Mixing Business with Pleasure: Make a Weekend of Your Work Trip

Unfortunately, business trips sometimes take all the pleasure out of traveling. You may be in an awesome destination, but you're either cooped up in a conference room catching a presentation or burning the midnight oil, polishing up some sort of contract. But why should these trips be all work and no play just because they're designated as the former? As avid travelers across the board, we say you might as well take advantage of your company-paid airfare and at least stay through the weekend. After all, you'll need some R&R after those heated boardroom discussions. So we scoured U.S. cities to find the best hotels suited for mixing some business with pleasure. Because doesn't everyone deserve even a little bit of playtime?

Where You're Doing Business: New York City

Lobby at the Millennium UN Plaza
Lobby at the Millennium UN Plaza

Where You Should Stay: Millennium UN Plaza

Top Business Perks:

  • With a business-friendly, Midtown East address, the hotel is right next to the U.N. and is within walking distance of over 30 consulates. Plus, with U.N. offices housed in the hotel's building, security is among the tightest in the city and a bomb-sniffing canine is permanently on-site.
  • Its 7,500 square feet of meeting space offers varying views of the East River, the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building.
  • All rooms have a printer, fax, and copier.

Leisurely Studies: The only hotel in the city with both an indoor pool and an indoor tennis court, the Millennium offers plenty of on-site fun for those hoping to unwind after a long business trip. Plus, with a sleek bar, the hotel is a nice spot for after-work or pre-partying drinks, and there are plenty of upscale bars and restaurants within walking distance.

Where You're Doing Business: Las Vegas

The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino -- Las Vegas
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino -- Las Vegas

Where You Should Stay: The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino

Top Business Perks:

  • With 1.9 million square feet of meetings and convention space at the Venetian/Palazzo Congress Center and attached Sands Expo, the Venetian can host a seemingly unlimited number of conferences and business travelers.
  • Big-name restaurants such as Emeril Lagasse's Delmonicos Steakhouse, Mario Batali's B&B, and David Burke's, well, David Burke, means the hotel offers an amazing catering menu.
  • Some of the largest on the Strip, the 4,027 suite-style rooms feature at least three flat-screen TVs (including one in the bathroom so you won't miss the news while you're getting ready) and desks with personal fax/printer/copiers and a dual-line telephone.

Leisurely Studies: So Vegas hotels may be pretty crazy across the board, but the Venetian is easily one of the most hip and raucous. It's trendy, modern Tao nightclub is one of the liveliest party scenes on the Strip, pulling in a young crowd that you can spot waiting for entry for an hour or so inside the hotel's mall. Plus, the hotel's rollicking adult pool, on top of Tao Asian Bistro and Nightclub, is one of the best places to see-and-be-seen in Vegas. Celebrities spotted at Tao Beach include Heidi Klum, Jessica Simpson, Jay-Z, and Michael Jordan.

Where You're Doing Business: Chicago

The Spa at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago
The Spa at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Where You Should Stay: Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Top Business Perks:

  • Just about anything can be arranged prior to your stay at the Trump Tower including personalized business cards and stationery, a custom-stocked mini-bar, and in-room computers and fax machines.
  • The 20,000 square feet of meeting space offer sweeping views of the lake, river, and city skyline.
  • With on-site personal assistants at the ready, overnight laundry and dry-cleaning services, and 24-hour room service, the Trump makes it easy for business travelers to get multiple tasks done at once.

Leisurely Studies: One of the most luxurious hotels in Chicago, the Trump boasts several stand-out features, including its 23,000-square-foot spa. The beautiful spa features an indoor pool and exceptional signature spa treatments. If you really want to indulge while you're on your business trip, book a spa room which includes direct access to the spa, heated eye and neck pillows, separate soaking baths large enough for two, and yoga equipment. Oh, and the Michelin-starred restaurant is just another perk.

Where You're Doing Business: San Francisco

Entrance at The Fairmont San Francisco
Entrance at The Fairmont San Francisco

Where You Should Stay: The Fairmont San Francisco

Top Business Perks:

  • The hotel's 24-hour business center is staffed six days a week and offers secretarial services such as binding, faxing, word processing, and printing.
  • Meeting planners, who are quick to respond, make it easy to arrange a meeting in one of the hotel's meeting spaces, which together account for 55,000 square feet.
  • The Fairmont even has a UPS store on the property for any last-minute shipments.

Leisurely Studies: For those with a shopping bug (and perhaps company money to blow?), the Fairmont has tons of high-end boutique shopping on-site. But the hotel's highlight -- and a prime spot for letting loose -- may be the Tonga Room. The Polynesian-themed restaurant and bar that attracts locals and hotel guests alike dates back to the early 1960s, when America became obsessed with anything and everything Hawaiian. Today, the Tonga Room still features faux straw huts, a floating band, and what it claims is the best mai tai in the city (served in a fake coconut, natch). While it presumably took itself seriously 45 years ago, the Tonga Room now revels in its kitschyness, and has become a city institution despite -- or maybe because of -- its anachronistic placement within the Fairmont.

Where You're Doing Business: Orlando, FL

Golf Course at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Golf Course at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Where You Should Stay: Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Top Business Perks:

  • The hotel's 28,000 square feet of meeting space include 15 meeting rooms, two board rooms, and a gorgeous ballroom with water views.
  • The business center has someone on call around the clock to help with technical needs.
  • You'll never have to worry about your workspace in your room being cluttered -- all rooms receive twice daily housekeeping.

Leisurely Studies: In a town known for kitschy family-oriented resorts, the Waldorf stands out as one of the only true luxury hotels in Orlando. The building is new as of 2009, but great pains were taken to make the design posh and classic, if perhaps with a Florida twist. Everything is top-notch and numerous amenities are geared towards unwinding: The hotel features a gorgeous, massive spa, an 18-hole Rees Jones-designed golf course with a driving range, putting green, and five-tee system to accommodate multiple playing abilities, two pools with private cabanas, and bicycle rentals for exploring the property.


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