A continued slump in business travel and reticence to travel for leisure in many areas of the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic have pushed hoteliers to think outside of the box. School and work demands soldier on, even if from home, giving hotels new opportunity for potential business in the form of “work-from-hotel” or “school-from-hotel” stays.
Productivity and concentration levels can suffer with home-life distractions. Hotels are working hard to develop intriguing packages that convince travelers they can stay focused and motivated even if in a new locale.
Hotel brands have launched large-scale offers to promote the idea, but individual properties are developing their own niche concepts that highlight the strength of their destination’s amenities while following the “workation” and “schoolcation” trend.
Dig for dinosaur fossils at The Advenire in Utah
Kids can embark on a dinosaur discovery tour with digging set around the famous red rocks of Greater Zion. The visit to a dinosaur discovery site puts budding archeologists in the middle of a 200 million year old ecosystem that was once home to pre-historic fish, plants, and dinosaurs. It’s an educational reward after a day of hitting the books in the guest room or on the hotel’s rooftop patio.
Make a new ‘Home at Hilton’ in Sandestin Beach
The Home at Hilton offer at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa feature two options for those looking to trade city life for sunny Florida’s sand and sea. With a guest list that hails from nearby drive-market destinations as well as colder northern and midwest cities, extended stays have been on the rise. A 14-night option includes a discounted nightly rate, unlimited coffee refills, and ample space to work in the room or balcony. Bunk beds in some guest rooms are especially popular with families.
A month-long option, which the resort dubs a “one month life swap,” adds complimentary breakfast, a beach cabana, and a daily afternoon cocktail to unwind after a day of work or school. Both options are eligible for Hilton Honors points earning.
Zoom from a poolside cabana at W South Beach
Following a $30 million renovation, W South Beach reopened to travelers in late 2020, some of whom are taking work-from-hotel life to a new meaning. Some extended stay guests are in-house for as many as six months, and the options to stay productive by the ocean are ample.
Pool cabanas can be repurposed as a remote office with dedicated WiFi signals, and tutors are on call for students that want a break from digital learning. Audiovisual and screening capabilities for meetings are available in the pool cabana, too. Staff can walk pets on a daily basis for those that are too focused on work.
The Work Anywhere Play package includes additional office or study space outside of the main guest room and a credit for the spa. Families may see this as a refreshing alternative to remote school at home since there is ample outdoor space for kids to let go of pent-up energy. Long-stay guests can take advantage of discounted monthly rates that waive the resort fee and complimentary grocery shopping service.
‘Work 9-5, Play 5-9’ at The Ben West Palm
Guests can “Work 9-5, Play 5-9 at The Ben” in West Palm Beach, Florida. The package at The Ben West Palm, an Autograph Collection Hotel, is available for either overnight stays or day use. The deal includes an “out of office” signature cocktail on the hotel rooftop, free parking, an in-room snack basket, food and beverage discounts and all the coffee you can drink. For stays of at least two weeks, a daily laundry credit is a nice boost.
Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s new book butler program. In-room menus feature a list of current best sellers that can be delivered to the door (or left hanging on the door handle) by the dedicated book butler. The hotel partners with a local bookstore to buy books for guests, which they can take home or leave behind to donate to a local library.
‘Workation and Schoolcation’ at Club Med
Club Med Sandpiper Bay in Florida has mastered remote work and learning by giving guests separate work space to keep leisure time and work clearly divided. The family-friendly, all-inclusive resort gives its productivity-minded guests access to a meeting room with premium WiFi that doubles as a private office. It features a printer and regular coffee breaks with snacks.
Students can take advantage of a similar offer by using a conference room for virtual learning. The resort’s staff supervises students to help with anything they need and provide snacks. Noise-canceling headsets eliminate any distractions. Recess here is a little more exotic than the playground since kids can participate in other resort activities including cooking classes or splash in the pool or on the beach.
‘Take a sabbatical’ at AKA West Hollywood
Los Angeles residents won’t need to drive far to take a sabbatical from daily life at the AKA West Hollywood where stays of at least seven nights are available to the work-from-hotel set. Typically, AKA guests must stay at least 30 nights, but this special short-term offer is designed to give locals a break from their home routine. Onsite “joy ambassadors” help coordinate logistics for those wanting a change of scenery in one of its studio apartments or suites.
The “sabbatical experience” includes the use of the hotel’s bikes to get around the neighborhood, tickets to the nearby botanical gardens, discounts on fresh produce delivered to the room weekly and access to an onsite screening room for movie nights. There’s also a heated pool and al fresco deck to take in the scenery after a day of work in the property’s fully furnished residences.
Work from a pool cabana at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
The Work from Hyatt package at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar in the Bahamas includes more than just a guest room. Guests receive additional space in the form of a connecting room, suite with separate work table or meeting room space for remote work or schooling and $50 in daily food and beverage credits.
The package requires a minimum seven-night stay, but comes with other perks like laundry discounts, free parking, waived resort fees and two days at a private, poolside cabana. Before departure, the resort is one of many hotels to offer complimentary Covid testing in accordance with new requirements for travelers returning to the United States.
‘Schoolcation’ at The Royal at Atlantis Paradise Island
Students can hit the books in paradise at The Royal at Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas with its Schoolcation in Paradise offer. It comes with a 30% discount on stays of at least seven nights plus a daily $30 resort credit that can be used for food and beverage outlets.
The resort credit also covers educational activities like swimming with dolphins or learning about coral reef preservation from resident marine biologists. The resort’s latest promotion offers a fourth night free for stays in March.
Teachers get a break at The Curtis in Denver
Teachers are navigating a new normal, too, and those that are guiding today’s students remotely have an ally in The Curtis, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Denver. The property is providing free access to one of its five meeting rooms for teachers of any grade level that need peace and quiet for remote instruction. In addition to the free space, teachers can use tables, chairs, and WiFi without charge (no stay required).