As workers become increasingly mobile, cool coworking spaces have sprung up across the world, each upping the ante on amenities and design. And the hotels aren’t just paying attention; they’re one-upping those dedicated workspaces by opening up their public areas to creative locals.
Sheraton, which is currently undergoing a brand-wide transformation, is going all in by betting heavily on such spaces.
“The vision is that, by making our properties’ public spaces more versatile and stylish, we’re turning them into what town squares used to be,” says Lionel Sussman, vice president of global design strategies for Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, and Delta.
A coworking space at Sheraton.
Does that sound grandiose? In fact, Sharaton is not alone. Montrose West Hollywood, for instance, unveiled its $15 million renovation this summer, and at its heart you’ll find workspace with a variety of comfortable seating (with built-in connectivity, natch) and complimentary business services (such as printing and highlighters). “Tone Lounge,” as it’s called, even offers noise-canceling headphones for a refundable deposit – useful when the space seamlessly transitions into an afterwork hangout with themed events including the Vino Vinyl Hour, which draws from the hotel’s own music library.
And these spaces are popping up in even the most unexpected locales. In Sin City, you can now work remotely at The Venetian Las Vegas. Originally meant to be a pop-up introduced in 2017, this 1,170-square-foot space decked out in Restoration Hardware furnishing proved to be so popular that it became a permanent feature at the hotel.
Tone Lounge at the Montrose West Hollywood.
“We have found that this unexpected amenity appeals to our guests,” says Chandra Allision, senior vice president of sales for The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo, “and helps them maximize their time while they are here for a meeting or convention.”
The trend is a global one, with Israel seeing two openings this summer: Publica Isrotel, with a groovy sixth-floor public office featuring multifunctional seating arrangements, soundproof phone booths, free WiFi, and complimentary coffee and beer on tap; and “wireless, cashless, and meatless” The Link Tel Aviv opening this month with a 7,000-square-foot coworking space featuring decor by Tel Aviv’s celebrated street artists.
The coworking space at Publica Isrotel.
Some properties like to keep things exclusive with a membership-based program, like Danish deco-meets-industrial Design Studio in London’s The Curtain and the new Tryp Dubai’s Nest. But the general trend leans toward opening up cool coworking spaces to the public.
So why share prime real estate in your hotel with the hoi polloi? For one, it’s the best way to set the hotel’s vibe – if you can lure the cool kids through the door. The newly opened RYSE Hotel in Seoul, an Autograph Collection Hotel, has a lot going for it, such as its eye-catching furnishing and a branch of Tartine Bakery, but its location in the cool Hongdae neighborhood might be its greatest calling card. Perhaps that’s why the hotel hosts not only an offshoot of the prestigious Arariyo Gallery in its basement but also has a dedicated Print Culture Lounge, where you’ll find guests as well as stylish 20-somethings from the nearby Hongik University browsing its eclectic magazine selection in between typing away on their laptops – and upping the hotel’s cool factor exponentially.