Business travel is growing in new and exciting directions, as evidenced by this year’s Best in Business Travel awards from Entrepreneur magazine. With the awards, the mag showcases the hottest innovations going on in the world of corporate travel, and we chose four of the most relevant to the average business traveler.
Best Hotel: “Lifestyle Brands”
A new category of hotels often called “lifestyle brands” are emerging, and they rank in the top slot for affordable rates with stylish, community oriented environments. Rates are kept low by doing away with things like manual check-in desks, room service and eat-in restaurants, which are replaced by online check-in, large lobbies stocked with loads of electrical outlets and cafes stocked with coffee by day, wine and beer by night. Marriott’s Moxy is a prime example in Milan, as is Hyatt’s Centric in Chicago.
Best Meeting Destination: Downtown Las Vegas
The old, original downtown Vegas north of the Strip received a new spin the moment Zappos bought old City Hall for its headquarters and then invested $350 million in revitalizing the area. The money helped fund parks, healthcare clinics, schools and gads of small businesses, ranging from design incubators to restaurants. Hotel rates in the area are affordable, unique meeting places abound and entrepreneurship is in the air.
Best Flyer Trend: Healthy Airports
Yoga studios, fresh juice bars and spas are just some of the wellness options popping up in airports across the US. You’ll find the top-notch vegetarian restaurant Real Food Daily at LAX, a meditation and yoga room at SFO, and scalp massages at Delta’s LaGuardia terminal. Your layover at DFW lets you enjoy a mandated healthy dish from every restaurant, a mile-long walking trail, a day spa and short-term rental units with beds and showers for napping and refreshing, respectively.
Best App Trend: Real-Life Reunions
Mingle business travel with old-pal networking using one of the apps that let you spot-check for contacts in your current location. A prime example is Assembly Networking, or assembly-app.com, which lets you know if former college pals or colleagues happen to be in the area where you just landed. Tripstir.com provides a similar function, sharing your trip with your network to pinpoint any overlapping itineraries for a chance to meet face-to-face.
One more trend that could have made the list is streamlined corporate travel expense systems. Go for the best of the bunch with Chrome River's expense management software.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.