Working from home used to be a commuter’s dream, but after more than a year of typing away in pyjamas and taking calls from the sofa, we’re all in serious need of a break from the home office – no matter how many times we’ve tried to tidy our desk or refresh the same four walls we’ve been staring at. If there has been one positive outcome from the pandemic, it’s that remote working has been revolutionised. We can now work from, well, anywhere in the world if the Wi-Fi holds.
It’s time to take advantage of the latest trend – the workcation – where remote workers and freelancers can have that craved for change of scene with all the benefits of a boutique hotel at their fingertips, yet without needing to take any time off. So if you’d like to check your emails by the pool, before sinking a post-deadline cocktail (or two), these are ten of our trendiest places and creative spaces which blur the boundaries between work and play.
Huddled amidst the rolling green hills of Umbria, Castello di Reschio is a meticulously restored thousand-year-old castle which oozes rustic Italian elegance. Each and every bespoke item within the exquisitely renovated farmhouses on the 1,500 hectare estate have been handpicked or crafted by Count Benedikt Bolza and his B.B. For Reschio team, based in the estate’s converted Tabaccaia. Curated antiques and freshly picked flowers sit prettily on oak, brass, and Italian leather writing desks, while Renaissance artist-approved views filter through shuttered windows providing plenty of natural inspiration for creatives. Out of doors, the cypress dotted countryside awaits once the working day is done – whether it’s wild horse-back hacks and truffle hunting or alfresco pizza making and lakeside picnics, there is no shortage of wholesome ways to spend your time off.
All the rooms at Ett Hem possess a warm feel with a sophisticated blend of contemporary and vintage materials such as cane, wood, leather and velvet in gold, brown and cream tones, inviting guests to make themselves at home in an atmosphere of lived-in luxury. While antique writing desks can be found in some of the stylish suites, a selection of peruse-worthy books have been artfully displayed on statement shelves in the hotel’s cosy library, complete with vintage Kaare Klint chairs. The open kitchen concept in this Arts & Crafts townhouse means that you’ll never go hungry while you’re working away, as you can help yourself to a freshly prepared snack or drink whenever you like. Though you’ll likely never want to leave the comfort of Ett Hem’s roaring fires in the winter or sun-soaked greenhouse in the summer, Stockholm’s thriving museum, gallery and shopping scene is just on your doorstep for culture-brimming breaks from the laptop.
Set within one of the least discovered regions of Spanish countryside, but accessible from Barcelona, Torre del Marques promises a rural escape from reality while leaving the stresses of work life at its 18th century doors. The ancient honey-coloured stones of the old tower building reveal cool interiors that soothe the eye and calm the spirit, where productivity goes hand in hand with relaxation. The hotel’s light-filled business centre brings the outside in, with floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the neutrally styled lounges with views of olive groves and vineyards, while cleverly designed indoor-outdoor spaces mean you can easily switch between sunbathing and sipping coffee in the shade. When it’s time to unwind, you can soak up the Spanish sun beside the lavender-scented pool, or venture out into the rolling hills on horse-back.
If a work place with a view is top of your dream office list, look no further than adults-only Hotel Three Sixty. Set 300 metres above the Pacific Ocean, the tangled rainforest stretches towards the horizon, with mist-shrouded hills to one side, and endless seas to the other. Set your laptop up in one of the Premium Villas with 200-degree ocean views, or work to the sound of jungle wildlife on one of the panoramic terraces or the open-air reception area before rewarding yourself with a dip in the infinity pool which curves around the edge of the hotel.
A lesson in the art of contemporary Viennese living, the individually decorated rooms and suites at Altstadt Vienna have been styled by world-renowned architects like Matteo Thun and fashion designers including Lena Hoschek. Spread across five floors, modern works of art by Gilbert & George and Andy Warhol decorate the walls throughout this 19th-century townhouse situated in Vienna’s artistic quarter. Vintage upholstery, antique wooden writing desks, and retro music albums sit alongside burnt orange egg chairs and statement lighting, creating an energised yet relaxed oasis from which to work. Whether you make one of the art-filled suites your base, or the light-flooded gallery, lounge, and seminar room used to host workshops and exhibitions, this city retreat is sure to get your creative flow going.
A stay in this members-only boutique comes with your own access-all-areas pass to its standout facilities, from its elegant restaurant and hip bars, to its small but perfectly formed spa. Each of The Battery’s handful of bedrooms and suites offers curated comforts in the form of vintage furnishings, understated colour palettes and stone-tiled bathrooms stocked with amenities by Malin+Goetz. Some have cosy seating areas; others exposed brick walls, or balconies with views over the Financial District. Take a break from your screen with some West Coast wellness in the hotel’s spa, where a team of in-house massage therapists and personal trainers are on hand to cater for your every need.
Infused with the spirit of new Madrid and a dark, edgy colour palette, TÓTEM feels a little like stepping inside a private members’ club. There are countless contemporary corners to make your own in this cosmopolitan hub in the heart of the city’s Golden Mile, along with stylish open-plan lounges and comfortable yet chic seating areas. The hotel’s ‘Office for a day’ package is perfect for stop-over travellers, or those looking for a quiet place to work in the Salamanca District, and includes complimentary Wi-Fi, exclusive use of the gym, and two hours’ use of the meeting space along with other boutique benefits. For larger meetings, the hotel also provides access on request to design-centric spaces in a neighbouring building which can seat up to 20 people.
Image Left: Claire Menary Photography
Londoners looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city should head for The Mitre Hotel, a riverside retreat enjoying an enviable position on the banks of the River Thames in historic Hampton Court. Quirky, colourful interiors come courtesy of British designer Nicola Harding, who has given each individually decorated room its own stamp – from copper roll top baths to four poster beds. Cosy up in the eclectically decorated library, which comes with a retro Dukebox with a modern perk – you can connect your phone and play your own music, so have your work playlist at the ready. Just off reception there’s a delightful de Gournay wallpapered room with a round, wooden table at its centre which would make the dreamiest remote work set-up. All-day dining is available at casual Coppernose café, which also welcomes dogs so there’s no need to leave your canine companion at home. And with a whole host of walks in nearby Bushy Park and along the River Path, work breaks can be filled with fresh air and greenery just 40 minutes from central London.
Inspired by the bohemian Bairro Alto district it belongs to, Lumiares Hotel and Spa is a colourful, contemporary place to get creative then kick back with a cocktail on the rooftop terrace with the Lisbon skyline as your backdrop. Created in collaboration with Portugal’s local brands, makers and artists, the beautiful apartment-style rooms are designed to feel like a five-star home away from home. Meanwhile, the recently opened Rebel Café on the ground floor of the hotel is a bright, airy space designed by Quiet Studios which serves up specialty coffee, tasty pastries, artisanal ice creams and sorbets and detox juices to keep you going while you work – plus plenty of cleverly placed power outlets if you’re running low on battery.
A fun, full-of-beans spirit and touch of rock n’ roll runs through Ovolo Central, where bedrooms come with office ‘nooks’ for business guests, requestable DVD players and gaming consoles – for work, rest and play. While the design palette is a cosmopolitan and playful mix of vibrant patterns, statement lighting and colour pops. Ovolo guests can make the most of a whole host of perks, including all-day snacks, superspeed Wi-Fi, and a social hour where the first drink is on the house. If you’re just planning to pass through, the Ovolo day pass means you can check in anytime from 6am to 11pm (for a maximum stay of eight hours), and transform the hotel room into your personal workspace – say hello to a complimentary mini-bar, your personal printing assistant, and some peace and quiet in happening Hong Kong.