A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning or climate control. Additional common features found in hotel rooms are a telephone, an alarm clock, a television, a safe, a mini-bar with snack foods and drinks and facilities for making tea and coffee. Luxury features include bathrobes and slippers, a pillow menu, twin-sink vanities, and jacuzzi bathtubs. Larger hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a restaurant, swimming pool, fitness center, business center, childcare, conference facilities and social function services.
Hotel rooms are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room.
Some hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. In the United Kingdom, a hotel is required by law to serve food and drinks to all guests within certain stated hours. In Japan, capsule hotels provide a minimized amount of room space and shared facilities.
The word hotel is derived from the French hôtel (coming from hôte meaning host), which referred to a French version of a townhouse or any other building seeing frequent visitors, rather than a place offering accommodation. In contemporary French usage, hôtel now has the same meaning as the English term, and hôtel particulier is used for the old meaning. The French spelling, with the circumflex, was also used in English, but is now rare. The circumflex replaces the 's' found in the earlier hostel spelling, which over time took on a new, but closely related meaning. Grammatically, hotels usually take the definite article - hence "The Astoria Hotel" or simply "The Astoria."
1. In-Room WiFi
This is perhaps the biggest must-have for any hotel hoping to draw business travellers. With so much work to be done on the fly, it's imperative that corporate guests be able to log-on in their rooms. Slowly but surely, hotels across Australia are catching on to the all important presence of WiFi and are increasingly offering in-room access.
2. Work Desk
Work desks have long been a staple of the standard room, but these days hotels are revamping this in-room workspace. It's not uncommon to find more stylish desks with an increase in surrounding space, providing a comfortable spot to finish off those last few emails or presentation notes. Ergonomic designs with office-style chairs are replacing the tired furniture of old, while tech savvy additions can include power panels as well as docking stations for all your gadgets.
3. Outlets Galore!
Speaking of outlets, there's nothing more frustrating than walking into your room and having to scour the walls for an outlet only to find that you'll have to sacrifice your bedside lamp to top up your mobile battery.
4. A Top Business Centre
Outside of firing off a quick email or two at the end of the day, many corporate guests would prefer not to work in their rooms. Enter the hotel business centre. A great business hotel will always offer a 24-hour business centre with comfortable seating, online access, computers and a number of other office services such as copying and printing.
5. Fitness Centre
A sound mind and body is a sure way to reduce stress while on the road, which is why fitness routines should never fall by the wayside. This is especially true for international travellers trying to cut down on jetlag. 24-hour fitness facilities are a must for business travellers hoping to stay healthy while adhering the to the demands of a busy schedule.
6. Concierge Services
If you're not familiar with the Concierge, you could be missing out on a valuable source of information. Sure they can book a taxi for you, but they can also provide you with expert recommendations, offer directions to just about anywhere you want to go or book a last minute reservation at your destination's hottest restaurant.
7. Communal Spaces
Stuffy hotel lobbies are a thing of the past. At least they should be. New hotel designs favour open, flowing spaces that encourage guests to hang out. Perhaps a symptom of design meeting the expectations of younger generations, these communal spaces are great for business travellers.
8. Express Check-in/Check-Out
If you've ever struggled with managing a busy schedule while on a work trip, express check-in and/or express check-out can be a God send. Luckily more hotels are integrating this service, particularly hotels that cater to business travellers.
9. Location, Location, Location!
One of the first things you should look into when booking a great business hotel is the location. You don't want to be stuck in peak hour traffic en route to the office because you booked a room on the wrong side of town.