As experts in what makes a good hotel, we wanted to find out what mattered to business travelers in the places they stayed. We surveyed 1,000 people who travel for work, spending at least one night away, more than once a year to find out what their preferences were when it came to hotels and the overall experience. Whether it’s a lack of working space that grinds people’s gears or a desire for sightseeing during their travels, we’ve run through a range of preferences to get a comprehensive overview of what’s important to business travellers We’re going to run through the biggest take-aways from our study in this post.
One significant discovery from our survey found that regular London business travellers had a greater expectation for luxury extras than travellers based elsewhere in the UK. Hotel bars, room service and a varied breakfast were considered ‘very important’ by more than two thirds of London-based respondents, while access to a gym was a ‘must have’ for more than half. Through our acclaimed Brekkie offering and A-List gym partnerships, which offers free gym access to members, we provide the essentials to keep our guests happy on the go.
“Travelling for business always kind of breaks my fitness routine, I stay 4-5 days without training and then it gets always super tough to get back in the mood and rhythm, hence access to a gym would be very important to me. This year i went on 8 business trips of 4 days each and no hotel had a gym!"
Londoners, compared to the rest of the UK, also placed greater importance on working space in a hotel lounge, being near to bars and restaurants and having enjoyable in-room entertainment, further showing that convenience is key to their business travel experience.
By contrast, luxury extras were considered far less important by travellers based elsewhere in the UK. For example, just 9 per cent of travellers based in the South West consider room service to be vital, while only 13 per cent prize a gym/pool. More than half of respondents from East Anglia (56 per cent) consider access to a gym unimportant, and nearly a quarter of respondents from the North West said room service was ‘not important at all’.
Looking at the wider picture, business travellers crave home comforts while they’re away. Above all else, business travellers valued a comfortable bed with 62% of respondents deeming it a ‘must have’, closely followed by reliable Wi-Fi, and a quiet room. This mirrors what we found before we designed the latest generations of our hotels, where we spent considerable time and thought on the design of our rooms, ensuring they were comfortable, providing all the essentials, and properly soundproofed, while our corridors are both carpeted and lit in a calming fashion to minimise noise. As noted by Jonathan Downie of Integrity Languages, it’s not just about having access to wifi, you need to have “reliable, secure and speedy wifi”. This means a hotel needs to be somewhere that has “quick but secure login” for your wifi but also “offers high speed for no extra cost is a bare minimum now for anyone travelling for business”. While seemingly important to Londoners, room service and access to a gym/pool were the least important features overall.
“Reliable, secure, speedy wifi - it really should be taken as read but hotels where the wifi password is about 17 digits long or worse, completely open to everyone passing by, don't impress business travellers.” – Jonathan Downie, Integrity Languages
Poor sleep quality is the business traveller’s biggest bugbear, with 47 per cent reporting that a disrupted nights’ sleep due to noise has a negative impact on their mental health. It was also found to negatively affect the physical health of 45 per cent of respondents, making it the biggest health concern for those traveling for work.
Meanwhile, more than a third reported that light levels in hotel rooms have a negative mental health impact, while alcohol consumption (23 per cent) and limited food options (30 per cent) are problematic for many travellers’ physical health.
Women generally reported a greater impact on their mental and physical health than men, with ‘missing home comforts’ and ‘disruption to routine’ being two of the most negative factors about business travel.
At Point A we take these things seriously, constantly striving to offer the best quality service and adding what we can through our A-List program. Nic Wenn, MD of Point A Hotels comments, “Our research highlights the needs of the business traveller have changed. With increasingly hectic lifestyles, customers that travel regularly for work are looking for a ‘home from home’ experience. Features like reliable Wifi, a comfortable lounge area for remote working, and Chromecast TV enabling guests to stream their own media, are increasingly important to them.
“However, we believe in giving our customers flexibility to tailor their experience with us – for this reason, we’ve partnered with bars, eateries and gyms in the vicinity of our hotels, so our guests can take advantage of these extra facilities should they wish.
“All of that said, our research demonstrates that the basics of a quiet, comfortable night's sleep in a central location, and great customer service, remain essential.
“For this reason, we’ve invested in features like Hypnos beds and noise-reducing technology to ensure our guests’ comfort, while heartfelt hospitality within the heart of the city remains our number one priority.”