As more and more employees embrace ‘bleisure’ trips, what are the secrets to successful and happy breaks?
Bleisure travel, or adding a side of pleasurable exploration to a work trip, is officially big business. Pre-pandemic, employees had already begun to embrace the trend. As long ago as 2017, Forbes highlighted a movement among millennials to combine adventures with business trips, with employers using these getaways as tantalising incentives.
Post-Covid, the rest of the workforce has cottoned on too. With more flexible working patterns, there’s no reason to hurry straight back to the office and experts believe that around 65 per cent of business travellers now combine necessary trips with time to explore.
Getting the balance right can be tricky, though. Take a loved one along and you may find that you’re looking at a screen more than you’re looking into their eyes. How do you get the most of a dual-purpose trip? Our top tips are below…
1. Ensure you have the right room set up
There’s nothing worse than arriving in your hotel room to find that the desk is crammed into the corner, away from power points or adequate lighting. If you plan to work in your room for extended periods, check the layout before you travel and make sure there are the necessary facilities and adequate wi-fi for conference calls. In the spacious rooms at Brown’s Hotel in London for example, wi-fi is free and there are international power points and USB chargers too.
2. Choose your hotel carefully
Aside from conference and banqueting rooms, make sure your hotel has a place for less formal coffee or lunch meetings. From the grand Opera Court at Berlin’s Hotel de Rome to the intimate Sophia’s Bar at The Charles Hotel in Munich, there’s always a place to suit at Rocco Forte Hotels. And because our outposts are the antidote to corporate chain hotels, there are extra-special venues to try once the hard work is over too. Have a sunset cocktail on the Hotel de Rome’s famed rooftop or settle down to an incredible Italian meal at Sophia’s Restaurant at The Charles.
3. Schedule in down time
If a hectic work schedule doesn’t allow for days off, it’s time to think laterally. Cities are often at their best in the morning, before the commuting crowds enter the scene. In London for example, Hyde Park opens early so grab a coffee and take a wander in the misty dawn light (around 8am in winter). Or, after a long day of meetings, make the most of the late night programmes at the city’s museums. The Tate Modern, V&A and Natural History Museum are among the institutions hosting monthly evening events, while the British Museum is open until 8.30pm every Friday. Its domed atrium is especially magical on winter nights.
4. Stay Loyal
Business meetings on Monday or Friday? It’s the perfect excuse to make a weekend of it, with transport already paid for. If your company favours a particular hotel brand, consider signing up to its loyalty programme and make the most of its benefits. Rocco Forte Friends get late check-out where possible (handy for virtual meetings or long lie-ins) as well as discounts on food, drinks and wellness.
5. Use The Concierge
Struggling with baffling public transport options or arranging to meet a guide far from your hotel adds time to tight schedules. A good concierge will be able to arrange excursions straight from the lobby, as well as securing restaurant and taxi bookings so that you don’t have to. When time is at a premium, their services will prove invaluable.
Choose your bleisure travel destination with Rocco Forte Hotels. Find out more here.