in reply to
What level of existential comfort do you require?
I have to say I think the word existential is not really used correctly here but here goes - I travel only about 5 - 6 times a year and often I get reimbursed for travel so to go against the grain of my proletarian monk brothers (from the majority of answers anyways) I stay in the nicest damn hotel I can and never in the hotel where the conference is.
I choose W hotels whenever there is one around because they are really fun and nice (Especially the one on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago)... I also like small boutique hotels like the Heathman in Portland..I'm a contractor so we don't take a lot of vacations so I treat myself when I can - cheers!