How to make the most of a short hotel stay
You’re travelling for work, again. You touched down in the morning and went straight into meetings. You’re only staying overnight before flying out the next day, so you’ve got a brief window of time at your hotel.
Fortunately for you, the best hotels have made these quick work trips more enjoyable by catering to your every need. All you have to do is choose which of the facilities you’ll make use of.
Liezl Steyn, Assistant Manager at Flight Centre Business Travel’s Collins Street office in Melbourne, gave us the run down on how to make the most of hotel facilities when you’ve got a short stay.
You’re at the hotel and just want to breeze through check-in. Fortunately, that’s easy to do when your travel manager has made the booking to suit your preferences. And, if you’re a regular guest at the hotel or a member of their loyalty program, you’ll get special treatment.
“Some hotels offer private check in for their club members, which makes checking in even easier for those guests,” says Liezl.
Time to Unwind
You’ve clocked off for the day and it’s time to unwind before the night begins. You can settle into the lounge in your room, take in some fresh air from the balcony terrace, work up a sweat at the fitness centre or pool. Or truly unwind with a spa treatment.
“The Langham, Melbourne in particular has a lovely wellness area on the rooftop; there’s an area you can relax in by the pool and visit the spa for treatments,” says Liezl.
Launder your outfit
Just because you’re only staying overnight doesn’t mean you won’t need to use the hotel’s laundry services. In fact, this can be handy if you’ve got more meetings the following day and travelled light.
“The laundry service is always an option; you can pay for it at the hotel or have it charged back to your travel account, so it’s taken care of,” says Liezl.
Get ready for the night
You’ve let the day go and you’re ready for the night. It could be dinner plans with clients or catching up with local friends. To get you ready, you can either head out or stay in.
“Everyone loves a hotel bar; most hotels try to make their bar a relaxing area where you can sit and unwind before you head out. Some have great views also; a rooftop bar is fantastic for summer evenings,” says Liezl.
Or you can ease into the evening in your room, with views from your balcony and the mini bar on hand.
Consider dinner options
Now you’re hungry and looking for dining options for dinner. You’ve got a few choices here too, depending on how you’re feeling and what time it is.
“Most hotels have an onsite restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some will even have 24-hour room service, which is great if you’re coming in late,” says Liezl.
If you feel like getting out and exploring the local area, check if your hotel has arrangements with local eateries where you can charge back to your room, says Liezl: “Hotels might have an arrangement with local restaurants or cafes in the area, so that their guests can go there for a change of scenery and charge it back to their room.”
Or, ask your hotel’s Concierge for a recommendation and to make a reservation for you. And then ask if they’ll order you a taxi or car service when you’re ready to head out; they’ll only be too happy to oblige.
But, if you’ve had a long day and just want to slip into your robe and slippers and relax in your room, take advantage of your hotel’s room service and have the food come to you.
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Getting some shut eye
Sleeping in a hotel can be hard, especially if the hotel is noisy. But your hotel slumber doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Pull the black-out curtains shut, adjust the air-conditioning, and make your choice from the pillow menu. It could make all the difference.
Rise and shine, and get the blood pumping
If you didn’t get to the pool or gym the day before – or even if you did – you might like to get active with a morning gym session or a swim in the pool.
“It can be hard to keep up your regular routine when you’re travelling but having a gym and pool at your hotel is very convenient. Some will also have a sauna, which is a nice touch,” says Liezl.
Gyms tend to open around 6:30am or 7:00am, so you can fit in a workout before your day starts.
Fuel up with breakfast
You’re usually spoilt for choice when it comes to the most important meal of the day. Hotel breakfast buffets are famous for their extensive options, and some will also offer a la carte options.
If you’d rather take the morning a bit slower, or have to head off in a hurry, place your breakfast order the night before with room service and have it delivered at a time that suits you. Some hotels also offer grab and go options, which are ideal for business travellers to take with them.
Get a head start on business
If you’ve got some time to tick off tasks before you have to head off, the hotel’s business centre is where you’ll want to go.
“A business centre is a dedicated quiet space with access to a computer and office equipment if you need it. Our corporate clients enjoy the special add on of free WiFi as they’re usually already travelling with their own personal laptop,” says Liezl.
If you’ve got to squeeze in a meeting before departing, book a meeting room at your hotel and invite your clients to meet you there. You’ll be looked after with tea, coffee and catering if you want it, and have a professional space with all the equipment you’ll need to impress.
Check out and get on with business
Express check out is a little luxury when you’re running late for the plane or don’t feel up for small talk. Make use of this service and get on with your trip.
Meet your business travel needs
When you don’t have a lot of time to spend at a hotel on your work trip, make sure you’re staying somewhere that can cater to your every business travel need and take full advantage of the facilities on offer. Talk to your dedicated Travel Manager about your preferences and what options are available for you.
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