The first time I met Vera Sweeney was back in 2009 at a mom blogging conference in Orlando. We happened to sit right next to each other during a session and within an hour we had laid out an idea for a business opportunity. We actually left that very conference with a plan in place and a friendship in the works! The rest (as they say) is history. We have been business partners for the last 10 years, have 3 businesses together and are each other’s best friend.
One of the most common questions we get asked is, “How do you run businesses together when you don’t live near each other?” This has been the biggest hurdle of our business relationship because in all honesty, the phone and video conference can only go so far. We’re about 3 1/2 hours from each other – she’s in New York and I’m in Rhode Island – so we’ve had to figure out a way to meet up (at the very least) once a month with each other in person.
About 2 years ago we decided to just pick a destination to drive to so we can meet up and then we literally set up “shop” at a hotel for 2-3 days. We get more done in these days then we would normally get done in a 40 hour regular work week. We shoot videos. We record podcasts. We do photo shoots. We brainstorm for hours. We craft social content. And you know what else we do? Have fun together!
Comfort Hotels is a hotel chain that we’ve depended on throughout the years to be a home away from home for us. Comfort Hotels brings work families together comfortably and this (for us) is the goal and exactly what we need. I’ve learned throughout the years working side by side with Vera that strong relationships with co-workers are key to professional growth and fulfillment at every career stage. We literally started out together with nothing and just continued to grow our businesses together with dedication and drive. I love that Comfort Hotels believes that work families are important and that they help business travel strengthen work relationships with all that they offer.
I always joke with Vera that she’s my work wife. We literally know each other inside and out at this point in our lives. A recent survey among business travelers from Comfort Hotels found that 90% of respondents have “work families” – close relationships with colleagues – and attribute that to a happier and more fulfilling professional life. Nearly all people (92%) agree that they get to know their colleagues on a more personal level when they travel together. It’s also important to note and share that a work family doesn’t have to be big. Close to 90% of Americans surveyed find their job is more fulfilling if they have a close relationship with even one colleague. Vera is my one.
We recently just traveled to Hershey, PA together for a work trip and stayed at Comfort Hotels. We’ve easily discovered throughout the years that the right hotel helps facilitate work relationships even better. You want to feel comfortable and at ease at home. Comfort Hotels provides a warm and welcoming guest experience to help you with your travel purpose, no matter what your business is, with refreshed open lobbies, transformed guest rooms, and modern amenities that are perfect for business travel.
If you haven’t stayed at one of the Comfort brands lately, you have to add it to you business travel list of things to do. The Comfort brands have undergone an incredible transformation in the past few years to deliver a more modern guest experience. I know this is important to many business travelers and they’ve gone above and beyond. The brand even recently unveiled a new logo to signify the brand’s refreshed look and feel in the guest rooms and lobbies. You feel it and see the modern look immediately. Guests who see the new sign on the outside of Comfort hotels will know there’s something new on the inside.
Now when we travel together, there are a few things we definitely need to make our business and personal travel as best as can be and comfortable for us.
First – we need Wi-Fi to run our business. We’re shooting live streams when we’re together and we need to make sure we have a solid, strong connection, which it has always been for us at Comfort Hotels. The Wi-Fi is also free, which is a added bonus. They give you a passcode when you arrive and you’ve able to use it for the extend of your stay. Double thumb’s up for business travel needs.
There’s a fitness gym and (depending on location) pool on location. I’m someone who loves and needs to workout when I’m away for work. Working out to me feeds my brain and my soul never mind my body! I love being able to have easy access to a fitness center that has free weights, workout bike, treadmill and more. It’s a great way to kick off your day or end your day, whichever you prefer!
When you wake up in the morning, you’re greeted downstairs with a healthy and hearty yummy breakfast that’s complimentary! We’re all about the bacon and eggs and that’s exactly what you get! There’s also delicious coffee and teas and chilled juices available, too. I personally love this added complimentary touch because it kicks off your day with some yummy fuel.
Also a fantastic added touch for all business travelers is Comfort Hotels business center. If you need access to a computer, printer or fax, they’ve got it for you! While we were there, I needed to print out some documents for a client and I was able to quickly and effortlessly pop down to the business center and print out what I needed for no charge. I loved it because it was something that I really needed to get done and I was able to do it in a snap!
What I really appreciate above all is the comfort level. I thoroughly enjoy a refreshing and productive stay while at Comfort Hotels because I do feel the extra comfort level. The upgraded guest rooms are huge for your guest experience. You feel like you’re actually able to spread out and not feel squished in. The beds are INCREDIBLY soft and delicious! I even love to work in the beds because that’s how cozy they are to be in!
Comfort really is committed to helping guests feel refreshed and ready to take on the day, whether they are traveling for business or leisure. With over 1,600 properties located across the U.S. and 2,100 worldwide, the brand continues to expand in the U.S. with more than 60 Comfort hotels expected to open in 2019 in major markets, such as Nashville, Tenn.; Pittsburgh; San Antonio; San Diego; and most recently in Long Island City, N.Y. and Brooklyn, N.Y.
Comfort hotels also feature a great loyalty program in Choice Privileges®. The free membership offers fast rewards, including bonus points, airline miles, gift cards for premium coffee, and shared ride credits through the Your Extras program. When booking direct at ChoiceHotels.com or on Choice’s mobile app, members get the lowest price, guaranteed through the exclusive Member Rate and have access to a variety of exclusive deals all year long.
There’s also something EXTRA SPECIAL I want to share with you!!
You could WIN AN ENTIRE HOTEL FOR A WORK FAMILY TRIP!!
That’s right – Comfort Hotels Ultimate Work Family Trip launches today (June 18) at ComfortWorkFamilies.com, offering an incredible opportunity to win an ENTIRE Comfort Hotel for a weekend. Imagine the ultimate work family vacation, bringing together your work – and real – families to connect, re-connect, and create memories.
To enter, tell Comfort Hotels why you deserve a work family vacation! You can go to ComfortWorkFamilies.com or on social by tagging @ChoiceHotels and using #workfamilytrip on Twitter and Instagram, or visit the Choice Hotels Facebook page.
*Entries will be accepted through August 13th. The winner’s trip will take place in 2020.
Disclosure: Sponsored post and partnership with Comfort Hotels. All opinions are 100% my own.