Hotels are tapping into work-from-home, transforming rooms into office spaces

Several metropolitan-based hotels are positioned to take on business clients as cities head into later phases of reopening

Working from home is getting a makeover as some hotels are jumping into office space packages.

After the coronavirus put a dent into occupancy rates, some hotels have taken creative leaps to repackage rooms as workspaces.

Hotels like the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village are offering day-stay packages for remote workers, with 5 of its suites dedicated to repurposed office spaces. The rooms are fit for workers’ needs with a balcony and restroom, a specialized floor plan, high-speed Wi-Fi, coffee and tea and access to fitness centers. Other hotels are following suit to adapt to capitalize on the changing needs of workers and present attractive work-from-home deals.

“We recognized early on in COVID-19 this was an important reach,” President of AKA Larry Korman told FOX Business. AKA, a luxury extended stay brand, tapped into this new marketing trend in the early phases of the pandemic after a group of Kuwait travelers could not return home due to travel bans. Faced with the need of extended residence with work accommodations, AKA took the resolve to offer an entire floor, which the international guests could use as office space for the next two months.

“I think AKA’s time has come more so than ever because the idea of having self-sufficient spaces resonates more today,” Korman said.

AKA already had office spaces carved out in the DNA of its residences with separate living room work areas, but the coronavirus pushed the brand to take it to the next level. Studios have been converted into primary work spaces packaged with Wi-Fi, printers and scanners. More flexible options allow guests to add more private workspaces to their residence, whether its removing a bed or adding a desk into the area.

Rather than the typical international crowd that stays over the summer, AKA is seeing an influx of people from the tri-state suburbs as a way to get away from being shored up at home and work in the city with a private surrounding.

“They miss the city and they miss the culture, and they want to get back to work,” Korman said.

Other metropolitan-based hotels are positioned to take on business clients as cities head into later phases of reopening.

Guests lodging at the InterContinental Times Square can book a newly renovated 350-square-foot room to create a customizable “home” office starting at a weekly rate of $1,000. Teams can also buy out an exclusive floor, consisting of 16 individual offices with views of Times Square and Midtown Manhattan for a higher charge of $15,000 per week.

“We are sparking a new interest because the city is really waking up out of the little sleepy period,” General Manager at InterContinental New York Barclays Sofia Vandaele told FOX Business. “People are looking for a change of scenery and a space where they can feel productive and keep things moving ahead.”

When InterContinental Barclays, located in midtown Manhattan, opens its doors at the end of the summer, it will market some of its rooms as office spaces for short-term or extended stays to both individuals and corporations.

The base structure of all rooms will be equipped to match a typical office set up with wireless connectivity, Wi-Fi, an in-room coffee station and fridge stocked with waters and energy drinks, as well as access to fitness rooms. Additional amenities like pre-packaged meals are also available. Before booking, guests will be able to arrange a virtual 360-degree tour of a sample room, to which they can customize with dedicated office furniture, desks and even Peloton machines upon request.

Pricing of rooms is based on the square footage, with $25 per square foot, so that guests can adjust their needs in an affordable manner, whether its a 250-square-foot space or an entire floor wing to accommodate a company.

“For an individual that runs their own startup company but at the same time has a 1-year-old at home, it’s hard to concentrate at home,” Vandaele added. “When they need to work  on a project or launch a new product, we can provide that space and distance from working in a home environment.”


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