Destinations Are Redefining WFH As “Work From Hotel”

As we have all experienced, 2020 has taken every idea we have of what “normal” life is and thrown it out the window. In a year that has been mostly spent at home, we’ve redefined what counts as leisure, and we’ve had to rethink what it means to truly unplug.

The RV industry has seen such a boom in demand that the RV Industry Association reported shipping nearly 40,000 units in August, a 17.3% increase year over year. But the tourism industry as a whole has been among the hardest hit industries in the pandemic. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that the U.S. is currently losing nearly $3 billion international tourism dollars every week.

That’s why some U.S. destinations are reframing their approach to attracting customers by looking locally, offering day-use packages in which using a hotel room as a workspace is an alternative to working from home. The Providence-Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the city will lose $50 million this year from cancelled conferences and events. To offset some of those losses, hotels like the Marriott Providence Downtown are offering Day Use packages. Between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., guests can book a room to use as an office (or classroom) for less than half of their overnight rate. Downtown Chicago’s Hotel Julian is offering a similar day rate deal, with an included discount at the hotel’s steakhouse, About Last Knife, to entice visitors to stay after work for dinner.

Some destinations are going further than that, though, and offering full “Work from Hotel” packages in the hopes that visitors will take advantage of being able to work from anywhere while still feeling like they’re getting away. The ultra-luxury Auberge Collection recently debuted Remote with Auberge at resorts from Telluride to Ft. Lauderdale to Maine. These longer-term stay packages offer tutoring and virtual learning assistance for kids, poolside cabana workspaces for adults, and cultural lessons for families like hula dancing on Hawaii’s big island and Mexican art history in Los Cabos.

At Carneros Resort in Napa Valley, California, the hotel will set up a workspace in one of their Harvest Cottages as part of the Work from Wine Country package. After your workday—or during, because lunch breaks and spa treatments are both conveniently an hour long—guests can use the resort-only spa, hear live music, take vineyard hikes, or attend the daily wine tasting in the hotel lobby.

The waterfront Gurney’s Newport, on a small island attached to Newport, Rhode Island, has a Work From Hotel package that includes separate breakfast and coffee shop credits, late checkout, and a “business butler” to help with office needs like printing and personalized stationery.

While some packages are only aimed at adults, Grand Hotel, on the carless Mackinac Island in Michigan, is offering a Back to School Package that focuses on kids. The package has a virtual learning space for kids, and incorporates the island’s history with admission to places like the Mackinac Art Museum, educational experiences at Mackinac Island State Historic Park, and horseback riding through the island’s gorgeous scenery. It’s a different kind of getaway in 2020, but a getaway all the same.

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