you do happen to be one of the millions of Starbucks drinkers, there's one on just about every block.
*Happy hour: No city mixes business with pleasure quite like New York. And a lot of great business-friendly hotels -- Eventi, The Kimberly, The Empire Hotel, The Standard New York - all have local hot spots right on the premises. (The Boom Boom Room at the Standard New York is arguably the most exclusive nightclub in New York City.)
(This article comes courtesy of Oyster.com; any opinions expressed are their own.) (Editing by Peter Myers)