As the pandemic drags on, many of us have been working from home in cobbled-together “offices” on the kitchen counter, at the sofa, or even in closets. We’re doing our best to be as productive as possible, investing in noise-cancelling headphones, upgrading our WI-FI and perfecting our above-the-waist wardrobe for video meetings. But let’s face it—between fielding interruptions from family members, supervising remote-learning kids and succumbing to the siren call of snacks in the pantry, the #WFH experience doesn’t always go as smoothly as we hope.
Which is why I found myself one recent weekday seeking refuge from my downtown Miami condo at a South Beach resort. I’d been invited to try Kimpton Surfcomber’s Work From Hotel package, which promises to give housebound workers all the comforts of home (WI-FI, office supplies, printing services) with plenty of hotel perks (think half-day poolside cabana rental and restaurant discounts). The only discernible downside was that I’d have to ditch my sweatpants and T-shirt for a more resort-ready look. But after diligently sheltering in place for seven months, leaving my condo only for morning runs and weekly excursions to Target, I was happy to make the sartorial sacrifice.
I strutted into the Surfcomber’s retro-chic lobby excited and yes, a tad nervous. Check-in was quick, warm and efficient, but as Ivanna (separated from me by a plexiglass screen mounted on the front desk countertop) ran through the hotel amenities, it was impossible to miss other signs of the times. Decals on the floor encouraged social distancing, bottles of hand sanitizer were conspicuous and all the staff wore masks.
I’d arrived too late to take advantage of the unlimited coffee included in the package but in plenty of time to get settled into my hotel “office” before my first Zoom call of the day. One of 10 cabanas that border the resort’s pool, Jasmine was a cozy oasis with teak-clad walls, a wall-mounted flat-screen and sofa-style seating for four. Once I’d settled down to work, a strong WI-FI signal made for seamless video connections. And a view of the pool and garden beyond made for some very jealous colleagues.
At lunchtime, instead of wandering into the kitchen to forage for last night’s leftovers, a midday feast was delivered to my cabana and consumed under the breeze of a whirring ceiling fan—such a welcome change from my usual “grab whatever’s easiest and scarf it down while standing at the kitchen counter” habit.
As the workday wore on, things only got better. I relocated to a poolside chaise, tackling my email inbox as the sun warmed my shoulders and marshmallow clouds floated silently by. The gentle rustle of palm fronds in the breeze was exactly the white noise I needed when it came time to focus on edits to an article. And the promise of a stiff end-of-day Sandy Punch (Zacapa rum and orange, pineapple and lime juices) was all the motivation required to finally write the invoices I’d been putting off all week.
As the sun lowered and palm trees cast their shadows across the pool deck, I was grateful I didn’t have to think about what to make for dinner. Instead, I retreated to The Social Club for complimentary glass of wine and an early supper of few small plates (those empanadas!) And by bedtime, as I slipped between the crisp and cool sheets of a bed I wouldn’t have to make in the morning, I knew one thing for sure: my first work-from-hotel experience definitely wouldn’t be my last.
From $109 per night.
Ready to Swap Home for a Hotel?
Check out these other Florida WFH deals.
Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa: Up to four guests per room can work in style at this luxury beachfront resort, where WI-FI, bottled water and valet parking for one car is included in the package. Spend lunchtime hanging at the pool, beach club or fitness center, or enjoying a 25-minute neck and shoulder massage ($99) at the Eau Spa. From $325 for a standard room; from $650 per suite.
Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale: This new 238-room hotel is offering a DND (Do Not Distract) package that includes all-day access to a poolside suite that doubles as your private workspace; a power lunch from Harborwood Urban Kitchen; and after-work cocktails or a private poolside Peloton spin session. From $75 for the day or $125 for an overnight stay. To book, email [email protected].
Marlin Bay Resort & Marina: Book a “workcation” in a three-bedroom residence at this villa resort in Marathon in the Florida Keys and score a 10 percent discount on the rate, as well as high-speed WI-FI, a $100 gift card for office supplies and complimentary printing. From $449 per night. Call 305-731-2207 to book.
Novotel Miami Brickell: Bargain-hunting remote workers will love the day pass deal at this city center hotel, which includes parking, use of the pool and gym, complimentary WI-FI and a 10 percent discount on food and drink. Need “proper” office space? A guest room has been converted into a private office with a desk, monitor, keyboard and group seating area. From $25 per person for day passes; from $119 for the office.