BLEISURE • October 2023
Who says you can’t have it all? With travel to long-reigning commerce titan, China, back on the cards again, we look at Asia’s most powerful hubs where you can arrive for business and stay for play
From fishing village to business metropolis, it is undoubtedly Shanghai’s fortuitous location on the Yangtze River close to the East China Sea that has made it so successful. With more five-star hotels than any other city in the world, those looking to slip into fine thread-count sheets after the working day is done will be even more spoilt for choice as a new Six Senses, Rosewood and Waldorf Astoria are all in the pipeline.
Stick around for… an artsy escape
Shanghai’s thriving arts district offers culture vultures plenty of thrills and spills when they’re not at their desks, with more than 250 museums and galleries to choose from, plus an exciting Biennale. The newest kid on the block is the Museum of Art Pudong by Pritzker Prize-winning starchitect Jean Nouvel and comprises more than 40,000sqm of gallery space on the banks of the Huangpu River, showcasing the latest and greatest homegrown and foreign talent.
Hong Kong has some serious business clout. Indeed, countless multinationals are based in the bustling city and there are a cohort of co-working spaces to cater to the raft of international visitors combining work and play (The Hive, Ucommune and Banyan Workspace all make for a great alternative to WiFi-friendly coffee shops). Accommodation is suitably A-list, too, whether that’s Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, which celebrates its 60th birthday this year, or the newly relaunched (and rebranded) Regent Hong Kong.
Stick around for… a gourmet getaway
Foodies have long been flocking for cut-above global cuisine in this cosmopolitan metropolis, whether served up in a traditional Cantonese teahouse – City Hall Maxim's Palace has been a classic since it opened in 1980 – or a towering glass skyscraper, it boasts no fewer than five spots in the 2023 list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Our pick is The Chairman, which moved to a new address this year and offers a set menu focusing on organic seafood served up with Michelin-starred aplomb.
A famous gateway for investors and companies vying for access to the fastest-growing consumer markets in Asia, Singapore is renowned the world over as a global financial centre. Its slick and sophisticated airport puts others to shame with a beautiful Botanic Garden and the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. The city’s buzzy after-work crowd is well nourished with destination restaurants and star-studded bars. There are a clutch of hot new beds, too: The Singapore Edition, Pullman Singapore Hill Street and Mondrian Singapore.
Stick around for… a post-work party
Those who’ve watched Crazy Rich Asians will know just how much of a party Singapore can throw, but fact is more outrageous than fiction in this hedonistic city – why not visit the Cé La Vi SkyBar & Club Lounge at the Marina Bay Sands resort, which offers clubbing with unrivalled views across the futuristic skyline, with DJs spinning house and electronica 57 floors up.
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