Hotel Workcations Trending, Thanks to COVID-19

Properties try to fill empty rooms by catering to the business-and-pleasure travel mentality

At the intersection of work and vacation.

One unforeseen reaction to COVID-19 is that workcations are trending, again. Spell it how you like, but workcations are the act of checking into a destination hotel with plans to stay connected to the office, finish that TPS report and generally get stuff done.

Workcations made headlines a few years ago because that’s how remote-working Millennials roll. Their vacation needs include nice restaurants swimming pools and high-speed internet connections.

Not everybody was enamored when workcations entered the lexicon. Baby Boomers collectively retorted, “How about a little work-life balance?”

Millennials, who were tapping on laptops while sitting poolside in chaise lounges had ear buds in and couldn’t even be bothered to whisper, “Okay, Boomer.”

A 2017 study by Accountemps showed that 60 percent of people aged 54 and older don’t connect with the office during a vacation. That compares to just 38 percent of workers ages 18-34.

As a (Generation X) travel writer, I’m almost always working when I’m at a hotel or destination. Yes, I know, cue the tiny violins. You be the judge as to whether taking notes during a Sonoma wine tasting counts as a workcation.

Whatever your opinion on combining work and vacation, since March 2020 there’s been a rise in marketing this phenomenon. Here are a few offerings:

 Business from the Balcony

Clocking in at The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

The Lodge at Torrey Pines in San Diego has a Business from the Balcony workcation package. Room views include a botanical reserve or the renown Torrey Pines Golf Course.

Rates for day use of a room (from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.) start at $195. You get: a balcony, comp parking, free phone calls, use of the pool, in-room coffee/tea, WiFi and use of the Business Center.

You also get a loaner putter and golf balls for use on the nearby putting green.

If golf is how you swing on workcation, there’s the Business to a Tee package, which includes a preferred tee time on the course.

Viva Las Office

Yes, you can do work at Aria in Las Vegas.

To help fill the Bellagio and Aria casino-resorts in Las Vegas during the pandemic, parent company MGM Resorts has a Viva Las Office package. 

The offer starts at $100/night (for a five-night minimum). Whether it’s a deluxe room at Aria or a salone suite at Bellagio, your Strip-side office includes WiFi and food & beverage credits.

Choose from three package levels. “The Associate” package includes a free executive assistant. “The Manager” includes poolside neck-and-shoulders massage. “The Executive” gets all that and full cabana rental.

You can check in as early as 8 a.m. and check out as late as 6 p.m. That’s quite the difference from normal in-and-out times at most resorts.

The new slogan: “What happens in Vegas…is due to corporate by EOD.”

Workcations in Bermuda

Working 9-to-5 in Bermuda.

Super flexible with your ability to work from anywhere? How about a self-governing British territory in the western North Atlantic Ocean?

Wearing the trademark shorts, you could work remotely from Bermuda. A Work from Bermuda Certificate costs $263 and is good for one year. The certificate allows you to travel back-and-forth to your home base during the year.

Barbados is also allowing tourists to work from the beach for up to 12 months at a time.

One Barbados hotel that’s gotten itself into workcation mode is Courtyard by Marriott Bridgetown. Rooms were renovated to create comfortable workstations, and WiFi service was upgrade throughout the property.

Island time? Maybe during your next break.  J&J

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