The Hotels Reimagining Their Rooms as Stylish Work Spaces

For some people fortunate enough to be working from home during the pandemic, forgoing a commute and sending emails from the living room has been a surprisingly welcome adjustment. For others — especially those sharing small spaces with loved ones — not so much. Where can you take a call when every room in your home is occupied by another family member, when a pipe bursts or when deafening jackhammering begins outside your window? Hotels, which have been hit hard during this time of social distancing and travel restrictions, have in recent months begun offering a possible solution, repositioning their rooms — in some instances by actually swapping out beds for luxurious desks and comfortable chairs — as picturesque offices in which to work in peace for a reduced day rate.

Some properties are also treating their day guests to additional perks. In New York and Los Angeles, many are including a complimentary in-room meal and, in at least one case, soothing, specially curated Spotify playlists, while in London, others are repurposing their gardens as open-air offices and assigning staff members to assist with everything from printing to tech difficulties. In Milan and Tokyo, bonuses might include unlimited coffee or even free yoga classes. Of course, not every hotel has been able to adapt in this way (in Paris, for instance, lockdowns have made this sort of operation largely impossible) but it allows those that can to get people into their rooms — while allowing guests to get out of theirs, if only for a day. Here, a roundup of some of the most work-friendly hotels in a handful of major cities around the world.

In Downtown Los Angeles, locals can now work in the splendor of the renovated 1920s-era Spanish Colonial manor that houses the Hotel Figueroa. A day pass to the property, which costs $129 (with the option to extend to an overnight stay for an additional $20), includes access to one of its 268 suites, each complete with a living area, an executive writing desk and free printing. In between meetings, guests can enjoy workouts on Peloton bikes in the hotel’s fitness center, which overlooks the courtyard, or lounge beside the pool. The Line, which is located between Hollywood and Downtown in the heart of Koreatown, also has a pool perfect for taking a casual call or just a break, as well as a serene second-floor garden terrace, and makes things easy for a new breed of commuters with its free valet service (a day pass costs $89). Nearby, at the Ace Hotel, half- or full-day passes ($75 and $125, respectively) translate to Wi-Fi-equipped, water-stocked work spaces in rooms — outfitted with vintage furnishings and turntables, along with a collection of records selected by the store Amoeba Music — and vouchers for coffee and after-work cocktails. Perhaps the most ideally located option is the Santa Monica Proper, which is within walking distance of the beach. The hotel’s rooftop restaurant, Calabra, which serves California-style Mediterranean cuisine, now doubles as an open-air, ocean-view communal office open to members of NeueHouse, who are also eligible for discounted rates on massages and yoga.

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