Traveling on business is stressful, even for the most seasoned road warrior and many a busy executive places a premium on an extra level of service and exclusivity to help mitigate the pressure — when flying, it's business class; in hotels, it's the executive floor. Executive floors add an extra level of comfort and convenience to the already high standards of four and five-star hotels.
With names such as "Capital Club", "Grand Club", "Horizon Club", and "Traders Club" hotels have set the keynote for something a little more exclusive and comfortable than their normal offerings. From check-in to departure the hotel goes that bit further to make the guest feel at home and to smooth the path for a pleasant stay.
Starting at check-in the executive is spared the need to stand in line in the hotel lobby while waiting to check-in. Typically the executive is checked-in on the executive floor itself with a comfortable lounge in which to sit should a wait be necessary. The room offers additional amenities, and there is a higher level of service from the floor staff. Frequently there are designated butlers or valets to assist with chores such a getting a suit cleaned and pressed.
The lounge is a key-feature of the executive floor — a place where the guest can relax, enjoy a complimentary breakfast, evening cocktails and beverages throughout the day. Frequently the lounge is annexed by a meeting room or boardroom — use of which is also complementary for short periods during the guest's stay.
The overall ratio of executive floor rooms varies depending on the hotel. In general the more luxurious the hotel the higher the overall percentage of executive floor rooms. Indeed one hotel, the St. Regis Beijing, rates all its rooms as if they were on the executive floors and offers services to match. And the Hilton Beijing has opened a new tower, the Executive Tower, in which all the guest-room floors are executive floors.
So who stays on the executive floors? For the majority of hotels the "executive guests" are corporate guests (from 50% to 85%) and most of the others are private or FIT guests. Relatively few people attending MICE events are booked on the executive floors. The ratio of corporate bookings to FIT varies mainly depending on location. For hotels in the CBD the percentage of corporate guests is higher, while hotels in the more tourist oriented areas such as Wangfujing have a higher number of FIT guests staying on the executive floors. Relatively few domestic travelers stay on executive floors – in fact with few exceptions the majority of executive guests come from outside of Asia.
At the Capital Hotel on Qian Men East Street in Beijing, executives can take advantage of the Capital Club on the 12th to the 19th floors of Tower A. With 93 rooms and 18 suites, guests visiting the Club Lounge on the 15th floor can view a spectacular city scene. The hotel supplies free access to Internet, free local calls and incoming faxes. Late check-out until 15:00 also adds a special touch.
Across town at the Courtyard by Marriott Beijing Northeast Hotel, executives can stay on the 19th – 22nd floors — a total of 43 deluxe rooms and 11 suites. With IP phones, high-speed Internet, wireless Internet connections, a private meeting room and work stations located on Executive Floor Lounge, executives can deal with all their necessary business.
IHG's Crowne Plaza Park View Wuzhou Beijing is next to the Beijing International Convention Centre and within walking distance of the new development zone for the 2008 Olympic Games. The Crowne Plaza Club is on the 15th – 17th floors and offers five Crowne Plaza Club Superior rooms, 17 Crowne Plaza Club Deluxe rooms. Additional privileges include laundry credit, soft drinks in the minibar, newspaper, breakfast buffet, cocktail hour, one-hour complimentary use of a meeting room, complimentary broadband Internet access and refreshments in the spacious Club Lounge throughout the day.
The executive area for the Doubletree by Hilton Beijing offers 33 rooms and 118 suites. A wide variety of soft refreshments all day long and one garment complimentary pressing service per stay add a special touch to an executive's visit. The hotel management says, "Staying with us as an Executive Floor guest, our lounge with all its facilities is at your disposal on the 21st floor. In the relaxed atmosphere of the exclusive lounge you can find a luxurious complimentary buffet breakfast and delicious warm canapes in the evening. Welcome ceremony with a warm freshly baked Chocolate Chip Cookie. Our goal is to provide you with a personal service that responds to your needs."
Four Points by Sheraton Beijing, Haidian Hotel & Serviced Apartments provides 93 Executive Rooms, nine Executive Suites, 10 Deluxe Suites, and one Presidential Suite. The hotel management says, "The executive floor will bring provide an enhanced level of service, comfort and convenience for busy travelers. The difference is guests will be free to enjoy our Simple Pleasures, offers a variety of little indulgences to Four Points guests — things that can make their day special."
There are a varied lot of many more choices to choose from in China's capital city. They key is to find the right mix of amenities for the busy traveling executive, as China has so many possibilities.