Room Service: where Ben Langdon stays

I travel to the US a lot with work. In my mid-twenties and thirties I used to love hotels like New York's Soho Grand

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

For Business

I travel to the US a lot with work. In my mid-twenties and thirties I used to love hotels like New York's Soho Grand and the Royalton. There was nothing like them in London at the time, and they seemed so cool. You'd be hanging out with all the right people and you didn't care if there was dim lighting, no room service and no internet connections. Then I reacted against that. The staff suddenly all looked like 14-year-olds wearing rollnecks, and the corridors were so pitch-black they looked like something out of an LSD trip. Instead, I started to stay in old-school hotels like the Waldorf. But now I've discovered the W hotel on Union Square, New York. It offers the perfect balance between good old-fashioned front-of-house service and a place that has a brilliant restaurant, a brilliant bar, and a high-octane environment. You feel like you're in with the right crowd, yet despite the busy bar you still get served immediately. It's perfect for me when I'm on business.

For Pleasure

One of my favourite hotels is the Round Hill resort in Jamaica. It's a gated community of 29 villas, built into the hill with views over the sea. The villas are privately owned but rented out by the hotel when the owners aren't in residence. Round Hill is about seven miles from Montego Bay, on Jamaica's north coast. It is hard to get into as it's popular, but once you're there it's brilliant. It's small and friendly, and the food and service are great by Caribbean standards. The resort is understated and so lots of celebrities stay there – I've spotted Rowan Atkinson and Chris Noth, who plays Sex and the City's Mr Big. The staff do everything for you, from laying out magazines in your villa's living room to preparing breakfast for you each morning. I last visited about 18 months ago, with my family. The kids love it because there's so much to do, and you can arrange activities such as scuba diving and island trips at your own convenience. I'd recommend it to everyone, but I'd hate it if people took up the recommendation. It's nice as it is – relatively undiscovered.

Ben Langdon is chairman of Euro RSCG Worldwide – UK

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