Our sister site, TripAdvisor, has launched a new search tool designed with business travelers in mind. The Business Travel Center uses a Business Popularity Index to rank hotels with amenities business travelers care about most. The search tool also highlights reviews written by business travelers so other business travelers can find reviews from like-minded people.
While this is certainly a nice function for the road warriors among us, it's also a great tool for people just looking for a getaway. So far this year we've seen a sharp drop-off in business travel as companies cut back amidst the ongoing recession, and this has translated into empty rooms at hotels that traditionally cater to the business set. These hotels often find themselves forced to cut prices, meaning deals can be found. Business hotels will also sometimes lower their prices on weekends, meaning leisure travelers can sneak in on the cheap.
To wit: On a recent trip to San Francisco, I snagged a room at Le Meridien, right in the heart of the financial district, for about half the average price. It was a much nicer hotel than I can typically afford, but fit into my budget. Sure, business hotels aren't always located in tourist-friendly destinations (unless you really like visiting giant conference centers or banking institutions) but if you don't mind walking or taking public transport, this is a minor inconvenience.