Just Business

For a Business Travel Alternative, Stay in Bed and Breakfast Inns

As a business traveler, looking for the comforts of home while working with clients in small and mid-size cities, I opt for local bed and breakfasts, especially if the destination also happens to be a college town, like Corvallis, Oregon, home of Oregon State University. Typically in these communities there are not enough hotels and cookie cutter mid-range national brands accessible to all pocket books, dependable and efficient but devoid of much charm. Bed and breakfast inns today offer far more than get-away romantic retreats. With the growth of the entrepreneurial "share" culture of HomeAway/VRBO and Airbnb, they must create... Read more →

DC - Hotels for Business Travel, But Away from the Crowd

Everyone wants to be close to clients for quick travel across downtown DC, but I've been trending toward a few hotels - both downtown and on the edges - that stand out for personalized service, often offer more spacious rooms, are usually quieter and still afford easy access to anywhere in the nation's capital. Here's why I recommend The River Inn, Sofitel at Lafayette Square and Ritz Carlton Pentagon City... Read more →

Where Should I Eat in Chicago?

Rohini Dey's story as a former McKinsey and World Bank executive-turned-restaurateur of Vermilion in Chicago and New York showcases how a female entrepreneur can realize her big vision with both smarts and verve. Vermilion melds Indian and Latin culinary worlds - which though worlds apart makes a lot of sense, not only in concept but in experience. Check out the Peninsula Hotel for an elegant evening and the dependable South Water Kitchen. Read more →

What's a Good DC Hotel for Business Travelers?

The River Inn is a longtime stalwart in the Foggy Bottom part of DC, now renovated as a European-style all-suite "luxury boutique hotel." Having been a habitue over the years of the hotel, for all these reasons, along with the comparable price and the quiet townhouse-filled neighborhood, I'd consider it a competitive choice to better-known properties like The Ritz Carlton locations. Read more →

Best Dining Flavors in Corvallis, Oregon

This week Corvallis, Oregon, was ranked the 10th best college town in the U.S. - in good company with Boulder, Ann Arbor, Berkeley and Chapel Hill but each for entirely different reasons. Home to Oregon State University, Corvallis is a naturalist's paradise, so when it comes to dining, you're more likely to find casual vegan and fresh sandwiches than fine dining (if this is your style, check out the Midwest-based Jimmy John's - the "world's greatest gourmet sandwiches" chain right by the campus. Fresh, fast and friendly. For the latter, business travelers seeking casual upscale dining with the best local... Read more →

Party for One - Firebox in Hartford

For women business travelers, it's often a "party of one" - so why not make the best of it? Full and busy day with clients, then off to an enjoyable dinner - a mid-week date night with yourself. Firebox Restaurant in Hartford was the perfect fit. Located south of downtown in Frog Hollow, in the Billings Forge Community Works founded by the Melville Charitable Trust to revitalize the neighborhood, Firebox is an unlikely location for a high-end dining experience. And if you're not a local, you may not think to venture into an urban renewal zone to do just that.... Read more →

What happened to United?

Heard at the airport from yet another frustrated United business flyer: "Where's United? It's now only Continental and United Express!" I couldn't agree more. Skywest, which operates United Express, is a disaster. It's run by children with no customer service skills; it's never on time, badly behind consistently. The United planes that fly coast to coast on routes such as San Francisco to Boston are the oldest most uncomfortable in the sky. So for my New Year's resolution, it's anything but United, despite my years of loyal service and 750K lifetime miles. Trust me, you should do the same. Read more →

The Perfect Bags and Totes - Simplified in a Bag-Crazy World

Apart from the Longchamp "Le Pliage" fashion bag collection, the search for the perfect computer tote, briefcase, and handbag selection for the professional womantraveler reminds me of the Three Bears story -- not to heavy, not too ugly, and, in fact, just right. But what is "just right" in this context? I could hold a profitable yard sale with my closet full of wrong choices. Thankfully women's travel bags have finally become a focal point of the accessories trade and certainly there is no dearth of choices in colors and fabrics this season. Keep in mind these perennial criteria... Read more →

The Ballantyne: A Business Womantraveler's "Me Time"

When you're a business womantraveler on the road with a transition day between meetings, what do you do? Fly back home and start out again before dawn the next morning? Or, take a more creative path - find the nearest lap of luxury and spoil yourself for a day? I chose the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge in Charlotte, N.C. It's tempting to take the easy path - stay on the plane and stick to the routine. Putting together the alternative, the "take care of yourself" option, requires more research, creativity and budget. Read more →