Best Alternative to the Hotel Treadmill: Westin Hotels Guided Running Tours
Many runners will tell you that one of the best things about the sport is the fact that it's free. Thankfully, someone at Westin Hotels seems to agree; the company's hotels in 30 cities employ a "running concierge" who leads guests on three-mile runs three mornings a week, free of charge. Now there's no excuse not to break free from the hotel treadmill.
Local Address: 50 Third Street
Best Green Hotel: Orchard Hotel, San Francisco
Luxury and environmental consciousness go hand-in-hand at the Orchard, one of San Francisco's first LEED-certified hotels. The building features low-emission paint and carpets made from partially recycled material. The housekeeping staff uses only non-toxic cleaning supplies and the bathrooms are stocked with organic products. Rooms also include business-friendly amenities such as large wooden desks, two dual-line phones with voicemail, a cordless phone, T-1 high-speed Internet, and WiFi. Another plus: the hotel, located two blocks from Union Square, is steps away from the Powell Street cable car line, so you won't need a car to get around.
Cost: $189 a night and up.
Local Address: 665 Bush Street
Best Boutique Hotel: Joie de Vivre
Joie de Vivre's 33 California hotels are organized into three categories--hip, classic, and luxury--and designed to reflect the character of the surrounding neighborhood. In San Francisco, you can choose between Hotel Rex, Joie de Vivre's sophisticated literary-themed property in the city's theater district, and The Phoenix, a rock n' roll-themed hotel in the grittier Tenderloin neighborhood. Business travelers also will enjoy amenities such as free hotel-wide WiFi access and same day laundry and valet service.
Cost: $100 a night and up.
Locations: Several in San Francisco. Check http://www.jdvhotels.com for details.
Best Itinerary-Planning Site: TripIt
Forward confirmation e-mails from airlines, hotels, and online booking services to TripIt, based in San Francisco, California, which will generate a trip itinerary with flight, hotel, and car rental details. You can choose to automatically add itineraries to Google Calendar or share them with members of your TripIt network to keep your colleagues, business associates, and friends up to date on your travel plans. Creating a network is easy: TripIt gives you the option to e-mail individuals or send group invitations to contacts on LinkedIn or Web-based e-mail accounts such as Gmail and AOL.
Check out the entire 2010 Business Travel 50 list.