Real talk: I’m pretty sure my loft’s four walls are closing in on me. Living and working in the same space 24/7 has become tedious (I think my dog might even be tired of me). I’ve already talked about how much I miss traveling, but I miss going to the office too.
Virtuoso hotels are getting creative, turning guest rooms into remote-work spaces, and it’s one of the coolest post-pandemic pivots in travel. California’s Rosewood Miramar Beach is equipping guest rooms with monitors, printers, and other essential office supplies; and in South Florida, Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa pairs guest room and suite bookings with post-work “tech neck” massages in the spa and happy hours by the water. (The Bellagio, Aria Resort & Casino, and many other Virtuoso hotels are offering remote-work experiences as well – your travel advisor has all the details.) It’s like a staycation for the 9-to-5 set: private and socially distanced spaces to work, fast Wi-Fi, concierge that double as executive assistants, and – my new favorite post-meeting perk – pool time.
When I heard that The Joule in Dallas was offering a new “Work from Hotel” option, I immediately signed up. The 160-room property is an experience more than a hotel – art installations, Weekend Coffee, a Taschen library, and the coolest curated Hotel Shop – and I was excited for the very-much-needed change of scenery.
Two weeks ago, I grabbed my laptop – and left my noise-cancelling headphones behind! – and headed to “the office” for the first time in months. Here’s how it went:
9 a.m.: Coffee and Tacos
I took a jaunt through The Joule’s art-filled lobby to visit Weekend Coffee for a cup of joe and a breakfast taco. This Tuesday has already started infinitely better than any of my other stay-home Tuesdays.
9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Settle In, Emails, Meetings
I fired up my laptop in my socially distanced workspace, aka a modern Deluxe Suite with a living room and an enormous bathroom. I’m giddy with excitement to log-on to my weekly content-planning meeting and surprise my Virtuoso Life colleagues with my new Zoom location (no virtual background needed!). I was told that the hotel concierge was available and at the ready for any executive assistance I might need, including printing, dry-cleaning services, or virtual meeting set-up. Oh how I’ve missed Virtuoso-level hotel service.
12:00 p.m.: Lunch Arrives
Lunch. I. Didn’t. Have. To. Make. I’ve always loved room service, but today it felt extra special. Let’s face it, work-from-home lunches have gotten a little sad. My Power Green Salad with a side of fries (balance, y’all!) was a delicious treat.
3:00 p.m.: Stretch and Shop
The best medicine for a mid-afternoon slump? A quick trip downstairs to the Hotel Shop for a Topo Chico and a little retail therapy. The Joule’s boutique is packed with colorful and unique home goods, beauty products, fashion accessories, and more. I spy a perfectly bottled Old Fashioned mix and purchase it as a souvenir for my husband.
5:00 p.m.: Coconut Margarita and Pool Time
After my workday is finished, I headed upstairs to The Joule’s pool, which cantilevers out over Main Street. A signature Coconut Margarita is in order while I soak up the sun.
7:00 p.m.: Do Not Disturb
While some Work from Hotel experiences are available by the day, many of the properties include an overnight stay, or let guests add one. Settling in for the evening, I realized how energized and creative I felt – it’s amazing what a fresh perspective can provide. I was reminded of all the things I love about hotels: the excitement of checking in, experiencing great service, interacting with hotel employees, ordering room service, and diving into a giant fluffy bed after a busy day. Even though we’re living through a pandemic, some good things haven’t changed.
The Joule’s “Work from Hotel” experience, from $219, including complimentary coffee, Wi-Fi, valet parking, and a 20 percent discount at Hotel Shop.