Change a little to change everything. To discover the latest transformation of the hôtellerie in the most difficult year, you have to come to Rome, halfway between the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. In via del Bufalo, to be exact, in the nineteenth-century building that houses the historic Hotel dei Borgognoni. Here, from 8 to 19, you can rent the Salotto Bufalo and make these 35 square meters in the heart of the Eternal City your realm of smart working away from home: to break the pandemic routine, or to leave more space at home. to the people we live with.
It is called day use and it is the egg of Columbus that hotels are discovering all over the world to reinvent themselves a destiny in the middle of the Covid era. “The formula had already arrived thanks to startups like Daybreak Hotel, for example”, says Barbara Marcotulli, service designer and tourism expert: “A quick change before an important interview in a different city, the need to welcome guests with peace of mind when you do not have your own office or representative, the need to carve out moments of peace in case of work at home or for an appointment between friends with no children around, or to prepare for an exam. In short, day use was already a reality that was consolidating even before the pandemic”.
Not only that: many hotels had begun to convert the breakfast room into a coworking space. In business hotels, in fact, guests are usually already out at 9 in the morning, while the buffet room is still set up: why not leave the coffee station available? “An intelligent way to bring the hotel to life and, perhaps, in perspective, to upsell other services, from the restaurant to the same living room in the room”.
Hotel chains around the world are gearing up to offer services to students of all ages: Kimpton has built a team that provides from assisting Zoom to the possibility for families to have an extra room for $ 99 a day. son studying. Montage has created an Academy complete with virtual tutoring in 180 subjects and a thesis review service. Still, at the Rosewood Miramar Beach hotel in Montecito, California, students can book poolside cabana classrooms complete with iPads, Apple TVs, and wireless headsets for $ 195 a day.
Closer to us, in Copenhagen, Brochner Group boutique hotels have launched the Go Local campaign, a way to attract local guests and assist them with a network of services and discounts offered by local restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and spas: “Our over thirty partners are all in the same boat as us”, explains CEO Nickolas Krabbe Bjerg.
In short, from a bad sector to a more dynamic sector than others? Marcotulli explains: “Today a hotel is often a preferable space at home, quieter and, above all, more relaxing. Safe, sanitized with rigorous protocols, it guarantees excellent connection and the possibility of welcoming any guests in complete tranquility. In case of lockdown, it allows you not to suffer too much from the limitations. In some cases, the room is accompanied by a light lunch service and the use of the gym, equally sanitized and available by reservation”.
Inventing a way to resist in the year of Covid also means, in the most virtuous cases, improving standards and services, for example enlarging the desks or increasing the sockets, “whose number is still often a problem in many hotels”, smiles Marcotulli. Many independent hotels such as the Borgognoni or the Mellini in Rome or the Savoia & Jolanda in Venice and chains such as Best Western have already launched the product.
Of course, none of these services allow you to make cash as in the pre-emergency days, but they are all ways of remaining visible, flexible and in the hearts of customers from other cities. “That sooner or later they will also return to occupy the rooms and will perhaps choose with greater affection those who have been able to listen to their needs”.
Cover photo and in the text, some common areas of Leon’s Place, a boutique hotel of the Planetaria Hotels chain in Rome. Born from the restoration of the ancient Palazzo Fabi Altini, it combines a classic style with contemporary influences. Among the pastel-colored rooms, an open-air garden with painted clouds on the floor stands out. It is fitted with numerous Pedrali, furnishings, such as the seats from the Tribeca collection, signed by CMP Design, chosen in a sophisticated shade of pink, combined with the Ikon tables by Pio and Tito Toso; Giravolta wireless lamps by Basaglia Rota Nodari illuminate the timeless atmosphere. The vaulted breakfast room is enriched by Jazz armchairs, stainless steel tables and Modus upholstered seats in sumptuous green velvet.