THE BEST IN THE BUSINESS
WORK TRIPS SHOULDN’T MEAN CRUMPLED SUITING AND A PER DIEM. PICK THE RIGHT HOTEL AND EVERYTHING ELSE WILL FALL INTO PLACE.
Revealed: the GQ-approved work-trip hotels.
Corporate travel. Two words that can easily meander to mental images of airport hotels and stale sandwiches, coupled with the sneaking suspicion of colleagues and partners that such trips are a bit of a jolly. Sure, there’s times when they can land a little too frequently – as experienced by most professional Australians – but we like to view them as opportunities to embrace new horizons, even if it means another Melbourne jaunt. Be it a South-east Asian presentation or an hour face-to-face in LA, the key to a successful outing – beyond airline class – is staying in a hotel with excellent facilities and a strong location. In the name of business, we travel the world to present GQ’S approved list of hotels that really work. 11 HOWARD, NEW YORK We’re here for the neighbourhood – hey, it’s South of Houston – and the light, Danish charms that are a welcome reprieve in a city that loves a dark hotel. This five-star, 221-room NYC property is located at the crossroads of the Bowery, Chinatown, and Little Italy, and has everything you could want – a co-working space, contemporary French restaurant, Le Coucou, and electric skateboards available to hire should you work in tech (or want to look like a dick). Best yet, a portion of all directly-booked rooms goes to the Global Poverty Project, whose mission is a world without extreme poverty by 2030. 11howard.com PARK HYATT, SYDNEY Because waking up to that view – Circular Quay, the city and the Opera House – is arguably a better boost to work morale than a double shot espresso. Arguably. It has everything you’d expect from one of Sydney’s most prestigious hotels, such as 24-hour butler service, floor-to-ceiling windows, spa and world-class art, but the trick is to wake up early and walk through the Botanic Gardens, the 74 acre park with views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Another Sydney CBD fave comes in the form of the discreet, designer charms of The Establishment with its marble bathtubs, velvet sofas and exposed brick rooms; or The Old Clare, a boutique hotel situated in two heritage-listed buildings complete with restaurants from acclaimed chefs Clayton Wells and Jason Atherton. sydney.park. hyatt.com; merivale.com.au; theoldclarehotel.com.au THE PENINSULA, HONG KONG When asked where you’re staying, you want to reply, “The Pen” – it speaks of style and status, and that’s big in HK. The iconic ’20s property overlooking Victoria Harbour is close to everything, and beyond small talk about the pro-democracy riots, there’s no demand the staff can’t deliver. With a smile. Modernised interiors mean light, teched-up rooms, while the gym and indoor pool boast incredible views of Hong Kong Island as standard (the latter also featuring an outdoor terrace). Oh, then there’s the free international phone calls. Sold. hongkong.peninsula.com CROWN METROPOL, MELBOURNE Nothing else washes away stress like Metropol's infinity pool on the 27th floor, which is heated to exactly 28°C and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows. Afterwards, try Dinner by Heston, which mixes the Michelin-starred Brit chef’s recipes with fresh Australian produce and views over the Yarra River. crownhotels.com.au
DEAN STREET TOWNHOUSE, LONDON
The British capital offers a wealth of choice – the Corinthia, for example, has a refreshingly formal dress code and is located a stone’s throw from Westminster, while Knightsbridge’s Bulgari has superb suites, spa treatments and a pool. Yet Dean Street Townhouse remains our favourite. The Soho location puts it smack bang in the thick of Central London, ensuring almost anywhere in the capital – the best bars, restaurants, sights – is accessible on foot. You’ll also struggle to find more accommodating staff – these guys can organise that dinner reservation to impress a client, have your dry cleaning expedited or sort any request. Try them. And if that’s not enough, breakfasts are brilliant and filling, there’s all-day dining and the wi-fi’s free. While there may not be a gym or spa, you’ll hardly need one – that’s not what work trips to London are about. corinthia. com; bulgarihotels.com; deanstreettownhouse.com
THE VICEROY, CHATEAU MARMONT AND THE RITZ-CARLTON, LOS ANGELES
The City Of Angels is home to Brandon, Brenda, Ponch and Baker (google it, kids) plus nearly every slice of the small screen ever consumed. A sprawling metropolis with bottled traffic, you'll need a well-located hotel to have any chance of getting some work done. And so, when lured by Silicon Beach and the environs of Santa Monica, we head for the coastal charms of The Viceroy, namely for the 24-hour fitness centre, clean rooms and access to a waterside jog to Venice. Meanwhile, business and meetings anywhere near West Hollywood points to (and we’ve said this before) Chateau Marmont because clients will come to you in the courtyard. If you’re downtown – a revamped spot abuzz with more than just finance these days – play it straight with the ever-attentive staff, well-equipped gym and rooftop pool of the towering Ritz-carlton. viceroyhotelsandresorts.com; chateaumarmont.com; ritzcarlton.com
THE PULI HOTEL AND SPA, SHANGHAI
Well-removed from the Bund and its collection of tourists and well-worn properties sits this stunning designer oasis of calm. And in Shanghai, that’s a damn good thing. Make time to take a dip in the 25m infinity pool, which is tiled with slate and teal mosaic and faces Jing’an Park; taste the oysters at chef Michael Wilson’s Michelin-starred French restaurant, Phenix; or sip Champagne in its forest-like garden terrace. And if that’s not enough, each of the 193 rooms and 36 suites boasts a Nespresso machine. Perfect. thepuli.com
RELAIS CHRISTINE, PARIS
Paris hotels are usually hit or miss – either pretentious affairs that play on the city’s romanticism but deliver on claustrophobia, or OTT messes funded by oil money. Not here. Relais Christine is a 16th-century garden oasis that offers the business traveller all that’s needed – free wi-fi, gym, spa, salon and great transport links. There’s no restaurant but, as this is St Germain, use it as an excuse to explore the many fantastic dining options in the area. relais-christine.com