If you do a lot of business traveling, then you spend a lot of time in hotels — and you probably agree that once you've seen four or five luxury hotels, you've seen them all. So why not look for a room with a different view? There are plenty of alternatives — hotels that are intriguing, educational, or just plain fun. Fast Company rounds up four great resources to help you find a new place to stay.
|BridgeStreet offers 4,000 executive apartments in 44 U.S. urban areas and in 38 other countries.||Apartments include utilities, all furnishings, fully equipped kitchens, washers and dryers, cable TV, and, where available, access to fitness facilities. The company will customize an apartment to suit your taste.||Corporate apartments cater most effectively to people who want to replicate the experience of home. You can even request things that may not be available where you're traveling — such as your favorite soap or a down comforter.|
|Bed & Breakfast Channel
|Looking for a B&B in a particular city or within a certain price range? Plug in your preferences, and the site will generate matches from its database of more than 20,000 B&Bs in the United States and abroad.||Many B&Bs are known for their "simple" atmosphere (read: no in-room telephone) — but road warriors can use this site to find inns that fit their needs. You can make reservations from this site as well.||Plan to stay a while? Get to know B&B staff members: They'll pick up on things about you that you thought only your mother knew - that you prefer fruit with breakfast, for example, or that you need an iron every morning.|
|Historic Hotels of America
Price: Membership costs $3.
|HHA, a division of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, publishes a register of 128 hotels located in 37 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. To be included, a hotel must be in a building that's at least 50 years old.||Facilities can vary widely, but many of the featured hotels offer business centers, double phone lines, and AV centers. More important, you may end up spending the night where a Rockefeller or a Vanderbilt once slept.||If you're not working killer hours, or if you have a free day before you fly home, take advantage of the museums and galleries that many of these hotels house.|
|Campus Lodging Guide
Price: $16.95 (includes shipping)
|This annual guide profiles lodging options for nonstudents at nearly 600 colleges and universities worldwide. A majority of these institutions offer rooms only during summer months.||While accommodations are anything but luxurious, you will most likely have access to university facilities, such as gyms and cafeterias. Twin beds are standard, but some locations also offer suites or on-campus apartments.||Your startup hasn't hit the jackpot yet? Publisher Bob Luckcuck suggests dorm life as a viable option for entrepreneurs who can't afford the Ritz. "Plus, you'll be in a learning environment," he says. "Take advantage of that stimulation."|
A version of this article appeared in the JulyAugust 1999 issue of Fast Company magazine.