Monday, November 17, 2008

Top Hotels In The World For Business

W Hotel, Kowloon Hong Kong
Known for: laid-back vibe and business center

Each one of the 393 rooms at this "colonial cool" W outpost offers skyline views. That means if you're bogged down by business meetings, you can sightsee from your bed. The lounge-like business center is a relaxing place to e-mail home. The rooms are fully wired, there's a Bliss Spa and W's signature "Whatever/Whenever" service™ is available 24/7. Don't be surprised if your concierge calls you "dude."

The Palace Westin Madrid

Known for: modern conveniences in an old castle

King Alfonso XIII had this palace built in 1912 to host Europe's royalty. There wasn't wi-fi back then, but there is now. The hotel was recently restored to its original over-the-top elegance. The main lobby is crowned by a glass dome, and the 400-plus rooms are done up in artful antiques. But the spa/gym and business center are all state of the art. The property is two minutes from the Prado and the shopping quarter. And, should you need one, it's home to the biggest ballroom in Spain. JPMorgan, Ernst & Young and PWC are corporate regulars.

Okura, Tokyo

Known for: cultural correctness

This older hotel offers more traditional refinement than some of the newer modern counterparts that have opened up nearby. Located less than two miles from Tokyo Tower and the Roppongi nightlife district, the Okura boasts 833 rooms with ample writing desks, city views, Internet access and Japanese style robes. The hushed staff wear kimonos.

The Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Known for: large rooms

"We want to impress you so that you can impress your client" is the mantra at this legendary hotel where stunning Zen guest rooms double as personal retreats from Hong Kong's business bustle. Wi-fi is available throughout the property, and if you're having trouble with your Mac, an IT butler is on hand to get you up and running again. How convenient: The Mandarin Grill is a local power dining spot.

The Peninsula Hotel, Chicago

Known for: gym/spa

The 339 guest rooms and suites at this Magnificent Mile hotel are spacious and swank with all sorts of cool electronics. But the spa and fitness center that occupy the top two floors (and 14,000 square feet) are what sets this hotel apart from the pack. When you do get back to work, a professional meeting consultant is on hand to ensure every detail is taken care of for business meetings large and small.

The Widder Hotel, Zurich

Known for: design

For business travelers who know there's more to a chair than ergonomics, it's hard to beat this unusual hotel where 50 guest rooms were literally carved into the framework of nine medieval homes dating to the 12th century. Most rooms boast separate office areas and feature furnishings by Eames and Le Corbusier. The meeting rooms are visual stunners. The pro-forma "gym," however, disappoints.

The Fullerton, Singapore

Known for: writing desks and stationery kits

This relative newcomer to the luxury hotel scene is turning heads for its panoramic views, residential design and small details like the mini-Stairmasters and Philippe Starck fixtures in the bathrooms. Rooms boast spacious writing desks and elegant stationery kits--a nod, perhaps, to the building's former incarnation as Singapore's general post office. For road warriors who like to go underwater to unwind, the outdoor pool, flanked by 20-foot Doric columns, is touted as one of the world's best infinity pools.

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