Whether it’s adding an extra day to a work trip to sample the spa facilities, or inviting family for the weekend to explore the neighborhood, there is a growing trend of mixing business with leisure trips, otherwise known as “bleisure”. Guests want to feel a connection with the local area, whether on holiday or traveling for work. Thus, location is a key consideration in choosing a hotel, both for convenience and to soak up the local culture. With these four Design Hotels™ member properties, guests can be sure they will experience a hotel that not only has rich offerings of art, culture and wellness, but also acts as a gateway to discovering the destination.
True to the hotel’s artistic locality of London’s East End, South Place Hotel is a creative alternative from typical business hotels. La Réserve Genève Hotel and Spa will instantly put to rest a stressful day with it’s idyllic location on Switzerland’s Lake Genève. Providing a central location in the Indonesian capital, Alila Jakarta offers the perfect base to experience the vibrant culture of the area. Business in Gothenburg? The Elite Plaza Hotel provides an inner city haven of elegance and charm. www.designhotels.com/best_of_bleisure
Located between Liverpool Street and Moorgate, South Place Hotel brings together the creative energy of the East End with the buzz of the City. The entire hotel including the quirky meeting rooms – each named after a ficticious spy or secret agent – reflects this creative synergy. The Peel Room for example, lined with silver birch trees is a charming alternative to often drab conference rooms. A handmade table which transforms into a Billiards table, red leather chairs, luxurious fabrics and a selection of contemporary artworks are other notable features which give the spaces at South Place Hotel their unique atmosphere. For those guests who require a quieter place to conduct business, the hotel’s members club, Le Chiffre – named after James Bond’s poker-playing rival in Casino Royale – with its stylish mix of sink-in sofas and armchairs, offers a sanctuary from the city. As do the hotel’s 80 guestrooms, which are fitted with high tech amenities and a spacious work station. When it comes to meeting and greeting South Place Hotel boasts three bars and two noteworthy restaurants. Angler – serving elegant dishes with a focus on British seafood – can be found on the top floor of the hotel with views over London. The roof terrace bar is the perfect setting to toast a business deal with colleagues, and as the sun sets, DJ’s take to the decks and the hotel becomes a hot spot for after-work socializing.
Just three kilometers from Geneva International Airport and within easy reach of the city centre, La Réserve Genève is not only convenient for those traveling on business but, with an award-winning spa, four outstanding restaurants and 10 acres of lake-side parkland, it is the perfect place to relax and unwind as well. The 85 luxurious bedrooms and 17 spacious suites, with deliciously unexpected interiors by Jacques Garcia – reminiscent of an African safari lodge – are all equipped with complimentary WiFi, personalized voicemail and 24hour in-room dining specifically designed for guests burning the midnight oil. If rejuvenation is the name of the game, La Réserve has a 17 treatment room spa complete with an award-winning menu of treatments and programes, a sauna, hammam, indoor pool and fitness room. During the summer months, guests can also beat the traffic and take advantage of the complimentary Venetian water-taxi which shuttles across the lake between the hotel and city center. Dining is another highlight, with a mix of traditional Chinese and seasonally-led French and Mediterranean menus perfect for entertaining clients or enjoying a fun-filled evening meal.
A hip contemporary haven for young urbanites, the Alila Jakarta houses 245 rooms. Based in the Jakarta Business district, it is a one stop destination to combine work with well-being. Mixing steel and Indonesian granite, the hotel has a minimalist design concept and is a welcome retreat from the surrounding hustle and bustle. Ensuring that guests do not shy away from the local history and culture, the views of the surrounding neighborhood, including the Presidential Palace and National Monument, are a constant reminder of where they are. The recent addition of a seventh floor executive lounge – with views over the city skyline – makes the hotel an ideal location for conducting business in the Indonesian capital. To ensure guests allow time for relaxation, the hotel offers a range of leisure activities and spa treatments, which blend ancient Asian healing techniques with age-old beauty recipes and natural ingredients. Business lunches are well catered for, with the choice of four restaurants, offering an eclectic menu from authentic Asian cuisine to cakes, sandwiches and smoothies. The Lobby Lounge, in particular provides the ideal location for relaxed meetings. Large windows with views across the district and lots of natural light are complemented with calming chill-out music, comfortable seating areas and complimentary Wi-Fi. For longer trips, the executive suites, which provide a large space with a workstation, make for a productive stay.
When business in Gothenburg calls, the Elite Plaza Hotel – housed in a century old building – in walking distance to the central train station and exhibition center, is the place to be. The only five star hotel in the city, the interior design features dark wooden paneling, wrought iron details and marble stucco. The 127-rooms are newly renovated by design team Stylt Trampoli. The new interior is contemporary but still has a clear connection to the buildings glamorous past. The Maharajah Hall features a heritage listed ceiling and can be combined with The Maharajah Suite – consisting of a bedroom, two bathrooms and a living room – to create one extensive business and leisure space. The relaxation area features a sauna and gym to help work out the strain of the day. A newly converted penthouse offers larger accommodation in the form of 12 rooms and suites, perfect for business travelers who plan to invite friends or family for a weekend of local culture. The hotel’s restaurant Swea Hof – which has been named among the top 10 restaurants in Sweden – is framed by a glass roof set 20 meters above the diners. Presenting a stylish open kitchen and serving locally sourced ingredients, the restaurant prides itself on seasonal ingredients and innovative fish dishes.