Working remote seems like the modern ideal, but if you’ve ever done it, you know it’s more about pacing the house in your pajamas than jetting off to exotic locales at the last moment because you can. With modern work culture, it can even feel like everyone’s a remote worker, checking email every few hours and staying in the loop even on vacation. This explains the rise of a new hotel phenomenon called, “coworking hotels.”
What Is a Coworking Hotel?
Coworking spaces are a rebrand of the empty, stuffy business centers from days past. These collaborative workspaces allow remote workers, entrepreneurs, or anyone just looking to get out of the confines of their office to come together to work in a collaborative, open space. While this rebrand mostly means they’ve added some plants and a cold brew coffee bar, it’s definitely working for millennials.
Coworking hotels vary in their approach, but most have a designated area—sometimes even a whole floor—with desks and tables, printers and other office supplies, and often amenities like coffee and pastries. They’ve basically transplanted a mini-WeWork for your convenience.
A Cultural Shift for Hotels
These new workspaces began popping up when hotels started to understand the way millennials differed from the generation before them. With the growing popularity of coworking hubs and the rise of words like “gig economy” and “digital nomads,” it’s clear that this generation is working differently. Hotels see new coworking spaces as a way to cater to this new work style.
But, the more fundamental change is deeper than just coworking; it’s in the cultural treatment of space. Where past generations kept mostly to their own hotel rooms (a more private, segmented experience), hotel chains like Ace Hotel and The Line that cater to millennials have had remarkable success turning their lobbies into shared spaces. Before formal coworking spaces, they introduced reading rooms and coffee shops, hosted events, and structured their lobbies to encourage community rather than privacy. These spaces flourished, proving that millennials wanted a chance to interact and be around each other, rather than in their private rooms.
Coworking spaces became a natural extension of that idea. The person who prefers a smaller room and a more inviting lobby space will probably also prefer a public, but well-designed, coworking space to a small desk and Keurig machine in the corner of their room. As hotels adapt to these generational and cultural shifts, they’re increasing shared space and introducing events like happy hours and meet-ups that can feel more reminiscent of bed-and-breakfast culture than traditional hotels.
These spaces not only serve as a way to bring guests together but allow the hotels to better connect with their surrounding communities. Many hotels allow the general public to use these coworking spaces too, typically for a fee. This speaks to the growing trend of hotels becoming a destination for residents of a city, in addition to travelers, through restaurants, events, and now, workspaces. By positioning themselves as a resource for the local community with coworking spaces, hotels are creating more space to partner with local brands and organizations and proving their value to the community they exist in.
This merging of travelers and local communities in hotels digs further into millennial traveler culture, with those travelers preferring to have a more “authentic” experience of what it’s like to be in a city, rather than having a separate and more tourist-style experience.
Some of Our Favorites
If you’re tempted by the idea of a coworking hotel, but you’re not sure where to start, check out these hip locations, all of which can be found on roomkey.com.
The Venetian is home to a 1,170-square-foot coworking space, furnished by Restoration Hardware. Originally intended to be a pop-up in 2017, the coworking space was so successful with guests that it’s become a permanent feature of the hotel. The coworking area includes public tables, private phone rooms, and a conference room, making it a flexible option for any kind of business traveler.
The hotel houses an indoor and outdoor AC Lounge for coworking. At over 5,000 square feet, the space has a communal table, couches, free coffee, small office supplies, and a high table that becomes a bar after 4 p.m. The space is free to guests and non-guests.
The Marriott is home to a coworking space called Coco and the Director. While on the smaller side, Coco and the Director is free to guests as well as non-guests and has 16 seats for workers.
Newly opened, Pivot62 is a free coworking space in the DoubleTree by Hilton Vail for guests and non-guests alike. The space features free coffee, shared tables, and a restaurant with gourmet options and craft cocktails.
Marriott’s Moxy line was designed with millennials and coworking in mind. The second floor space has a bar, couches, tables in cozy corners, and even separate meeting rooms that you can reserve for group work. At night, the space turns into a hip bar. But don’t let that discourage you from staying there as a guest. Each room is sound proof, so you won’t be disturbed by music downstairs even if there is a DJ.
Consider Hotel Coworking for Your Next Trip
So, should you book your next hotel stay at a coworking hotel? If you know you’ll be doing more than checking email on your phone, you probably can’t go wrong. It’s worth examining your personal feelings about hotels, though. Would you rather have a smaller, quainter room with an inviting lobby and open coworking space, or do you prefer having your own quiet space where you won’t be bothered by external distractions?
If you like the idea of your hotel being a unique local hub then, a coworking hotel might be perfect for your next trip. We’re ready and waiting to help you find the best hotel for your next trip, whether it has a working space or not.