At the Dixon, a ‘work from hotel’ package that gives guests a little bit of everything proves the perfect antidote to home-office malaise. Olivia Palamountain reports
Day-use hotel rooms for remote workers have to be one of the stand-out travel and hospitality trends of the year, reflective of the unpredictable, contrary times of corona.
Hotels and resorts across the world have put the concept to work, everywhere from urban boltholes and luxurious grande dames to exotic island retreats, buoyed by data that suggests the mass shift to remote working has been a positive change for most employees.
The Dixon’s “Working From Hotel” package promises a change of scene in SE1 plus a generous F&B spend from the grandeur of a former courthouse.
It also includes an over-night stay and early check-in and late check-out, to give two full working days in an alternative environment to the home. Built in 1905 as a magistrate’s courthouse, and repurposed in 2019 as a hotel, the Dixon is an intriguing blend of original Edwardian architecture and contemporary styling that makes the most of its heritage.
Guests are welcomed in a foyer crowned by a grand split staircase and decorated in vibrant, quirky artwork.
It’s a magnificent entrance that manages to be both impressive and warm at the same time, wrapped in original wooden panelling offset with a vast chandelier that drips with crystal handcuffs (a playful nod to the convicts who once loitered here). Upstairs, the former judges chamber is now used as a meeting room.Covid-secure measures in the public spaces include temperature and sanitisation stations, plus compulsory wearing of masks, advance booking of breakfast slots and sessions in the gym (to manage numbers) and enhanced in-room cleaning.
The Dixon’s “Working From Hotel” package costs £149 and includes the following:
- Early check-in from 8am and late check-out from 6pm
- One-night stay in a Dixon King room
- Unlimited access to Provisioners workspace (cafe and/or restaurant)
- £40 F&B credit
- Free wifi and free breakfast
A bed for the night is an unusual addition for work-from-hotel deals (although MGM Resorts in Las Vegas do the same), and the Dixon’s goes full luxe to give guests a King suite.
While there’s no desk set-up, the King suites are generously proportioned for a city hotel and come complete with a dining and lounge area.
There’s plenty of space to get cosy with a laptop, however, guests are encouraged to make use of the communal tables at the hotel’s Provisioners restaurant, which was designed with co-working in mind – think masses of plug points and no pressure to order a meal or drinks.Provisioners is full of subtle – and not so subtle – references to the history of this building. This space used to be the old holding cells, the footprints of which are marked out on the floor.
There’s even an original cell in still in one piece, with its thick iron door, heavy lock and peephole. It’s now used as a “coffee lab” from which the restaurant roasts its own bespoke caffeine blend.On quieter nights, meals are served in the Courtroom bar. There’s more than a hint of “yes m’lord” about this room: from the platform bar, you’ll find cocktails served instead of justice, while original images of Victorian urchins and prisoners holding placards proclaiming their crimes peer out from walls.
It’s spooky, emotional and steeped in history: Globetrender loves it. Further gems from the past include pewter reliefs of the courtroom’s wooden benches, crudely engraved with dirty ditties and messages of hope and dispair by the condemned.There’s plenty on the Italian-accented menu to tempt all appetites with beef carpaccio, wild mushroom risotto, grilled rib-eye steak all flatbread pizzas all represented and reasonably priced – the £40 credit will stretch to at least two courses and a drink.
Alternatively, of course, you could just spank it all at the bar where the Dixon’s accomplished mixologists will mix you a bespoke drink.
If you fancy a screen break, the Dixon is just four minutes from London icons the Tower of London, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the Tate Modern, plus the foodie hubs of Borough Market and Maltby Street.
A terrific night’s sleep in a neutral location provides the moment of escapism we’ve been craving, capped only by the breakfast of champions served up at Provisioners and washed down with lashings of its signature house brew.
The unanimous verdict? The Dixon is guilty of delivering the perfect reset for jaded homeworkers and wannabe digital nomads – at a ridiculously reasonable price.
Globetrender spoke to Hasham Soliman, the general manager at the Dixon, for his verdict on the work-from-hotel trend.
How do you think the hotel office/work from hotel trend will evolve?
“If we are able to create a sense of community, similar to that at existing co-working space market leaders, with the added offering, technology and services luxury hotels such as the Dixon provide, it would give us the competitive advantage to become a competitive leader in this sector.”
Has the package been popular so far?
“The package has gathered some positive momentum only to be slowed down by Covid tier restrictions and talk of a new potential lockdown. Given an uninterrupted period we believe the package will be very successful for the Dixon.”
Can you share any numbers on what kind of revenue it generates?
“As well as extra rooms revenue, most of the additional revenue gained is incremental in line with the number of guests being at the hotel throughout the business day.”
Do you think budget hotels will be able to compete with co-working space?
“To a certain extent – if they have both comfortable and attractive facilities, robust wifi and a desirable food and drinks offering.”