- Despite several poor experiences of hotel coworking, digital nomad Robert Kropp finally discovered one that got it right.
- Nest is located within the hotel Tryp by Wyndham in Dubai, and regularly attracts local entrepreneurs and businesspeople.
- This particular space strikes the right balance with high-level hospitality and great perks – including full access to hotel facilities.
Having traveled and worked in over 45 coworking and shared workspaces at the time of writing, I have made it a habit to look for spaces with new features and amenities, different location types, and other unique attributes that expand what I know and give me greater firsthand experience of the industry.
As I have been exploring what our industry can offer, I have also been keeping track of the types of coworking and shared workspaces around the world.
Hotels hadn’t made the list for me until recently. It wasn’t long ago when I even wrote that hotels shouldn’t call themselves coworking spaces. The only options I had seen were hotels with either a modified lobby or an old business center that had been redesigned to make it look better. I felt at the time that the hotels I heard about were just using the terminology for marketing and not actively trying to build a community of people who consistently work, interact, and collaborate within a space.
This changed when my most recent journey took me to Dubai for a week to explore the city and what it could offer a digital nomad who works out of coworking and shared workspaces.
As I worked through my process of picking spaces to reach out to, I found Nest, a coworking space located in the hotel Tryp by Wyndham.
There are a few brands attempting to integrate coworking spaces into hotels, however, this is the first space I have discovered that is doing it well.
When I reached out to Nest, I received a quick reply from Cher introducing herself, the space, the team, and offering for me to come in for the day.
Located not far from the metro, I arrived around mid-morning. I met with Cher and we chatted for a bit about the space, her role, how long she had been there, and general pleasantries. After which, she gave me a tour of the space before getting back to her day to day duties as well as helping a group that had rented the large conference room.
My initial impression was fantastic.
I loved how Cher and the team were interactive, helpful, and seemed to have their daily processes together. There was someone always available for questions or to help if a coworker needed something. If dishes needed to be taken, they were. If the snacks were running low, they were replaced. If someone borrowed the pen from the phonebooth, it was returned. None of these are a big deal but when combined, to me, they form a well-run space.
I definitely liked the look and feel of the space but also the many different types of working spaces. From couches, to tables, to desks, there were plenty of different areas to work whether you were meeting someone, having phone calls, writing an article, coding, or working through the backlog of emails. I was comfortable here. This felt like a coworking space or at least a really well done shared workspace that could have a community of people.
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Even though my photos don’t show it, this space was pretty full that day. There was a big group in the conference room and about a dozen other people working there almost the entire day.
Beyond the typical basics such as coffee and strong Wi-fi, they also included snacks and fruit which were a perfect pick me up throughout the day. I underestimated how much a good snack can be (whether it be a cookie or an apple) in the more sluggish parts of the day.
I also couldn’t help but notice the synergies of being in a hotel. Food and snacks can be provided by the hotel kitchen. I can also go to a restaurant for a meal without leaving the building. I can even take a break by swimming a few laps.
This was another perk that I was unaware of before arriving. I could use the hotel facilities like I was a guest. Part of the membership fees allowed for use of the pool, exercise room, and even a discount in the restaurants. This alone would entice me here as I want to exercise and work within a few minute’s walk so I don’t need to spend my day commuting from place to place.
If I want to, all of my basic needs such as living, working, and playing can happen here. They even offer a discounted hotel night with a day of coworking if you want to get away but still stay connected. I can’t afford hotels consistently as a digital nomad, but do love the idea of having these packages available when I want to have a day off but still want to get a few things done in a new location.
After the tour and learning a bit about the space and the hotel, I sat down and got to work. As usual, I sat in a few different parts of the space to get a feel for the vibe throughout the space.
As I was only here for a day, I didn’t get to meet many people but I found that everyone was quite courteous about noise, and were there to be productive. I did also learn that most people were regulars from the nearby area.
I would love to come back and explore more spaces like this. I sense that if more hotels will move in this direction, we will see our industries’ reach continue to grow as the benefits of coworking and shared workspaces get used not only by locals but by more and more traditional business travelers and larger corporations who regularly use hotels for travel or workplaces.
Have you noticed other chains that are building coworking spaces within their hotels? Where are they? I would love to hear from them and see what they are doing in the industry.