Tacking leisure time onto the end of a work trip is becoming increasingly popular; and when you’re sent to the other side of the world for business, when that city harbours rich cultural experiences worth uncovering, why wouldn’t you want to stay longer? Experience the best of business and leisure travel at these seven cities around the world.
Business-Friendly Hotel: Hotel de Rome, a Rocco Forte Hotel
Often hailed as the start-up capital of Europe, this German city has a knack for attracting both corporate travellers and tourists. The perfect place to blend a bit of business with leisure-focused downtime, Berlin has plenty of reasons to add an extra day or two onto your next work trip. With a cityscape packed to the brim with art and cultural attractions, make sure you get to at least a few of the city’s must-visits: Brandenburg Gate, East Side Gallery, Museum Island, Tiergarten, Checkpoint Charlie and Tempelhof. Then have a go at living like a local and head to the hip district of Kreuzberg for design-led boutiques and trendy food spots. If the weather permits, grab a pint of beer, plate of currywurst, and perch up at one of the many ‘beach-bars’ set along the Spree river.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Business-Friendly Hotel: Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai
In 2013 Dubai implemented Tourism Vision 2020, a strategic plan aiming to increase visitor numbers and double tourism revenue in less than ten years. Now just a few years off, so far, so good. With its central location, a growing hotel sector, plus a number of successful bids to host international business conferences, this multicultural city is fast-becoming a magnet for corporate trips. But equally as promising is Dubai’s leisure appeal, and an extended stay to explore the nation just makes sense. Boasting a portfolio of unique travel experiences and attractions, discover the city from an entirely new angle; ski indoors at the Mall of Emirates, uncover the history of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, or if you’re able to bring the family along, too, there’s Dubai Miracle Garden, kid-friendly theme park IMG Worlds of Adventure, or head to the desert for a quad safari and camel ride.
New York, United States
Business-Friendly Hotel: The Nomad Hotel
New York is one of the top business destinations in the US, and whether you’re there for a fleeting moment or get the opportunity to extend your stay, the city that never sleeps has plenty to explore before, between and after business meetings. Visit all the major city sights like the Flatiron building, High Line, Times Square, Central Park, Top of the Rock and Museum of Modern Art. For those staying a little longer, add an overnight Hamptons or Catskills Mountains trip to the leisurely mix.
San Francisco, United States
Business-Friendly Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton
The technology boom of Silicon Valley has made its way to San Francisco, solidifying the Golden Gate City’s spot as one of the most thriving business cities in the US. Home to a handful of the world’s biggest tech giants–Twitter, Google, SalesForce and Uber, to name a few–the bay area has been welcoming a steady increase of business and leisure visitors year on year. Located at the tip of a peninsula on California’s northern coast, the scenic city has something for outdoor-enthusiasts, architecture-lovers and everyone in between. Head up the Twin Peaks for uninterrupted views over the city; don’t miss a photo-opp with the Victorian houses famously known as the Painted Ladies; try get over to the former Alcatraz prison; and of course, for the wine aficionados, no trip to the region is complete without a visit to the wineries of Napa Valley.
London, United Kingdom
Business-Friendly Hotel: The Beaumont
One of the best-connected European capitals, London is, with good reason, a global hub for business travel. With a plethora of business-friendly hotels, event facilities, efficient transport systems and cultural attractions, the city appeals to the corporate world in more ways than one. Also top on the travel bucket list for many, London is home to some of the most famous sights and attractions in the world. Offering the best of both worlds, business travellers can extend their stay to take in all the wonders of the city. As well as iconic sites like Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, London Eye, Tower of London and the West End, the city has plenty of markets and undiscovered foodie spots to give you a taste of local life. After a few days amongst the city’s hustle and bustle, consider venturing out an hour or two to the Cotswolds for an authentic English countryside experience.
Business-Friendly Hotel: Conservatorium Hotel
Another one of the European market’s big hitters, Amsterdam is Netherland’s financial centre, a hub for start-ups, and home to some of the biggest brand names’ regional headquarters. Thanks in part to a busy calendar of business events, an enticing approach to work-life balance, English-speaking locals, convenient transport connections and more, international business here is booming. But on the other side, it’s a popular tourist destination, making it an easy city to mix business with pleasure. Reasonably compact and easy to navigate, once off the clock, visitors can hire a bike and explore the city’s picturesque canals, buzzing Red Light District, Nine Streets’ boutiques, cafes, restaurants and museums.
Business-Friendly Hotel: Mandarin Oriental
A powerhouse in the world of international travel, Singapore beckons businesses with its strong financial, oil, manufacturing, and tourism industries. Having one of the world’s best airports and airlines probably doesn’t hurt either. Once a city-state slated as boring, the modern-day Singapore has gone beyond the tarmac to keep travellers entertained in between business meetings and conferences. Spanning just 278 square miles in size, the city is home to some of Asia’s best hotels, great shopping, thrilling nightlife, and an internationally-influenced food scene. Next time you’re there on business, set aside a few hours to explore further afield; visit the iconic Botanic Gardens, the hi-tech Gardens by the Bay structures, and Joo Chiat Road: a pastel-hued, historic district.
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