BUSINESS TRAVEL: ROOM SERVICE

Where Charles Wright, managing director of Wolff Olins, stays

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

FOR BUSINESS - I've stayed in dozens of business hotels and they're all equally unmemorable. I'm typically away from home two nights a week, and rarely in the same place each night. For me, any hotel stay is a fleeting visit just to sleep. All I need is a hotel with a bar, so I can have a drink to aid sleep, TV in the room so I can watch CNN, and a decent breakfast. I don't care if the hotel has a gym, several restaurants and a health spa. There's a gap in the market for a very good no-frills business hotel with excellent service and genuinely friendly staff who can tell you where to find the best restaurants or bars. If a hotel owner is reading this, please take note. Nevertheless, one hotel I do quite like is the Roger Williams in New York. It's close to our New York office, the beds are very comfortable, and there's a place downstairs that serves 24-hour coffee, which is great when you're feeling jetlagged.

FOR PLEASURE - This summer I stayed at the Hotel Mion in Silvi Marina in Abruzzo in Italy. Small, family-owned hotels are the norm in Italy, and this was no exception. The owners were there every day, and they were incredibly warm, sincere and friendly. There was none of this false cheer that you find in some international hotels. Every evening, we would gather in the restaurant and choose from two or three dishes of the day. Mr Mion would explain about each dish - maybe a fish that had been caught that day, or a regional recipe. The whole meal would take about three hours, and although there might be 50 people eating, it felt like one big family. The rooms aren't ornate, but it doesn't matter when you're outdoors all day. The views are good - the Adriatic at the front and the mountains behind. I don't usually like going back to the same place, but I would definitely go back there.

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