In this new normal, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian hospitality and tourism industry has devised a new marketing strategy – a new travel trend called ‘workation’, in line with what people want today. Access to a great work environment with 24/7 uninterrupted Wifi in a serene location, whether a mountain or a beach, is what workation entails.
People are bored of being locked up in homes and need a change of scene, and with most employees still working from home, a working holiday is surely on the cards.
Longer stays Thanks to the flying restrictions, those who had booked their holidays overseas, soon turned to the countless beautiful destinations in India. It’s not about weekend getaways anymore, but longer stays. “The trend took off really well in Mumbai and when things started opening up, all our Alibaug villas were sold out for long durations as many chose to work out of these homes,” says Devendra Parulekar, Founder, SaffronStays.
As e-learning and remote working have become the new normal, the idea of taking work on a holiday, played in favour of SaffronStays and many such luxury homestays in the country. “We realised early on that if one can work from home, they can very well work from a fully serviced vacation property as well,” adds Parulekar.
HNIs, entrepreneurs and freelancers lead workation Many professionals want to find their working haven in idyllic locations that are a short drive away. “Freelancers and new tech-driven companies are comfortable with the work-from-home culture. They are not looking to start offices, at least until the crisis subsides,” says Rohit Taparia, VP, Lohono Stays. “So, now, our demographic wants to spend time with loved ones and work out of a place that has great views, privacy, safety and comfort.”
Lohono Stays has uber luxurious villas and houses in Goa and Alibaug, besides its 100+ properties in Bali, Phuket and Koh Samui. Many of their HNI and UHNI clients, in the age group of 27 to 62 are opting for workations. “We have had fantastic clients staying with us over the past months, including many Bollywood celebrities and well-known industrialists.”
Whereas SaffronsStays have gotten workation bookings from business travellers – CXOs, entrepreneurs and working professionals.
Workation pre-requisites While booking workation, uninterrupted internet connection, privacy and sanitisation remain top pre-requisites for every guest. “They also want to be pampered by on-site staff, as months of household chores alongside office work has worn them down. They prefer a smaller team of a personal chef and a housekeeper to minimise contact,” says Parulekar.
Working professionals deserve some time off their laptop screens too. In those non-working hours, yoga, spa, meditation, cycling and even some sweet pool time and mini BBQ soiree make the guest’s day.
Future potential There has been a surge in booking for workation. All of Lohono Stays properties in Goa and Alibaug are booked until November.
And as many more companies gradually adapt to the work-from-home culture, workations could be a long sustained model, says Parulekar. “Families could consider holidaying at places, which are closer from their homes, such as Goa, Lonavala or Alibaug. For important meetings and events, they could shuttle back by speed boats or perhaps drive down using RoRos (roll-on/roll-off cargo ships).”
This indeed indicates how unpredictable, yet exciting travel trends can be. And workation for one, is here to stay!
Thinking to go on a work-vacation soon? Here’s a lowdown on the best luxury workation hotels and villas in India you can book now.
Guests can rent out the entire SaffronStays villa in different locations such as Goa, Mumbai, Karjat, Delhi, Shimla and Kasauli. Costs start from 2 lakh and goes upto 8 lakh per month depending on the size and type of the homestay. Explore more here
Lohono Stays personalised services and top notch safety measures for its guests, make it a perfect fit for long staycations. They have several amazing properties in Goa. Explore more here
Rohetgarh, House of Rohet
One of the most fascinating heritage properties in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Rohetgarh is perfect for a workation. A week-long stay will cost you Rs69,999 at its Heritage Suite. Explore more here
The Source at Sula, Sula Vineyards
Work, wine and dine at The Source, Sula’s very own resort that overlooks the sprawling vineyards. In addition to its 51 elegant rooms and suites, one can experience its Tree house too. Their current offer ‘Book Now, Stay Later’ lets you book a room at a discounted rate that you can avail until September 30, 2020. Explore more here
Elgin Hall, Dalhousie
Stretch your muscles and take a safe trip to Elgin Hall, a super-cosy bungalow built in 1857. You can set up your work station here amidst the bounties of nature in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh. A 10-day stay in one of its Victorian Era styled suites (with breakfast and dinner) will cost you around Rs103,700.00. Explore more here