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.
West Palm Beach, Florida, recently welcomed AKA West Palm, a hotel residence offering long-stay accommodations. As AKA’s second South Florida property, AKA West Palm features 215 hotel residences comprised of studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces, and Penthouse suites. The five-story hotel blends modern luxuries with comfort and simplicity, with sleek kitchens, washers and dryers, and private terraces. Room furnishings contrast with a backdrop of stone, metal and wood to create simple, clean lines with minimal contrast.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
Birmingham, Alabama, was named for the city in the English Midlands that kept the fires burning, warmed the homes and made much of the steel for the United Kingdom’s industrial revolution. Decades later, the American city also made steel, so much of it, in fact, it became known as the “Magic City” for steel production, and the moniker stuck. But today’s Magic City makes more than steel, taking the raw product a few more steps to become a major center for automobile parts manufacturing and more, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz and U.S. Steel. Thanks to local leadership and long-term planning, the magic still works for Birmingham, as evidenced by its role hosting The World Games 2022 last summer.
As New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions represent these cultures’ richness, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations and educational programs. Ranging from pre-Columbian to modern and contemporary art, the permanent collection totals more than 8,000 objects.
As the travel industry finds itself in the midst of the first peak travel season since the beginning of the pandemic, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts commissioned a survey of more than 1,200 U.S. consumers to learn more about business travel habits, learning 65 percent of Millennials, aged 25–44 years old, and 59 percent of Gen Z, ages 18–24 years old, prefer to work for a company offering frequent travel or flexible blended travel as a perk. Blended travel is the combination of business travel with leisure travel.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown recently reopened its Fairmont Gold, introducing amenities, a contemporary new style in the Fairmont Gold Lounge and dedicated concierges. The 48-room, three-suite Fairmont Gold, positioned as an urban oasis, takes over the entire ninth floor of the hotel and delivers exceptional service to meet guests’ needs.
Global Traveler is proud to announce the winners of its Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel recognition for the second year. The awards were added to the brand’s GT Tested Reader Survey in 2021 to highlight the best in diversity and inclusion in the travel industry. An Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel acknowledgment is awarded to an airline, hotel and cruise line.
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The results are in! For the 19th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.