When it comes to mingling business with leisure, CEOs often seek destinations that not only foster professional growth but also provide a serene escape from the boardroom chaos. Based on insights from seasoned travelers and entrepreneurs, here are some cities that effortlessly blend business prospects with leisure pursuits, making them ideal for the modern-day executive. These cities offer a spectrum of experiences, from robust business networks and conferences to relaxing retreats amidst natural splendors. They summarize the evolving work culture which embraces a balanced lifestyle, providing an atmosphere for meaningful collaborations while also catering to the refined leisure sensibilities of the corporate individual.
Nadia Podrabinek: Why This Place
Nadia Podrabinek, the founder of Why This Place, is constantly on the quest to unearth places that don’t just serve as a getaway, but also foster a conducive environment for work. With the lines between professional commitments and personal wanderlust blurring, her venture into identifying such places has been timely. Through her explorations, she extends an invitation to others to delve into a lifestyle that mingles work with the joy of discovering new cultures and experiences. Her blog and social media channels are more than just a travelogue; they are a narrative of her encounters and reflections on a life led amidst different cultural settings, shared with the aim of aiding others in finding their perfect blend of work and leisure locales.
For Nadia, Barcelona’s cosmopolitan aura makes it a hub for networking and business meetings, while its architectural marvels like Gaudi’s Sagrada Família offer a historic exploration. Madrid, a financial nucleus, opens doors to potential clients and business endeavors, with art museums like Prado and Reina Sofia providing a cultural retreat. Seville, with its thriving tech industry and charming old town, is a nexus of business and cultural festivities. Nadia suggests choosing the right location to balance work and leisure, and these cities, with their diverse offerings, provide just the mix.
Jan Leuscher: ASMALLWORLD
Jan Luescher serves as the Chief Executive Officer of ASMALLWORLD, a platform that brings together individuals who value international connections and experiences. The service offered by ASMALLWORLD cultivates a community with shared interests and lifestyles, enhancing the global connectivity among its members. Under Jan’s guidance, the platform emphasizes the quality of interactions and opportunities for its members to explore unique destinations worldwide.
In light of blending work and leisure—termed as ‘workation’, Jan Luescher puts forward a thoughtful approach towards choosing the right destination. He advocates for a change of scenery based on one’s usual surroundings; a bustling city for those accustomed to tranquility and vice versa. Specifically, he recommends London for its vast array of upscale accommodations and a rich catalog of events to engage in during downtime. The city’s offerings cater to those on ‘bleisure’ trips, merging the necessities of work with the pleasures of leisure seamlessly. He discourages limiting one’s self to long-term lettings, urging individuals to explore upscale hotels and serviced accommodations that provide a balance between comfort and productivity. Highlighting a few notable examples, Jan mentions the MGM Resorts in Las Vegas with a dedicated remote working program at their Bellagio and ARIA hotels, and the Grand Velas Los Cabos in Mexico, which is recognized for its luxury offerings including expansive suites and private offices.
Jeremy Scott Foster: TravelFreak
Jeremy Scott Foster, a Southern California-based travel enthusiast, blends his love for adventure and remote working through his venture, TravelFreak. He channels his expertise as a gear expert and travel photographer into providing recommendations for a wide audience seeking to explore the world. TravelFreak reflects Jeremy’s travel and adventures, aiming to provide a thorough understanding and insights to readers about various destinations across the globe. Over the years, his explorations have led him to discern places that accommodate both professional and recreational agendas effectively.
With myriad cafes boasting strong Wi-Fi and breathtaking views, Copenhagen offers numerous spots for professional meetings or remote work. The city’s leisure offerings like Tivoli Gardens, Nyhavn Harbor, and the scenic beaches provide a tranquil escape from the professional hustle. Jeremy suggests that visiting Copenhagen during the warmer seasons will allow travelers to enjoy both the business and leisure aspects the city has to offer.
Andrew Meyer: Arbor
Andrew Meyer is a serial entrepreneur in the climate tech sector, with a particular focus on sustainability and cost-effectiveness. His current venture, Arbor, operates as a digital energy advisor, aiming to transition users to more economical and cleaner energy sources. Through Arbor, an attempt is made to simplify the home electrification marketplace by offering personalized recommendations on home energy products based on individual home attributes and energy usage.
According to Andrew, Dallas stands out as a vibrant business hub, hosting a myriad of Fortune 500 companies. Its business allure extends to expansive convention centers like the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Leisure in Dallas is as inviting, with a rich food scene that oscillates from Tex-Mex to fine dining, a pulsing nightlife in Deep Ellum and Uptown Dallas, and a celebration of sports, best manifested in a Dallas Cowboys game. The city also houses luxury hotels such as Omni, The Joule, and The Four Seasons, which provide an opulent retreat post-business engagements. While Dallas’ business scene is magnetic, ensuring a leisurely escape amidst the business bustle is pivotal. The city offers a spectrum of leisure activities ranging from high-end shopping at The Galleria and The NorthPark Center to a serene escapade at White Rock Lake Park. It’s the seamless transition from rigorous business engagements to leisure pursuits that marks Dallas as a desirable destination for the discerning CEO.
Matt Haycox: Entrepreneur
Matt Haycox is an individual with over two decades of experience in entrepreneurship, with involvement in a variety of sectors including luxury fashion, finance, and property. Beyond his business pursuits, Matt extends his reach as a mentor, philanthropist, and podcast host, reflecting a variety of interests. Through his podcast, he engages with an array of topics, contributing to discussions beyond his immediate professional realm.
For Matt, Dubai, with its emblematic skyline, stands as a fulcrum of global business engagements. It’s a city where business magnates converge, thanks to its robust financial hubs and avant-garde conference centers. As the business day winds down, Dubai transitions into a leisure haven, offering pristine beaches, architectural marvels, and elite dining venues. Its allure extends to illustrious beach clubs and rooftop restaurants that not only offer a tranquil escape but also a hub for networking with the business elite. The strategy to optimize business-leisure travel in Dubai pivots around seamless networking. Post-business engagements, an escape to the city’s luxurious amenities not only fosters relaxation but also breeds invaluable business insights and potential partnerships. It’s about optimizing every moment, making casual engagements a pathway to business growth while basking in the city’s luxury.
The accounts from seasoned professionals in this guide indicate how certain cities have navigated the business-leisure dichotomy. It reflects a shifting trend in modern-day travel where work and leisure coexist within a balanced framework. As the global dynamics transition into a phase where the traditional demarcations between work and leisure are being reconsidered, this guide offers an insight into destinations that are adapting to this change. The firsthand narratives by business leaders illustrate a gradual merging of business engagements and leisure pursuits in contemporary travel scenarios