Most Stylish Work Trip Hotels : Mixing Business With Pleasure

The proverbial business and pleasure maxim doesn’t have to mean illicit Mr and Mrs Smith liaisons with Claire from Marketing.  Mark Southern picked up his briefcase in one hand and suitcase in the other to find the best UK hotels for making business travel pleasurable.

As first published in The Exchange Magazine, 2011

Number Ten Manchester Street, London

Nestled close to London’s business district, but not too close, Ten is a sensational example of a hotel understanding business travellers’ needs, and making everything as easy as it can be, all the while demonstrating a near peerless sense of style.

Food here is excellent, meaning afternoon meetings simply must be accompanied by the truly delightful afternoon tea, whilst evening meetings can be conducted on the Cigar Terrace over some unique cocktails created by the in-house mixologist.

Make sure you book the Grand Suite too, and kick back in the free-standing bath after a hard day’s work.

Possibly the best boutique hotel in London, and not to be missed.

The Frogmill Hotel, Cheltenham

With many businesses upping sticks to the South West of England, you’d have thought that high class hotels would be commonplace in the West Country.  However, you’d be wrong.  One place which bucks this trend is the charming Frogmill Hotel in Cheltenham.

Nicely placed for business trips to Bristol, Cardiff or even the West Midlands, the hotel is notable for creating an environment which is equally conducive to bustling work as well as luxurious country class for putting your feet up.

The hotel takes its food seriously too, and chef Adam Murray has created both an unmissable cream tea for afternoon meetings, and an excellent gastro-pub feel to its in-house restaurant for evening workaholics in need of nourishment.

The Lowry Hotel, Manchester

As the media steadily migrates North, the spotlight on Manchester as one of the fastest growing cities in Europe continues, with business aplenty drawn by its flourishing gravitational pull.

As you’d expect, there’s plenty of good quality places to stay, but for the discerning business traveller there’s only name to remember; the Lowry.

Overlooking both Manchester and Salford from its riverbank location, the Lowry is a 21st Century hotel that blends chic decor with a decadent sensibility.  Meeting spots are plentiful, from private rooms to conference suites, and the award-winning food is outrageously good.

Standard rooms are excellent, but it’s worth upgrading to a suite to make the most of your trip, with the Charles Forte Suite considered the best hotel room in the whole of the Greater Manchester area.

The Royal Horseguards Hotel, London

For those occasions when boutique won’t do, the five-star Royal Horseguard, offers an elegant haven from the hustle and bustle of London life.

It’s no surprise this grand and luxurious hotel has won AA London Hotel of the Year 2010-2011 with its top-quality dining, tasteful decor and excellent service.

Make that boring afternoon meeting a little more palatable with an exquisite afternoon tea in the elegant lounge, or treat your clients to a sumptuous dinner in the stylish yet comfortable AA Rosette-winning restaurant.

At the end of the day, the views are special and offer panoramic views over the River Thames and the London Eye, although for something a little more high-end stay in one of the four signature suites that offer individuality in décor, atmosphere and style.

Also, don’t forget to take time away from finishing that late-night report and schedule in a visit to the hotel’s One Twenty One Two restaurant, with the South Coast Dover Sole an experience not to be missed.

The Glasshouse, Edinburgh

For those work trips North of the border, head to the stylish Edinburgh boutique hotel, The Glasshouse for a luxury experience unlike any other in Scotland.

Set amid a stunning setting, The Glasshouse shines like a beacon of contemporary coolness against its more traditional counterparts.

Take meetings in the sumptuous Conan Doyle boardroom, before heading back for a more relaxed brainstorming session in the living area of the Deluxe Suite it’s almost criminal to not book into (hint, it’s Scotland so you’ll find the complimentary decanter of whisky useful for keeping customers happy).

When you’re done and the clients have gone for the day, enjoy the outstanding personalised luxury the suite affords, with your own hot-tub and sauna, and finish off the rest of that whisky as you overlook the exotic roof-garden and Edinburgh below.


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