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Hotels3-minute read

Hot hotels: to work from

Here at High Life, we’re more than happy to blur the lines between business and leisure, especially if it means getting us – and our rapidly overheating laptops – off the dining room table. Luckily, hotels around the world are transforming empty rooms into wonderful workspaces, so you can set up shop somewhere a whole lot sweeter – even just for a day. Hannah Ralph clocks in…

Hotels and their restaurants may be currently shut due to local Covid restrictions. Please check individual websites

04/01/2021Fact-checked 22/01/2021
An outdoor space with a green and white tiled floor and different kinds of seating
High Life highlight

El Fenn, Marrakech

Corporate types be warned: El Fenn’s business proposition isn’t so much ‘long hours talking quarterly targets’ as it is ‘finishing first drafts by lantern light’ – a paradise for creatives that’s Wi-Fi’d up to high heaven and just as divine. Here, fluorescent cubicles are replaced by an interchangeable maze of atmospheric nooks, riad-tastic courtyards, individually styled rooms and one 1,300sqm rooftop terrace – all sensational spots to whack out the laptop. Better yet, the hotel’s digital nomad packages (starting at £1,570 for one week, rising to £4,720 for the month) work out far cheaper per night than El Fenn’s standard rates so, as far as business deals go, it’s a good one. Those taking advantage will get their pick of the boutique’s 31 rooms (four of them new, courtesy of a recent expansion), plus breakfast and either lunch or dinner each day. And there’s a complimentary massage waiting for worker bees in the petal-strewn spa. All in a week’s work…

El Fenn’s metre-thick walls block out noise from the bustling souks beyond but, if a burst of action is the energy boost you need, Marrakech’s frenetic main square is but a ten-minute walk away.

It wouldn’t be a riad without a mosaic pool. Luckily, El Fenn has three – the perfect tonic after back-to-back calls. Our favourite is its newest: a (heated) 16m rooftop number with Atlas Mountains views (opening image).

Fortunately, El Fenn is all about the visuals – total Instagram gold dust from the minute you walk in. For the ultimate Zoom backdrop, we recommend a table by the main pool, dripping with plant life and atmosphere. 

Take off to El Fenn

A modern curved stairwell leading down to a room with a nigh view of a city

Aria, Las Vegas

The phrase ‘all work, no play’ has never applied to Las Vegas. But, while the city’s party spirit is briefly on the back burner, Aria – just one resort under MGM’s mega umbrella – is balancing the scales. The brand’s ‘Viva Las Office’ concept wins points not only for the title but for its ascendingly perkalicious packages: ‘The Associate’, ‘The Manager’ and, finally, ‘The Executive’. With a three-night minimum, the former starts at £76 per night (far cheaper than your average Vegas price tag) going up to £208 for the latter. The top two tiers schedule in some much-deserved pool time (pool passes, poolside massages, cabana rentals…) while all three will score you your own ‘Executive Assistant’ to help you make the most of the 5-9.

Use your Viva Las Office complimentary hotel credit at Salt and Ivy – a fresh and wonderful spot for a business lunch. 

Take off to Aria
A wooden building coming out into a clear blue ocean

One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives

There’s no clock-watching when you’re on island time. Luckily, One&Only Reethi Rah (just 40 minutes by speedboat from Malé airport, no seaplane necessary), is scheduling 28 days of the stuff for workers who have cash to flash. The long-stay package starts at £32,111 for two guests, including luxury yacht transfers from the airport, breakfast (the resort’s legendary buffet is on hold right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order to your heart’s content) and half-board dining. The Wi-Fi is top notch in both the beach and over-water villas, but only the latter will have you conference calling in front of those envy-inducing turquoise horizons.

Bringing the kids along? One&Only’s ‘KidsOnly’ club is a riot of fun, crafts and snorkelling. In this case, it’s designed to keep the little ones occupied while the adults get to work. 

Take off to the One&Only Reethi Rah
A patio space with a blue colour scheme

Dukes, London

Londoners know that the charm of working in this city lies in taking leisurely lunchtime strolls around its fabulous – and Royal – parks. Enter Dukes London, whose new ‘workcation’ packages will send you off into the trees with a picnic lunch (from this spot in St James’s, you’ll be spoilt for choice). And if the British weather doesn’t play ball? Well then it can simply be delivered to your room or enjoyed in the armchairs-a-plenty drawing room. Pricewise, the benefits – which also include a ‘Work Butler’, gym access and complimentary bubbles come evening – are being tied up as a £65 nightly supplement to those booking anything from a Luxury Room all the way up to the 65sqm Duke of Clarence Suite.

We’ll be using the workcation’s ten per cent food and beverage discount at Dukes Bar. After all, nothing says ‘clocking off’ like one of its famous Martinis…

Take off to Dukes
An indoor swimming pool with loungers and a view of the countryside

Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, France

Missing office party vices? Why not uproot your workspace to the birthplace of bubbles? Here, in Champagne’s vineyard-caked valleys, lies Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa, whose ‘Move your office to the countryside’ package does exactly what it says on the tin (or should that be label?). Impeccable broadband, daily breakfasts, lunch box deliveries and hot drinks all day are on the menu, but where this package really thrives is in the post-work goodies: Champagne and canapés at the bar, 30-minute back massages, e-bike rides through the vineyards and access to the on-site spa – all available each evening of your stay, starting at a three-night minimum.

There’s a knock on your door, and you’re not expecting anyone. Fear not – it’s just the hotel giving its office workers a knock to say it’s time for a screen break and some afternoon tea. Delightful. 

Take off to Royal Champagne Hotel &Spa
A hotel room with a view of a Hong Kong

Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city of movers and shakers but, when it comes to business, nowhere has seen more moves made and more hands shaken than Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. Now, businessfolk can lay their briefcases on the bed without the commitment of an overnight stay, thanks to new ‘Working from MO’ day passes, turning rooms across the portfolio into five-star offices. The rates are competitive, with dining credit (best used at the hotel’s just-about-to-open Japanese Izakaya on the 25th floor) and fitness centres included. But, besides office amenities and exceptional service, you’re really paying for the location: a base in the heart of Hong Kong, connected by an airconditioned walkway to Central’s most illustrious business addresses.

Tech troubles be gone – Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong has a team of ‘IT butlers’ to soothe any computer-based struggle, plus a fully staffed business centre at your disposal. 

Take off to the Mandarin Oriental
A tropical bay photographed from the air

Carlisle Bay, Antigua

Antigua & Barbuda has made no secret of trying to tempt remote workers to its glittering shores (Google its ‘Nomad Residence’ visa at your own peril), and all the major resorts are following suit. These include Carlisle Bay, whose workcation package, ‘Send a wave from work’, we respect for the complete smugness of that title alone. This tropical resort is catering to remote workers booking minimum ten-night stays (at £297 per night) with dreamy desk set-ups, free Wi-Fi, $200 of resort credit, complimentary laundry services for one week and fresh ‘energy-boosting’ drinks every day. Just make sure to pack your camera as well as your laptop – the emerald rainforest surrounding the resort is something special.

Add four days onto this ten-day package, completely free of charge. How? Carlisle Bay is letting guests who book a minimum of 14 days enjoy two nights’ free for every five days booked.

Take off to Carlisle Bay