TRAVEL TIPS • July 2018
Creatively conceived working spaces have taken the lead in creating home-from-home spots for business travellers around the world. Globetrotter Francesca Syz brings you her pick of the best places in Europe to lay your laptop
Nowhere signals the death of the soulless work space like Mortimer House, a recently opened private members’ club just north of Oxford Street. A vision of art deco serenity, there’s ground floor Mortimer House Kitchen (which features a whole avocado menu at breakfast, then later everything from buffalo ricotta ravioli with black truffle to soft-shell crab fritters). Upstairs, the club begins, with stylishly loungy, sofa-filled drawing rooms, private studies, meeting rooms, PA services, intimate bars and balconies. Food from downstairs can be delivered to your chosen work spot and there’s a fully equipped gym, a programme of yoga, pilates and TRX training, and a meditation room offering guided sessions. A Traveller membership (£200 per month) gives you five days entry a month.
There’s a ‘cosy second home’ feel about House 17, which sits within the 19th-century Court of Justice building on Rue du Nord in the historic heart of the city. Beautifully restored and then furnished by Tom Dixon, with contemporary art throughout, this stylish, friendly club is spread over four floors. There’s a French restaurant serving both traditional and contemporary food (the steak tartar is the best in the city), numerous meeting rooms, two bars, a cigar lounge, a games room with a pool table and a terrace with panoramic city views. Non-resident memberships available on request.
Recognising and responding to the more flexible way people do business now, ClubHouse Brera in the central Brera district is the first of its kind in Milan. It’s also the first Italian private members’ club to welcome women. Housed in the former Teatro delle Erbe, the club revolves around a central light-and-plant-filled ‘secret garden’ and has a bistro, spaces to meet and lounge, office suites with chaise longues and private bathrooms with showers, and the theatre stage for talks by eminent international speakers. Ask about the club’s carnet system for non-residents.
Although there’s no pressure to network, there is definitely a social element to this co-working space. It’s located between the Gare du Midi and the ring road, with coffee happy hours every day at 10am, ‘un-casual Thursday’ where you dress up and enjoy drinks together at 4pm, gaming and movie nights and yoga sessions. Popular with freelancers and start-ups, the real emphasis here is maintaining the most nurturing conditions, and in addition to individual offices, shared tables and meeting rooms, there’s a garden with chickens and a vegetable patch. Full members can be there 24/7, everyone else can arrive between 8.30am and 6pm and stay as long as they like. You get a secure personal locker, access to printers and scanners, plus there’s a napping room, a catering service for ‘at desk’ lunches and endless supplies of coffee. Nomad passes (four days a month) cost €70.
This reimagined apartment-hotel concept offers home/office hybrid apartments in central Amsterdam, each with its own kitchen and dining table, plus other home office perks. Right on Weesperstraat, a 20-minute walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station (or 10 minutes by tram), there are lots of communal spaces including a bar, living room, shared work and meeting spaces plus leafy rooftop terraces, where the hotel kitchen’s vegetables and herbs are grown. Healthy, hearty meals are served all day at individual or long communal tables, with an emphasis on fresh local salads and sharing platters. There’s a local membership, but those staying at the hotel can enjoy the communal spaces for free or pay €25 per day for full membership benefits.
Very much influenced by the Viennese coffee house concept, Hotel Schani Wien is Vienna’s first co-working hotel, with 12 work stations in a communal ‘living room’ and additional break-out rooms available. Just off the lobby is a large green garden, ideal for breakfast on a sunny day, afternoon meetings or a chilled glass of white wine on a steamy summer evening. Locals can pick up 10- or 30-day co-working passes to use the space, but those staying at the hotel can use it for free.
Hot tip: Check out Onda life, a new service offering access to some of the best members’ clubs and co-working spaces around the world.