Business traveller: Impress for success

Indulge your overseas clients with experiences that make a lasting impact

The centuries of history that permeate the Clubhouse at St. Andrews will easily impress any colleague | Photo: St Andrews Links Trust

There’s travelling on a budget, and then there’s travelling to impress. When it’s time to show appreciation to your clients, investors, affiliates or other colleagues, treat them to a one-of-a-kind experience or product. These distinctive products and locations aren’t the most expensive in the world, but they’ll make a lasting impact.


Cigars: Davidoff

Geneva, Switzerland (and major cities around the world)

Sometimes a cigar is just … a way to celebrate a closed sale, the perfect thank-you gift for a client or a way to show off your tobacco knowledge. And when it comes to cigar knowledge, Davidoff is to cigars what Purdys is to chocolates.

With a large range of handmade products, including Montecristo, Arturo Fuente and Gurkha, Davidoff draws clients from around the world. Most of its cigars are under $50, but if you really want to impress, the Davidoff Oro Blanco, which launched at $500 in 2014, is a vintage cigar made from tobacco harvested in 2002.


Davidoff Geneva | Photo: Oettinger Davidoff AG


Gloves: Luvaria Ulisses

Lisbon, Portugal

Luvaria Ulisses

The last shop in Portugal dedicated to the exclusive sale of gloves, the tiny, 93-year-old Luvaria Ulisses is a stop on many visitors’ itineraries | Photo: Luvaria Ulisses

Who would ever think to buy their client a pair of handmade, custom-fitted gloves? Even if the gift ends up in a drawer most of the year, your colleague will appreciate the uniqueness of the gift from this century-old establishment. Now the last shop in Portugal dedicated to the exclusive sale of gloves, the tiny shop counts the political, cultural and artistic upper class in its client roster. Founder Joaquim Rodrigues Simões was actually on the Lisbon city council in the 1920s when he helped restore a rundown area of the city in which he eventually established the neoclassical store.

Gloves start at 50 euros ($80).


Golf: St Andrews Links

St Andrews, Scotland

Where else would you make a deal than on a golf course? Yes, it’s a cliché, but who cares when you’re on the oldest links in the world? The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews clubhouse has a commanding presence off the first tee and can humble the toughest of business opponents.

Green fees: 60 pounds ($110) for the Castle Course in low season; up to 180 pounds ($325) for the Old Course in high season.


Barbershop: The Barbershop Club

Los Angeles, California

Why settle for meeting your (male) clients for breakfast when you can pick them up and take them for a luxuriating hot-towel shave?

For 30 years the Barbershop Club has been bringing an early 20th-century ambience to the Hotel Normandie in L.A.’s Koreatown with its old-school barber chairs with hand-operated hydraulics.

They’re not exactly using sharpened flint or oyster shells, but they do offer Old World charm and service.

Haircut: US$65. Signature shave: US$95.


Cocktails: Eau de Vie

Melbourne and Sydney, Australia

If early last century is your cup of tea, Eau de Vie can carry you and your clients back in time to Prohibition-era America. Its Whisky Room is known worldwide for its varied and exclusive collection, and it offers customers bottle lockers to store their favourites. That should raise at least a few eyebrows in admiration.

Eau de Vie’s experts in mixology have won numerous awards for their concoctions, including the Zacapa Blazer – rated one of the best 10 cocktails in the world by Elite Traveler – which comes to the table spewing fire like a volcano; and the Espresso Zabaione, made of vodka, rum or whisky with coffee and maple syrup, topped with saffron and vanilla mousse and chilled with liquid nitrogen to create a frozen top. Mouth watering yet?

Drinks cost $19 to $24.


Suits: Christian Garcia Bespoke Tailors

Miami, Florida

You certainly can’t walk into a notable watering hole without the proper attire, so you may want to consider a custom-fitted suit. This isn’t something you’ll want to offer to every client, but it might be worth a six- or seven-figure account.

Cited by the Robb Report as one of the 10 best tailors in the United States, Christian Garcia Bespoke Tailors is the go-to spot to get the types of suits worn by the distinguished and successful.

Founded in Havana in 1910, the business has been operating in South Florida since 1961, which is as long as Garcia has been in the business. His approach is so personal, his first intake session can be two hours long.

Suits start at $6,500.


Spa: Gôra Kadan

Hakone, Japan

No list of opulent destinations around the world would be complete without a stop at a Relais & Châteaux hotel or restaurant – or how about a spa?

The internationally known Gôra Kadan, an hour and a half west of Tokyo, houses the traditional onsen (hot spring) Kadan.

A former retreat of the Imperial Family, Gôra Kadan is situated in the heart of Hakone National Park. Its rice-paper walls, aromatic incense and traditional kaiseki cuisine evoke an ancient Japanese way of life.

There are famous onsen all over Japan, but not many are attached to a Relais & Châteaux facility with a swimming pool, spa and beauty salon.

Hotel rooms: $1,300. Spa: $350 for facial and massage.


Serenity meeting retreat: Novotel Bogor

West Java, Indonesia

Novotel Bogor

A picture of serenity: your guests will be happy to attend meetings at the ultra-relaxing Novotel Bogor Golf Resort and Convention Center | Photo: Baila Lazarus


Not all your overseas client or staff meetings have to take place in a stiff atmosphere. The Novotel Bogor Golf Resort and Convention Center brings serenity into business gatherings in an out-of-the-way, tranquil setting. Located right on a golf course, with a full spa, fitness facility, children’s playground and three restaurants, your guests will get everything they need in one spot for a relaxing business retreat.

Just 50 minutes from Jakarta, Novotel Bogor has 20 function rooms and five hectares of tropical gardens and pools, so there’s plenty of space to wander and get creative juices flowing.

All-inclusive meeting package deals can start as low as $60 per guest per night, including standard room (twin sharing), three meals a day, two coffee breaks and free Wi-Fi.