The Five Best Places To Mix Business With Pleasure In 2015

29 November 2014

We’ve all been in an airport lounge, flicking through a magazine at a leisurely pace when we look across and catch a corporate traveller on the phone, tablet and laptop simultaneously, trying to meet a deadline before boarding.

It’s a brave new world for business travel these days with wifi, mobile and wearable technology taking the workplace global and making it easy to plan a work-play vacay.

So where should you consider jetting off to in 2015?

 The Shard lights up London's skyline

London

London welcomed a record 16.8 million visitors last year, a million up on the year before. 7.95 million were business travellers. From sporting events like the Rugby World Cup and the Tour de France to culture coups like the upcoming Rembrandt exhibition at the National Gallery, the capital’s 2015 calendar is chock full of events to entertain clients while they entertain your next big idea.

The Shard is where you’ll want to check in. Situated in central London, the architecturally striking structure soars to almost 310 metres. A true vertical city, its elegant glass walls house the Shangri-La Hotel, offices, restaurants, bars and high-end shops the likes of Tiffany and Co.

Take in the sights during a morning workout on the 52nd floor gym and Skypool with their breathtaking views of St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Westminster.

As the sun goes down sip on cocktails and savour British food with a modern twist at Aqua Shard and be dazzled by the London light show.

 Soak up the sun and city views at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel

Singapore

Singapore has long been a bright star when it comes to Asia’s corporate destinations. 20% of visitors touch down on business and the country’s tourism board is focused on growing that figure through industry focus weeks, executive education and coaching programs. Their goal is to establish the country “as a choice destination to mix business with pleasure”. There will be ample opportunities to do that next year. With a full schedule of events to celebrate 50 years of independence.

To work, stay and play, book in to the 5-star Marina Bay Sands Hotel. Shop luxury labels from Chanel to Chopard and swim among the clouds in the world’s largest rooftop infinity pool. After you clock off, head to Ku De Ta to treat the team. It’s perched 200 metres high and serves up modern Asian cuisine, cocktails and a 360 degree panoramic view to the Straits of Singapore.

 Cape Grace on the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a perfect office away from home

Cape Town

Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is where you’ll find Cape Grace. The elegant hotel sits in a quiet quay overlooking the yacht marina.

Cape Town is predicted to be the new surfing capital of the world, so you can catch a wave before breakfast and set up an office away from home in the hotel’s Library Terrace (with secretarial services available on request).

Stroll The City Walk (due to be built in 2015) featuring pop up art installations, food carts and cultural information. You won’t miss a beat with free wifi available along the route.

For dinner, take the short 25 minute drive to Silvermist Wine Estate. Sample their organic wines and enjoy the stunning view of the bay, before feasting on Asian-French fusion fare at the world-renowned La Columbe.

 Brazil's financial district is perfect for work and play

São Paulo

Set to become the 6th richest city in the world by 2025, Brazil’s financial capital is also a networking mecca. It hosts, 90,000 events each year, from international summits to the Formula 1.

The chic Hotel Fasano is situated in the beautiful Jardins neighbourhood. The financial district; Avenida Paulista and Avenida Faria Lima is within walking distance, as is the fashionable Rua Oscar Freire. That’s where you can find celebrated Brazilian labels like Osklen and Thais Gusmão.

D.O.M. is also just few blocks away. Named one of the world’s best restaurants for almost a decade, Chef Alex Atala’s menu promises to surprise using ingredients sourced from the Amazon rainforest.

 Stay connected while relaxing in Bali (image courtesy of W Retreat & Spa Bali)

Bali

Bali’s connectivity to buzzing Asian centres like Hong Kong and Jakarta make it the perfect destination for a working weekend away. The current fare war between carriers is great news for travellers. The trend will likely continue with Indonesia forecast to be the 4th fastest growing passenger market in the world by 2034.

W Retreat & Spa is located in Seminyak, close to popular bars and restaurants like La Lucciola and Potato Head Beach Club. But the resort has all the needs and expectations of the corporate traveller covered on site. Group packages include breakfast, bonus Starwood points, wifi, airport transfers and AWAY spa discounts. The fitness centre is open 24 hours a day and even the meeting spaces promise to “WOW”.

Star Fish Bloo provides a relaxed venue for a client brunch. The indulgent buffet features everything from fresh seafood to Asian delicacies and a fully stocked bar. At night, take a pick form the martini menu at Woo Bar and debrief on the deck overlooking the beach or travel 5 minute down the road to savour a famous Ku De Ta sunset.

Skye Gilkeson

I am an award-winning journalist having worked at top Australian media outlets including 60 Minutes and Sunrise. Suffering from an incurable case of wanderlust, I’m happiest on the road, hunting down the true local experience, from food to fashion and hair-raising adventure. As the creator of health, wellness and travel hub, The Fit Traveller, my sneakers are always in my suitcase, ready to find fun ways to stay fit while wandering. Run away with me at www.thefittraveller.com.au