At the new Bulgari Hotel in London you can sip a bergamot sgroppino (like a boozy Italian Slurpee) before repairing to the spa for a chakra-balancing body treatment and then retire to your suite to fall asleep between Italian silk sheets.
You can also book one of the stand-alone boardrooms outfitted with high-definition LCD screens, data projectors and wireless media controls. Boardroom not big enough? There’s an entire soundproofed 3D capable cinema, with private security, where you can watch the big game or utilize the high-specification video conferencing and broadcasting capabilities to launch your latest project globally.
While the Bulgari London, the latest hotel property from the venerable Italian jewellery retailer, is about as luxurious as a hotel can get, it is also a sophisticated business property.
At $1,000 a night and more, the Bulgari will be hard for anyone but the most celebrated CEO to slip it into the expense account. Nonetheless, its need to be multifunctional reflects the kind of expectations that today’s top business travellers bring to the table. A great business hotel must now combine the luxury of a spa resort with the technology of an office. It needs to be as much fun to stay at as it is practical to work in and its rooms need to be as carefully designed as its menus.
Bulgari may be at the extreme end of the scale, but the blend of luxury, convenience and innovation that it practices is something that it shares with all of the properties on our list of best new business hotels in the world.
Sheraton Seoul, Cube City
Situated in the impressive Cube City complex – a combination department store, office tower, park and arts centre built above the intersection of two of Seoul’s busiest subway lines – the Sheraton Seoul, Cube City just celebrated its one-year anniversary. The hotel, in partnership with Microsoft, offers business travellers free Wi-Fi, PC workstations and printers. When work is over, check out the hotel’s virtual golf course and driving range located on the 27th floor. You and seven friends can play a round, get a private lesson or improve your game with the built-in swing path analyzer.
Kerry Hotel Pudong
The first of what will become a mini chain of “lifestyle brand” hotels from Shangri-La, the Hong Kong-based luxury hotel group, the Kerry Hotel Pudong is located right beside the massive Shanghai New International Expo Centre. Only a 10-minute drive from the dedicated mag lev train that rushes travellers to the airport in a brisk eight minutes, you can get from check-out to check-in in less than 20 minutes. Guests on the Club Lounge floor enjoy free breakfast, afternoon cocktails and complimentary use of the boardroom for two hours a day. Best of all, no matter what level room you’re staying in, the first round from the mini-bar, which includes selections from the in-house brewpub, is on the house.
Designed primarily as a business hotel on the outskirts of New Delhi, it was something of a surprise when the Oberoi Gurgaon won the title of World’s Leading Luxury Hotel at the prestigious world travel awards in 2011. Located in Gurgaon, the modern industrial and financial centre of the region, travellers can reach Indira Gandhi airport in about 15 minutes and central Delhi in 30. The commute is made easier when taken in one of the hotel’s town cars, a BMW 7 series, perhaps, or a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, if you prefer. Better still, Oberoi has become the first Indian hotel group to offer a private air charter service and operates its own Hawker 850 XP jet.
Conrad New York
Named for the Hilton company founder, Conrad Hotels are the ultra-high end of the Hilton chain’s properties. The Conrad New York opened quietly last year in Battery Park City. With quick access to the World Financial Centre and the New York Stock Exchange, the hotel has quickly become a favourite with in-the-know master-of-the-universe types. Conference and event facilities are overseen by Union Square Events, the catering division of famed restaurateur, Danny Meyer. The business centre offers access to a personalized, customized Web page for anyone planning events where attendees can book rooms, learn about events and even sign up for seminars.
W Hotel, Paris
Ultramodern meets neoclassical at the achingly hip W Hotel, Paris. Situated in an 1870s Haussmann-era building, this is the first property from the renowned lifestyle brand and it couldn’t be better located, overlooking the Opéra Garnier and a quick stroll from the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores. Business travellers will appreciate that rooms are outfitted with wall-mounted television/media centres and that bedsides feature dedicated phone and camera chargers. Cécile Rummler, the hotel’s “Insider” is equal parts concierge, lifestyle consultant and fixer.
Park Hyatt Sydney
A favourite with business travellers since opening in 1990, the Park Hyatt Sydney underwent a major year-long, $60-million renovation before re-opening last year. New artwork by local Australian artists decorate the public spaces and floor-to-ceiling windows take full advantage of the postcard-worthy views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The hotel’s business centre goes above and beyond the standard offerings to include mobile phone rentals, translation and secretarial services and even book binding.
Following a four-year, $200-million renovation the once dowdy and fading Ritz-Carlton Montreal has been transformed into a star once again. From 229 rooms the hotel has been reduced to 129, making rooms larger and bathrooms more luxurious. Inside the desk you’ll find a complete business travel kit with all of those things – pen, scissors, Post-it notes, a stapler – that you can’t work without. Cleverly, the in-room safe is located right in the desk making for easy, secure stowage. State-of-the-art technology means that after one visit the room remembers your temperature and light-setting preferences and sets them for you on your return.
Editor's note: Conrad hotels are part of the Hilton portfolio. Incorrect information appeared in a previous version of the story.
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