Warsaw, the capital and largest city in Poland, was once known as “The Paris of the North” for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and beautiful Baroque buildings. During World War II, however, more than 85 percent of the city’s historic center was destroyed. Undaunted, the populace rallied and, starting in 1947, began the grueling process of reconstructing the Old Town — brick by brick from the city’s own rubble — into what is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Since joining the European Union in 2004, Poland has experienced solid economic growth. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Monetary Fund agree Poland fared relatively well during the COVID-19 pandemic and has good potential for successful, long-term development once the pandemic ends. Green technology is poised for future growth (Poland is the EU’s biggest exporter of electric buses). Wind energy also has a large investment potential as Poland expands its offshore wind farms. Other sectors such as life sciences like biotechnology, genetics and pharmaceutical chemistry drive the economy as well.
U.S. firms represent one of the largest groups of foreign investors in Poland. Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Cisco Systems have a large presence as do IBM, Lear Corp., Raytheon Technologies and Pratt & Whitney.
In mid-2020 the Polish Development Fund and Dealroom.co reported Poland is the leader in Central and Eastern Europe for investment in startups. Marcin Zabielski, managing partner, Market One Capital, said, “There is no surprise that Poland became a vibrant startup scene, having access to domestic seed capital, experienced founders and top-notch developers.”
Most major carriers fly to Warsaw Chopin Airport. LOT Polish Airlines (founded in 1921 and one of the oldest in the world) offers the only non-stop (8.5 hours) from New York’s JFK. From the airport to city center take the SKM or SM trains (every 30 minutes) or book a cab at one of the taxi counters in the airport. Uber, wildly popular, works with the cash-free app you probably already have on your phone — equally useful for getting around the city.
Warsaw boasts many 4- and 5-star, business-friendly hotels. The most elegant are Mamaison Hotel Le Regina (61 gracious rooms in the revamped Mokrowsky Palace), Hotel Bristol (opened in 1901, now a 206-room-and-suite Luxury Collection Hotel) and Raffles Europejski Warsaw (106 art-filled rooms in a well-located, 19th-century building). The modern and minimalist Nobu Hotel Warsaw, a brand helmed by world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa, opened in a stunning Art Deco building in August 2021. Other leading brands include Radisson, Marriott, InterContinental, Westin, Sheraton and Sofitel. All have pools, spas, gyms, fully equipped meeting rooms, 24-hour concierges and banquet and catering services.
Most people in business and the service industry speak English, but you should know a few basic phrases in Polish, especially “good day” (dzień dobry, pronounced jen-DOH-bree), a cheerful greeting to everyone you meet: business colleagues, store clerks, hotel and wait staff, taxi drivers … you get the idea. You may not get the pronunciation quite right, but your effort will be much appreciated.
Early morning meetings are not particularly popular in Warsaw unless you’re staying at one of the luxe hotels where one can enjoy a quiet, white-table- cloth breakfast. However, the city does love a good cup of coffee, and you’ll find a café on nearly every corner (most are too crowded and noisy to conduct a business meeting). Instead, grab a to-go cup and head to one of the city’s many jogging trails. The prettiest, the 200-acre Łazienki Park, features miles of paths meandering through centuries-old trees and past magnificent Baroque palaces sporting colorful gardens and peacocks in summer.
For a business meeting over lunch or dinner, choose Stolica (on a small, cobblestone street in Old Town and offering a modern take on Polish cuisine), Różana (Polish foods with a lighter touch; private dining rooms available), Restauracja Mazowiecka (a menu dominated by game dishes served in an elegant dining room), Stary Dom (a rustic ambience and old Polish recipes like wine-braised venison and roast duck with red cabbage), Restauracja Zapiecek (big portions of dumplings, soups and sausages; Polish farmhouse décor) or U Kucharzy w Arsenale (dishes such as pork loin stewed in truffle purée or buckwheat blinis with salmon and caviar). Lunch typically begins at 1 p.m. and lasts two hours. Dinners, sometimes several hours long, usually begin at 7 or 8p.m.
For an after-work drink, try one of the new wine bars like Rausz (offering more than 80 small-grower wines accompanied by regional cheeses and charcuterie). For beer, locals like PiwPaw, where you can order a tasting flight from a list of more than 300 regional beers.
End your day in the epicenter of Warsaw — on the 30th-floor observation terrace of the city’s still-controversial communist landmark, the Palace of Culture and Science (a gift from Stalin in the 1950s) — for panoramic views of the entire city. Fast-track tickets are available online.
New Orleans has a full roster of activities, events and festivals enticing guests throughout February and March.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
With Black History Month and Women’s History Month right around the corner, it’s time to highlight and recognize South African women working hard to make the travel industry better.
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
Now through Jan. 28, JEOPARDY! and Lindblad Expeditions team up for a viewer promotion, the JEOPARDY! Explore Alaska Sweepstakes. The contest will award 10 winners and their guests with an eight-day, small-ship cruise of Alaska’s coastal wilderness.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Santorini, Greece, with us.