magazine | Travel | Destination Guides

How to (B)leisure Travel in 15 Beautiful Locations Around the World

photo: The Venue Report
For many of us on that #workgrind, high-flying business travel isn’t simply once in a blue moon occasion but it’s a bi-monthly affair which can mean logging lots of miles in some pretty luxe locales… you never end up seeing. While it’s a rare few who can balance a business trip to the boardroom and time at the beach, more and more business travelers are extending their trips through the weekend (while taking advantage of corporate rates, no less) to finally experience these mythical cities they frequent. 

Here's 15 of the top destinations for business travel around the world, ensuring your next work gathering away is as bucket-list worthy (for both business and leisure) as it is big-league professional."

Reporter: Katie Bush
Photo: Ken Fulk
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San Francisco | Stay at: The Battery learn more

For a progressive city that regularly hosts both technology giants from Silicon Valley and haute cuisine cannabis dinner parties, thinking outside the proverbial corporate box should be a snap. Perfect for conducting business and luxuriating in leisure, book at The Battery, a private SF social club touted as an intersection of hand-crafted cocktails, traditional architecture and a touch of the bizarre.
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Photo: Sean Santiago
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NYC | Dine at: Cook Space learn more

Amid Broadway shows and the Brooklyn beat, when you have 24 hours for leisure, swap your traditional steakhouse or overpriced sushi for a spot at Cook Space, an immersive cooking experience. You'll be guided through creating your meal and at the end, sit and enjoy the fruits of your labor with your new cooking pals. 
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Photo:Crosby Street Hotel
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$775 avg. room rate
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NYC | Stay at: Crosby Street Hotel learn more

The Big Apple and Big Business have become almost synonymous, with NYC housing financial institutions, media corporations, fashion, journalism and some of the most influential communications agencies in the country. Post up at The Crosby Street Hotel, where history meets high design and sip a hand-crafted coffee in a Parisian-syle garden illuminated by gas lamps.
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Photo:Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
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Las Vegas

Nevada
While the old adage, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is alive and well, for the working professional it’s paramount to find elegance amid the energy of the neon lights. For a truly bucket-list b(leisure) experience, stay at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, the only Forbes Five Star hotel on the Strip and one of fourteen in the world to receive this honor. This means you’ll enjoy a calming tea ritual upon arrival and glittering views of the Strip from your room. For a little after-hours fun, head to the Cosmopolitan’s modern supper club: Rose. Rabbit. Lie. and enjoy “spontaneous live entertainment” like the Vegas of yore with classic American dishes reinvented.
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San Diego | Get Drinks at: Fairweather learn more

Known as the “Silicon Valley of Southern California” increasing amounts of technology and start-up companies are settling in next to palm trees and ocean breezes. After a day of meetings, unwind at one of San Diego’s hidden gems, Fairweather, a secret tiki bar above restaurant/deli Rare Form, overlooking famed Petco Park.
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Photo:The Venue Report
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San Diego | Stay at: The Pearl Hotel learn more

While downtown San Diego may have the lock on luxury hotels, book a room at beautiful boutique, The Pearl, retro-hip and intimate where in the summer you’ll sit poolside with gourmet snacks for the weekly “dive-in theater.”
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Photo: Gianny Campos
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$236 avg. room rate
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Miami | Stay at: The Raleigh learn more

Besides hosting what is arguably the most important American art gathering in the country, Art Basel, Miami is a hub for international business. For those with a bigger expense account, stay at The Raleigh, a bastion of glitz and glamour in an art deco style.
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Photo: Anna Cook
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$33 avg. room rate
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Miami | Stay + Dine at: Freehand Miami learn more

For a more progressive, under-the-radar few days of leisure that won’t break the bank, try the ultra-hip Freehand Miami - a former Indian Casino turned sophisticated “posh-tel.” Commune under the stars in the lush backyard, where produce for the onsite restaurant, 27 Restaurant is grown and permeates the air with the type of freshness found far, far outside the city limits.
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Photo:Chicago Athletic Association Hotel
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$269 avg. room rate
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Chicago | Stay at: Chicago Athletic Association Hotel learn more

This Midwest hub is home to tech, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and a well-established media industry. After a serious summit in the Second City, hole up at the indomitably hip Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, Recently refurbished, it’s been hosting movers and shakers for over a century, with much of the original architecture intact.
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Chicago | Visit: Green Mill

Chicago, Illinois
For another dose of classic Second City, head to legendary speakeasy, Green Mill, where Al Capone frequented during his reign of the Windy City.  Make sure and reserve the Capone booth, “where the kingpin himself could see every door in case of a raid, and enjoy an unbelievable cocktail and unstoppable band.”
Photo: Anna Meyer
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$149 avg. room rate
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DC | Stay at: The LINE DC learn more

While always controversial regardless of political preference or party line, it’s no surprise the capital of the United States made the cut for corporate enterprising. Shake off your corporate persona and stay at The Line DC, embodying a DC for the dreamers, the doers and the do-gooders. The Line is set in a 110-year-old church in Adams Morgan, DC’s only 24-hour neighborhood with live music seven nights a week, 3 restaurants, 2 bars, a coffee shop, grand ballroom and a live broadcasting radio station.
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Photo:Sketch
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London | Visit: Sketch learn more

London has always been one of the globe’s most affluent cities — and as Europe’s financial epicenter, it’s one of the most traveled-to destinations for business dealings in the world. There’s no lack of seriously cool or historically traditional places to take a few days post-business, but we’re partial to Sketch, a destination for foodies, artistes and music lovers alike.
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Photo:Atlantic Farm
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United Kingdom | Stay at: Atlantic Farm learn more

For the adventurous types with perhaps a bit more than 24 hours of time, drive right outside the city (and the box) and book Atlantic Farm, featuring gorgeous “glampods” and a treehouse on 25 acres of farmland with alpacas, peacocks and a BBQ hut.
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Photo:Ritz Paris
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$1,401 avg. room rate
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Paris | Stay at: Ritz Paris learn more

Paris is always a good idea, whether for business or leisure. Paris has one of the globe’s highest concentrations of corporations, including oil companies and investment banks as well as a dazzling array of cobblestone streets and dreamy markets to get lost in. But if we’re talking bucket list “b-leisure,” is there anything comparable to the newly refurbished Ritz Paris? Mais non. Besides housing the famous Ritz Bar, it’s also home to the only Chanel spa in the world.
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Toronto | Stay at: The Drake Hotel learn more

Canada’s biggest city is a center for financial services and manufacturing; but also a hotbed for a hip revitalization, which means a stay at The Drake Hotel. From live music to great food, art exhibits and nineteen unique hotel rooms, it's the perfect place for a perfectly cool extension of your business stay. Hop on over to Drake One Fifty, a concept restaurant, bar, retail and art space. Think award-winning cocktails and performance art paired with classic dishes with inventive twists.
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Photo:Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa
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UAE | Stay at: Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa learn more

Dubai is one of the world's most popular business hubs with more than half of the biggest global conglomerates operating offices in the city. But what if you could book a bucket list few days just outside the heartbeat of the city at a luxurious Bedouin encampment in the desert? Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, offers luxury accommodations with once-in-a-lifetime dining in the dunes set amid the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
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Shanghai

China
While Hong Kong may hold the current, reigning title of Chinese global business powerhouse, beautiful little brother, Shanghai, is hot on it’s heels in the tech industry. Imagine exploring China as a backdrop to your business life? “Jungle temples, river adventures, intricate alleyways, fantastical mountain ranges, and good eats await any visitor who decides to take in a fair share of Chinese sights, culture, and cuisine. It’s no easy task, but the trek is undeniably worth it.” Check out our Guide to China courtesy of Fiona Caroline and navigate what is undeniably both a city and a country, unequivocally bleisure bucket list worthy.
Photo: maeandmany
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$211 avg. room rate
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Amsterdam | Stay at: The Hoxton, Amsterdam learn more

With Britain's vote to leave the European Union, it may give Amsterdam the momentum to become the new center of international finance. Either way, it’s a hub for business travelers and it’s cool canals and cannabis coffeeshops have nurtured a creative and forward-thinking culture. Stay at The Hoxton, the former mayor’s mansion turned sleep/work/eat/play place for some real fun when the work is done.
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Photo: jadeseba
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$209 avg. room rate
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Rio de Janeiro | Stay at: Hotel Santa Teresa learn more

Besides hosting the 2016 Olympics, Rio is also home to one of the modern world’s seven wonders, the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Rio is also Brazil’s premier hub for media, communications and higher education. Santa Teresa is a picturesque and artistic quarter of Rio de Janeiro, with various old mansions from the 18th and 19th century, museums of art and history, plastic artists and painters’ ateliers which makes a stay at Hotel Santa Teresa, a five star former coffee farm all the more fabulous for a few extra days of leisure. Strategically located near the Centro – business and financial city center and just up from Lapa, the sophisticated nightlife of Rio de Janeiro.
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Singapore

This former British colony has developed into a business hub through which some of the world’s largest companies reach across South East Asia. For a free afternoon, go view the Super Tree Grove, The Cloud Forest  and the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay - housed within the world’s largest greenhouse and home to the world’s largest indoor waterfall. If you treasure culture over convenience, a stay in Singapore’s Chinatown at the New Majestic Hotel is a historic and modern ode to the city’s cultural heartbeat. Housed in a traditional conservation shop, the dramatic pool with glass inserts floats above the restaurant.
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