Top 10 Hotel Chains For Business Travelers

How does a hotel brand renowned for service and tradition remain relevant with business travelers who prioritize savvy design and digital tools as much as grand cru Darjeeling tea?

For Ritz-Carlton, it begins with a new design ethos that puts an emphasis on chic, modern aesthetics with a strong sense of place. Take, for example, the recently opened Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, which combines panoramic views of the Kamagawa river and Higashiyama mountains with a Meiji-style minimalism in the natural-wood interiors.

At the same time, new club floors in cities such as Tianjin, China, are offering apartment-like ambience and amenities (residential kitchens; TV rooms; reading salons) to help business travelers feel rooted while abroad.

These features helped Ritz-Carlton secure the No. 1 ranking among hotel brands in the Best in Business Travelsurvey conducted by Travel + Leisure and Fortune. Kimpton, lauded for its customer service, and Fairmont were also among the top-scoring brands.

Respondents generally noted that the cost and speed of Wi-Fi is one of the most frustrating parts of staying at a hotel, while late checkout and early check-in are some of the most valuable amenities a hotel can offer.

On the digital front, Ritz-Carlton has relaunched its app, which now handles mobile check-in/checkout as well as housekeeping and valet service requests at properties throughout the Americas.

The company is also testing ordering in-room and poolside dining via the app—an attractive option for today’s DIY-minded business traveler.

No. 1 Ritz-Carlton

Although no longer associated with its historic namesake hotel in Paris, the posh group is still “putting on the Ritz” at nearly a hundred locations worldwide.

ritz-chicago

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Chicago

No. 2 The Luxury Collection

Starwood’s top-shelf brand, the collection is about to expand with 15 new hotels and resorts in locations as diverse as Odessa, Ukraine; Milan; Nanjing, China; and Santa Fe.

The Luxury Collection in The Malaysian island of Langkawi

The Luxury Collection in The Malaysian island of Langkawi

No. 3 Kimpton

Founded by the man (Bill Kimpton) who helped pioneer the boutique hotel concept, Kimpton continues to renovate funky old buildings into distinctive small hotels.

Kimpton Hotel, Vero Beach, Florida

Kimpton Hotel, Vero Beach, Florida

No. 4 Waldorf Astoria

Part of the Hilton Worldwide family, the upscale Waldorf collection has launched new properties in Dubai, Amsterdam, Jerusalem, and Beijing this year.

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Waldorf Astoria Park City

No. 5 Fairmont

Although named for the original Fairmont in San Francisco, the group is perhaps best known for its spectacular Canadian hotels like the Banff Springs and Château Frontenac.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

No. 6 Four Seasons

Opulent island resorts are among the Four Seasons’ specialties, including breathtaking abodes on paradise isles like Bali and Bora Bora, Mauritius and Maui, Langkawi and Landaa Giraavaru.

Four Seasons Resorts Bali

Four Seasons Resorts Bali

No. 7 Grand Hyatt

Living up to its name, this luxury group is known for grand architectural statements—like the sprawling pool area at the Bahamas Baha Mar resort and the glass-wrapped lobby at the Grand Hyatt Dalian in China—both of them opening next year.

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Shanghai

Grand Hyatt Hotel, Shanghai

No. 8 JW Marriott

As part of its luxury-lifestyle vibe, JWM hosts numerous fine-art events, from an Art Basel exhibit at the Marquis Miami and a Beatles photography show at London’s Grosvenor House to a Christie’s auction at Atlanta’s Buckhead.

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

No. 9 Omni

Dallas-based Omni has spent nearly a billion dollars since last year to purchase luxury golf resorts like La Costa in California, Barton Creek in Texas, and Homestead in Virginia.

Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza

Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza

No. 10 InterContinental

Tapping into the expertise of its concierges and chefs, InterCon has developed free iPad destination guides and an electronic cookbook of favorite recipes from its hotel kitchens around the world.

InterContinental San Francisco Hotel

InterContinental San Francisco Hotel

via Travel + Leisure by Joe Yogerst