Thanks to “Work From Hotel” offers, the US hospitality sector is buzzing
Leisure travel to downtown Los Angeles has sagged during the coronavirus pandemic, but guest rooms at the 94-year-old Hotel Figueroa are hot commodities as always. These days, however, most guests are locals taking day trips from home so they can work. A special program titled Work Perks aims to reposition some of the hotel’s 268 rooms as day-use offices, says a report by CNN Travel.
According to Managing Director Connie Wang, this is a great opportunity for work-at-home warriors to get out of their houses and spend workdays in clean, quiet and socially distanced spaces that come with high-speed WiFi, unlimited printing privileges and free parking.
“They want a calming and relaxing atmosphere, away from the distractions of working at home,” Wang said, noting that the 350-square-foot rooms sell for $129 per day, with an option to extend to an overnight stay for an additional $20. “For some people, this has become a real treat.”
The “Fig,” as it’s known locally, isn’t the only traditionally overnight accommodation pivoting toward day-use during the pandemic; across the country other properties have taken similar leaps. Strategy behind these moves is simple: Hotels will try anything to offset revenues that have dropped as much as 50% since public health-driven shutdowns began in March. As a result, hotels have started a host of new revenue streams at a time when every dollar counts, says CNN Travel.
Take The Wythe, a boutique hotel, in Brooklyn. The hotel recently announced a partnership with co-working office space company Industrious through which it is repurposing 13 second-story guest rooms to serve as offices for up to four people. Each of the rooms has a small outdoor terrace, and dogs are welcome, says the CNN Travel report. Pricing starts at $200 and goes up to $275, depending on how many people use the space.
The Sawyer, in Sacramento, California, is offering pool cabanas for use as outdoor offices, complete with fast WiFi, free parking and catered lunch for $150 per day. Then there’s the 318-room Hamilton Hotel in Washington D.C. Through its new package, the hotel offers guests use of a room until 4 p.m., as well as a bag of breakfast goodies and a Keurig coffee maker with unlimited pods, reports CNN. The price tag: $109 per day, only about $25 less than the overnight rate.
The Ballantyne, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, has taken an entirely different approach. Here, Beth Allen, director of sales and marketing said the property is offering entire 350-square-foot boardrooms for $500 per week. Guests who sign up for these boardrooms have 24-hour access to their space and can order off a special room service menu with lower prices, CNN Travel says.
Perhaps the best value comes from guest-room offices at the InterContinental Times Square, which is located right in the middle of New York City. Here, hotel management has set aside about 20% of its 607 rooms to be utilized as office space, says the CNN report. The 350-square-foot rooms are available for $1,000 per week, and they come standard with full-time technical support from PSAV, a global event production company.