City Guides: Barcelona, NYC, Paris, Cape Town - Melanie Chevalier

City Guides: Barcelona, NYC, Paris, Cape Town - Melanie Chevalier

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A tailored Trip Advisor by our members and for our members

Founder and CEO of Creative Culture gives us her inside tips on Barcelona, New York, Cape Town and Paris.

BARCELONA

Best hotel for business
Crowne Plaza Barcelona: Stylish and modern. Hotel Arts Barcelona: Luxurious, with a stunning view on the beach.

Best hotel for pleasure
Hotel W: This luxury hotel is probably the most famous hotel in Barcelona. It is located by the seafront and offers an amazing view. Mercer Hotel Barcelona: Charming place with lots of light. It even has a swimming pool on the rooftop. Hotel Duquesa de Cardona: Luxurious hotel with rooftop, a swimming pool, and a lovely view of the Port Vell.

Best bar for celebrating
The Old Fashioned: One of the finest Gin&Tonic and cocktail bars in Barcelona. The barmen’s old school clothes and music go well with a refreshing Gin&Tonic, Barcelona’s specialty cocktail. La Fabrica Moritz: Moritz is a beer brand made in Barcelona. If you are looking for a Catalan bar experience with locals, you’ve found the right place. The Fabric is a stylish yet authentic place where you can enjoy an ice cold Moritz beer. Terrace La Isabella: This cosy terrace offers one of the best views of the city and its famous monuments. A quiet and relaxing place for intimate celebrations.

Best bar for a business drink
Dry Martini: Classy and sophisticated bar, specialized in James Bond’s favourite beverage - it is considered one of the best Martini bars in the world. Monívic: In a modern and minimalist atmosphere, this bar has been elected best wine bar in the world by the Wall Street Journal. Marmalade: This beautiful space is decorated with 50’s furniture, such as a central pool table, giving it a swinging 1950's Havana/New York edge.

Best restaurant for a business lunch
Osmosis: Located in the heart of the Eixample, this modern and stylish restaurant will serve you creative and tasteful Catalan dishes. Yubari: A Japanese restaurant located in a peaceful setting, thanks to its screens that show larger than life aquarium videos. El Lobo: A cosy and warm atmosphere to enjoy local and fresh food by the terrace.

How to spend an hour in-between meetings
Take some time for yourself and go to the beach to enjoy the seafront. Buy yourself an ice cream or a smoothie and dig your toes in the warm sand. The best time to go is at the end of the day, when the temperatures is not as high as in the afternoon. Take a walk in the Ciutadella Park and enjoy its charms. Take a look at the fountain and the pond, sit on a bench and enjoy the view. If you have enough time, go to the Gótico district and try the famous churros con chocolate, a Spanish specialty. You can also take a walk to the cathedral and visit it. Don’t forget to go inside and visit the patio, which is incredibly beautiful and peaceful.

Best restaurant for dinner
Cera 23: This restaurant is famous for its natural and authentic atmosphere. Its design is mixing typical Catalan decoration (walls made of rocks) and eclecticism with its odd chairs. The food is a fusion between modern cuisine, Mediterranean and Spanish food. MNAC Óleum: Located on the top of Monjuïc’s hill, this restaurant offers an impressive view of the city. It is even more unusual that it is situated in the Nacional Art Museum of Catalonia. The food is Mediterranean with French influences.

If you only have time to do one thing in my city, do this...
Take some time to visit Gaudí’s Sagrada Família for a journey back in time. The edifice is an impressive 377 ft tall basilica, which started construction in 1882 and is still going on. If you have enough time, be sure to enter the monument. The inside is as breathtaking as the outside!


PARIS

Best hotel for business
George V: Classic French refined/ luxury hotel. Park Hyatt: Renowned luxurious hotel with an outstanding bar.

Best hotel for pleasure
Hotel l'Antoine: If you are staying East, L’Antoine is a treat that marries modern and baroque architecture and decoration, stylish. Mama Shelter: Fun and colourful, with interiors by Philippe Starck, in a popular part of town, near the Père Lachaise cemetery. Le Lapin Blanc: Stylish rooms out of Alice in wonderland. Plush beds and retro furniture… all white and pastel colours.

Best bar for celebrating
Le Comptoir Général: Eclectic, easy-going venue in an old 600 square-metre barn. Offbeat, shabby chic bar. Great for a real bobo-chic parisian experience! Buddha Bar: Stylish, Asian-style decoration with a gigantic Buddha statue sitting in the centre of the room. Great for Asian/Californian fusion cuisine. Le showcase: Located in converted boat hangars below Pont Alexandre III, this is the place to party, enjoy live DJ performances and sip champagne until the early hours of the morning.

Best bar for a business drink
The Plaza Athénée bar: Stylish bar recently refurbished, with a breath-taking outside patio. The Shangri-La bar: Cosy, Gatsby-style bar, perfect for a meeting. Le Kong: Stylish avant-gardist design restaurant located above the Kenzo offices.

Best restaurant for a business lunch
Le Market: French-Asian cuisine made with local produce combined with Asian spices. À la carte or in bentos. Hanawa: Quiet Japanese haven in the heart of Paris. The menu features typical Japanese dishes.

How to spend an hour in-between meetings
Pick up a box of macaroons from Ladurée on the Champs Elysées or La Madeleine and take a walk in the Jardins des Tuileries all the way up to the Louvre. Go to a bakery, treat yourself to French pastries and take a walk. Great areas to walk are the Seine embankment, Montmartre and the oldest part of town around Saint Paul metro station and Le Marais all the way down to place des Vosges.  If you are lucky, you may be able to listen to opera singers performing under the arcades, or visit Victor Hugo's Parisian house.

Best restaurant for dinner
The 39V: French regional and seasonal cuisine with a great view at the top of a Haussmanian building. Maison Blanche: One of the best views of Paris.

If you only have time to do one thing in my city, do this...
As cliché as it sounds, walk up Montmartre, through the narrow streets and stairs all the way up to the Sacré Coeur. If you set off from Pigalle or Anvers, you’ll be able to explore small Parisian shops before having one of the most breath-taking views of the city. Don’t forget to stop at a bakery somewhere on the way!


CAPE TOWN

Best hotel for business
The Taj : A combination of history and elegant architecture offering a range of luxurious rooms. 15 on Orange : Spacious suites with bespoke furnishings in an ideal central location. Cape Grace : Stylish and luxurious rooms, located right next to the Waterfront.

Best hotel for pleasure
Cape View Clifton : Stylish rooms each with a private terrace offering panoramic views of the Twelve Apostles and Clifton’s beaches. Mount Nelson : ‘Nellie’ as locals call it is a Cape Town institution and a peaceful haven minutes from the city center. Book a garden cottage overlooking the pool for a secluded hideaway. Ellerman House : A converted stately home that offers an exclusive stay with only 11 rooms. For wine lovers enjoy a showcase of South African wines from their extensive cellar.   

Best bar for celebrating
Orphanage : Enjoy artisan cocktails in the emporium’s parlour and if you fancy, you can continue your night in the club downstairs. La Parada  : Spanish tapas bar, opening onto the sidewalk. This is the place to be for after work drinks. Grand Beach, Granger Bay : The perfect summer spot, set on a private beach where you can relish in their renowned cocktails and the Cape Sunsets.

Best bar for a business drink
The Planet Bar : Part of the Mount Nelson Hotel, the bar is urban chic with a touch of colonial elegance. Kloof Street House : Set in a converted Victorian house providing perfect informal venue for summer and winter drinks; choose between a cosy lounge and the palm treed garden. Harvey’s at Winchester Mansions :  Enjoy drinks overlooking the Sea point promenade or for a more secluded environment find a seat in the courtyard.  

Best restaurant for a business lunch
Hemelhuijs: Indulge in a seasonal menu that combines local flavours with innovative recipes. The ever-changing interior and attentive service creates a perfect ambience for lunch. Chefs warehouse : Located in town this restaurant is ideal for a business lunch, with a tapas menu that changes daily. Babel : If you have the time to visit Franschhoek (just an hour outside of Cape Town) then Babylonstoren is one of the best wine farms, offering wine tastings and tours of the extensive garden. Babel’s menu is seasonal with many ingredients picked fresh from the garden.

How to spend an hour in-between meetings
Drive up signal Hill for a gorgeous view over the city, being close to the city bowl this is the perfect escape during a busy day of meetings. Bo-Kaap is a multicultural area reflecting the true essence of the city. Explore the rows of brightly colored houses, the spice market and monkeybiz where locals show off their beadwork, a South African cultural tradition. Explore Chapman’s peak drive, offering endless views of the Atlantic Ocean. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful drives you’ll ever take and for the more adventurous traveler, try and locate the cave hidden below the viewing point (a local secret).

Best restaurant for dinner
Pot Luck Club : Expect innovative food and a relaxed atmosphere, this is the coolest place to be in Cape Town so be sure to make a reservation. The Test Kitchen: A restaurant true to its name, offering creative flavours and ingredients. Located in Woodstock, Cape Town’s hottest district. Black Sheep: You can always expect to find something new with a blackboard menu that changes regularly at this modern cape restaurant.

If you only have time to do one thing in my city, do this...
Take a climb up Lions Head, it might seem too daring but it is a manageable hike. There are always many local climbers to show you the route and ladders in tricky areas. If you climb in the late afternoon, you will catch the sunset and the most incredible 360 degree view of the city. Pack a drink to ensure you can rest and enjoy your time at the very top.


NEW YORK

Best hotel for business
Uptown: Ritz Carlton Central Park – formally and famously known as the Hotel St. Moritz, legendary service and luxury décor is combined to create an unforgettable experience. Not to mention, the breathtaking view of Central Park.
Midtown: The Library hotel – one of NY’s most famous concept luxury boutique hotels, a unique and exceptional experience is to be expected from a stay here. Avid readers can find an oasis of over 6,000 books at their fingertips. The hotel is only a stone’s throw from Grand Central Station.
Downtown: SoHo Grand hotel – known to attract the fashion and entertainment elite, the neighborhood’s newest hotel harbors a warm, summer elegance. The location lends to easy access to uptown meetings, while offering all of the charm of SoHo (South of Houston) living.

Best hotel for pleasure    
Uptown: The Surrey Hotel – One of NY’s most intimate addresses, the Surrey offers a relaxing getaway from the craziness of the concrete jungle. Offering an on-site spa and private rooftop, you might not find a reason to leave during your stay.
Midtown: Ace Hotel – Centrally located (a short walk to Penn Station), the artsy boutique hotel is a magnet for lovers (and workers) of all things creative. Just as trendy as its Shoreditch counterpart, the Ace Hotel atmosphere is sure to raise your cool-factor to the next level.
Downtown: The Standard – towering over the heart of the fashionable meatpacking district, the hotel offers a one-stop-shop for all of your leisure needs. From complimentary bikes rentals to a rooftop dance club (Le Bain). One stay at The Standard will certainly raise your standards of what a hotel should offer.

Best bar for celebrating    
Uptown: Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola – The upper west side offers a buffet of choices in terms of Jazz, but a great place to wet your palette is Dizzy’s – this is because it’s located in the convenient Columbus Circle, and because they serve some tasty southern-style food.
Midtown: La Biblioteca – As hinted in the name, La Biblioteca features an expansive catalog of tequila (over 400 bottles) from south of the border. After-work fiestas are no-brainers, considering the reasonable prices during happy hour.
Downtown: No Fun – Contrary to its name, this after-hours bar is not for the faint of heart. The grungy (in a trendsetter kind of way) Lower East Side (LES) is its own country of funky music and whiskey, and No Fun is the unofficial capital. Don’t worry about a tie here, but be sure to bring comfortable shoes.

Best bar for a business drink    
Uptown: The Gilroy - Craft cocktails and casual dining represent this gem on the Upper East Side.
Midtown: The Lounge at Le Bernardin – definitely a “deal-closer” type of venue. The elegant yet casual lounge allows visitors to sample the exclusive Le Bernardin experience, without having to book a reservation.
Downtown: The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog – The Dead Rabbit effortlessly embodies the charm of Old New York and the Irish-American tradition. A less formal taproom on the ground floor, but venturing upstairs to the Parlor offers a more intimate experience.

Best restaurant for a business lunch    
Uptown: Infirmary – this stylish bistro takes you to New Orleans, where the spicy creole flavours dominate the menu. Po' Boys and gumbo make for a pleasantly surprising business lunch.
Midtown: Sushi of Gari 46 – Sushi in NY doesn’t get much better than Sushi of Gari.
Downtown: Balthazar – The bistro is renowned for its exceptional design, but the raw seafood bar, breads and pastries are what keep the locals coming back.

How to spend an hour in-between meetings    
Uptown:  Escape the hustle and bustle, and venture into the expansive Central Park, where you’re sure to find some peace among the winding walking paths. Just make sure you don’t get lost before your next meeting.
Midtown: Rent a Citi bike and explore the different neighborhoods of Manhattan – just make sure you stay in the bike lanes!
Downtown: Head down to the modern Highline linear park – built on a historic freight rail line, this is the perfect place to decompress between meetings.

Best restaurant for dinner    
Uptown: Lincoln Ristorante - modern Italian cuisine set within a beautifully designed building in Lincoln Center.
Midtown: Keens Steakhouse – Famous for its mutton chops, Keens is the place to go for steak fans visiting the city.
Downtown: The River Café – Technically situated in Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhood of Dumbo, the iconic restaurant is only a short Uber ride from the Financial District, and the view will instantly make you a lover of Brooklyn.

If you only have time to do one thing in my city, do this...    
Uptown: Visit the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum on the upper Westside.
Midtown: Take a trip to the top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) or the Empire State Building. Before buying a ticket, be sure to connect with any business connections that might be working in the building – they can take you up for free!
Downtown: Grab a slice of (potentially the best) NY pizza at the unassuming La Margarita – you won’t regret it.

Read more from Creative Culture in our Clubhouse and more City Guides here.

 

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Author: The Marketing Society
Posted: 02 Jul 2015
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