‘Workcations’ are this year’s biggest travel trend — here’s where you can try it for yourself
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As the coronavirus pandemic has unfolded, it’s wreaked havoc on the travel industry.
It’s also upended the way many people work — office work is out, and remote work is in. With the rise of remote work, however, has come fatigue of working from tiny apartments in big cities, childhood bedrooms (speaking from experience with this one), living rooms, kitchen counters, sitting room couches and other unconventional spots.
On the flip side, this has created a lot of flexibility for remote workers and families with remote students in terms of where they can be physically located.
After months of staying largely inside and close to our homes, many crave a change in scenery — whether it’s just for a single workday or a longer period.
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Hotels near and far have responded by ushering in the newest trend in the industry: the work-from-hotel package. First, we saw individual hotels introduce special bundles with unique sets of perks to woo a traveler looking for a place to escape their home office for a day, a week or even longer.
As the trend caught on, the major hotel chains saw an opportunity to meet the demand of travelers and bring back some level of business to their hotels in the process. Hyatt was first out of the gate with its Work From Hyatt program, and then Marriott and Hilton followed with packages of their own.
As we continue with Hotels & Destinations Week at the 2020 TPG Awards, here’s a look at the offerings currently out there, from hotels offering day rates to multi-week, all-inclusive packages to get away from everything — and everyone.
Hyatt’s “Work From Hyatt” packages
As mentioned above, Hyatt was the first of the major chains to offer a remote-work program. Originally at about 25 properties, the chain expanded the program to more than 90 hotels in its portfolio because of positive feedback and popularity — and it’s currently valid for stays through Sept. 12, 2021.
These packages — which start at $139 per night and require a minimum stay of five nights — include standard amenities like a dedicated workspace, housekeeping, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and discounted or complimentary laundry. And, depending on the property, you’ll receive additional perks like complimentary pool cabanas, free rounds of golf, s’mores kits, private cooking classes, a dedicated concierge and free kids’ programs.
TPG’s Vikkie Walker and Richard Kerr had the chance to try Work From Hyatt packages for themselves earlier this fall. Read all about their experiences at the Andaz Makakoba Resort Riviera Maya and the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines. Hyatt also offers appealing packages for its collection of all-inclusive resorts.
But, if an extended stay doesn’t make sense for you, look to Work From Hyatt: Office for the Day. Now available daily through May 31, 2021, at more than 400 Hyatt hotels in the Americas, it’s the change of scenery you are craving.
The package starts at $65 a day and includes a private guestroom — from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — with the conveniences of an office (think free Wi-Fi). You’ll get 50% off self- or valet parking, a 15% discount on food and beverages, complimentary bottled water and a selection of coffee and tea in-room. Where available, you’ll also have access to business-style amenities, such as a printer, scanner and fax machine.
You can pay cash or points for the package and stays include standard World of Hyatt in-hotel benefits: You’ll earn points and these stays count toward elite status.
Marriott’s Day, Stay and Play Passes
While Hyatt has gone after those who want a longer escape, Marriott’s offering a full slate of options with its Day, Stay and Play Passes. This ranges from single-day visits for someone who wants a more-peaceful office to get specific projects done to multi-day packages designed to please the whole family — including business concierges and dedicated spaces for working and studying.
The Day Pass package is designed for those who simply want a workspace that’s close to home, but that’s not actually their home. You’ll get to use a hotel room for the day, with a 6 a.m. check-in time and 6 p.m. checkout. Guests will receive enhanced Wi-Fi, access to food, drinks and business services like printing, fax and scanning equipment (if the hotel has those amenities).
The Stay Pass combines overnight stays with all the same aspects of its Day Pass remote-office set up. After the workday, you’ll get to lay your head in a hotel bed — and sometimes a hotel bed is all one needs to feel refreshed. You’ll have time to use the pool or gym during the overnight stay, and you’ll also get a $10 food-and-beverage credit as well as complimentary evening cocktails and breakfast in the morning.
Finally, the Play Pass is designed to provide all the elements of a home office or a home school — away from home. Guests will have access to a dedicated business concierge, supervised kids’ activities, dedicated office and study spaces, and other “curated experiences” depending on the property. These packages are available at many of Marriott’s higher-end and resort locations across the world.
Hilton’s WorkSpaces by Hilton packages
Hilton doesn’t have an extended-stay option (though individual properties may offer one on their own). Instead, WorkSpaces by Hilton is a special day rate for those in need of a clean, comfortable and quiet space to get tasks done, away from all the distractions at home.
Guests can expect a private “office” space complete with a real desk and chair, complimentary Wi-Fi and access to other hotel-specific amenities.
Hotels we’d love to work from
While the above packages apply more broadly to major chains’ portfolios, there are some specific properties that have caught our eye. This (of course) is by no means an exhaustive list but rather a sampling of what kind of options you have if you’re considering a “work-cation” for yourself.
Recently, the Four Seasons Hotel One Dalton Street Boston unveiled its “Conference Calls to Cocktails” packages, which are designed for remote workers in need of a changing up of their normal routine. There are three distinct packages, two of which offer an overnight stay component and one offering a day package only.
If you’re just looking for a quiet and comfortable place to focus for the day, the “Just for the Day” package will be perfect for you. You’ll have access to your room or suite for 12 hours — from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — and will have a real office set up (includes printer/scanner, monitor, wireless mouse and keyboard), premium Wi-Fi, and access to a supply of healthy snacks.
Deluxe rooms are available for $300 per day, and suites are available for $600. This day package is only bookable through the hotel directly. You can call them at (617) 530-1388 or email at email@example.com.
If you’d prefer to stay overnight, try either the Deluxe Room Package or the Executive Suite Package. Both include the real office setup, premium Wi-Fi, early check-in, 5 p.m. checkout and a complimentary cocktail. If you step up to the Executive Suite Package, which includes the use of a Peloton bike right from the comfort of your suite. Both packages can be booked here.
Home to the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes and The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes, this sprawling central Florida resort offers a full range of amenities including spas, golf courses and, of course, multiple pools. The resort launched its “Work From Resort” program, which offers three distinct packages — applicable at both properties — designed for solo workers or those with families in tow.
Guests who notify the properties that they’ll be working remotely will receive early check-in, a late check-out of 5 p.m., as well as a “Business Butler” who will assist with tasks like printing or scanning as well as finding locations across the properties with a strong Wi-Fi signal. For an extra fee, parents can reserve a “Grande Lakes Ranger” who will help kids aged 4 to 17 occupied while their parents work. This service costs $20 per hour, up to four hours or $80 per child per day.
Room rates vary by date, and you’ll receive the Work From Resort perks if you book any one of the three packages on offer and let the hotel know that you’re planning on using it as your remote work base.
MGM Resorts’ “Viva Las Office” program offers travelers three distinct packages with varying levels of perks — called “The Associate,” “The Manager” and “The Executive” — for three-, four- or five-night stays at its Aria and Bellagio resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. Starting at $101 per night, travelers will receive check-in as early as 8 a.m., checkout as late as 6 p.m., access to a dedicated “executive assistant” to help with reservations and experiences throughout the stay, daily food-and-beverage credits, discounts to local activities and more.
Anyone who books a package will also receive discounts on round-trip JSX private-jet flights, up to $125.
Rates start at $101 per night with a three-night minimum stay required.
The Conrad Punta de Mita near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico was one of our most-anticipated properties of 2020 ahead of its Sept. 1 opening. Now welcoming guests, the property offers a selection of ocean-facing rooms available to guests — plus a “Stay Longer & Work From Paradise” package, which offers this valuable perk: Stay two weeks and get a third week free plus — when booking stays of 14 nights or longer — a 20% discount on food and beverages, free laundry service and complimentary access to tutoring and tech support for remote school/work guests.
Rates start at $260, and there is a four-night minimum stay requirement.
Located in beautiful Kapalua on the island of Maui, the Montage is one of Hawaii’s best resorts. And right now, the property is offering its “Spirit of Now” package — also available at the chain’s other properties — which entitles guests to a $100 property credit per day per room (up to $300), a complimentary upgrade at check-in and a complimentary, month-long membership to One Medical for medical care (if needed) and piece of mind.
No deposit is required at booking, and cancellations can be made up to 48 hours before check-in. That flexibility is important, since Hawaii has had a set of ever-changing policies for tourists in light of the pandemic.
Rooms start from $825 per night.
Featured image of the Conrad Punta de Mita courtesy of the hotel.
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