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Hot List: Best Hotel Lobbies for Getting Work Done

The Hoxton Hotel, Brooklyn, NY

The Hoxton’s lobby resembles more of a co-working space than an actual hotel lobby. You will find Brooklyn locals having meetings, typing away on their computers, and grabbing a casual coffee. Choose between plush chairs or formal tables. Outlets are a-plenty and their food is fantastic. 

Photo via The Hoxton

The Four Seasons Hotel, Downtown, Mexico City

One of the more upscale hotels in Mexico City, The Four Seasons has a large lobby that is perfect for plugging away, but we fancy hanging in the bar to get some work done. If you aren’t staying at the hotel, don’t worry about it. Order something to drink and take a seat. It’s definitely somewhere you could spend a few hours.

Photo via The Four Seasons 

Only YOU, Centro, Madrid

One of the trendier boutique hotels in the city, Only YOU has a great lobby that is perfect for a casual meeting or getting some work done on your laptop. Get comfortable on one of the big couches – if the weather is nice, take those emails outside. If you are in Madrid for more formal business, book one of their meeting rooms.

Photo via Only YOU

Six Senses Maxwell, Singapore

Step into this white shuttered boutique hotel, and just past the lobby you’ll enter a classic library- with a twist. Modern Taschen design books can be found next to leather-bound first editions and the seats and tables are plentiful. The iced coffee and EOD cocktails are delicious. Plus, though a WeWork is not too far down the street, it seems that the freelance economy hasn’t yet found this gem – we could take our pick of spots.  We were welcomed by staff, even for just ordering a couple coffees all day long.

Photo via Six Senses

The ACE Hotel, Shoreditch, London

ACE Hotels across the globe have become go-to hangs for the cool kid crowd. Whether you are living in London or just visiting, you could do worse than to set up shop in the lobby. With big communal tables and comfortable seating, you will definitely find others working away too. Directly off the lobby is Bulldog Edition – the ACE’s cafe where you can grab the high powered cold brew and baked good you need to kick off a productive work day. If emails keep you late into the evening, head downstairs to Miranda, the hotel bar, for a cocktail. 

Photo via Rollin Joint

Hot List: Time for a Digital Detox

We are heading into spring, which means that it might be time for that digital detox we talk so much about. The beginning of the new year is usually categorized by gym memberships (that we may or may not use), trading in wine for green juice, and getting serious about workflow. We are all for the hustle, but usually that comes with us being attached to our computers, phones, tablets, etc. Not sure about you, but we could probably use a little device hiatus. Check out our go-to places to disconnect, brought to you by a few of our /Insiders.

Where? Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Says who? Maya Poulton, Safara co-founder and all around boss lady.

Why? Off the northwest tip of West Papua, you will find a collection of 1500 islands that can only be described as idyllic- most don’t even have names. Celebrated for their turquoise waters and thick jungle, these islands are the definition of remote. Raja Ampat is well known for the best diving in the world, due to its myriad coral reefs and remote location, which has prevented human interference (16 hours from Singapore, via 3 flights and 2 boats). You can spy manta rays, sharks, whales, turtles, birds of paradise, and even “salties” (salt water crocs- though we suggest you avoid them). If you are wanting to half-ass your digital detox, we wouldn’t recommend coming here- there is no cell service, and no wifi. It’s paradise.

Where to stay?  Raja Ampat Biodiversity Resort.

Where? Isla Holbox, Mexico

Says who? Bryan Kinkade, Publisher at AFAR Media

Why? Isla Holbox is everything Cancun isn’t, which is why you should come here. This is a car-free island north of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula located on a Nature Reserve. If that doesn’t make you want to power-down and focus on some “you” time – we aren’t sure what will. 

Where to stay? Casas Las Tortugas

Where? Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Says who? Negar Mohammadi, Director of Brand Marketing at Vogue

Why? Don’t expect easy access to WiFi in Santa Teresa. Do expect everything else you should be looking for: amazing beaches, good surf, and great food. Labeled “the next Tulum,” we promise this quaint town isn’t filled with LA style cafes and luxury resorts that the famed Maxican tourist destination is known for. Instead, you’ll find hammocks on the beach and surf boards to rent, fresh coconuts, and a place to truly relax. If you’re looking to meet a few friends and kick your IRL socializing into gear – this is a great option.

Where to stay? Latitude 10

Where? Ile de Re, France

Says who? Marine Tanguy, Founder of MTArt Agency

Why? Famous for its beaches, pine trees, and picturesque dunes – Ile de Re is a perfect place to wind-down in Europe. Off the west coast of France, this charming island is much more “connected” than heading deep into the jungle, but it is a far fling from the bustle and buzz of the Mediterranean towns down south. The towns on the island are extremely laid-back, and offer small cafes with top notch cuisine, expansive beaches, and beautiful walks. Leave your phone behind and try to visit during May or September when you can truly take advantage of the peace and quiet the island has to offer.

Where to stay? Hotel Le Senechal

Where? Providencia, Colombia

Says who? Andrew Barker, Chief Brand Officer at C Magazine

Why? Part of the San Andres Islands, Providencia is closer to Costa Rica and Jamaica than it is to mainland Colombia. This hidden paradise isn’t easy to get to (fly from Cartagena or San Andres, and then ferry or plane to Providencia), but it’s well worth it once you’re there. Because there isn’t a direct flight, far fewer tourists make the trek which gives the island a rugged feel. Most people that go say it’s one of the most beautiful places they’ve ever been. 

Where to stay? Hotel Deep Blue

Pocket Read: The Art of Solo Travel

Traveling alone can be one of the greatest vehicles for self-reflection. Many of us romanticize the idea of sitting on a train, bus, or other various modes of transit, writing in a journal and feeling blissfully content as we stare out the window at a sunset. While Eat, Pray, Love moments may happen for you – don’t be surprised, or upset, if your trip leaves you without complete clarity on sense of self, a lover, a career change, or any other fairly unrealistic revelation. Going into any experience with those types of expectations will almost certainly end in disappointment – especially when the true goal is to let go. With that disclaimer in mind, we haven’t found a better way to get more in touch with ourselves than to strip away the distractions of our everyday life. If you are lucky enough to find the means and the time, traveling alone is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.

In our opinion, you have to get quiet to get loud – meaning tuning out the background noise that comes with day-to-day life and amplifying your own voice. When you’re traveling solo, the internal volume is turned way up. Your thoughts are enunciated clearly, your intentions are spoken loudly, you seem to drop-in to your desires more holistically. It hones in on the voice that harnesses initiative and allows you to feel more confident in making choices. If the energy to dive into a crazy new experience isn’t naturally there, don’t push it because of what you think you should be doing. Genuine motive is key when you’re traveling alone – so make sure that what you’re doing is for yourself. Don’t try to emulate someone that is listening to the music at a completely different volume – the only person that matters in this context is you. What does that really mean? If you are more cautious – don’t go on a solo trek through a remote country in Asia because you saw a post from an influencer on IG. If you are craving complete isolation, don’t hop on board with a travel group in South America because your friend said it was cool.

Once you’ve done that, get ready to manage your expectations. There will be nights when you are dancing on a beach with beautiful strangers – but the three nights before that you found yourself at the same restaurant, re-reading the same chapter in your book over and over. The image that you have sitting in a coffee shop, working on a novel the very first day you land, might actually look like getting lost and taking two hours to figure out a WiFi password. All of it is okay. It’s all part of the process, and you will still find yourself at the coffee shop or on the beach dancing – you’ll just be a better version of yourself when you get there.

There are certain surprises along the way you can’t anticipate. Some are far better than any expectation you could have. Some…aren’t. For example, a monkey stealing your only energy bar when you haven’t eaten in 7 hours may lead you to find the best bowl of phở you’ve ever had. Either way, it’s the unexpected that turn a trip into an experience. Our best advice is to roll with it. Don’t stick to the storyline you have in your head. If you went to “get away” but meet a group of great people at a wine bar – stay a while. If you were hoping to make friends across an ocean, but find yourself deep in your journal – give into that too.

Appreciate the nuances and even the hard moments. Loneliness is super common when we are traveling solo. That doesn’t mean it isn’t for you – and it doesn’t mean it’s bad. In fact, with our hyper-connected world, it can be truly refreshing to feel lonely. A lot of beauty and self-realization comes from loneliness, frustration, and getting lost. We encourage all of those things.  The conversations you have with yourself during these moments are better than any therapy we’ve paid for – because you begin to ask questions to the person who knows you best. And, of course, keep in mind that it’s all momentary. Just remember, the chances of coming home with regret are close to zero but chances of feeling some form of dissatisfaction during the process is probable. 

At the end of the day, the trip is about re-asserting ownership over your own priorities. The experience conforms to you, not the other way around. If you’re feeling too self-involved, it will get you out of your own head and thinking about the world around you. If you’re someone that doesn’t prioritize yourself, it becomes a vehicle to put your own wants first. In that way, the trip takes whatever form you need it to – all you have to do is trust that it will.

If you’re reading this, it means you are interested in flying solo somewhere. Our top piece of advice? Do it. Wherever you are at in your comfort level with traveling sans friends, there is truly a place for everybody. See below for a few thought starters:

For the rationally cautious and curious:

Lisbon, Portugal 

Europe is an easy escape plan for those wanting to test the waters of solo travel. Portugal is perfect for safety, price, and ease. Lisbon is a perfect place to land in for your first solo adventure. The town is walkable but big enough where you can get purposefully lost. There are high-speed trains to Porto or Farro if you want to explore past city lines and jump in the ocean. The food is second to none – and there is an increasing ex-pat community coming from other European counties and the US.

Where we would stay:

Santiago de Alfama

Treat yourself with a room at this 5-star boutique hotel. The 15th-century building has been perfectly preserved but the interiors have been re-done to top-notch quality. Clean whites blend in with the scenery and perfect views of the Almafa neighborhood really do the trick. Audrey’s, the restaurant in the hotel, is actually worth a visit and you will most likely meet other tourists there.

For trading in solo weekends away for a longer trip:

Sacred Valley, Peru

You could really go to Peru as any type of solo traveler – there really is something for everyone in this beautifully diverse country. Though we could talk about Lima, the cities up north, and further south near Arequipa, we are going to recommend the Sacred Valley. Welcoming millions of tourists each year, Cusco is a safe and convenient hub to fly into. From there, we recommend heading into the Sacred Valley. Instead of going straight to Machu Picchu, spend some time in the serene towns of Pisac, Ollantaytambo, and Urubamba. You can take cars or jump in a collectivo which is a shared ride that picks up around town. The towns have yoga studios, healthy eateries, and beautiful hiking. Each has a convenient town center with weekly markets and the necessary amenities but feels far enough away to truly unplug.

Where we would stay:

El Albergue Ollantaytambo Hotel & Restaurant

Though we might opt to spend a bit more time in Pisac, this hotel is too beautiful not to feature. It is perfectly designed with deep woods and clean whites, and the food is fantastic. The property includes an organic farm, a coffee collective, and a school for local children. Make sure to take advantage of the traditional Pachamanca lunch – where the chef will cook your food in volcanic stone buried in the garden.

For the solo traveler that wants to go further:

Mae Hong Son, Thailand 

Close to the tourist town of Pai, Mae Hong Son is a town in northern Thailand that borders Burma. Surrounded by mountains and capturing an idyllic serene lifestyle- this is the perfect place when you’re serious about getting away. Don’t count on cell service, because you most likely won’t have it. WiFi is available in some areas but not all. There are breathtaking hikes to waterfalls, hot springs, and lost caves. It’s also the perfect launch point for exploring Salween National Park and offers the opportunity to camp if that’s your thing. Pang Ung, or Baan Ruam Coffee Village, is also close by. With its gorgeous lake, it’s another great option for camping. 

If the tent game isn’t your thing, here is one of our favorite places to stay nearby:

Fern Resort

This eco-friendly resort is simple but perfect for your time in northern Thailand. Looking out into the mountains, the hotel is made up of 21 bungalows. The property is built on former rice paddies and maintains the same tranquility you would expect. 

Hot List: Hotels to Staycation at this Valentine’s Day

Flowers, chocolates, and cards are all very nice. What’s better? Spending 48 hours under hotel sheets. Whether you are celebrating Valentine’s Day with your partner, riding solo, or with friends this V-Day – take some time to enjoy a romantic staycation. See below for a few of our favorites.

The NoMad New York, NY

There are many places to turn the lights down and get in the mood around NYC, but our pick is the NoMad Hotel. Why? The entire space is designed to feel like a Beaux Arts French apartment – complete with warm leather couches, a bi-level library, and in-room claw-foot tubs. We’d recommend booking an Atelier room for views and a romantic soak. The cocktail program going on at the hotel bar is second-to-none, and, of course, you can’t forget Daniel Humm’s Michelin star restaurant. You won’t have to leave the hotel all weekend.

Photo via the NoMad Hotel

San Francisco Proper Hotel, San Francisco, CA

This design-centric hotel is eclectic in all the right ways. The bright wallpaper perfectly contrasts the modern furniture. We love the rooftop lounge, where you can cozy up with whomever you please around a firepit, cocktail in hand. Proper also boasts one of our favorite hotel lobbies in SF. Perfect for morning coffee and getting work out of the way, so that you can focus on what matters.

Henrietta Hotel, London, UK

This boutique hotel is covered in warm pink and blue hues, warm velvet textures, and beautiful Italian furniture. If that doesn’t sound romantic enough, their beautiful bar stays open until 1am for out-of-room romance. If you are trying to stay in a robe and under the sheets all weekend – not a problem. The food and room service is top notch.

Photo via the Henrietta Hotel

CPH Living, Copenhagen, Denmark

If you consider boats and the whole maritime thing to be romantic, then this is your place. CPH is a floating hotel in the Christianshavn area of Copenhagen. Wake up to the sound of birds, waves, and take your morning coffee on-deck. The rooms are designed in typical Scandinavian fashion, but the simplicity is what is so romantic about the place to begin with. Take a drink at their bar, which has floor to ceiling windows looking out onto the water. If you’re wanting a unique take on a staycation – this is your bet.

Le Pigalle, Paris, France

Is there anywhere more perfect for a romantic staycation than Paris? This sexy Parisian hotel is everything you want when it comes to slipping into something a little more comfortable for VDay. In-room bathtubs, view of the city, beautiful linens, and eclectic artwork all add to the vibe of this place. Open your floor length windows to let in some fresh air in the AM, and head down to the ground floor in the PM for strong drinks and great DJs.

Photo  via Le Pigalle 

Faena, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The design of this hotel is truly theatrical. Bright reds, deep blacks, and warm leather are seen in each room. The beds look out onto amazing views of the city, but if you need some time outside the room they have tango lessons downstairs and a first class spa. On the warmer days, enjoy the rooftop pool and sunset cocktails.

Hot List: Easy Weekend Getaways for You and Yours

Planning a trip with your significant other doesn’t need to be a six-act play. We’ve rounded up some easy weekend getaway options, close to our top city hubs, for you and your partner – or simply for some much-needed self-care.

New York, NY > Cold Springs, NY

This small town along the Hudson River is much closer than Woodstock or Hudson itself. About an hour and a half outside the city (we are being generous, considering traffic), Cold Springs sits on the west side of the river in Putnam County. No car? Hop on the Metro North and you can be in the center of town in no time.

If you’re itching to get your outdoor fix, head to Breakneck Ridge which is a popular hike in the area. If that’s not your thing, there are tons of little shops that line the main street in Cold Spring – from antique stores to curated boutiques like Old Souls. If you’re really looking to relax, stop in at Cold Spring Apothecary for a massage or facial, and pick up some of their house-made goods to take home with you.

A few cute inns line the town, such as Pig Hill Inn or Hudson House Inn. If you want something a little more chic, head north 15 minutes to Beacon and stay at the Roundhouse. That way, you can go to Dia:Beacon, one of our favorite out of town art museums, the next morning before making your way back to the city.

Los Angeles, CA > Ojai, CA

Only about an hour and a half north of LA, Ojai has been an increasingly popular getaway for those seeking a mental break from city life.  Though locals know it has been a hilltop paradise forever, its OG wellness culture, art scene, spiritual relevance, and beautiful outdoors have put it on the map for everyone from the Goop crowd to young families stopping in mid road trip. Mission-style architecture, beautiful gardens, and the general aroma of herbs that spreads through the town put us in the mood for romance right off the bat.

Check into the famous Ojai Valley Inn or, for a cheaper option, the Ojai Rancho Inn. If lounging by the pool and taking in the rays doesn’t take up your entire day, check out the incredible farmers market in the center of town. Around the area, you will find great shopping, including vintage jewelry at Treasures of Ojai, beautiful home decor at deKor & Co, and trendy boutiques like In the Field – opened by LA transplants selling brands like Ulla Johnson and Filson. Stop into Bart’s Books – an Ojai institution since the 1960s.

Take the outdoors and check out Meditation Mount during sunset, which has sweeping views of the valley. Last Chance Trail is a great option for solo or duo hiking, and working up that sweat before having yourself a spa moment. The spa at Ojai Valley Inn is the lux leisure experience some of us want. If you’re in the mood for experiencing a more authentic or spiritual healing session, check out Soul Body Ojai for a reiki session or guided meditation.

London, UK > Kent, UK

For a nature fix, head out of town to Kent for a romantic weekend or simply some time to disconnect. This coastal town is easy to get to from the London city center (only a little over an hour by train), but feels far away. Walk along the coast at any time of year for a break from the 24/7 worklife.

When you arrive, check in to Shephard House, which is a beautifully redone bed & breakfast. If you decide to splurge on the “very, very large” room, have yourself (and maybe a special someone) a bath to unwind.

As you might have known, oysters are an aphrodisiac and Kent is famous for them. The Whitstable Oyster Company is known for their first class shellfish, and of course, top shelf oysters. Get a glass of champagne and order a dozen, and stay a while.

There are beautiful gardens around the area to explore, and Turner Contemporary is a must visit. Enjoy markets that pop-up year round, and return to the city feeling refreshed.

Mexico City, MX > Cuernavaca, MX

Though we couldn’t imagine running out of things to do in the DF, sometimes a weekend away is just what the doctor ordered for you and yours. Head to the wealthy enclave of Cuernavaca to see colorful, cobblestone streets and beautiful colonial homes. Though it’s mostly made up of second homes, AnticaVilla is a beautiful hotel option if you don’t know anyone that can lend you their mansion.

Known as the city of “eternal spring” you can count on good weather during your visit. This means ample opportunity for exploring sites like the Jardin Borda – a French-inspired mansion with stunning gardens that Mexican aristocracy lived in during the 18th century.

Being that this is a vacation town, you can count on high-end restaurants throughout the main square. La India Bonita is set in a beautiful courtyard and serve excellent Mexican classics, and Casa Hidalgo boasts a perfect terrace for mingling with Mexico City’s well-heeled.

Stockholm, Sweden > Visby, Sweden

For a long weekend, head to the capital of Sweden’s largest island, Gotland. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this medieval town has most of its original architecture intact.  Though we mostly reserve island getaways for the warmer months, Visby is a perfect trip for the romantics that want to warm up by walking down cobblestone streets to cozy restaurants.

The Hotell Villa Borgen is the perfect place to cuddle up underneath the sheets. The Scandinavian design is the perfect mix of warm and minimal. Located in the middle of town, you are steps away from shops and restaurants so you don’t need to spend too much time wondering if the temperatures prove to be too cold.

If you’re going during the warmer months, head to Leva Kungslador for freshly made bread, organic lunch, and a beautiful garden setting. If you need to stay inside, go to Lilla Bjers for an intimate dinner. Everything is made with local ingredients from their farm, and anything that isn’t is sourced by nearby organic farms.

Carry-On: Our Must-Have Wellness Products

Traveling for work or pleasure is a privilege many of us are lucky enough to do on a regular basis. Exploring new cities, establishing global companies, and expanding social networks beyond your home base are all major benefits of the “bleisure” lifestyle. One thing that’s not? Spending hours in a stuffy cabin with circulated air. It’s pretty common for us to step off a plane with a cough, headache, or even just general lethargy. Here are our must-have wellness carry-ons to keep healthy on the go- so that you can enjoy that trip, no matter what it’s for.

SBO Probiotic

Your gut is your second brain. That being the case, it’s super important to make sure everything is running smoothly while you’re on the run. Packing a shelf-stable probiotic can be very helpful when it comes to keeping everything in check.

Wellness Formula

Our favorite go-to for preventing dreaded colds, Wellness Formula, in either drops or capsules, is something we always have on us. Taking it three times a day can hold off any contagion that might come your way. It’s our personal suit of armor while we travel.

Jao Hand Refresher

Keeping your paws clean through airports is a must, but most hand sanitizers aren’t the best for you. This is one of our favorites – it’s made clean, without the chemical BS, and we actually enjoy the smell.

Oil of Oregano

Oil of Oregano is a powerful anti-fungal and immune booster. If taking in liquid form, make sure to take this diluted in water, as it’s extremely strong. For travel purposes, we usually go with the capsules, and they will absolutely kick that cold away.

Swell Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is key to keeping healthy. Packing a water bottle you can refill is a must.

Melatonin

Quality sleep is precious – especially when you are expected to step off the plane and into a meeting. Sleeping pills can be problematic, but melatonin is a natural sleep aid that can help you snooze for the hours between take off and landing. We also suggest stocking up if you’re going to the UK- for some odd reason, it’s not available there.

Magnesium Packets

These individual packets are perfect for travel. Not only is magnesium important for joint and muscle health, but it regulates the gut, can help with sleep cycles, boots immune function, and increases energy production.  A lot of us are magnesium deficient, so these on-the-go packs are something we pack every time.

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