AWASH IN HAUTE-COUTURE FLAIR, world-famous restaurants, revelatory museums and iconic sites, Paris is widely regarded as one of the most magnificent cities in the world. But there’s more to Paris than beauty and culture: This hard-working French capital generates more than 30 percent of France’s gross domestic product through businesses representing a wide range of industry sectors that include pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, aeronautics and digital systems. Paris also hosts 27 Top 500 corporate headquarters — more than any other city in Europe — and boasts the fifth-largest urban economy in the world.
For business travelers, this means everything you need to do your job — a strong transportation network, a choice of locations for business entertaining and meetings, loads of lodging options and a workforce comfortable with international business representatives — is at your fingertips.
Start with transport. Two large international airports make Paris accessible from anywhere in the world; RER trains, an easy-to-navigate subway system — the Metro — and legions of taxis have you in town less than an hour after clearing immigration.
Lodging proves equally accessible. Hotels abound within the city’s 20 arrondissements, or boroughs; choose one near the city center and you’ll be able to get anywhere quickly on the Metro. If your agenda includes breakfast meetings, consider a larger property where the first meal of the day is served in a quiet space where you won’t have to line up at a buffet or speak over clattering cups. One option: the Hôtel Ritz Paris, where L’Espadon serves a full breakfast under a domed skylight seven days a week. The hotel’s location on the Place Vendome makes it a convenient location from nearly anywhere as well. On the Left Bank, where boutique hotels are the norm, the full-service Hôtel Lutetia, an elegant outlier, reopened in early 2018 after a full renovation. The breakfast menu in chic L’Orangerie includes gluten-free and organic choices.
If you’d rather discuss business over a meal later in the day, opt for lunch over dinner, considered more of a social occasion. Still, it’s best to wait until the end of the meal to discuss nuts and bolts. Instead, chat about culture, food and wine; skip discussions about politics and anything of a personal nature.
Whether you choose lunch or dinner, reservations are vital at most restaurants in Paris. Alain Ducasse’s Versailles-inspired, 2-Michelin-starred restaurant within Le Meurice hotel remains one of the city’s top dining rooms; for a meal that includes the glittering lights of Paris as your backdrop, head to The Peninsula Hotel’s L’Oiseau Blanc rooftop dining room. Helmed by one of the first female chefs ever awarded three Michelin stars, Anne-Sophie Pic’s La Dame de Pic serves updated French classics in a polished, comfortable setting. Book a round corner table for privacy with a view of the scene.
Dinner in France generally consists of a three-hour affair with multiple courses and several wines. After the host wishes his guests bon appétit, Parisian diners eat slowly but with gusto, enjoying each bite. Bread is generally served as an accompaniment rather than something to nibble before dinner; it’s customary to place your bread on the table next to your dinner plate. French manners also dictate both hands should remain on the table at all times; take care you don’t allow your elbows to join the party.
Although most Parisian executives speak English, learning a few simple French words and phrases — starting with hello, please, thank you, nice to meet you and have a good evening — will earn respect from your hosts. Introduce yourself using your first and last names as well as your title; call your associates Monsieur or Madame until they make it clear you’re on a first-name basis.
Beyond stellar dining, one of the best things about a business trip to Paris is the chance to explore the city during your downtime and enjoy its iconic vistas. The Eiffel Tower, erected in 1889 as a temporary structure, mesmerizes from any distance but presents a distinct panorama from each of its three levels. From the top-floor balcony of the Musée d’Orsay, occupying a former train station, the graceful Seine curves and sparkles. Visitors who climb the stairs to the viewing platform atop the Arc de Triomphe, honoring Napoleon’s Grande Armée, are rewarded with a view down the length of the tree-lined Champs-Élysées. If you’d like to take in a museum but need to slip in a quick visit between meetings, pop into the Rodin Museum, a stunning 18th-century manse filled with thousands of the artist’s sculptures and drawings as well as works from Monet and Van Gogh, located amid the boutiques and atmospheric cafés of Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the Left Bank.
Manchester, a city already buzzing with energy, welcomes some exciting new additions, from boutique hotels to highly anticipated culinary destinations to historic venues. Plan a trip to Manchester to not only indulge in your favorite soccer team but also to enjoy delicious food, both charming and luxury accommodations, and lively events and venues.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*
Porvoo, Finland, only an hour from Helsinki, is a medieval coastal town and a cultural haven, well known for its exciting culinary scene, colorful wooden houses and cafés. Here, you will discover the new Runo Porvoo Hotel, a family-owned landmark building and business blending Finnish traditions with contemporary Nordic design, world-class artwork and the rustic-meets-modern allure of American Shaker-style furnishings.
August is National Golf Month. Our three-part round-up will highlight the best courses around the world to tee off in celebration. Today, we highlight three international courses for your consideration.
Much of the global business travel industry has already made sustainable business travel a priority with a focus on reducing emissions and their environmental footprint. But the industry, as well as external stakeholders, such as policymakers, recognize more needs to be done.
Salmon Falls Resort in Ketchikan, Alaska, spoils guests with a new immersive luxury offer. The VIP fishing trip offer, called Hooked on Salmon Falls, starts at $15,000 for two guests and includes a four-night stay in a presidential king ocean view suite. In addition to round-trip airport transfers, the offer also comes with complimentary dining and $250 in fish shipping credit.
The Hotel Bel-Air hosts a new end-of-summer BBQ with Master Chef Wolfgang Puck on the lawn of the hotel. The event is back after a three-year hiatus, set to take place Sept. 6. Guests will be able to enjoy an evening featuring backyard-style barbeque and seasonal summer favorites.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
The Oberoi, Marrakech introduces its new holistic wellness program, SAHA. Meaning health in Arabic, SAHA aims to help guests reach their full wellbeing potential. The program operates on four key cornerstones: soul & spirit, active body, holistic treatments and a better plate.