Imagine you are top dog of a successful company and you need a break. You can go anywhere on the planet. Where would you head? A handful of CEOs checked in with me on the subject about their favorite places to recharge. Here are their words about why they choose the vacation destinations they do.
1. Capri, Italy
"I've only been once but it was complete zen for me. A great escape from the daily grind of running [my company]. My dream vacation now is to take someone to Sorrento and explore Capri."
--Konrad Billetz, CEO and founder of interchangeable prescription eyewear maker Frameri.
2. Vigur, Iceland
"This might seem like a strange holiday destination, but the fact is that I'm traveling all the time for work and to have a peaceful haven in the middle of nowhere is the most stress-detoxifying experience available. The island is a renowned natural beauty and has a huge population of puffins, Arctic terns, and other birds. I spend at least a week on the island every year with my family and it is my favorite part of the summer."
--Thor Fridriksson, founder of the trivia game QuizUp.
3. Rome, Italy
"[It has an] amazing combination of culture and modernity, religion, and atheism. Human modern history seems so close and young. Rome is the melting pot of our modern culture, the food is amazing, and the life is simple and beautiful. ... You can race a Vespa around the city, drive to the Vatican, play phantasy in the Colosseum, and go back to the old city all on the same day."
--Michael Cassau, founder of BYEBUY, a startup offering consumers pay-as-you-go and on-demand gadget ownership.
"Antarctica is ridiculously remote. Only 20,000 people visit it a year. It requires a harrowing two-day sail across the Drake's Passage--the roughest waters in the world--and promises one of the most inhospitable environments on the planet. Yet it's incredible. You watch icebergs 10 stories high and the size of Manhattan quietly float by. Witness orcas on the hunt. Sled down the whitest, crispest snow from beautiful vista spots high above the passages. Kayak past breaching hump-backs. Hike through colonies of thousands of penguins. And perhaps, to me at least, it demands an existential introspection--a rare but beautiful reminder we are actually on a little planet, chasing a star as it hurtles through the universe."
--Healey Cypher, co-founder and CEO of Oak Labs, maker of the interactive fitting room currently being piloted at Polo Ralph Lauren.
5. Necker Island
"As an entrepreneur and kite surfer, I loved my time on Necker Island. It's the perfect combination of action and relaxation. Sir Richard Branson is a rad kiter. I loved exploring the islands with him."
--Eric Sanchez, founder of the smart action camera company REVL.
6. Tel Aviv, Israel
"I love it because it's one of the youngest, most modern cities in the world. Each time I visit the city is different. The incredibly fast pace at which the culture, food, and infrastructure develops allows for new and exciting discoveries every trip. The economy is centered around the tech startup scene and in reality the whole city feels like a startup itself."
--Asher Weinberger, co-founder of direct-to-consumer menswear startup Twillory, developers of formaldehyde-free non-iron products.
7. Merzouga, Morocco
"I lived in Morocco for 11 years, we visited Merzouga a few times during those years, and I've brought friends back to visit since then. Imagine the drive from Marrakech over the Atlas Mountains to Dades. Spend the night, wake up early, and drive until you hit the dunes and can't drive any more. Then, jump on camels, and trek three hours into the distance, where a small sand dune on the horizon slowly reveals itself to be several hundred feet tall. Behind this dune, set up camp in a natural oasis with palm trees and small patches of water. Then, climb to the top of the dune, which is easier said than done, and watch the sunset over the Sahara Desert, with sand dunes floating on as far as the eye can see. Huddle around the campfire and eat a meal prepared by local Bedouins, and after, gaze at the brightest stars and most brilliant night sky you will ever see."
--David Rusenko, co-founder of website builder Weebly.
8. Carneros, California
"I got married last year in the area and it is also the location of one of our first weekends away together. Carneros is between Napa and Sonoma Valley--close to both, but less trafficked than either. Cool breezes from the Bay make for great chardonnay and pinot noir as well as unbeatable vistas."
--Niccolo de Masi, chairman and CEO of 3-D freemium mobile gaming company Glu Mobile.
9. Barcelona, Spain
"It possesses the perfect balance of Mediterranean chill with a unique culture. The relaxed Spanish lifestyle is galvanized with the powerful architecture of Gaudi."
--Cody Disch, co-founder of the men's accessories brand rooted in American-made socks, Ace & Everett.
10. Tulum, Mexico
"It's magical and unspoiled, and you need only pack one pair of sandals. I have never experienced anything as intensely detoxifying or renewing as a Mayan Temescal ceremony--it's spectacular. A multitude of yoga spots, cave dives, and a lack of cell service combine for an active, uninterrupted holiday. Fresh fish and greens from Posada Margherita--and a perhaps a little shopping at their adorable boutique--ensure that you feel amazing yet indulged. Night caps under the jungle canopy at Gitano make you pinch yourself in awe."
--Erin Sykes, founder of the online wellness, fitness, and coaching community Mission 360.