Carry On: Where to go for warm business trips this winter

May we suggest a "bleisure" trip to New York, Fiji, the Caribbean and beyond?

Credit: Aman New York

May we suggest a “bleisure” trip to New York, Fiji, the Caribbean and beyond?

Urgent: Meeting in New York

The exquisitely hospitable Aman Resorts started in distinctive Asian locales, and it has properties in Turks and Caicos (Amanyara) and Utah (Amangiri) that are popular with Canadians. Now under new ownership, it’s going urban, with Miami and Los Angeles hotels coming soon. Aman New York opened this fall (nightly rates starting at US$3,200): located on Fifth Avenue below Central Park, it’s a temple of minimalism, with guest access to a terrace, indoor pool and cryotherapy chamber.

South Pacific Dreams

Starting from November 25, Fiji Airways launches twice-weekly direct (11- to 12-hour) flights between Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Nadi International Airport (NAN) in Fiji. Business class travellers enjoy three-course meals with bar service and lie-flat seats on some aircraft. For safe and comfortable travel, economy-class passengers can book My Bubble or My Island options: an extra seat or row, with top-flight pillow, mattress topper and blanket.

Of Mice and Men

The new gold standard in wish-fulfilment travel is Disney Wish, the latest and greatest cruise ship in the company’s fleet. Launching from Port Canaveral, Florida, it offers three- and four-night trips to Bahamas ports, including its private-island resort Castaway Cay. With more than 1,200 state rooms, Wish boasts a 200-metre waterslide and lazy river, plus Frozen and Marvel-themed restaurants. It also runs on LNG for reduced emissions.

Jet Setter

Vancouver’s Gastown is unique: it’s a major tourist destination, heritage quarter, booming hospitality zone and innovation hub, all while bordering the Downtown Eastside and the community challenges there.

“There are very few neighbourhoods in the world that have these interests all in play,” says Walley Wargolet, the executive director of the Gastown Business Improvement Society. An avid traveller himself, he now spends his time drawing people back to Gastown, which he believes can be a global model of a uniquely successful business district in a complex multi-stakeholder environment.

“We are starting to see the vibrancy return to our streets with office workers and tourists,” he says, but, he cautions, “It will take years for many businesses to become whole from the impact of [the pandemic].” Innovative seasonal events and promos (#kissmeingas-town hangs selfie-bait mistletoe around the ‘hood; 12 Days of Gastown promotes daily giveaways and a local shopping guide) draw visitors, and Wargolet does his best to make sure the business district shines for customers, residents and owners.

“I have focused my first year and a half in this role on ensuring our neighbourhood is well cared for by the City of Vancouver,” says Wargolet. “For too long, it was neglected and overlooked and, honestly, the public realm was an embarrassment for a national historic site.” Future-looking investments by the city are good news for Gastown’s proprietors—as well as for holiday visitors, shoppers and partiers.