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Think 'business hotel' and somewhere anonymous and unexciting probably springs to mind. But it doesn't have to be that way, as the following five-star establishments go to show.
Occupying a former bank in the heart of the City of London, this boutique hotel boasts gorgeous period features including a stained glass dome that floods the lobby seating area with light (pictured). Rooms in the listed building come in all shapes and sizes and have all recently been refurbished. The two AA Rosette Bonds Restaurant is one of the best places for breakfast meetings in the City.
Four Seasons Canary Wharf
For business travellers looking for a base in London's other financial centre, the Four Seasons Canary Wharf is a good bet. Service is top notch at this modern building on the banks of the River Thames just a 15-minute drive from London City Airport. Guests have complimentary access to the Virgin Active Health Club next door, with its floodlit tennis courts and extraordinary pool overlooking the river.
The large, quiet guest rooms at this former insurance offices are a haven from the hectic pace of Holborn, the central London district connecting the City of London with the West End. The hotel's grand courtyard off High Holborn makes a strong first impression and the public areas, including the acclaimed Pearl Restaurant, boast beautiful interiors. The on-site gym is open 24 hours.
London is a global business hub, and as such it is home to some of the finest business hotels on the globe. Here are three that go above and beyond.
St Ermin's Hotel
One of London's best places to do business, St Ermin's has a dedicated business center with 15 meeting and event spaces – from large boardrooms to intimate office spaces to grandiose function venues – all of which boast the very latest business technology. It also comprises stylish break-out areas offering unlimited refrigerated water and soft drinks, and a wide variety of business-friendly dining options, including conference food packages.
The Landmark London
Not only is this hotel located in a convenient spot - across the road from Marylebone railway and Underground station, and within an hour of all London airports - but it's home to some of the most extensive business facilities of all luxury London hotels. It has a total of 11 meeting and conference rooms, which can each cater for between 20 and 750 guests, and these are equipped with the latest techology. The hotel also features enormous banqueting rooms and private dining facilities; the perfect venue for a whole host of corporate events.
Another classic London hotel with great business facilities, Claridge's is located in the heart of the city and has a wide variety of business rooms that can host everything from large-scale conferences to exclusive meetings. There are also excellent function and events rooms - along with some of the best private dining in London - for when work becomes play.
Doing business in London and don't want to waste any time? Nothing is more important than location. Choose your hotel according to where you need to spend the most time and save yourself the tube journeys and cab rides that can suck hours of your productivity:
If you need to be in the Square Mile, chose Hotel Indigo, Tower Hill for an unbeatable central location. Rooms are stylish with four-poster beds, iPod docking stations and designer bathrooms and there's free wifi to keep you connected. You also get complimentary membership at a nearby gym and Aldgate tube station is just a two-minute walk away.
The West End
Just because you're here on business needn't mean staying in a soulless "business hotel". Check in instead to the lovely Dean Street Townhouse where you'll find individually designed bedrooms equipped with rainforest showers, flatscreen TV with Sky Plus and free wireless internet. You're also located in the heart of Soho - ideal for entertaining business contacts with its numerous high quality bars and restaurants. You could eat in the restaurant here, or head over the road to one of London's most sought-after dining experiences - the lobster platter at Burger and Lobster.
If you really have to stay out at Canary Wharf, console yourself with the Four Seasons. This is about as luxurious as it gets, with river views from the large windows, homely furnishings and complimentary access to the adjacent Virgin Active with its swimming pool and floodlit tennis court. There's complimentary internet access, and printing, translation and secretarial services are available.