PICTURES: Expedia's chic Sydney digs have some of the coolest meeting spaces we have ever seen

Photo: Expedia/ Supplied.

Tech companies are known to have cool office spaces and killer company culture.

Travel companies similarly are known to have interesting exotic offerings and a diverse range of products thanks to the expanding industry.

So what do you get when you mesh the two together?

Business Insider found out on a walk-through of Expedia’s Sydney office recently.

The huge Sydney digs span three themed floors, 23 meeting rooms, 19 huddle areas and 44 pods.

The design is open and light, with cool artwork and fun employee perks.

“The office captures the positive feeling you get when you travel from the moment employees or guests walk in,” says Michael Pearson, MD at Expedia ANZ.

“Whether you want to escape to the outdoors of Byron Bay, explore hidden laneways like Melbourne’s Flinders Lane, or experience the amazing food and wine of the McLaren Vale; employees and guests can easily wander through the three levels and feel like they’ve escaped to a different place.

“As Australia is one of our key markets, we wanted to make a significant investment into our home base and bring all our brands – Expedia, Egencia, Wotif, Lastminute.com.au and Hotels.com – under one roof.”

Construction on the 1 Martin Place office started in March 2016, and was completed by May 28. Staff were moved in on May 30.

Currently, it houses approximately 300 staff, but is capable of handling 370.

Here’s a look around.

Welcome to Expedia

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

The idea was to design it in a similar way to that of a contemporary hotel with minimalist Scandinavian design, lush greenery and a light-filled lobby.

Even the reception and waiting area is cool

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Gensler, the design team tasked with the fit out, wanted to create a fun, casual and colourful workplace which would bring people together.

An external meeting room

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

And the board room

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Stepping into the office itself

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Here we go.

Very schmick. In case you hadn't guessed this level, Level 18, is inspired by foodie destinations.

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

At first glance it looks like an urban jungle

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Gensler wanted to create a central ‘marketplace’ as the key social zone, drawing all of the teams together, surrounded by flexible workspace with lots of enclosed meeting rooms as well as plenty of informal collaborative areas.

A cute breakaway space

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

This area is intended to reflect a farmer’s market with stalls as seating.

One of a number of kitchens throughout the office

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

This level also embodies destinations known for their food, different cultures and amazing flavours.

This vibe makes it feel like a cafe rather than an office

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

This cafe, called Mister Piccolo, is complete with a barista style coffee machine.

The first of the office spaces

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Bright meeting rooms. The colours and design immediately lift your energy

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Fresh and vibrant

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

And check out the room names

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

I think I would spend most of my time in this one...

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Each office space has room for lockers

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

As well as this, employees have access to bike space, changing rooms, and shower amenities.

The greenery is a healthy touch

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Moving on downstairs: Level 17

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

This level was inspired by Australian cities.

The communal spaces are open and fun

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

The décor showcases Australian cities with hidden laneways, intimate cafés and quirky bars. The floor is decorated with vintage style street art and walls emblazoned with graffiti and travel posters.

So are the kitchen areas, making it easy to grab something when you're on the run

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

If you don't find them here, some of the Expedia team's favourite nearby lunch spots include Gowing Bar at QT Sydney, Burger Project, Thrive and INDU.

There are lots of healthy snack options

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Need some tech help? They have a dedicated IT bar

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

More desks

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Walking through the office space there are lots of hints about what they do here

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

The meeting rooms don't only have cool names, the artwork is also pretty fantastic

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Here are some of the other examples...

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

This is a kitchenette

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

And a dedicated Bondi room

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Which of course comes with its own surfboard

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

It is fitting with the company's Global Day of Caring program which this year will see the local team take part in a beach clean-up on Manly Beach with Surfrider Australia; learning about environmental issues and helping to restore Middle Head at Sydney Harbour National Park; or helping with a home makeover with House with No Steps.

And floor to ceiling blackboards for brainstorming

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

'Hello...'

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

As well as the bright, cheery colours and art, this office is totally transparent thanks to its open spaces

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Pearson says the open plan reflects Expedia’s key philosophies and values – 'to be transparent; and to test and learn from everything that we do'.

See?

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

He says, 'we stayed away from the traditional or hierarchical design of enclosed meeting rooms and private offices and used an open plan design filled with informal areas and glass meeting rooms to encourage transparency and collaboration'.

The views aren't bad either!

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Because of the open office plan almost everyone gets a window seat.

Here's something else quirky we found: a wellness room

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

And before you think it's where they do yoga or meditate, it's actually just a sick bay

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

But Expedia also offers health and wellness initiatives. For example, employees are offered a comprehensive program to support their personal goals, a voucher to use on fitness activities or equipment to promote and encourage wellness, and some health insurance benefits.

Having done a loop from the kitchen, through the office and back to the stairway, we find this area

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

And of course a staple of all tech companies: bean bags

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Now for the next level down, Level 16, which is inspired by the outdoors and beautiful landscapes

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

And look what we have here...

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

It embodies the outdoors with faux living grassy walls, a space called ‘The Lawn’, a ‘Playground’ and ‘The Bar’. Teams often hold competitions like Olympics and cook offs.

All the games!

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

And another kitchen

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

It appears to be well-stocked...

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Every Friday the company hosts a wine and cheese night. The beer and wine committee choose what the team will drink that week.

And yes, that is a beer tap

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

If they aren't having a coldie here, staff kick back at the nearby bars like Work in Progress, Stitch Bar, Baxter Inn, Grandma’s and The Rook.

Ping pong anyone?

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Oops

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Check out this photo wall

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

This is where employees submit their holiday photos for them to be framed and put up on the wall. The company also has a Leisure Travel Benefit which is offered to employees to encourage them to take a holiday or go on a travel adventure.

The office space down here is pretty similar to the upper levels

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

This is one of the more comfortable meeting rooms

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Teams use a combination of sitting and standing desks

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

Here's some of the tech they use

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

And look, a writing wall. Facebook has something similar

Photo: Sarah Kimmorley

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