Middle of the US nice business hotels

Mar 14th, 2012, 09:25 PM
  #1  
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Middle of the US nice business hotels

We have a Business group of 13-18 who reside in all parts of US whoto fly to meeting 2 -3 times a year.

Due to budget we need recs for nice hotels, no spas with decent restaurants onsite near airports.

Can Fodorites give some suggestions?
1JAR is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 02:22 AM
  #2  
 
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I used to go to Columbus, Ohio, for similar meetings because the company was headquartered there.

Given the outrageous hotel taxes and the fact that Columbus was not a hub for any airline at the time, we really and truly could have met more cheaply in Paris or Bermuda. We checked. More than once.

So I would not limit my group to the middle of the country if you could meet on a rotation: west coast, east coast, south, north so no one always has to travel a long distance. I have attended business meetings in San Francisco (lots of hotels at the airport); Washington, DC; Minneapolis, and New Orleans, though Dallas is easier if you want to stay at the airport.

The fallback is of course the Hilton at O'Hare. It is not cheap, but if you can keep the agenda to one day, many people can fly in and out the same day. I used to do round trip from Boston in one day, and while it was not my idea of fun, it was efficient. There are meeting rooms of all sizes, and the staff organizes hundreds of meetings a year.

Finally, poll your group on meetings that start on Monday or end on Friday. Many people like to tack on a couple of days to a business trip if it is in a nice place. San Francisco and Washington particularly appeal.
Ackislander is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 05:12 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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DFW and ATL work best for my clients
Galleria Area in Dallas Crowne Plaza ihg.com
or Sheraton spg.com great rooms/suites restaurants
bidding priceline.com for me from $50.
ATL usually Marriott.com Courtyard Buckhead from
$40 bidding priceline.com. Save a tonne over Chi Town
or the others.Nicer vibe better weather too.

Happy Hunting!
qwovadis is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 05:33 AM
  #4  
 
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Choose a cheap hub city and find a hotel at the airport. DH used to do that in Denver often when Stapleton was in use.
Gretchen is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 06:57 AM
  #5  
 
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I'd pick a national chain. There are several of these: Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Radisson, and most have airport hotels. Since they are full-service, all will have restaurants and bars, and almost all full-service airport hotels have meeting spaces. Some may still have spas since that's something a lot of full-service hotels are adding these days to attract more upscale business meetings.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 07:01 AM
  #6  
 
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There is a lot to consider, sometimes airfare/convenience of flights is the most important factor, other times it is hotel cost.

If you look at a place like Las Vegas, sometimes you can get package deals through the hotels for mid week room and flight that are very cost effective. There are direct flights to there from most large/medium cities. They hope you will gamble of course, but you don't have to.

Vegas and other "vacation/tourist" places are almost always less expensive mid week, but many cities are less expensive on the weekend, if that is an option for you.
emalloy is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 07:33 AM
  #7  
mms
 
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The Hilton in Omaha NE would fit the bill perfectly. Middle of the US, great hotel (stayed there a few times) and about a mile from the airport with a free shuttle. Good restaurant on site, but also only a couple blocks from the Old Market area which has loads more restaurants and shops, etc.
mms is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 07:39 AM
  #8  
 
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Embassy Suites work well for this type of meeting. Nice 2 room suites. Large interior atrium that gives a place to move aound and socialize if the weather is bad outside. A cook to order breakfast that is free. They offer meeting rooms and staff are usually very accomodating. They are usually near airports and offer complimentary shuttles from the airport.

Re WHERE? I'd get on kayak.com and test some flight fares from the different cities for your dates. I highly recommend that you find someplace in the middle - so folks' time clocks aren't completely messed up during the meeting. Plus, travel time under 3 hours is very nice. Attendees living less than 4 hours drive time can drive in - which is usually less expensive if you are paying for mileage.
starrs is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 08:45 AM
  #9  
 
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I think the difficult part here is the insistence on the "middle" of the country. While Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and to a lesser degree St. Louis have relatively good air service from almost anywhere in the country, it's often cheaper and easier to get to places like Las Vegas, which is not in the middle of the country but which has loads of flights. And while San Antonio is a huge convention city, it doesn't have such great air connections.

The contenders for top air service include Chicago, Dallas, and Detroit. They are all in the relative middle of the country though at the northern and southern extremes.

In a second tier would be St. Louis and Denver, which have lots of nonstop flights but which sometimes require connections.

At the edges are Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Charlotte (east); Las Vegas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Francisco (west); and Orlando (southeast). These all have excellent air service from throughout the U.S. even though they are not in the middle. For most business travelers, nonstop flights trip an extra hour or so of flight time since it takes that much time to do any kind of air connection.

Moral: Look at major airline hubs and choose a place where the most people can fly nonstop. Don't make "middle" the consideration.
doug_stallings is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 11:02 AM
  #10  
 
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Don't forget to factor in the weather and possible delays/cancellations. Summer thunderstorms, winter snow or ice storms - to me if you have a choice to go anywhere in the country Vegas looks pretty good for weather, flight and hotel options.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Mar 15th, 2012, 12:22 PM
  #11  
 
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In summer, you can get rates at resort in south Florida and Phoenix/Scottsdale because of the heat. July meetings would be great there.

In winter, Austin, TX is a great location. Easy airport to get in and out of and rarely are there any flight delays or problems.
starrs is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2012, 05:00 PM
  #12  
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Thanks everyone. Really great ideas.

We have people in Washington, California, New Mexico and Chicago, Virginia etc up & down the Eastern seaboard.
The East Coast one time West Coast next time just is not working. Last 2 times were Puerto Rico and (try doing that from San Diego!)Washington DC. Somebody is always suffering from jetlag...doesn't work well for productive brainstorming meetings and we have agreed not to stay in 5***** and 4**** chains anymore.

I personally like the idea of Residence Inns or Embassey Suites... but we need to cut the travel time to meetings and the hotel costs...

We are trying to do more "middle" because the alternative is teleconferencing to kep costs down.


We generally fly in
1JAR is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2012, 07:57 PM
  #13  
 
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Kansas City rocks.
bbqboy is offline  
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