The Suite Life
Tired of getting less for more? Here are five hotels where you'll get room to spare.
(Business 2.0) – When is being on the road as confining as being chained to your desk at the office? When you're stuck inside a closet-size "standard" hotel room trying to get a little work done. What you really need is a desk big enough to let you spread out your files, room to pace while you're thinking through the wording of an e-mail, and a place to meet with colleagues or customers without resorting to sitting on the bed.
Savvy hoteliers have gotten the message. A number of new all-suite hotels have sprouted up in major cities in recent years, while many other properties have expanded their two-room offerings. The ones we list here are true suites, with separate working and sleeping spaces. And staying in them won't bust your budget: These supersize accommodations can often be had for not much more than an average room in an upscale chain hotel.
CHICAGO Hotel Burnham 1 W. Washington St. 877-294-9712; www.burnhamhotel.com 19 suites; $209-$499 Part of the Kimpton boutique hotel chain, the Burnham is popular with business travelers because of its Loop location, and a suite here costs only about $50 more than a regular room. (If your company has negotiated rates, you can get an upgrade for just $30 a night.) The parlor, which closes off from the bedroom, comfortably fits five people for meetings, notes general manager Thomas Mathes. "And the concierge will be glad to send up coffee," he adds. If you stay at Kimpton hotels at least 25 nights a year, a frequent-guest program gives you free suite upgrades and overbooking rights, which means you can never be turned away, even if the hotel is full.
DETROIT Atheneum 1000 Brush Ave. 800-772-2323; www.atheneumsuites.com 160 suites; $199-$325 In the heart of the center-city Greektown neighborhood, this hotel offers a free shuttle service for guests traveling within a 5-mile radius. But really, where do you need to go, when you and a colleague can both set up your laptops on the spacious square desk and work face-to-face? For entertaining a larger crowd, the Atheneum offers a dedicated event-planning staff and meeting space ranging from 400 to 10,000 square feet.
LOS ANGELES Standard Downtown 550 S. Flower St. 213-892-8080; www.standardhotel.com 21 suites; $325 In Los Angeles, where "just a few exits down the freeway" can mean sucking exhaust fumes for an hour or two, location is everything. Enter the Standard, situated near the convention center and high-rises like Arco Towers and Citigroup Center. (If your focus is farther west, note that there's another Standard in Hollywood.) The regular rooms range from large to humongous, but you'll want to stick with the 710-square-foot suites. Amenities include oversize bathtubs and 14-foot work desks with window views.
NEW YORK Benjamin 125 E. 50th St. 888-423-6526; www.thebenjamin.com 96 suites; $469-$529 Located in the city that never sleeps, this hotel does everything it can to ensure that its guests do, offering a pillow menu with 11 choices including buckwheat, jelly neck roll, and Swedish memory foam. That ought to leave you with more energy to work in the spacious sitting room with an oversize L-shaped desk. If the Benjamin is full, try one of Affinia's eight other all-suite New York hotels (www.affinia.com).
SAN FRANCISCO Hotel Adagio 550 Geary St. 800-228-8830; www.jdvhospitality.com 80 suites; $169-$239 Three blocks from Union Square, this completely refurbished hotel reopened 19 months ago. Perks include free morning car service to the financial district, same-day laundry, and a business center with free high-speed Internet and printers. Loyalty club members can book rooms at $129 and receive free suite upgrades on check-in. — BETH BROPHY