Friday 18 October 2019

Out of Office: 10 great places to mix work and play on your travels

Great escapes

Tree Hotel, Sweden
Tree Hotel, Sweden
Dojo, Bali
SunDesk, Morocco
WeLive, Wall Street
Zoku, Amsterdam
Surf Office, Lisbon
The Hive, Bangkok
The Collective
PodShare, LA

Thomas Breathnach

Got to work? That doesn't mean you can't travel. Here are 10 great escapes for digital nomads...

1. Surf Office, Lisbon

Olá, tecnologia! As Europe’s new digital darling, it’s little surprise the Portuguese capital ranks as a dream host, too. Surf Office, located in the rebooted district of Cals de Lobo, is the city’s prime live-in hub, tapping into the ever-increasing symbiosis between tech workers and catching a wave.

Surf Office Lisbon.jpg
Surf Office, Lisbon

Guests can sleep in a choice of private, shared and dorm accommodation while chilled work-zones are equipped with all-you-can-download data and all-you-can-drink Java. Island living more your thing? Surf Office also has branches in Gran Canaria and photogenic Madeira.

Book it:; from €60 per night

2. WeLive, New York

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WeLive, Wall Street

From the folks who brought you WeWork, the genesis of the co-working movement, comes their live-in upgrade, WeWork. Along with the gilded appeal of its Wall Street location, the unique point here is that guests stay in fully furnished pads without the strings of a long-term Manhattan lease. Studio apartments fuse the best of both design worlds (Scandinavian and Brooklyn) with space-savvy nook beds and closets that turn into workspaces. When you need to unwind, take your pick from WeLive’s arcade, roof deck, hot tub or simply mingle at Happy Hour.

Book it:; from $1,900/€1,750 a month

3. SunDesk, Morocco

SunDesk Morocco (1).jpg
SunDesk, Morocco

If you’re looking for a GMT relocation with a difference, why not migrate that mobile office to the Moroccan coast? SunDesk, set in the oh-so-super town of Taghazout, offers the closest exotic escape you can find — and with a shaky dirham, it’s also one of the cheapest for your euro. When working, the seafront spot contains bright and fresh common spaces; when snoozing, airy Atlantic-view bedrooms ooze Maghreb charm. If the panoramas don’t take the stress out of your project deadlines, relax with some surfing, yoga or a trip to the local hammam. 

Book it:; from €17 per night

4. Treehotel, Sweden

Tree Hotel, Sweden

If you’d really like to escape the millennial masses, consider going a little more off the beaten track. Luxury Treehotel, located in the wilds of Swedish Lapland, allows guests to shut off from the rest of the world, while still retaining access to Europe’s fastest Wi-Fi speeds. The high-end property contains six cabin capsules, lofted into the limbs of a panoramic pine forest. You can expect all the Scandinavian design brief essentials — from ergonomic furnishings and slick birch interiors to an on-site sauna on terra firma. When you do decide to log off, enjoy snowmobiling action or a moose safari, or simply nod off beneath the Northern Lights. 

Book it:; priced from €520 per night

5. Dojo, Bali

Dojo Bali.jpg
Dojo, Bali

Fantasising about an office space with white beaches, palm trees and more Instagram moments that a Kardashian family brunch? Then maybe it’s time to move to Silicon Bali. The Indonesian full-moon party paradise is slowly rebranding as one of South East Asia’s hottest creative communes, and Dojo, on dreamy Echo Beach, is the insider It-spot. The co-working oasis houses everything from calming work zones and tropical gardens to Skype booths and a smoothie shack — and while they don’t offer their own accommodation, they provide plenty of tips for local B&Bs.

Book it:; day passes from €7

6. PodShare, Los Angeles

PodShare Los Angeles (1).jpg
PodShare, LA

Wanna make it big in Hollywood? Before you cut your first major cheque, you’ll need to find a happening spot to charge your laptop, take a power nap or hunker down for the night. Where better than Pod-Share: a network of 50 spots across Los Angeles, which bill themselves as the social network with an actual real-life address. Here, members called ‘podestrians’ check in to ridiculously hip dorms where beds turn into desks, kitchens are stacked with granola and flatscreens are loaded with Netflix. Lights, camera, action!

Book it:; rates from $50/€45 per night

7. The Collective, London

The Collective.jpg
The Collective

If you really want to bump up your LinkedIn stats, then logging in at the world’s largest co-living space is a good place to start. The Collective, located in London’s trending Old Oak neighbourhood, is a thriving living and working hub, home to over 500 residents. The commune concept is pillared on the privacy of designer boutique bedrooms within a labyrinth of funky shared spaces, including a gym, sports bar, movie room and library. And if you’re too busy to Google Calendar your social life, there’s an entertainment manager to help you out. London calling, indeed.

Book it:; from £195/€230 per week

8. Airbnb, worldwide

Airbnb Trips: Running in London

If the basic human needs of “shelter and Wi-Fi” are your criteria, don’t overlook Airbnb as a getaway go-to. The site has thousands of accommodation options worldwide, allowing you to really cherry-pick your dream out-of-office destination. If internet speeds are your top priority, set your imagination to super-wired destinations, from Riga’s Old Town or Hong Kong to Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic. If you’re more the creative type looking for a budget summer location to disconnect, lesser-trundled Greek Islands like Samos or Italian regions such as Puglia are some of Europe’s most inspiring spots to switch off. If you’re planning a longer stay, don’t forget Airbnb also has a handy monthly sublet option, which allows you to avail of the best rates for your getaway.

Book it:

9. Hotel Schani, Vienna

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With hotel business centres constantly evolving to market trends, it’s no surprise that the world’s first ever co-working hotel has now opened its doors. Hotel Schani in downtown Vienna offers overnight stays with a Vorsprung durch Technik edge: smart hotel perks such as mobile check-in and door-key access are the standard, while the ‘Your Space’ co-working lobby offers a sehr laidback networking zone. Hungry? Viennese kaffeekuchen culture is alive here too — order some local strudel and ground roast for your elevenses.

Book it:; rooms from €70 per night

10. Zoku, Amsterdam

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Zoku, Amsterdam

Named after the Japanese word for neighbourhood, Zoku is Amsterdam’s own clever take on a dream co-living and co-working haven. Guests here stay in ridiculously cool loft studios inspired by both Tokyo-style space awareness and Pinterest board creativity. Shared work spaces are equally vibrant: think ping pong tables that turn into desks. Zoku doesn’t do staff either, but rather “sidekicks” who tend to guests’ every tech whim, from sourcing office gear and gadgets to rustling up superfood snacks.

Book it:; from €910 per week

NB: Prices subject to availability and change.

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