If you're a wealthy, globe-trotting business traveler, which hotel would be your No. 1 pick when mixing business with pleasure?
Would you pick one in indulgent Las Vegas, shopping mecca New York or romantic Paris?
According to dating website MissTravel.com, which pairs wealthy jet-setters with attractive people who can't afford to travel, Dubai's Burj Al Arab hotel is the No. 1 hotel and San Francisco is the No. 1 destination among high-flying travelers who want to bring a romantic companion.
The MissTravel.com website crunched data for the 33,000 members - nearly a tenth of the total - who identify them themselves as business travelers, says Brandon Wade, the site's founder and CEO. More than half of all members (56%) acknowledge using the site to find travel companions for a business trip, company statistics show.
The site asked members what they look for in a hotel when they want to incorporate romance to a trip that might otherwise consist of conference panels and meetings. Members, according to Wade, said they seek hotels with "amazing restaurants, a good location and ambiance that hits that romantic note."
The top 10 list of hotels includes extravagant luxury hotels in far-away cities that most people could only dream about visiting to more affordable city hotels in Miami and Chicago. Two of the 10 hotels, not surprisingly, are in Sin City.
The No. 1 hotel stands out
The soaring Burj Al Arab hotel, one of the world's tallest hotels, is located in a can't-miss landmark tower on the shores of the Arabian Sea.
Guests have access to their own butlers, in addition to many other over-the-top amenities. The hotel, for instance, maintains a fleet of Rolls Royce and Mercedes Benz cars as well as a helicopter that guests can access from the hotel's sky-high helipad (see photo).
The top 10 hotels list:
Burj Al Arab (Dubai)
Mandarin Oriental (San Francisco)
Waldorf Astoria (Orlando)
Trump SoHo (New York)
JW Marriott Marquis (Miami)
Hotel Plaza Athenee (Paris)
Hotel Palomar (Chicago)
The Cosmopolitan (Las Vegas)
The Peninsula (Shanghai)
The Wynn (Las Vegas)
A Las Vegas resident, Wade says he can see why The Cosmopolitan made the cut, given its trendy restaurants and some guest rooms that provide panoramic views of the Bellagio hotel's roaring fountain show. "It screams romance right away," he says.
The top 10 destinations cited by business travelers who use the site:
Rio De Janeiro
Since launching last April, Wade says they've seen an increase in the number of business travelers seeking travel-loving romantic partners.
"When you're single and you're constantly going to conventions and business meetings, casual hook-ups can get old," he says.
The MissTravel.com site has stirred some controversy. In last July's article in USA TODAY headlined, "Are you a hottie? Travel the world for free," my colleague Jayne Clark wrote that "the site has no shortage of critics. Feminists hate it. And some men complain he's making life tough for them by saying they should pick up travel expenses."