Satisfy your wanderlust safely at one of the new Work from Home Resorts — a hotel promising a change of scenery and a comfortable space to work online (WFH) during the pandemic. With many destinations under some form of lockdown, resorts’ amenities and extensive facilities make it easier to thrive “at home” without outside public activities, dining and cultural options.
And, for families, the best of these Work From Home resorts also offer real life activities to enhance students’ remote learning.
What are Work from Home Resorts?
At Wunderman Thompson Research, the WFH resort trend is defined as long-term quarantine retreats that offer a safe way to shelter in a new place. In response to growing demand, hospitality companies are selling their hotel rooms, suites and villas with multi-day discounts and long stay incentives.
Another bonus: In many states, guests who stay more than 30 nights also save on room taxes.
Looking to get away for the holidays? Check the current pandemic infection rates at the destination then explore some of our WFH resorts options when you’re ready to travel again.
What to Look for in a WFH Getaway
To select a WFH long-term quarantine retreat, look for natural surroundings and recreation options that guarantee family fun and provide educational enrichment.
A strong WiFi signal is a must, as are accommodations where your clan will feel at home. The best Work From Home resorts have useful services like knowledgeable concierges and a business center, plus organized activities that differentiate them from Airbnbs and vacation rentals.
Hike, Be Inspired in Colorado Springs
Take for example, Colorado Springs, a mountain town with remarkable scenery and many ways to enjoy it. Garden of the Gods is 240 acres of unusual sandstone rock formations that’s been a free public park since 1909. There’s a Visitor and Nature Center with geology and natural history exhibits plus scheduled programs. Sign up kids ages 7-12 for the Junior Rangers program so they can complete assignments to earn a badge at this registered National Natural Landmark.
Teens will appreciate the casual, youthful vibe and Mexican taquerias of a college town that’s home to the University of Colorado, Colorado College and the U.S. Air Force Academy among others.
All ages are inspired when they realize it’s “Olympic City USA,” the 5,200-feet above sea level training center for U.S. Olympians. Athletes in the family and anyone overcoming disabilities will be engrossed by the virtual competitions at the engaging United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum.
Work from Home Resorts in the Garden of the Gods
A resort that makes Colorado Springs an ideal remote work and learning destination is Garden of the Gods Resort and Club. Since 1951, GG – as its members like to say – has expanded to include a residential community, Rec Center with kids programming, pools, gyms, golf course, spa, wellness center, personal and sports medicine clinics.
Hotel guests will appreciate amenities such as the large, heated family pool and the quiet, adults-only pool. There’s casual and fine dining with the same stunning views of Garden of the Gods’ three major monuments: Gateway, Lyons and Kissing Camels. Picky eaters have a choice of menus from the wellness spa, plus gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options at their restaurants or room service.
Explore, enroll in the complimentary yoga classes and look for the resident deer. If budget is not an issue, one- to three-bedroom private casitas where every family member has their own workspace are terrific.
Sustainable Agriculture in California’s Wine Country
Introduce older children to sustainable agriculture in Sonoma Valley, a region where locals are passionate about farming and winemakers talk about their craft like scientists. At the Sunset Test Gardens, for example, displays of specimen fruit trees, produce gardens and edible flowers explain how plants and herbs are used to enhance menus.
If the serenity of a historic hotel with wellness facilities appeals, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn is an excellent choice. The resort’s rich history began with the mineral springs on Agua Rica Farm in the 1880s. After a 1923 fire, the resort was rebuilt in the style of the Spanish missions and, as the Sonoma Mission Inn, underwent a wonderful restoration by the Fairmont Hotels company.
Make Wellness a Focus at Fairmont’s Inn
Educate the kids about self-care after a morning of remote work. Both the main and the spa pools at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn are fed by original thermal springs with the warmest being the 99-degree Watsu pool at the spa.
Or, reverse the workday and try the free morning hikes led by the resort’s fitness staff, who select different 3 to 4-mile hikes in the area to suit the group. Guides explain General Vallejo’s role in Sonoma history, the origin of Coast Live Oaks and how Native Americans used medicinal plants. Take advantage of free bike rentals (there are occasional guided bike trips) and yoga. And depending on your age, the complimentary s’more kits by the fire pits and nightly wine tasting may qualify as healthy, too.
Suites are best outfitted for long stay guests; some connect to a king-bedded room and all have wet bar, mini-fridge and microwave (on request). With its fine restaurants, weekend food trucks and nearby farmers markets, this resort fits the family looking for a sophisticated and enriching getaway from the day-to-day reality of the pandemic.
Getting to Know the Best of Aspen
Fully stocked condos in areas with myriad recreation options are another option. The A-Lister ski resort of Aspen welcomes families to one of 140 privately-owned, stylish luxury units at The Gant Aspen. Devote mornings to WFH and Learn from Home obligations. Afternoons, stroll over to the Silver Queen gondola – just two blocks away – for mountain biking or snow sports on Aspen Mountain.
On property, break up the days with two heated pools, three hot tubs, a fitness center, five tennis courts and a bike share program.
Winter Work From Home Resorts for Snow Breaks
The 285-room, ski-in/ski-out Grand Hyatt Vail is another snow sport lovers’ haven, located at the base of Vail Mountain by the open-air Chair 20 lift. The resort provides a comfortable home-away-from-home setup whether you want guestrooms, suites or private luxury residences. While they’re more expensive, families can save by cooking meals. Supervised programs that give kids some independence include movie nights and crafts activities.
Top off a morning of classes and a few black diamond runs with ice skating, butler-served hot chocolate and cookies or a swim in the Grand Hyatt’s pool and hot tubs. The fitness center is open for complimentary group stretch and yoga classes. When the snow’s deep enough, the Grand Hyatt Vail will arrange outings for backcountry or cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice fishing or dogsledding.
Beach Destinations for WFH
Port Aransas, Texas has launched a Schoolcation Program to highlight how to supplement remote learning in this affordable Gulf Coast beach town. Relocate to a cottage, rental home or fully stocked condo and enroll in art or ceramics classes. Look for eco-tourism activities at Mustang Island State Park and the uninhabited San Jose Island. Add sandcastle building lessons and science enrichment along birding trails or on escorted dolphin and ecology tours.
For something completely different, civilize children at The Chesterfield Palm Beach. This Florida classic with British overtones has been a fixture in the Palm Beach social scene since 1926. Regal family suites are surprisingly homey and social events provide perfectly teachable etiquette moments. Favorite among them is Afternoon Tea, where sitting up straight and indoor voices are required. It’s not really fashionable to work too much at The Chesterfield, so you may prefer just a week’s escape at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Do Work from Home Resorts Make Sense for You?
You don’t have to stay at a WFH resort forever to appreciate the benefits. Young parents say that managing their own time — despite longer hours and assisting children with remote learning – is more rewarding than being in an office.
Researchers says the WFH phenomenon is here to stay. Stanford University economist Nicholas Bloom projects that 50% to 60% of the population will be able to maintain teleworking for their entire careers.
Affording a Nomadic New Lifestyle
We know the pandemic has encouraged families to move away from expensive cities to more affordable suburbs and small towns. The question travelers have to ask is, how far away is enough?
Digital nomads have relied on support services and directories such as NomadList.com, which highlight affordable and practical international destinations, for the past decade.
Now, WFA (Work from Anywhere) has become a rising trend. Perhaps your family will explore spending the holidays at international destinations such as Bermuda, Estonia, Georgia and Barbados. They’re among the first countries (see which countries are open) to offer travelers long term visas to settle down and work, or learn, for a while. A long while.
Aruba is another option and the Boardwalk Beach Hotel Aruba has converted its oceanfront thatch-roofed casitas into WiFi-enabled, barefoot in the sand workstations. Just book yours ahead and reserve the hours you’ll need before plunging into the sea with your family.
Coming from a country built on the pioneer spirit, that option has a lot of appeal.
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