Your startup is high tech, so why isn't your hotel? Here's a round-up of the best places to stay when you're traveling for work and need some extra IT amenities.--John Brandon
Tech perk: Make business meeting requests through an app
Take advantage of a new business concierge app, available at 350 Marriott Hotels by the end of this year--and at this New York Marriott Downtown. You can request help with your projector equipment, temperature control, or the lighting in a conference room. Known as Red Coat Direct, the free app runs in the browser on any smartphone.
Tech perk: You can borrow a laptop during your stay
If you are heading to Vegas, consider leaving your laptop at the office. HOTEL32 on the strip lets you check out a MacBook Pro 17 inch LED-backlit widescreen notebook during your stay for free. The hotel also has Apple iPads available for free. Room rates start at about $150/night. The all-suite hotel takes up the top floors of the Monte Carlo.
Tech perk: Make reservations via Twitter and chat
Most entrepreneurs know you better have a good social media strategy in place. Loews Hotels & Resorts is putting this into practice with reservations. You just have to use the hashtag #BookLoews in a tweet to @Loews_Hotels and a rep will start a public dialogue with you. They'll eventually offer to hold a secure online chat to make the reservation.
Tech perk: An iPad in every room
At the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago, everyone has access to an iPad in the room. There's a concierge app you can use to make room requests, check your bill, and schedule a wake-up call. Of course, you can also use the iPad to check your email and the weather. Room rates start at $139 right now but generally run $199 during peak season.
Tech perk: Wi-Fi everywhere
Many hotels offer Wi-Fi service. At the ARIA in Las Vegas, it's much more extensive. Cisco helped this high-tech hotel install the network in every corner of the property and around the perimeter. The speed runs at a steady 1Mbps even when hundreds or even thousands of guests connect at the same time, without the typical lag in most hotels. Another surprising perk: the Wi-Fi is free in your room and everywhere else. Rates start at about $139 per night.
Tech perk: Tangent workspace for real telecommuting
Plenty of hotels boast about workspace, but it might be a retrofitted conference room or a seat next to the bar. At the Westin Boston, there's a legit workspace called Tangent that has a private area, conference table, and videoconferencing. Most importantly, the room is managed by Liquidspace so you can see if it is available online and book a time in advance.