Top Hotel Brands for Business Travelers


Hotels know that they cannot only rely on tourism to succeed, they only need business travelers who are constantly on the move and always choose the best hotels to stay at. However, business professionals' needs are not the same as tourists' needs and for that reason hotel brands across the globe are adapting themselves to meet business professional's needs and get them to stay with them. Here are the top hotels for business travelers.

Overall, Marriott International had the strongest performance, with five brands - Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites - ranking in the top three in their tiers. Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels each had three brands finish in the top three of their respective tiers while IHG and Hilton Worldwide each had two.

The top brands are the ones that best keep up with technology. For instance, all the first place brands in this year's survey have some form of mobile app. In fact, Four Seasons, which placed first in the luxury segment, was the most recent to add one.

A clinical professor at New York University's Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, Bjorn Hanson, said a hotel's app can be a bellwether of brand philosophy. The apps are representative of a brand's attitude as perceived by travelers or corporate buyers or meeting planners, Hanson said. Often the companies that have the apps have also done things with food and beverage concepts or lobby functionality, such as high-speed Internet access. It's more part of a package of them trying to respond to younger travelers.

In fact, the leading brands in each tier have made efforts to appeal to modern travelers and Millennials by investing in more than just new pillows and better breakfasts. If you look at what we've learned from really studying the next-generation traveler, they've grown up combining business and leisure, said Janis Milham, Marriott senior vice president of modern essentials and extended-stay brands. They combine work and play all the time, so we've had to think about our designs, our decor, our rooms, our lobbies, in combining elements of those. It's table stakes these days.

According to an analysis by the NYU Tisch Center, the U.S. lodging industry's investment in re-modeling in-room amenities, faster Internet and upgraded technology systems amounts about $7 billion per year and increases at 7% over year. The most expensive changes include changing bathroons, replacing tubs with walk-in-showers, new or enhanced fitness facilities and redesigned lobbies geared toward Millenials.

Brand consistency used to mean every hotel looked the same, Hanson said. Now, brand consistency means the experience is more the same. In general, whether it's Westin or Hyatt Place or Springhill Suites, those create a very uniform experience, and... I don't mean the color of the wallpaper in the lobby. It's just kind of the feel and attitude of the property.

Brands that focus on guest experience yet provide a consistent product will continue to have a positive relationships with travel buyers as corporate hotel rates climb.