This is Part Two of our ongoing series on some of the features and benefits we’ve enjoyed in great hotels. Over the years we’ve shot on all seven continents and so we’ve compiled quite a long and varied list of our favorite offerings. Part One is here, but these are the next five features that we love.
Number 1: A Kick Ass Restaurant
We often have really long days of shooting and really long nights of social media updates. So while we usually go out to visit local restaurants, we really appreciate the ability to have a nice meal on property. I think every business traveler does. So it is essential that there’s a great restaurant. And a nice bar helps as well.
One of our favorite examples of a hotel with great food and drinks is the Park Hyatt Tokyo. It is the hotel immortalized by Bill Murray in Sofia Coppola’s classic travel flick Lost in Translation. Just watching the movie gives me jet lag. But this hotel has the cure. When we were filming Wine Portfolio we actually didn’t venture out of the hotel any of the nights that we were there. Instead we happily ate at the Japanese or American restaurants and always capped the night off with a drink in the New York Bar. It has a great view of the lights of the Shinjuku area of Tokyo.
Number 2: Electronics
For some productions we write scripts on the road as we shoot. For others we have a very active community that likes updates along the way, but at the very least we’re always busy with email. So we work a lot in our rooms. That means it is nice to be able to relax with some music and so we love the Mandarin Oriental Miami. This room didn’t just have an iPod dock, they had and entire interconnected system where we could play music and movies from our iPod on TV or throughout the entire suite. We were even able to hook up our HD cameras and watch daily rushes. Honorable mention to the small boutique in Greece which had iPod speakers hooked up in the small plunge pool.
Number 3: Products
OK we admit it, after so many years on the road our crews have become spoiled and they insist on quality bath products. We’ve seen some five star resorts offer high end French and Italian beauty brands while others feature their own custom-labelled toiletries. But the award for the best bath products has to go to The Pacuare Jungle Lodge in Costa Rica. This eco-tourist delight packaged their own sustainable, fair trade, biodegradable soaps and shampoos and they were great. All natural and all enjoyable just like the experience.
Number 4: Iron
This may be closely related to Number 3 but an iron is a necessity when you produce a business travel show. Our crews have interviewed Presidents and captains of industry, so they have to look good and there isn’t always time to send out clothes for pressing. That is of course unless you’re in Egypt. The Four Seasons Cairo managed to do laundry in under 1 hour so they get fist place in this category. But any hotel that provides a working iron gets our nod.
Number 5: A Room With A View
We have stayed in some amazing places – with ocean, city, mountain or vineyard views. But the clear winner is Governor’s Camp in the Masai Mara in Kenya. The view from our exquisite luxury tents of the lush natural environment was like a scene from a movie. The camp features colonial-style tents nestled in the bucolic African countryside resplendent with tropical plants and tranquil rivers. The really cool thing about Governor’s Camp is that it is right in the Mara, one of the world’s great national parks. This means animals can wander through the camp at will. Don’t worry the staff are trained to protect the guests but they don’t interfere with the natural experience.
That’s it for part two, but stay tuned and we’ll keep laying out more great features that we’ve enjoyed in hotels. In the meantime, feel free to send us your favorites as well.