Mar 13, 2018
With designer digs and creative spaces, a new crop of hotels is making it easier than ever to ditch the nine-to-five and embrace the digital nomad lifestyle.
Who will love it: Hot-desking urban millennials.
Where: Hong Kong’s up-and-coming Aberdeen neighborhood.
What you get: Hong Kong-based Ovolo Hotels Group manages Mojo Nomad, so expect private rooms to feel more like a modest hotel room than a hostel (or “homstel” as the brand calls themselves) and 24/7 “coaches” play the roles of concierges. Shared rooms with three to eight beds dominate the offerings, though there’s a 14-bed team-centric group room. Female-only dorms—dubbed “Wonderwomen”—are available, too. Glean inspiration from nature and book a harbor-view room.
Get to work: High-speed Wi-Fi and an on-site café will fuel work sessions at a hot desk, or book the “Cone of Silence” booth to hash out business details on a private video call.
mojonomad.com; beds from $26.
Who will love it: Design mavens looking for a hotel-like experience.
Where: Steps from the Kamo River in central Kyoto with easy access to the city’s extensive train system.
What you get: Traditional hostel bunkbeds are replaced with state-of-the-art smart pod capsules where single beds convert into couches via an iPod Touch, and partitions include an 80-inch projection screen to stream movies. Rain-head showers, slippers, pajamas and feather pillows complete the experience.
Get to work: The trendy co-working space features tufted leather sofas, Edison light fixtures, phone booths, meeting rooms and traditional desks. Complimentary coffee fuels the work day and free beer for an hour each evening kicks off the night.
the-millennials-kyoto-jp.book.direct; pods from $50.
Who will love it: The no shoes, no shirt, no problem traveler.
Where: Koh Lanta, Thailand, a lush island between Krabi and Phuket in the Andaman Sea.
What you get: One-, two- and four-bedroom apartments are simple yet clean with a kitchenette, and standard amenities like air-conditioning and hot-water showers. The apartments are a 15-minute walk from KoHub, and the helpful staff can assist with scooter rentals.
Get to work: KoHub boasts robust Internet speed tests and backup generators to deal with the island’s semi-regular power cuts. Basic office needs are included, like printing and scanning, and HD monitors are available to rent, which is a benefit to graphic designers and start-ups writing code for their new apps. There are air-conditioned rooms, if the tropical heat is too much; otherwise, the “office” is an open-air bungalow steps from the beach.
kohub.org; apartments from $663 per month (includes two meals per day).
Who will love it: Writers and coding geeks wanting a tropical setting.
Where: Their hub is in the heart of Ubud, Bali, with a Canggu space coming soon. A penthouse pop-up in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is open until July.
What you get: Private rooms and bathrooms ooze jungle charm with four-poster beds, wooden accents, working desks and décor sourced from local artisans. Most rooms have private balconies and views overlooking the pool or nearby mountains.
Get to work: A strong community vibe is at the core of Outpost’s mission, so expect happy hours, guest speakers and meet-and-greets with local entrepreneurs and NGO s. In Bali, a robust selection of air-conditioned meeting rooms, standing desks, large tables for group work, Skype rooms, and a jungle terrace are available. Order lunch from the personal chef or a massage from the on-site masseuse.
outpost-asia.com; rooms in Bali from $989 per month.
Who will love it: Instagram addicts and coffee lovers.
Where: In Bangkok’s upmarket Phrom Phong neighborhood and a short walk to the BTS, the city’s primary form of public transportation.
What you get: Bedding down in the Oneday Pause hostel is a chic affair thanks to bespoke wood furnishings made by local craftsmen. The experience of sharing an eight-bed dorm is elevated with considered details like individual reading lights, power outlets, curtains and bedside storage. Upgrade to a private room for added perks like a TV and a safety deposit box.
Get to work: Adjoining Casa Lapin is hipster heaven with AeroPress coffee and single-origin beans, and the light-filled co-working space, Forward, is stylishly designed with exposed brick walls and banana leaf plants. There’s speedy Internet, a 24/7 co-working space and high-tech meeting rooms, and membership packages are a boon to long-term visitors.
onedaybkk.com; beds from $19.
Who will love it: Eat, Pray, Love wannabes who can’t live without Wi-Fi.
Where: A flat fee gives access to Roam’s global communal living properties. Bali and Tokyo are their Asian locations, but the membership includes spaces in Miami and London, and, soon, San Francisco.
What you get: Each co-living space is stylishly crafted by award-winning artists and architects, which means you’ll stay in a contemporary boutique hotel in Ubud, or a minimalist yet spacious room with a balcony in central Tokyo. There are hotel-style niceties, too, like laundry services and yoga.
Get to work: Battle-tested Internet is the big draw here, especially in Bali, where Wi-Fi is often spotty.
roam.co; doubles from $500 per week.
Who will love it: Start-up groups looking for Series A funding.
Where: Currently in Bali’s Gianyar neighborhood, with a new hub in central Sanur set to open in spring this year. Other locations in Denmark and Switzerland.
What you get: Livit is ideal for team retreats and working holidays, and they offer villa accommodations with access to a pool, common areas and co-working spaces. To optimize productivity, three daily meals and housekeeping are included.
Get to work: Start-ups rave about the modern working amenities and the fledgling business community that calls this incubator home. Mentor programs and networking events are part of the package, making it ideal for those looking for seed funding or investor pitching advice. The new, multifunctional Sanur space will host a range of events, workshops and getaways, and have a full-service café on-site.
liv.it/spaces; rooms from $50.
Lyf by Ascott
Counting millennials as a quarter of their customers, Ascott Hotels last year launched a pilot program at Singapore Management University to test features—like social spaces that can convert into hackathon or workshop zones— of Lyf (pronounced life), their new coliving line of hotels. All Lyf properties will be run by millennials who are dubbed “community managers”—a mix of tour guide, concierge and bartender. China will get the first look: a 112-unit Lyf Wu Tong Island Shenzhen will open this year followed by a 120- unit lyf DDA Dalian at the end of 2018. Lyf Farrer Park Singapore is slated for 2021. lyfbyascott.com.