Marriott Testing New Workspace Booking Service in D.C., San Fran
Marriott has pretty much monopolized the mainstream business market as far as hotels are concerned. Now, it's launching a creative collaboration with hot new workspace booking app, LiquidSpace, that allows yuppies in greater metro areas the ability to reserve a specific lobby couch (not kidding) or conference room "just like a hotel room" -- to work, meet professionally with colleagues, or just kick back and chat about how cray cray Donna got at the office Christmas party last year.
More than 30 Marriott, Courtyard, and Renaissance hotels are currently participating in the service's beta stages. Most are located in D.C. and San Francisco, but a few are also serving as test sites in Atlanta, Houston, and St. Louis.
We poked around on the site, dubbed Workspace on Demand, and discovered some pretty cool features. For instance, the first listing for "Corner Couch #1" at the Courtyard in Alexandria, Virginia's Old Town (pictured) offers useful info on provided amenities, like: how many colleagues the space will accommodate (2-5); the hours for the complimentary shuttle to/from the metro station; and that "multiple outlets, personal lighting, and free WiFi" are on hand. You can even request to have your meetings catered (for an additonal charge).
Not only is it easy to use, but you also get an instant booking confirmation to present to the front desk on arrival. The best part? The service is marketed towards non-guests, and open lobby areas are typically bookable for free. Depending on how prime the other workspace real estate is, like private meeting and conference rooms, or big communal tables, you'll have to shell out by the hour or as much as $350 bucks for a half-day.
For freelancers (and hotel lovers!) like us, we're digging this savvy alternative to lurking in the least-noisy corners of the nearest Starbucks. It's also a genius solution to the battle for cushy lobby spots when the WiFi's free and available there, but STILL not in your room. Not to mention a productive way for a hotel to open up and cash in on all that expensive conference space that seems to so rarely get used (even if it is a Marriott).
[Photo: Courtyard Alexandria Old Town/Southwest]