We asked industry thought leaders for their tried-and-true places when traveling the globe for work or fun.
President-Chief Operating Officer
Favorite corner of the world for work: London—it is the most international city in the world, offers great transportation options and is easy to get to from everywhere. The food is outstanding and diverse—you really can get authentic food from any corner of the world. I also find the British sense of humor marries perfectly with my own, so I feel very much at home in London!
My go-to places: For a restaurant it would be Bonnie Gull Seafood Shack. This place started off as a pop-up on Tooley Street and a year later found its permanent digs in West London. It only serves fresh-caught fish from that day.
For amazing coffee served by smart and friendly baristas, I favor Taylor St Baristas on Tooley Street in the heart of the City. Here coffee is an art form but not at all pretentious. The City is a crazy fast-paced place with people speeding around getting from one meeting to another, so this place is great for taking time to enjoy a coffee away from the madness.
Why it's special: London has that great combination of ease and convenience, alongside an amazing melting pot of cultures—spanning people, food and entertainment. From a work perspective, it's convenient to get to and the time zone is perfect as you are able to easily communicate with Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Running a global business and traveling to all corners of the globe, that's really important to me.
Favorite corner of the world for work: Singapore—beautiful, clean and in my opinion the safest city in the world. People are friendly and the vibe in the city is a delightful mix of "getting things done" yet relaxing.
My go-to places:
- Restaurants: Singapore is a food lovers' heaven. I like the Tiffin Room for its lunch buffet—amazing experience with a great ambience that's simple and organized. On the other end of the spectrum, I also enjoy and would recommend Apollo banana Leaf—a spicy, fast-moving, hustle-and-bustle place not for the faint of heart!
- Shops: Orchard Road is a well-known shoppers' paradise, but I like the more refined Marina Bay Sands Mall across from the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. In addition, hawker centers in Singapore are a delight.
- Hotels: Shangri-La Hotel off Orchard, Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons are my favorite hotels in Singapore. Each has a different vibe and yet they are relaxing and luxurious after a hard day's work.
Why it's special: Singapore is a place that is modern yet has old world charm, where people from all over the world work and visit with ease. From the time you land at Changi airport to the ride to your hotel, the entire stay in Singapore is effortless. As I said earlier, it is a city that has a delightful vibe of excitement and relaxation together.
Favorite corner of the world for work: I love to travel and I've had the privilege of living in some amazing places—London, San Francisco, Newport Beach, Buenos Aires and Paris. But my favorite corner of the world is New York. I love this city. There is an energy and urgency here that does not exist anywhere else on Earth. The city represents a cohesion in diversity—not just in demographics, but in thought and culture—that is very special.
Why New York: It aligns with who I am as a person. I strongly believe that you only live life once, so run at it hard and make a difference. New York connects with me professionally as well. I've been described as a "monsoon of a life force" by colleagues. I like to shake things up, transform brands and inspire employees and partners to make a difference. I enjoy bringing disparate pieces and people together to create value and build synergies.
Why it's special: People in New York run at it hard. They are candid because there's no time for sugar-coating when you're busy sweating the details. Half-assed doesn't cut it here. New Yorkers own their stuff. They are resourceful and get things done for the greater good. We are a community like no other. New York forces you to define yourself because there is no one norm. Here, you create your own norm.
Favorite corner of the world for work: I truly love San Diego. Yes, I'm a bit biased because I have spent the majority of my professional career living there, but it truly is an amazing place to live and work. Everyone always speaks to the weather as the reason for its greatness, but I will tell you it's really about the people. There is an incredible calmness to people in San Diego, which translates really well to the work environment as people are less intense, so doing business there is really easy compared to places like New York. Perhaps it's the abundance of parks, beaches and outdoor activities that really contribute to this serenity.
My go-to places: My favorite restaurant is Piatti in La Jolla. It has amazing Italian food and an incredible spicy oil and vinegar bread dipping sauce that is to die for. Since I'm a huge fan of dive bars, my favorite meet-up spot is the Waterfront, which claims to be San Diego's oldest bar. Not sure how true that is, but it sure looks old and run-down!
Why it's special: As an avid runner, San Diego feeds my need to get outside. It has hundreds of running trails, ranging from flat and easy to hilly and challenging. From the beaches on the coast to the mountains inland, there's really something for everyone. Of course, an average of 72 degrees and sunny year-round makes it pretty easy to select any of them regardless of the season.
VP-Global Business Development & Marketing
Favorite corner of the world for work: The majority of my travel is focused on South and Southeast Asia, so Singapore is the perfect hub to work from during long trips. The city-state is a direct flight to the other markets I visit during the week, so I can spend the day in Jakarta and be back in Singapore in time for a late dinner. Singapore's Changi Airport is a model for its efficiency; I've made it from my hotel to sitting on the plane in less than 40 minutes!
My go-to places: Singapore offers rich cultural diversity, which is best exhibited in its cuisine. The Maxwell Road food halls in Chinatown are a great place to stop for a quick meal. Little India offers a diverse range of restaurants—from okra curry to a warm dosa. On weekends, I replace traditional brunch with dim sum. I love staying at boutique hotels, such as Wanderlust or the Club Hotel, because they offer easy access to local neighborhoods.
Why it's special: As someone who travels mainly to emerging markets, I spend many of my travel days in standstill traffic. In Singapore, I can travel almost anywhere in the city in less than 30 minutes. After a long day of meetings, I love to spend time outside. It's easy to run along the MacRitchie Reservoir Loop or spend some time at the Botanic Gardens. On weekends, I have ventured to places like Bali—a short flight from Singapore—to decompress after a long week.
Co-founder and CEO
Favorite corner of the world for work: Paris, France—it has a great work/life balance that enables me to do some of my most creative, meaningful work.
My go-to places:
- Café: Café de Flore
- Hotels: Hôtel Pavillon de la Reine near Place des Vosges and Montalambert in the 7th
- Restaurants: Table and Septimes
- Shops: L'Eclaireur (fashion), Maison Bonnet (eyewear), Barthélémy Fromagerie (this place is amazing)
Why it's special: Paris is a modern city built on the foundation of the beauty of France—amazing culture, nightlife, food, infrastructure, public transportation and people from all over the world.