Home » Business » I spent 7 nights working from a 5-star resort in Arizona. From live-music happy hours to poolside cabanas, here's what the 'Work From Hyatt' program was like.
I spent 7 nights working from a 5-star resort in Arizona. From live-music happy hours to poolside cabanas, here's what the 'Work From Hyatt' program was like.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on nonessential travel, 2020 has largely been a year of canceled work trips.
In an effort to incentivize business and leisure travelers alike, hotel brands like Hyatt have been rolling out 'workation' packages at deeply discounted rates.
Freelance writer Michelle Gross spent a week spent working at the 5-star Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona to see if the 'Work from Hyatt' amenities were worth the $254 per night price tag.
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Before the pandemic happened, my trip from Jersey City to South Beach in early March was relatively run of the mill. I was traveling to meet my partner for his company's annual board meeting, a business-meets-leisure (bleisure) vacation spent working, lounging, and networking between the beach and bar.
Little did we know that those blissful pre-pandemic days we took for granted would be the dearth of "bleisure" travel.
Like many couples whose work-life balance has consisted of small daily arguments exacerbated by an even smaller apartment, we started to explore ways we could work and coexist beyond our four walls.
In an effort to incentivize travelers, hotel brands have gotten creative with their offerings in recent months.
From 'workation' programs and "school-cation' packages, traditional vacations as we know them have been rebranded to meet travelers' growing demand to work and relax all in one safe, sanitized, and socially distanced setting.
"There is a strong pent-up demand for travel," Asad Ahmed, SVP Commercial Services Americas at Hyatt told Business Insider via email. "We wanted to offer a package to give the millions of people who are indefinitely working and schooling remotely a welcomed change of scenery, with more work and school-life balance, more space, better weather, and a respite from chores."
In August, Hyatt launched 'Work From Hyatt' at 25 hotels across the US, Mexico, Canada, and The Caribbean. The package performed well, and has now expanded to more than 60 hotels. Hilton and Marriott have also introduced their own iterations of "Working in Paradise," and "Zoom to Zen — Work With Perks" programs at select properties across the US, Caribbean, and Mexico.
After seven months of working from home, we pulled the trigger on a seven day 'workation.'
We went to Hyatt's Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, a Spanish-style hotel boasting 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space in the shadow of Arizona's Camelback mountain. The minimum seven-night stay at $254 per night plus tax was higher than the average $139 plus tax offered at the other participating 'Work From Hyatt' hotels.
Editor's note: The writer paid a media rate for her seven-night stay at the property.
Among the inclusions, which vary from hotel to hotel, was a daily $50 food and beverage credit, dedicated work space in one of the hotel's banquet rooms, waived resort fee, free dog walking, one daytime cabana at the hotel's pool, and an automatic upgrade to a one bedroom suite.
A week before check in, we received an email listing all of the inclusions along with a preference sheet for our stay.
Everything at Royal Palms was contactless including check in via Hyatt's Mobile Entry App.