March 18, 2015

March 18, 2015
Guide to Having Fun on a Business Trip

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Wednesday and I hope you are having a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear and I are still at home recovering from our recent illness.

Many of us have to take business trips. But what fun can you have after the meetings are done for the day? Traveling for work doesn’t mean you can’t experience everything a city has to offer. Here’s how to get the most out of five major business destinations, including client-worthy restaurants, easy walking tours, and quick escapes when the meetings are over.

China’s sprawling capital can sometimes overwhelm, but there’s deep history and a vibrant contemporary culture if you know where to go.


Rich and crispy-skinned, Peking duck is Beijing’s signature dish. One of the best versions is at Duck de Chine, an industrial-chic space in the energetic Chaoyang district that’s perfect for a lunch meeting.

After dark, head to the 80th floor of the China World Summit Wing hotel to talk strategy at Atmosphere, the city’s highest bar. The views stretch for miles, taking in Tiananmen Square and the mountains beyond.


Context Travel has a three-hour, historian-led walk that lets you squeeze in visits to the Forbidden City’s imperial palaces before any late afternoon meetings.

For a window onto of-the-moment Chinese creativity, turn to the expat American guides at Chart Contemporary, who offer tours of galleries and studios in the 798 Art District.


The Badaling section of the Great Wall is closest to town, but it’s often overcrowded. Instead, head about two hours away to the quieter Jinshanling portion—some parts of which are unrestored—for a hiking day trip with Imperial Tours.

Germany’s efficient financial center has shaken off its boring reputation with a sophisticated mix of boutiques and cocktail dens.


Need to confer with colleagues before the day begins? Leonhard’s, on the top floor of the Galeria Kaufhof department store near the financial district, serves cappuccinos and buttery croissants on an outdoor terrace.

For a cocktail bar that’s upscale (and quiet) enough for entertaining clients, head to either the Parlour or Sullivan, located off pedestrian-only Zeil street.


More than two dozen cultural institutions sit on the Museum Embankment, along the Main River. Our pick: the Städel Museum, for its impressive old masters. Culture Trip can organize a tour through the greatest hits.

Amid the outposts of Cartier, Versace, and Armani on Goethestrasse is the 135-year-old women’s boutique August Pfüller. The institution is a one-stop shop for labels like Proenza Schouler and Thakoon; its nearby kids’ store sells German-made Steiff stuffed animals.


The town of Heidelberg, with its storybook Renaissance castle, is just a 50-minute train ride south from Frankfurt. Don’t miss a stroll along the café-lined Hauptstrasse.

The crown jewel of the United Arab Emirates offers easy access to both beach and desert—ideal for turning that long trip from home into a vacation.


London’s modern-Peruvian hot spot, Coya, opened an outpost at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai. It’s now one of the most sought-after tables in a city known for attention-grabbing restaurants.

How to make the most of a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building? A 9 p.m. reservation to see the observation deck on the 148th floor, then drinks at the buzzy Privé club in the tower’s Armani Hotel. Call it a late-night team building session.


On a day-long desert safari with Gulf Ventures, you’ll traverse sand dunes in a 4 x 4, ride a camel, and sip Arabic coffee in a tented camp.

Skip Dubai’s over-the-top malls and head for Bastakia, a historic neighborhood near Dubai Creek. Those negotiating skills may come in handy at the area’s souk, which sells gold, silver, and spices.


Sandwiched between a white-sand beach and towering mountains, Oman’s Six Senses Zighy Bay is about a two-hour drive from downtown Dubai. There you can go snorkeling, hiking, and sailing on a traditional dhow.

São Paulo
Celebrity chefs, a booming art scene, and a kinetic urban energy: there are plenty of reasons to explore this expansive metropolis.


At Maní, ranked one of the world’s best restaurants and a go-to spot for a deal-making meal, stylish creatives and young finance types linger over dishes like foie gras bonbons and crayfish moqueca (stew).

Keep the evening going at the historic bar Riviera, which was recently revived by star chef Alex Atala. Or sample something from the long list of cachaças, Brazil’s signature sugarcane liquor, at Empório Sagarana, in Vila Madalena—and then pick up a bottle to bring home.


For a morning run, follow in-shape Paulistas to Ibirapuera Park, the city’s version of Central Park. The main loop is about 1½ miles long, and takes you past the Afro Brazil Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. If it’s too far from your hotel, cheat and take a cab.

Need some relief from the chaos? The new Aigai Spa is a high-design, hydrotherapy-focused retreat with only four treatment rooms and a hammam.


It’s a two-hour drive to the Litoral Norte (northern coast), where the laid-back surfer vibe makes it easy to unwind. Stay at the 15-room Nau Royal, a chic pousada-style inn just feet from the shore.

Las Vegas
There’s more to Sin City than casinos and showbiz—not that there’s anything wrong with a little strategically timed indulgence.


Ante up for a dinner at Mix at the Delano, where chef Alain Ducasse’s menu has expense-account-worthy items like filet mignon with foie gras and black-truffle sauce.

If you want to take things down a notch, try heading north of the Strip, where the bars are more Brooklyn than Vegas. One of the best: Scullery, a light-filled spot serving digestif-based cocktails and charcuterie platters.


Have a short window between meetings? The 50-minute hammam ritual at the desert-inspired Sahra Spa in the Cosmopolitan blends a hydrating scrub, detoxifying steam, and some much-needed alone time.

The flashing lights have long since gone out, but the roughly 150 signs at the Neon Museum’s Neon Boneyard still offer a glimpse into Vegas’s past. They’re accessible only via an hour-long guided tour.


Sundance Helicopters gets you to the Grand Canyon and back in 3½ hours. The picnic tour includes a flight over the Hoover Dam, the Mojave Desert, and Lake Mead—and a champagne lunch 3,200 feet below the canyon’s rim.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Wednesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab