Working from home doesn’t suit everyone so the London West Hollywood is repurposing some of its hotel suites as private offices. Olivia Palamountain reports
The London West Hollywood is attemping to persuade locals to swap home working for hotel working with a selection of suites that have been converted into private offices.
The all-suite hotel has turned a portion of its guest rooms into individual work hubs, updated with office furniture and available to rent on a monthly and annual basis – without the lease agreement and deposit required by most commercial real-estate landlords.
The idea for the programme came to Greg Velasquez, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing, during a morning commute, when he heard a CNBC interview with business leaders about the challenges of adapting their workplaces to meet health and social distancing guidelines.“A light bulb went off,” Velasquez told Robb Report. “I realised that the extraordinary size and layout of our guest rooms – which start at 67 sqm, and have wet bars, private balconies, and rectangular floor plans – made them perfect for conversion to offices.”
Velasquez also noted that the hotel, which has remained open during the Covid-19 crisis and has implemented strict protection protocols, “is cleaned constantly, staffed around the clock, open seven days a week, and capable of offering F&B services” – adding to the conveniences.
The package starts at US$5,000 per month for suites ranging from 67 sqm to 183 sqm and that are operational from 6am to 10pm. (You can’t stay overnight.)
Aimed at businesses planning to reopen their offices but not fully prepared to accommodate the social distancing requirements within their existing workplaces, workers can tailor the lease to fit their needs and extend their stay on a week-to-week basis after the first 30 days.
Additional benefits include secure valet parking at a monthly rate of US$300 per vehicle, and a “commissary menu”, with meals collected at the lobby’s London Bar or delivered to office suites for a service charge.“Ideally, we want to be of assistance to the business community as we rebuild our local economy,” Velasquez said.
“The entertainment industry and related sectors, such as talent representation, law firms, and media agencies, have been our clients for years, and we’d like to help them get back to work any way we can.”
Elsewhere in the US, The Ballantyne Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, has converted meeting spaces into office suites that can be rented from a weekly basis, the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn has turned its rooms into offices for US$200 per day, and the Hamilton Hotel in DC is offering daytime rates with guests checking in at 9am and out in the early evening.
MGM Resorts is offering “Viva Las Vegas” work-from-hotel packages at Bellagio and Aria, and Grande Lakes Orlando (home to the region’s first JW Marriott and a Ritz-Carlton) is offering a “Work From Resort” programme with “Business Butlers” and dedicated Zoom-friendly spaces.
While the Work From Hotel trend might not be enough to offset the losses incurred during the pandemic, it’s indicative of another interesting industry adaptation to the life in the age of Covid-19.