MT business travel: Room Service - Where Alan Tomlin stays ...

FOR PLEASURE: About three times a year, my wife and I visit Ashdown Park hotel and country club in East Sussex for a long weekend. We go for a range of reasons: it's convenient because it's quite close to home - about one and a half hour's drive from us - and it has superb facilities.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The service is also consistently high. I'm a runner, so I enjoy the different running circuits that snake through the hotel's grounds. The tracks range from one mile to 10 miles, and you can choose to run past the area where the deer tend to roam. Meanwhile, my wife subjects herself to the traumas of the spa; about 50 different treatments are on offer. There's also a great gym, a pool and tennis courts. In the evenings, we round all that off with fantastic food. Ashdown has a great restaurant with some excellent wines. Each time we visit, it's as if it's the first time we've been. I'd like to go more often, but it's difficult to find the time.

FOR BUSINESS: If I'm away on business, it usually means I'm in London. The place I like to stay is the Thistle Tower hotel, near Tower Bridge.

I originally attended a number of business meetings there, and as one of our shareholders from Scotland also likes to stay there, I decided to try it. I've been visiting it ever since. It's convenient for me to get to our office in Leicester Square. It's also very close to St Katharine's Dock, so it's handy for when I want to eat at the restaurants around there.

I stay there if I have to work late at our office and then be in again at the crack of dawn the next day. It makes sense, as I sometimes have meetings that don't start until 8pm. I've tried other London hotels, but I stick with the Thistle now. You may not necessarily consider it the best at each individual element of your stay, but it is the all-round package that sets it apart from other hotels I've stayed at in London.

It is hard to find fault with the breakfast, the early wake-up call has never let me down yet, room service is quick and efficient, checking out could not be easier, even the checking in is carried out with a welcoming smile and a chat. Overall, it is of a consistently high professional standard.

- Alan Tomlin is chief executive of TheTrainline.

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