- Business travel can be a stressful experience, with non-stop work meetings, minor annoyances like jet-lag and bad sleep, and little opportunities to relax.
- Many business travelers would be served by doing some research on hotels in their next travel destination and booking ones that include either a spa or a steam room and sauna.
- Many high-end hotels have expansive spas, complete with steam rooms, hot and cold water baths, and treatment rooms that can take the edge of a long day of business meetings.
Business travel is stressful.
Not only are you expected to perform your complicated and difficult job, but you also have to deal with the minor annoyances and inconveniences that come with being in transit. I’m talking about jet-lag, navigating unfamiliar cities, a pillow without enough neck support, and sometimes spotty internet access.
Then you have to factor in what are likely long days of meetings followed by a seemingly endless meals with business partners or acquaintances to seal whatever deal or relationship you’re in town to solidify.
While traveling as Business Insider’s international correspondent for the past six months is not exactly equivalent – I, for instance, am not running a tab on absurdly elaborate business dinners – it has the stress in common.
That’s why I’ve started keeping an eye out for one particular amenity when booking a hotel at my next destination: a spa, or, at the very least, a steam room and sauna.
It may sound a bit over-the-top, but consider that many of the hotels that business travelers book are rarely cheap. Often for a similar price, with a little forethought and research, one can find a hotel that includes an extensive spa in its amenities, replete with sauna, heated pool, and a variety of hot and cold baths and steam rooms. And, if such a spa is unavailable, you can absolutely find a hotel with just a sauna or steam room.
At The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, where I stayed while covering Art Basel in Hong Kong in March, the 25,000 square-foot Oriental Spa offered a series of water baths, steam rooms, and saunas, from a tropical rain sauna, a Moroccan rasul, vitality pools, “experience showers” (think: a deluge of ice cold water or a delicate mist), and this giant hot tub.
After coming back from a long day of walking the floor of the conference, conducting interviews, and meeting with sources, I found the spa to be the perfect way to spend an hour to de-stress.
Many high-end hotels like the Mandarin Oriental and The Peninsula, which have locations all over the world, offer hotel guests access to their luxurious spa facilities during guests’ stay. Other hotels, like Hotel Vitale in San Francisco, will give guests access if they book a treatment or massage. Some, like St. Regis, whose hotels include facilities by Remède Spa (ranked No. 1 by Travel + Leisure) will allow hotel guests to pay for a day pass. If there are any questions, make sure to ask before booking the room.
While you might not have time for a full-on spa day with facial treatments and massages, it’s underrated how much 30 minutes in a steam room or sauna can take the edge off a stressful work day. And then you can add a perk to your business travel, to counterbalance its annoyances: I doubt your home has a spa.