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Best upscale hotel value: W Hotels


W Hotels have taken the business travel trend toward boutique hotels and supersized it (some are as big as 700 rooms), but maintained the boutique-style quirks, charms and reasonable prices. Business travelers with a sense of style can't get enough of the W Hotel chain for its hip factor, great locations, luscious beds, contemporary design, trendy lobbies and general buzz.

The first W Hotel opened in New York City in 1998, and the chain has since grown to 20 hotels in major cities in the United States and abroad (W Hotels are now in Mexico City; Montreal; Seoul, Korea; and Sydney, Australia; two more are in the works in China).

The chain combines a keen sense of style and customer pampering with a price that won't blow your budget. Depending on the location and the season, rates range from $159 to $459. All rooms have high-speed internet access and CD players. Bathrooms stock Bliss bath products, cotton terry bathrobes and fluffy towels.

The hotel's full-service meeting facilities are bound to wow attendees. At most W Hotels, the lobby bar area--and sometimes the entire lobby--are filled with guests and locals, eager to see and be seen in such cool surroundings. Guests can earn points in the Starwood Preferred Guest program. For reservations, call (877) W-HOTELS, or see www.whotels.com.

CHRIS MCGINNIS is Entrepreneur's "Biz Travel" columnist.

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