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Marriott pitches hotels to remote workers fleeing stress at home

Four Points by Sheraton Melville Long Island is

Four Points by Sheraton Melville Long Island is among the Marriott hotels offering a 6 a.m. check-in combined with a 6 p.m. departure on the day of checkout. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Hotel companies are going to new lengths to get guests through the doors in a bid to salvage a historically bad year for the industry.

More than 2,000 hotels in the Marriott International Inc. system will begin allowing guests to check in at 6 a.m. and stay as late as 6 p.m. the next day, a promotion aimed at remote workers looking for a change of scenery from their homes.

Other Marriott hotels are trying out similar initiatives, including one that offers discounted rates to guests who want a room for the day but not the night. Another program pitches resorts as places where parents can work while hotel staff supervise activities for their kids.

"People are tired of being at home," said Peggy Fang Roe, global officer for customer experience at Marriott, the world's largest hotel company. "They want the ability to be in different space, and they also want to stay safe. Working out of a guest room is the best of both worlds."

Eight local hotels are participating in a version of the work-away-from-home program with Stay Pass, which combines a Day Pass for work with an overnight stay, with early check-in at 6 a.m. and late checkout at 6 p.m. the day of departure. The hotels include Courtyard Long Island / MacArthur Airport; Courtyard Long Island City/New York Manhattan View; Four Points by Sheraton Melville Long Island; Marriott Long Island; Marriott New York LaGuardia Airport; Residence Inn Long Island East End; SpringHill Suites Carle Place Garden City and SpringHill Suites New York LaGuardia Airport, according to Marriott.

For hotels these days, at the end of the most dismal year in modern hotel history, there’s little downside to trying something new. Across the country, revenue per available room, a measure of occupancy and pricing, was down 47% in September from the year before, according to lodging-data provider STR. Results were even worse in the largest U.S. markets, giving owners and operators reason to get creative.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Hyatt Hotels Corp. also have tried marketing rooms as makeshift offices. As far back as March, when the COVID-19 pandemic ground U.S. travel to a halt, hotels have looked for new sources of business, offering cheap lodgings to medical personnel and first responders, or turning rooms into temporary college dorms.

Marriott says surveys have shown that office workers see hotel rooms as a way to ease the stresses and distractions of working from home, and that some of its corporate clients are studying the possibility of offering rooms to employees.

With Daysi Calavia-Robertson

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