EXECUTIVE DESTINATION: CALIFORNIA | Global Trade Magazine
  January 3rd, 2019 | Written by

EXECUTIVE DESTINATION: CALIFORNIA

A BIG STATE MEANS ENDLESS TRAVEL OPTIONS. HERE ARE THE BEST.

Sharelines

  • United Airlines MileagePlus was deemed the Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program for the 15th straight year.
  • For our business travel purposes, we are going to focus on San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco.
  • American was named the Best Airline in North America.

California is a big state, one of the biggest, actually, with its 163,696 square miles making it the third largest in the United States in terms of area and its 39.5 million residents making it the most populous in America.

When it comes to travel to or within the Golden State on business, there is no single destination that is a central location to the hubs of industry, unless that industry is agriculture, in which case just about anywhere in the Central Valley should work just fine. Direct flights there on major airlines could be an issue, however.

Otherwise, you would not fly into, say, Los Angeles International Airport—the world’s fifth busiest and second only to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta in the U.S.—if your business meetings were in Silicon Valley. Nor would you stay in, for instance, San Francisco—whose $878 billion GDP gave it America’s third largest urban economy in 2017—if your trade convention was in sunny San Diego.

Getting There

For our business travel purposes, we are going to focus on San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose (which is in the heart of Silicon Valley) and San Francisco.

The international airports in all four of those cities are served by Air Canada, Alaska, American, British Airways, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, United and Virgin. Allegiant, Condor, Japan Airlines, Spirit and Sun Country fly in and out of all except San Jose.

Chances are that American and United are airlines that use your nearest airport for flying across the continent. Both figured prominently in the 15th annual Tested Reader Survey in December’s Global Traveler. More than 22,000 frequent business and luxury travelers named the best in a variety of travel-related categories.

American was named the Best Airline in North America and, for the third consecutive year, the Best Airline for Domestic First Class. American Airlines AAdvantage was deemed the Best Frequent-Flyer Customer Service.

United Airlines MileagePlus was deemed the Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program for the 15th straight year and Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program for the sixth consecutive year.

The airline also just announced that its new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners will fly United “Premium” transcontinental routes between Newark and California beginning Jan. 7. The newest and biggest version of Boeing’s 787 widebody, the jets will also start flying from Newark to San Francisco on Feb. 14.

Seating 318 passengers, the 787-10s include 44 lie-flat business-class seats and 21 of United’s new “Premium Plus” recliner seats that split the difference between business-class and typical coach seating. Also onboard are 54 extra-legroom Premium Economy seats and 199 in standard coach.

Staying There

U.S. News & World Report identified the top business hotels of 2018 in large American cities by considering amenities, reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings.

What follows is a rundown of each of our target California cities, with the nightly rates being what was quoted on Dec. 10, 2018 (meaning current prices may vary).

LOS ANGELES

-The Peninsula Beverly Hills

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Excellent

Nightly rate: $605

Amenities: Business center with a few computers, color printers, executive desks and a fax machine. Six meeting spaces accommodate events of up to 250 people.

-Montage Beverly Hills

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Excellent

Nightly rate: $545

Amenities: 24-hour business center. On-site meeting planners. Variety of rooms, including ballrooms, are configurable to all types and sizes of events.

-The London West Hollywood

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $339

Amenities: Meeting and event coordinators. Media equipment to facilitate audiovisual presentations. 24-hour business center. Access to printers, personal computers and an ATM.

SAN DIEGO

-Hotel del Coronado (Coronado Island)

Stars: 4

Critic rating: Excellent

Nightly rate: $268

Amenities: 47 indoor event venues ranging in size from 300 to 12,500 square feet. Event planners. Full-service FedEx Center with computer workstations with Internet access, fax and copy service, shipping and postal services and more.

-La Valencia Hotel and Spa (La Jolla)

Stars: 4

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $299

Amenities: Four meeting rooms, including a ballroom with a terrace, a boardroom and The Galeria, which can hold up to 40 participants. The Med and Patio Sol can also be booked for many types of meetings.

-Omni San Diego Hotel (Downtown)

Stars: 4

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $144

Amenities: Space for up to 1,200 people. 27,000 square feet of meeting space. Grand Ballroom measures 9,266 square feet.

SAN FRANCISCO

-The Ritz-Carlton

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Excellent

Nightly rate: $359

Amenities: 18 event rooms. Up to 500 attendees can enjoy the ballroom, which can also be divided into four smaller spaces. On-staff event planners.

-The St. Regis

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $356

Amenities: 22,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Board meetings or business receptions for up to 600 attendees can be handled.

-Fairmont

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $195

Amenities: 72,000 square feet and dozens of meeting rooms. Event of any kind for up to 2,300 people can be handled. Sustainable meeting options.

SILICON VALLEY

No U.S. News & World Report data was available for the region, so we turned to Oyster.com (“The Hotel Tell-All”), which boasts of knowing “what business travelers look for in hotels.” Instead of relying on guests and professionals, Oyster reviews properties around the world in person.

-Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto

Stars: 5

Nightly rate: $469

Amenities: 24-hour business center with secretarial services, translation and interpretation services and well-equipped meeting rooms.

-Rosewood San Hill (Menlo Park)

Stars: 5

Critic rating: NA

Nightly rate: $485

Amenities: Rooms have large work desks with several power outlets and comfortable seating. Nearly 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space with high-tech amenities and private dining rooms.

-Aloft Silicon Valley (Newark)

Stars: 4

Critic rating: NA

Nightly rate: $134

Amenities: Comfortable work desks. Quiet area, which is a 20-minute drive away from Palo Alto, the W hotel boasts “a mellow vibe perfect for unwinding after a day of work.”

 


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