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Some background: I am planning to go to Finland during February / March next year to watch skijumping at the Nordic World Ski Championships. As Lahti (competition venue) will be fully booked with teams / press / etc., I am considering staying in Helsinki and only going to Lahti for the competitions. Looking at booking.com, there are lots of options from cheap to expensive all over the city.

However, I have one very special request: I need a desk. I'm a teacher and while the NWSC takes place during school holidays at my place (lucky me :) ), I won't be able to not work at all during the week I'm planning to stay in Finland; and for several reasons I strongly prefer to work in my hotel room.

Hence my question: Is there a hotel search engine that allows me to specify this search option / filter the results accordingly? I don't want to look at the description / pictures of hundreds of hotels and to find out if a certain hotel room has a desk. I can see that booking.com lists desks in the room description, but unfortunately doesn't allow to filter for it.

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    I understand your need, but most hotels where I've stayed had a desk with a chair. I might be wrong but it would probably be worse if you required a room without a desk. – nsn Oct 13 '16 at 15:52
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    Why don't you just select which hotels seem to be ok and email them asking that? – SJuan76 Oct 13 '16 at 16:06
  • "Is there a hotel search engine that allows me to specify this search option?" NO. "I don't want to look at ... hundreds of hotels " There will be no more than 3 or 4 possibilities. Just email or phone to confirm. 99.9% of hotel rooms do have a desk. – Fattie Oct 13 '16 at 21:12
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    I've never seen a hotel room without a desk in 10 years of traveling the world. I think you'll be ok, but you can always ask ahead of time ... – ell Oct 13 '16 at 22:54
  • I've seen a hotel room without a desk. But it was a really cheap one in Mexico not in a tourist area. – WGroleau Oct 17 '16 at 6:34
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I think your best bets would be:

  • AirBnB (you can search for a place with a place for a laptop, and that means a desk)
  • Searching on Booking.com for apartments instead of plain rooms. The cost is the same, more often than not.

Small notes:

  1. After all my traveling in Europe I've yet to find an hotel which has not a desk

  2. I suggested Booking.com because it is the one I know best. Obviously the same search criteria, when present, is valid for other search engines.

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    "After all my traveling in Europe I've yet to find an hotel which has not a desk": depends on the notion of "desk" (is the top of a cupboard a desk?). I have certainly seen hotels (often cheap, but not always) where the only available desk-like surface wasn't much more better than using the floor or improvising with some solid surface held on your lap. – a3nm Oct 13 '16 at 23:10
  • @a3nm: maybe it's a matter of expectations, or just pretending everything for free. I've always found desks big enough for a notebook and/or taking notes on paper. And honestly pretending more than this from an hotel, maybe booked on some site searching for the best offer, because we want a working place too, it's plainly ridicolous. When I need to work while traveling I search for apartments or for coworking spaces in the city, because it is my job and thus it is important to me and I respect it, the same I respect the need for hotels to earn more money for sq. meter as possible. – motoDrizzt Oct 15 '16 at 9:31
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I'm not aware of any hotel search engines that allow you to search for a desk, or filter on a desk.

However, in my experience most hotel rooms have a desk. (at least in well known brands) I usually stay in hotels from known brands (Marriott, Hilton, Best Western, Choice hotels, Radisson, ...) and have yet to encounter a room without a desk. I have read that Marriott is redesigning some rooms and these would no longer come with a desk, still these are currently rather exceptions.

My strategy would be to search for hotels that fit your other criteria and then contact the hotel to make sure the rooms come with a desk. It would allow you to ask some other details about the desk (ergonomy, ...?) and you could also have the reception make an additional note on your reservation that you absolutely need a well-sized desk as you will be using it multiple hours/day.

I think this strategy gives better guarantees to a proper desk than just relying on search-engines.

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    Your comment about being wary with Marriott is important. I stayed at the Marriott in Sindelfingen / Stuttgart last week, and while there was a desk, it was so small that working on it would be no fun at all. The size is about what you would find in front of you in a lecture auditorium. Enough to put down a book, but terrible if you have several of them and a couple of notebooks. – helm Oct 13 '16 at 19:33

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