The Best of Seattle – Our Top Threes

Visiting a new city for work can be difficult when you’re on a time crunch. You want to get out and explore, go to the best cafes and restaurants, and see some sights, all in between your meetings and other work obligations. But how do you choose? Worry no more. I thought a “top threes of cities” would be useful, so to kick it off… let’s start with the Emerald City, Seattle!

 

Top 3 Eateries in Seattle:

If you have the morning off, I highly recommend getting your brunch fix in, and there’s nowhere better to go than to the Portage Bay Café. The Seattle Benedict is a crowd favourite, but make sure you don’t miss the breakfast bar with their heavenly French toast options. As a heads up, the service can be slow but it’s worth the wait, I promise. No matter where you’re staying in Seattle, the Portage Bay Café has got you covered with 4 locations… just make sure to make a reservation.

Salty’s on Alki Beach is the place to go for incredibly fresh seafood, and sweeping views of Puget Sound. To get there, just take a water taxi to West Seattle (Seacrest Ferry Dock) and it’s a short walk along a path with ocean views. I highly recommend you order yourself the Best Friends (seared scallops and cured pork belly!), with a side of their grilled Fremont sourdough with garlic whipped butter. If you’re looking for a feast, then look no further than the Surf, Surf and Turf which brings together lobster tail, prawn and steak skewers, garlic potatoes and crispy garlic green beans. Yum! To walk off all of the calories, take a stroll down to Jack Block Park – there’s a cute beach, and a 45ft observation deck to get really lovely views of downtown Seattle.

For a relaxed dinner, there’s few spots better than the Tapas Lab. This order-at-the-counter tapas bar is perfect for an easy dinner, either on your own or with some work friends. A Spanish/Japanese tapas fusion, with menu items such as bulgogi pincho, ricotta meatballs, quinoa stuffed mushrooms, deviled eggs, and the truffle gnocci, this hidden gem is sure to delight even the pickiest of eaters.

 

Top 3 Experiences in Seattle:

Can an art gallery be an experience? This one, absolutely. One of the most beautiful art galleries in the world would have to be the Chihuly Garden and Glass. The artist, Dale Chihuly, takes you through eight interior galleries and a lush outdoor garden with captivating and inspiring glass sculptures throughout to amaze and delight. Honestly, it’s worth going to Seattle just to see this gallery. I never thought I’d be raving about glass sculptures until I came across Dale Chihuly’s work. If you have the time, trust me on this one, just do it – tickets are around $30 and worth every cent.

One of the top things to check out in Seattle is of course the Pike Place Market, and there’s no better way to experience it than taking the Signature Tour of Pike Place Market with Savor Seattle Food Tours. This 2 hour tour includes over 14 tastings and gets you acquainted with the layout so you will know exactly where to go next time!

Helicopter tours from a city are often beautiful, but can be pretty dull if there’s no variety. Well, that’s certainly not the case in Seattle. With Seattle Helitours you will start downtown, flying over the iconic Space Needle, experience the majestic Snoqualmie Falls (honestly, it’s so beautiful it barely seems real), and to top it all off you will be able to fly over a live volcano,  none other that Mt. Rainier! Did you know that you can actually see Mt. Rainier from Vancouver, BC, on a clear day?

Did I say top 3? I meant top 4. In Seattle you can also go skydiving indoors, with iFLY Seattle! I couldn’t leave this one out as it’s just so cool. No matter your experience or fitness level, iFLY caters to all abilities. Starting at only $50 for two flights, it’s worth trying once. As it pops up in more and more cities worldwide, perhaps this won’t be the last time to get your thrill on… unleash your inner daredevil!

 

Top 3 Spots for Work Drinks in Seattle:

Did someone say coffee? Not just an average café, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room is basically a really chill craft distillery… but with coffee. This Starbucks looks like none you’ve ever seen – watch beans being freshly roasted while chatting with the staff about their wide array of international coffee options, enjoy the “experience bar” and have your coffee made with a siphon, or have a flight of coffee shots. Alongside their comprehensive list of coffees and standard Starbucks treats, they also have a full menu of delicious sandwiches, salads and pastries. For something with a bit more kick (read: booze), they have a special menu for Signature Coffee Cocktails after a long work day. The Starbucks Reserve Espresso Martini features Kalak Single Malt Vodka, vanilla bean syrup and dark chocolate… uh, yes please!

Thinking about hitting up some random bar for after work drinks? Well, you can do just that, at Some Random Bar. Yes that’s actually the name of this quirky venue. Local new American eats in an authentic brick-walled gastropub, this bar is located downtown but a little off the beaten path, and you’ll find it filled with locals chowing down on the crab nachos and washing it down with a craft beer. I love this bar because it seems homely and modest, the food is mouthwatering and very generous in sizing, and the drinks selection has something for everyone. The perfect spot for after works drinks where no one will feel underdressed or out of place.

Roquette is an elegant and sophisticated bar with all of your new favourites that you never knew existed. There’s a strong French influence, the menu contains simple and delicious snacks to pair with your drinks, are they are handcrafted by bartender and owner, Erik Hakkinen (formerly of Pike Place’s Zig Zag Café). For something that will ignite all of your senses, I recommend the unique creation called “Blow the Whistle”. As there’s only 5 tables inside, a reservation is necessary.

 

Top 3 Free Things to do in Seattle:

Have you ever been sailing? If you are in Seattle on as Sunday, you can now try it out for free. Located at the Center for Wooden Boats they offer free sailing every Sunday, and it’s a tradition that has continued for over 25 years. Sign ups begin at 10am on Sundays, but make sure to arrive early as spaces are limited. Head out onto the water with volunteer skippers and crew on spirit boats, electric boats, steamboats, schooners, and occasionally yachts – all at no cost, and it lasts for about an hour.

One of the coolest places to check out in Seattle is the Olympic Sculpture Park. It’s located a mile from the Seattle Art Museum’s headquarters, on a nine-acre former industrial site, and has over 20 magnificent sculptures featured. One of the most popular pieces is Alexander Calder’s monumental Eagle, which lines up perfectly with the Seattle Space Needle when viewed from the south-west. It’s also a beautiful park to sit in and admire the views over Puget Sound.

For the best views of Puget Sound, downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier, Kerry Park just cannot be beat. Kerry Park is a very small public park on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill, just a 10 minute Uber from downtown or 25 minutes on transit. Bring along a blanket, a baguette, a selection of cheeses, a couple of cold drinks and have yourself a picnic to take in the breathtaking views. From here you’ll be able to catch views of Mt. Rainier and Elliott Bay, and it is known as one of the best spots for magical sunset viewing. As a bonus, if you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, it’s just a 5 minute walk to the intern’s house!

 

Top 3 Business Travel Hotels in Seattle:

Quirky, cute, comfortable and surprising, the Hotel Five Staypineapple Seattle is the perfect spot for a more modest budget, without having to compromise. Lovely vibrant rooms, luxury bedding, free refreshments, dog friendly, and high-speed internet – what more could you need? Located just a couple of blocks from the Pike Place Market and Space Needle, this is a sure winner. 116 guest rooms and boardrooms able to accommodate up to 60 people.

One of our most popular business hotels, the W Seattle is a contemporary hotel with luxury amenities, located right in the heart of downtown Seattle. Spacious rooms, a private recording studio, dog friendly, a vibrant bar scene and live music, an incredible atmosphere… this hotel has something for everyone. If you’re feeling like you need to get moving after a long day of sitting in meetings, the W Seattle again has you covered with their fitness centre. Over 10,450sq ft of business event space, and 16 event rooms, perfect for even the largest of conferences, meetings, and events.

The only downtown Seattle hotel located directly inside the Pike Place Market, Inn at the Market is a surprisingly tranquil home away from home. Located by the Seattle waterfront and just steps from the vibrant Pike Place Market, this boutique hotel is in a prime spot for any out-of-town visitor. Featuring a quiet rooftop deck and bar, you can sit up here and enjoy the views for hours. Perfect for smaller business meetings with a seating capacity of up to 20 people in their Courtyard Meeting Room, or up to 14 people in the Beecher’s Loft meeting space.

 

Is that it…?

Absolutely not! There’s so much to see and do in Seattle that you’re going to be absolutely spoilt for choice during your stay. It was hard narrowing these down, but it had to be done. If you’re visiting Seattle for business or leisure, you are now a little bit more of a local and know some of the hottest spots to check out.

 

Are you looking to set up your business with a travel management company? Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

 

Written By: Holly Atkins
January 20, 2021

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!

What to look for in a Travel Management Company

When you’re thinking about choosing a travel management company for your small business it’s hard to find one that looks after your needs and will provide the personalized service you require. You have likely asked the question of what makes for a good or bad small business travel management company and we’re here answer that.

What makes for a good small business travel management company (TMC)?

There’s so many parts of what makes for a really great small business TMC and a lot to consider when choosing the right one. Creating or updating your company’s travel policy is the first step and one of the most important. A good TMC will sit down with you and discuss your travel policy to find out what loyalty programs are best, will figure out airline and hotel preferences and budgets, and will make sure the time is taken to go through each moving piece to guarantee that your travel policy looks after your company and staff. Travel policies shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all, and a good travel management company can help you put it together or discuss what points to address when you’re updating your current one.

Another quality to look for in a great TMC is their available technology and what that tech can do to keep your company secure and save you money. Are they using the best tools possible for online bookings and overall system management? Everything these days is digital and you need a company that looks to the future and embraces change, keeping ahead of the game.

A great TMC is prepared for all situations…

Should anything go wrong while one of your staff is travelling, an experienced travel management company will quickly resolve it with their extensive travel knowledge, quick & creative thinking, and leading technology to get things done in a timely manner. A reliable and local after-hours emergency assistance line is comforting and usually well-versed in your company’s account and policies.

Did you know that most TMCs outsource their after-hours emergency assistance? What this means is that if one of your staff requires immediate travel help, they might not be speaking with someone local who knows your company preferences and policies. These call centres are often lacking in compassion and customer service, staff are commonly overworked as they rush through calls, and attention to detail is not a high priority so things can easily be missed. Make sure to choose a TMC that will efficiently look after your staff in an emergency situation.

Think about invoicing and areas to save money –

Choosing the best small business TMC will mean you’re going to be receiving one consolidated monthly invoice to save your accounting team headaches, and you’re not going to be waiting weeks for answers about your account, or updates to it. It’s really nice to have that personal touch and to speak with people you know. It also means things get done quickly rather than having to go through multiple departments to get a simple answer. TMCs will save your company long hold times with airlines, can make changes near-instantly and effortlessly, and will fight for you to get refunds and travel credits when possible.

The right TMC will be saving your business time, money, and further stress. They will source the best hotel chains with the best rewards programs (within budget) to get your staff great future travel perks and discounts on their stay where possible. Experienced TMCs will continually be on the lookout for other small business travel deals.

When not to choose a travel management company for your smaller business?

You might be thinking that your company is not big enough yet to justify the extra spend on a travel management company… and some of you might be right. If your employees are only travelling a handful of times a year and you’ve got the staff who can manage it for now, why would you need a TMC? Early investment in the right TMC is a huge asset to any growing business. It means you have the travel systems in place, ready for when your company grows. This will save you the future headaches of trying to look for a TMC when you should be focused on hiring more staff and all of the work that goes with it. A great travel management company doesn’t have monthly fees, so having one ready to go makes sense for when your company starts frequent travel in the future. You won’t be paying for a TMC unnecessarily as they will only charge per booking.

Of course, small business TMCs are not going to be the right fit for every company out there. For international businesses with offices located around the world, and staff travelling frequently outside of your TMCs opening hours, getting things booked and approved can take longer and might not make sense for your company when time is of the essence. In saying that, a good TMC will work with you to have policies in place so approval is instant for your VIP or frequent travellers, and this could alleviate any potential issues.

Make sure your TMC understands your business –

It’s crucial to understand if your TMC is fully equipped to handle your travel spend, and this will be discussed during your first conversation with them to see if they will be a fit for you. A bad travel management company won’t discuss your concerns fully and could dodge questions, so this is something to keep in mind. You need to fit together and that only comes with honesty from both parties and getting your questions answered. A transparent TMC is essential for small businesses to save time and money, and will allow a great relationship to form. One red flag for a possibly bad TMC would be if they accept your business without any discovery questions – make sure they know your company and your travel needs.

Emergency assistance is one of the most important things to consider!

As mentioned earlier, not all TMCs have local emergency assistance, and some don’t have after-hours assistance at all. We believe that it’s incredibly important to have localized after-hours assistance for the peace of mind it brings, and extensive knowledge of the clients travel policies. Should anything go wrong, you want your staff to be completely looked after. It is paramount. especially during a stressful situation, that your staff can trust that the TMC is working in their best interest.

How we’re structured to be the best small business travel agency in Canada –

Our Vancouver-based Worldgo Travel Management team provides 24/7 local emergency assistance and will look after your staff in line with your policies, quickly and efficiently. We’re completely transparent, have no hidden fees and we don’t charge for after-hours or emergency assistance, changes or cancellations. Worldgo strives to reduce the cost, time, and complexity of travel management with personal service and our innovative technology.

We don’t make any of our clients’ sign contracts. Yes, you read that right. Worldgo Travel Management aims to earn your business with every booking we make for you. With meticulous attention to detail, exceptional customer service, and always on the lookout for customer rewards programs for small businesses, we do everything we can to earn your trust and put your company first.

With business travel back on the rise, now is the time to look at securing a trusted and experienced travel management company for 2021.

What is the importance of business travel management for the Canadian small business sector?

So why are TMCs so important in this age of digital technology, where everything is just a few button clicks away? It is estimated that global business travel spend will reach $1.6 trillion within the next 5 years. Travel for meetings, conferences, team-building events and on-site inspections have almost doubled in the past 10 years. This increase in travel means more time spent by employees researching their travel needs, putting together their expense reports, and following up for approvals. Then the accounting department has to reconcile all of the transactions, reimbursements and forecast budgets. Not to mention the issues that arise should changes need to be made or alternative emergency travel be sorted, this quickly becomes a giant amount of work for all involved.

With employees trying to look after their own travel, it quickly becomes overwhelming for everyone and wastes valuable company time. As a small Canadian business, it makes sense to get help with the operations of your business travel program and hire a dedicated travel management company. Great TMCs services will provide transparent expenses, follow your agreed-upon travel policies and simplify the process for all involved.

Business travel can actually help with employee retention!

As a perk, your business travel policy can actually help with employee retention and appeal to new hires. For many people, business travel is not just an obligation, but it’s actually an added work bonus. It’s good to consider not just the initial cost savings, but also how the policy can benefit your employees.

To summarize, the best TMC for smaller Canadian businesses has a focus on customer service, employs innovative and leading travel technology solutions, and provides 24/7 local support. With a great travel management company, you will never feel like just a number.

Is a small business travel management company sounding good for your business, or something you’d like to hear more about? Send us an email or give us a call to set up a free consultation.

 

Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca. You can read our testimonials here.

Written By: Holly Atkins
January 20, 2021

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!

Why You Need a Travel Management Company (NOW!)

Travel restrictions are starting to lift and your staff have important meetings they need to travel for. You don’t want to miss a mandatory quarantine requirement and be turned around at the airport if your travel dates don’t add up. This wastes a lot of time, money and resources. How do you ensure your staff are safe while travelling, and where are you getting the up-to-date information required?

That’s where Travel Management Companies (TMC’s) come in. Not only do TMC’s have access to and knowledge of the most recent travel restrictions, we work hard to look for cost saving measures to improve our clients ability to survive over the short and long term.

The Boston Globe writes that “Travel advisors will be more important than ever.” in a recent article. Why? Because we’re on your side to get you home and re-book your travel, or fight for refunds and future credits when necessary. We’re up to date on travel restrictions, and do everything in our power to ensure you’ve got the information you need so your staff can travel safely.

TMC’s have fought hard for refunds and travel credits since the start of COVID-19. We work tirelessly to save our clients money because we know how important this is to them. TMC’s fight for you and endure the long hold times with the airlines as we know this matters to you.

Every day there are new changes to airline procedures and policies, and it’s a TMC’s job to incorporate these up-to-the-minute developments into the travel quoting and booking process. We strive to protect your employees as they commence travel, so there’s less stress and worry for all involved. Safety is key in these times and we aim to stay informed to reduce risk and increase your time to focus on more important things.

So what are the biggest benefits of using a Travel Management Company?

  • Round the clock, 24/7 support for all travellers in case of an emergency or last minute travel.
  • Saves your company long hold times with Airlines. We fight for you to get refunds and travel credits.
  • Flight changes take us just minutes instead of hours as we have direct access to the booking system.
  • Educate and inform your clients on the latest travel restrictions and updates.

Here at Worldgo Travel Management, we have over 90 years of collective experience, and we offer complete transparency with personal service. On top of this, we have industry-leading technology to provide a faster and more efficient booking process. Our innovative technology gives us the ability to save your company money and help out quickly in a crisis. We know each business has different travel needs, and we will sit down with you to hash out the details to implement the best travel plan for your company and staff. Give us a call to see how we can help your company survive long term.

We’re here for you.

Read our article on what to look for in a travel management company, and how to choose the right one for your business – click here.

Reach out to a Worldgo Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at travelrequests@worldgo.ca

 

Written By: Holly Atkins
July 19th, 2020

Holly Atkins has been working in tourism for many years as a travel manager, tour guide and on the front desk in a couple of hotels. An Australian Canadian citizen that now permanently resides in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Holly can’t think of a better place to call home with the vast mountains and her oceanfront dwelling. Touring on motorcycles for the past 14 years has allowed her to see places that few discover, and get off the beaten path to experience all that the open roads have to offer. Visiting a vast amount of the Oceania region, trekking around Europe, discovering BC and most recently travelling to Jordan and Egypt, she’s always looking forward to the next adventure!