Comfort Inn O’Hare Boardroom Suite Goes Viral

Filed Under: Hotels

There is a funny travel Tweet from over the weekend going viral. Twitter user @eoincarrigan was put up at the Comfort Inn O’Hare after a flight cancelation, and was assigned a “boardroom suite.” That’s a cool name, but the picture of the room is priceless.

HOW IS THAT SUITE REAL?! To be honest, when I saw it I almost thought it had to be a joke, or photoshop, or something.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some hotels out there that have suites with large tables that could be used for meetings. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen a suite with a conference table just immediately next to the bed.

Looking at the room types at this hotel, this does in fact seem to be real. Most rooms here go for under $100 per night (even a suite for tonight retails for $108).

But then the hotel has a presidential suite and a one bedroom conference suite, both priced at $949. Conveniently the boardroom suite doesn’t have a picture on the website, and for that matter, based on the above picture there’s nothing about this that looks like a “one bedroom” suite, as the room description suggests.

In general I can’t help but wonder what market they’re going after with either of these suites:

  • Who is paying $1,000 per night for a presidential suite at a Comfort Inn by an airport?
  • Who is going to pay over 10x the rate of a standard room for a room where they just stick a conference table right next to a bed? Wouldn’t you rather get a standard room and then rent conference space, which would still likely end up being less expensive? Or heck, go to an office supply store and by a conference table and stick it in your room (which is basically what they did here), and you’ll likely still come out ahead…

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard after seeing a picture of a suite, so thanks to @eoincarrigan and the Comfort Inn O’Hare for that!

(Tip of the hat to @SvelteRoosevelt)

  1. I’m surprised there’s still a bed in the room, or the staff don’t offer to remove it. The TPA airport Marriott has a hospitality suite room type which has ample room for folks to meet and one king Murphy bed.

    Why would you want a room that’s explicitly for meeting or a room with no bed? The annual national convention for hiring economics faculty is one example. Here, hotel-room interviews are extremely common (we’re all traveling, we need a private place to talk for an hour, let’s go do a bunch of interviews). Hotel rooms are cheaper to rent than office space sometimes and have better privacy and amenities. And removing the bed or at least making the space explicitly professional reduces the discomfort that young faculty candidates report feeling when they walk into a room for a solo interview with a hiring representative of the opposite gender and see a bed.

  2. I stayed in a similar room at a DoubleTree in downtown Chicago. Difference was that the queen bed was actually a Murphy bed (thankfully, it was already down and set when I checked in). That way if you do have a meeting in there, you can put the bed away so it isn’t as awkward. Plus it expands the living area as there were a few couches and chairs.

  3. I stayed in a similar sort of room in a DoubleTree in Boston. It was slightly better in that it was the typical DoubleTree “suite” with the bedroom separated from the “living room” by a door, and instead of the living room, there was a conference table. I got a pretty big kick out of it. I understand that particular DoubleTree actually has (or had, it’s been a few years) a contract with an adjacent biotech company where they have those rooms permanently reserved and bookable for meetings, with the company giving them back to DoubleTree during periods of high occupancy.

  4. I’ve been in a lot of meetings held at mid/high-end hotels during conferences (Loews, Intercontinental, etc.). When they have a few dozen ~10-person meetings going on at the same time, they shove the bed back in a corner and put a table wherever it fits. Very uncomfortable and awkward… I’ve never understood whose choice that is.

  5. I had a conference table with white board in my room at an Embassy Suites in Denver (Stapleton). It was cool.

  6. Back in the day, I was working for an architectural company proposing designs for Hyatt in Chicago. My room was a Boardroom with a pull-out sofa. There were maybe 30 chairs, a massive boardroom table and a sitting area with a sofa that pulled-out. I imagine it was made for me when I arrived- but the chairs, I remembered, were all over the place- as if a massive meeting had just finished and no one organized the chairs afterward. This was before Instagram/FB etc. It was free company expense, so I just rolled with it.

  7. So the reason for the crazy price is actually to probably prevent someone from booking it. Keeping it open allows you to sell the room as meeting space during the day, then when the meeting is over resell it as a bedroom. This lets you get revenue for the same room twice in one day. If someone is willing to book it for a crazy price then it is enough to forego the double revenue you’d be able to get otherwise

  8. Conference rooms can be quite expensive – so I think by booking such a room you may save some money… Buy one, get two! 😀

  9. At the Scandic Hotel Kramer in Malmo, Sweden — the city’s grand hotel at one point — I once had a large/upgraded hotel room that had a standard bed in an alcove right next to a big conference table. Not sure if it was at one point meant to be a so-called parlor suite or not, but this kind of room arrangement has some equivalents outside of the US too.

  10. stayed in a lot of these over the years, normally with a Murphy bed, and always when a flight is cancelled and it’s the last available room.

  11. You are all missing the point.

    It is not uncommon to have boardroom/workspace in hotel bedrooms. It’s the price of almost $1000 for this room that makes it weird. I’ve seen hotel suites with few bedrooms and a common area meeting room. A consultant team favorite.

  12. The Sheraton Gateway LAX has some suites with massive lounge areas and conference tables. I would always get upgraded. Sometimes it was nice to have all the extra table space to work or fold clothing.

    I could see if the bedroom and bathrooms were partitioned off as separate rooms with doors, but it’s one big space. It seems impractical to both stay there and hold meetings there. How does that work with house keeping?

  13. The Sheraton Catania has one of these! It’s the Four Points now, but I got “upgraded” to the Presidential suite. Huge conference table, but not even a real bed, we got a sofa bed! haha

  14. Could make for some interesting reviews if you specifically request odd rooms at hotels. Some chains give more freedom amd it can be interesting. Like the Fantasy Suites at the Best Western FireSide Inn in Kingston with their Hot Air Balloon Room or Space Ship Room.

  15. Consider that this may be a dual purpose room. Because the flights were cancelled they used it as a bedroom but perhaps people rent it as a meeting room as well. As others mentioned, for some purposes it may be useful and economic to use as a meeting room.

    Reading this article reminded me that at some hotels in China they converted a couple of the hotel rooms for companies to use as offices. I personally found this kind of weird because there were still some guest room elements at their office and I wondered how much they were paying for such. On the other hand, they probably had a relatively long commitment because of the redecoration and other factors.

  16. When you’re interviewing for high-level positions, it raises too many red flags to fly the candidate to your HQ. So you send your committee out on a bizjet. Typically, the interview takes place in the home airport of the candidate. But with megacorps such as there are in Chicago, an exec can easily be spotted at the airport. At the Comfort Inn, however, the only folks from corporate that see this will be engaged in their own mergers and acquisitions, if you catch my drift.

  17. I’m not sure why this is surprising? I travel for work as a consultant and have seen this multiple times during my travels. For example, the Hyatt Regency St. Louis has suites/rooms like this. Albeit, it’s not available in 95% of hotels, so the average tourist/traveler probably would never notice that these are a “thing.”

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