The Location 180 10 Coolest Offices of 2012

“No, that’s not going to work, too much backlight”

“Well, what if we shined this lamp on it, and shot it from below?”

“That doesn’t look natural. How about if we sit over here on the Chaise and shoot it from this angle?”

“No, then you can’t see the fountains.”

“This is stupid, let’s go play more craps.”

“Ok. Can we grab a beer on the way?”

This conversation happened while Tate and I were in Las Vegas, and trying to take a photo for this post.

In early 2011 I introduced my “10 coolest offices” post, and ever since it’s always in the back of my mind when I travel.

The idea is that the term “office” is very fluid these days, and can really be just about anywhere.

Considering I’ve built my whole brand and business on the idea that you can make the world your office, I always like to have a little fun with this post and see what kind of unique environments I can find myself in.

While there aren’t quite as many beachfronts this year, the scenery is no less spectacular.

To qualify as an “office” I actually  to do real work there. You know, with like a computer, and stuff.

You can also check out My 10 Coolest Offices of 2011.

10) Mountainside at Vail, Colorado

My first trip of the year was one of my favorites.  I’d always wanted to take an epic ski vacation to Vail and with my buddy Andy moving to Boulder, it made perfect sense.

While the conditions weren’t quite as great as I’d hoped for, we still had a killer time staying mountainside in Vail, and then had a sweet mansion (literally) in Breckenridge basically to ourselves.

This trip was so much fun that I’m doing it again next week with a few more friends in tow.

Failed at getting a good photo, but you can see the room and our hot tub in Breckenridge in this video. Both were excellent offices.

9) Sunriver, Oregon

Sunriver, Oregon

From the deck near Sunriver, Oregon

This year my good friends Chris and Hannah have been on a tour around the world sponsored by Home Exchange.  Their travels have taken them to Australia, Tahiti, Mexico and one of my favorite places on earth Sunriver.

Considering they had this cabin for 5 weeks, they invited me over for a few days and played amazing hosts.

We’d work in the mornings on the deck (where this shot was taken), and then in the afternoons we’d hike, golf, or take brewery tours all over Bend.

Not a bad way to spend a week in July.

8) Kempinsky Hotel Amman, Jordan

Kempinsky Amman

My room in Amman

Jordan was one of the most unique places I visited this year. I had no idea what to expect, and my suite at the Kempinsky overlooking the entire city of Amman certainly exceeded expectations.

The night we arrived Joel and I had the chance to walk around a bit and experience what a cafe in the middle east was all about: tea and hookah.

More from Jordan:

7) Kempinsky Hotel Aqaba, Jordan

Kempinsky Hotel in Aqaba, Jordan

Talk about a room with a view.

Jordan held quite a few spots in this year’s list, as it seemed like everywhere we went we ended up with a beautiful “office”.  This was no exception.

Without a doubt one of my favorite hotels I stayed at this year, the Kempinsky Aqaba was modern, beautiful, and right on the Red Sea.

6) Cosmopolitan Hotel, Las Vegas

Cosmopolitan Vegas

Remember that story up top? Yep, that actually happened.

This room at the Cosmopolitan was easily one of my favorite hotel rooms I’ve ever stayed in, and the only thing better than the room – was the view.  This is what happens when you head to Vegas during the middle of the week – things get real cheap, real fast.

While I still wasn’t able to capture the perfect photo, this one should give you the general idea.

5) Penthouse in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen

View From Our Main Balcony in Playa del Carmen

One of the biggest surprises of the year. After my stay at Taninah (see #4), we lucked our way into an incredible penthouse for dirt cheap right in the heart of Playa del Carmen.

Clay, Derek and I kicked it for a week eating great food, banging out a ton of work, and definitely enjoying a margarita or two in the process.

4) Mayan Compound, Taninah

Taninah

View of the Main House at Taninah. Aka the Only Place with Internet

11 incredible people, one giant compound.  My week at Taninah was one of the most incredible I had, and it reminded me just how important it is to play on occasion.

We had our own zipline, cenote, miniature golf course and way more.  Even though I would have hoped to have not worked at all this week, Murphy’s law was in full effect and the Location Rebel forums went down in the middle of the trip.  So, work had to be done!

3) Bedouin Camp, Wadi Rum, Jordan

Sunrise in Wadi Rum

Sunrise in Wadi Rum

The work here was very limited, just 15 minutes to make sure that the world hadn’t blown up while I was gone. However, this is good, as it isn’t the type of place you want to work.

Rather when you’re in the middle of Wadi Rum you want to soak in as much of it as you can.  It’s one of the most unique landscapes in the world, and to have the chance to be hosted by the local Bedouin people is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

This photo was at sunrise before we went skydiving, looking down at the tents that made up my office.

2) Giggling Tree, Yangshuo, China

Yangshou, China

From our Porch in Yangshou

Being here was like being in a completely different world.  We took a 7 hour overnight bus from Guangzhou and then rode our bikes 5 miles farther out into the country before we found or guest house The Giggling Tree.

Easily one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, this was definitely not a bad place to hang out for a few days.

Also check out my “Cribs-esque” tour of our place here..

1) Hotel Parque Central, Havana

And now the moment I know you’ve all been waiting for, my coolest office of 2012: The top of Hotel Parque Central in Havana, Cuba.

While any of these could have been competition for the top spot, this one one out because of what it meant for me personally.  When

I first created my bucket list, the thought of actually smoking a cigar in Cuba seemed so ridiculously impossible I never actually thought it would happen.

And yet, here I am with two of my good friends overlooking the entire city and smoking a Cohiba.  That was a cool moment, and definitely worthy of the top spot.

Check out all the highlights from our time in Cuba.

Where Was Your Coolest Office?

I’m not wasting any time next year.  Early in January the plan is to hop over to Asia and actually do some real traveling.  It’s been awhile since I’ve actually done that.  Sure I’ve taken trips, but I haven’t been in travel mode in a long time.

I’m looking forward to spending a month bouncing around to various spots in Asia, seeing old friends, making new ones, and proving that you really can run a business from anywhere in the world.

So with that said, where’s your coolest office been? Tell us in the comments!

Dave December 6, 2012 at 10:04 am

Some very cool offices here, Sean. They all look pretty epic, especially the Jordan and Vegas “offices.” So far, my coolest office has been the Panera Bread (free wifi!) in my town. I look forward to enjoying some much cooler offices like these in the future. Panera Bread gets old anyway, and the half soup half sandwich deal is overrated.

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tami heaton December 6, 2012 at 10:26 am

ah, wadi rum! my single most prized possession (which definitely did NOT get sold) is a ceramic bowl made by one of the women from ceradisi :) thanks for this, sean, this is exactly the sort of daydreaming i need to get me through two more months in texas ;)

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Carlo Cretaro December 6, 2012 at 10:29 am

Super looking offices Sean. Number 8 and 4 are my favourites. Great idea for a post.

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Tristan December 6, 2012 at 10:50 am

Very cool! (You incorrectly spelled Yangshuo as Yangshou, though.)

My best office so far this year was probably in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. I was just there for a month and had an apartment on the side of a mountain, and my balcony overlooked the town. It was pretty amazing. I’ve been in Cancun for two days now and while the apartment I’m in (where I’ll be for a month) isn’t anything amazing, it’s nice and hey, I’m in Cancun for a month! No complaints.

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Brian December 6, 2012 at 11:52 am

I want to visit that SunRiver spot! I’ve always wanted to visit Oregon – that’s one more reason to make it happen!

Sometimes I need these posts to keep my motivations and dreams up!

Brian

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Chris December 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Can’t believe Sunriver only made it to number 9!

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Max December 7, 2012 at 10:28 am
Sean December 7, 2012 at 11:40 am

Now there are definitely some places worth visiting in that list!

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Joanne Munro December 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm

My coolest offices have been The Mirage in Vegas and a converted barn in the middle of France. Did a bit of work in Rome and Sorrento but I’m not really going to count them!

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EugeneHennie.com December 8, 2012 at 5:15 am

Great post. How much do you guys pay for these places?

They are pretty awesome. I am going to Hong Kong to work for Christmas and I am paying $600. You guys def should make a how score cool places for cheap

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Sean December 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

haha got you covered!

Check out http://www.hackingthehighlife.com/join

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Caelan Huntress December 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I’ve been rocking the Costa Rican offices for a year now: http://officeinparadise.tumblr.com/

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Chris December 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I’m going to say your Mayan Compound – Taninah office looks the coolest in my book.

I’d love to hear your opinion on a top 3 list for family-friendly digital nomad offices with a lean towards the more nature focused locations.

Cheers Sean!

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Michael Charalambous December 14, 2012 at 8:46 am

Damn you Sean! Damn you all the way to the end of the world and back (literally). Although, if i’m honest, had some pretty cool offices myself.

Do you mind if i hi-jack the idea of the post for my site? I hadn’t thought of writing about all my offices this year :)

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Sean December 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

No way, I’d love to see it :) Shoot me a link when it’s live!

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Michael Charalambous January 2, 2013 at 7:45 am

Hey Sean, delayed response here but; i wrote the post and as requested here’s the link: http://www.michaelcharalambous.com/project133/9-months-in-3-months-out/. I hope you enjoy it!

Manuel December 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm

I would not want to set-up an office anywhere in Cuba because the internet connection in that country sucks! While we still maintain an office in the Philippines and a buying office in Hong Kong, I’m looking at Cancun or Bogota at the moment for my next adventure. Same time zone with North America will make interacting with clients much easier. Very nice HDR photos BTW. What software you’re using for HDR?

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Lauren Peterson February 13, 2013 at 7:06 am

Sean, these pictures are amazing! I especially liked how the offices don’t really look like offices at all. My company, PGi, has a product that allows workers to work from any location around the world. Thus, creating their very own remote office.

Have you ever taken a look at iMeet? iMeet integrates best-in-class video and web conferencing with reliable conference calling in a secure, cloud-based personalized online meeting space where you and your guests can get together anytime.

I would love to set you up with a free trial and discuss how iMeet can be your meeting source from any location.

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