17/03/2018 09:34 SAST | Updated 17/03/2018 12:12 SAST

Hotel Or Guesthouse On Business? Expert Weighs Ups Pros And Cons Of Each

The line is starting to blur, with hotels offering more personal touches and guesthouses refining their facilities.

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Business travellers have long been associated with traditional hotels, but there seems to be a shift towards guesthouses.

"Travellers seek a more relaxed, convivial environment in guesthouses and alternative forms of accommodation," said Ryan Potgieter, Flight Centre Business Travel brand leader.

Business travellers still want amenities that help make their work easier, but as they're on the road so often, they also don't always want to feel like they're on a business trip – and hence may seek something with a little less anonymity, as one often feels in a hotel.

"The industry seems to be coming full circle in a sense that guesthouses are starting to offer facilities that business travellers want, to attract more of this clientele, while many hotels are picking up on the trend of personalisation, offering self-catering room options with kitchens, lounge areas and even braai areas to encourage a more homely feel," said Potgieter.

So whether you look forward to the familiar feel of a key card in your hand or prefer the sight of the family cat curled up by the fireplace, Potgieter has a few points to consider if you're looking for accommodation that's a little different, or familiar, on your next business trip.

1. On-site facilities

Fast wifi is possibly still the main reason why business travellers make a beeline for hotels. However, many guesthouses are stepping up this facility, the same goes for facilities such as a bar area, pool and even a gym.

If late-night room service is a deal-breaker, stick to hotels. But if you're on a trip that extends beyond a weekend, you might appreciate waking up to the smell of a home-cooked meal in the dining room and a chat with one of the family owners of your chosen guesthouse, on at least one of your mornings.

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2. Guest services

A guesthouse is often much like living as a guest in the house of another person. It's personal and local without trying too hard. Hotels, on the other hand, come with larger teams of qualified staff.

Some hotels offer a shuttle service when it comes to transport, which is great for avoiding being stuck behind the wheel in traffic. But if you're in a hired car and need to drive beyond a certain distance, this might not make a difference at all.

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3. Room amenities

Hotels do a lot to emphasise sleek, stylish and modern room designs, with high-tech tools and amenities geared toward business travellers, such as multiple channel flat-screen TVs, electric shavers, irons, minibar fridges and in-room coffee machines.

However, if all you really need is a king-size bed and enough space to stretch out, a guesthouse might just tick all the right boxes. Rooms in guesthouses tend to be less standardised and, more often than not, feature a small kitchenette area for you to whip up a quick snack.

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4. Overall atmosphere

Business travellers sometimes fall into the "bleisure" sector, where they combine their business trips with some leisure time. If you're looking for an intimate setting without bustling cities and mobs of people checking in and out, consider a guesthouse.

If you are all about the vibe of being around other business travellers in the heart of the goings-on though, with the sound of the city just within earshot, a hotel may be your cup of tea.

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