I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy … and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
Copenhagen itself reigns as an utterly modern city on the sea. With Viking history and a royal family, it’s known for world-class gastronomy, ingenious design, and hygge, that state of cozy contentment and conviviality that fuels the Danes. Set on a captivating harbor and boat-brimming waterways; composed of timbered houses bright with flower-profuse window boxes along cobbled streets; home to castles, museums, contrasting modern architecture and its smaller-than-expected mermaid statue, the city pleases visitors instantly.
Thankfully, the city of approximately 1 million inhabit- ants is easy to navigate. Most Danes speak English. Stellar transport links offer efficient subway routes, buses and trains, including the easy, fast departure from Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup, to Copenhagen Central Station. A devotedly eco-minded locale, the City of Spires teems with bike riders and is a trendsetter in eco-conscious living — even the airport has been CO2 neutral since 2019. Certified with the Green Tourism Organization seal of approval, Copenhagen proudly offers an abundance of Green Key Hotels; a slew of farm-to-fork, locavore-driven restaurants (try Chef Kamilla Seidler’s Restaurant Lola for a treat); and a tendency to do everything with cleanliness and the future in mind — including ways to help meeting planners facilitate green conventions of all sizes.
While century-old Tivoli Gardens may be Copenhagen’s unofficial living room, as popular with locals as tourists, the amusement park stands out as one of the most sought-after locations for events of any size. With nostalgic game booths and rides, it also features world-class restaurants, bars, a biergarten, a massive center stage for performances and swanky Nimb Hotel. Its rooms with terraces hover over the park, ideal for cocktail parties. Consider taking over a ride or the entire park for a grand finale event. Affiliated with and inspired by the park, The Tivoli Congress Center lies a short walk away between the vibrant Meatpacking District (a favorite for gastronomes) and the harbor. It offers a grand hall with capacity for 2,400; a variety of smaller venues hosting up to 475; and tailored packages for any size event.
With its 2021 addition of the Bella Arena, the colossal Bella Center expanded to become Scandinavia’s largest congress hall. Able to accommodate a startling 30,000 people in more than 100 meeting rooms (some with water views), the center often hosts international political conferences and chic events such as Copenhagen International Fashion Fair. The contemporary complex rises near the airport, a short shuttle ride to city center facilitated by its own train stop. Its various entrances allow for simultaneous meetings and events. The adjacent AC Hotel Bella Sky, with 811 rooms, coordinates seamlessly with the immense venue.
Architectural buffs and marine life fans will want to book The Danish National Aquarium, The Blue Planet, a magnificent building by Danish architects 3XN. Evoking swirling water, the aluminum-clad structure holds the largest aquarium in Northern Europe, presenting a coterie of fascinating sea creatures as well as conference facilities for 1,000. With views of Øresund sound, it promises behind-the-scenes tours of the exhibits.
Three artsy options for summits include The Royal Theatre’s Old Stage, the National Gallery of Denmark and the Royal Danish Playhouse. The first, with space for 1,400, is a Baroque marvel, awash in gilt, glamour and chandeliers. Its foyer overlooks Kongens Nytorv, Copenhagen’s most famous square, a perfect spot for elegant sit-down dinners. Best of all, the entire theater can be rented for private gala performances. Equally engaging, the National Gallery of Denmark, an impressive trove of Danish and international art, offers theaters and exhibition rooms for meeting use. Organize an after-hours tour for your art-loving VIPs. At the waterfront Royal Danish Playhouse, three smaller venues can incorporate smaller cocktail receptions or standing buffets, though the entire location can be bought out for larger events.
Named over and over as one of the world’s most livable cities, wonderful Copenhagen fuses its past and present to create extraordinary support for conventioneers intent on writing their own Andersen-worthy business tale.
THE LOCOMOTIVE WORKSHOP
Stretching 100,000 square feet, this industrial-hip, former train repair shop presents a commodious space which can be sectioned off in myriad ways. Popular for trade shows, it sits near the boho neighborhood of leafy Vesterbro.
A refurbished post office, circa 1912, that brims with art, this stylish hotel is centrally sited. Stunning convention rooms are positioned beneath an evocative hidden garden, and a rooftop pool vaunts views of adjacent rooftops.
Amid all the chaos of Tivoli Gardens, a tranquil space awaits for quiet cocktail parties and intimate dinner meetings. Set behind Nimb Terrasse at the bridge over Tivoli Lake, the graceful, circular, glass-walled venue channels Tivoli’s nostalgic spirit. Equally like eating in a garden, the greenhouse at Gemyse Tivoli, Copenhagen’s top plant-based restaurant, nestles in a hushed corner of Tivoli, surrounded by blooming flowers, plants and other greenery. Choose this spot for tasteful, small group get-togethers.
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GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
The Hotel AMERON Zurich Bellerive au Lac, forged from the collaborative efforts of interior design firm Monoplan AG and other cutting-edge design firms, bills itself as a celebration of the 1920s and ‘30s aesthetic. The story behind it is compelling as the building dates to 1928 and has connections with the early days of Switzerland's movie industry. However, there are several fun Mid-Century Modern and late 20th-century design touches in the public and private areas. Clearly, it's going for the "modern luxury" vibe Millennial and Gen-X business and leisure travelers look for when seeking a quality smaller property with a great location.
InterContinental New York Barclay is the perfect spot for luxury in the heart of Manhattan. With the 1946 Package, enjoy a two-night stay in the Penthouse Suite, an exclusive InterContinental75 cocktail lesson with a mixologist, 75-minute couples massage with Zeel, a movie screening on the Penthouse Suite terrace with classic films from the year of InterContinental’s birth with a premium 1946 vintage wine to enjoy.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
One of the many fallouts from the turbulent past 1.5 years of pandemic-related travel restrictions and lockdowns has been the rethinking and imminent restructuring of loyalty programs throughout the travel industry, from airline and hotel brands to cruise and rental car companies. Loyalty programs are more than a perk for customers; they can be worth more than the brand itself for the program owners and operators. For example, the world’s largest airline, American Airlines, is valued at roughly $6 billion, whereas its passenger loyalty program, AAdvantage, boasts an estimated worth of $24 billion according to a recent analysis by Financial Times.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Ayutthaya, Thailand, with us.