Be Productive in Paradise: 7 Exotic Workations for the Ultimate Work-life Balance
With work from home being the new normal, and many home-workers planning to continue to work remotely post pandemic, workations are set to become one of the new travel trends.
After all, if you have to work remotely, why not do it from somewhere that inspires you – the powdery white beaches of Bali or the remote mountains of Thailand?
No longer just for digital nomads and freelancers, many companies are now appreciating the benefits of their employees working remotely and offering flexibility to the working day.
Whether you want a new office for a week or a few months, or want to combine business with a holiday, it’s time to grab your laptop and say goodbye to the nine-to-five.
Here are our suggestions where to head for the ultimate combination of work and pleasure (high speed WiFi in all areas of the hotels is guaranteed):
Fusion Resort Cam Ranh, Vietnam
At Fusion Resort Cam Ranh the sounds of the ocean are your wake-up call, and after-work drinks are exotic fruit cocktails by the pool. This all-spa-inclusive resort set in a pristine bay is the ideal place to achieve work-life balance. Perched atop a 28-metre-high sand dune overlooking the ocean, Fusion Resort Cam Ranh offers a down-to-earth alternative for a five-star quality workation without the fuss, formality, and routine of a traditional hotel or resort.
We wouldn’t mind a day at the office overlooking the shimmering sea from an Ocean View Suite – which also comes with a small working table, as well as stylish furnishings and a designer ‘hammock’ bathtub. When it’s time to log off your laptop, unwind with a complimentary spa treatment. After all, you are guaranteed a minimum of two spa treatments per day (with more if you want it) so make the most of the staggering 35 spa-menu options.
The Slate – Phuket, Thailand
Creative types can’t fail but to be inspired by the whimsical and surreal surroundings of The Slate. Awaken your imagination in this fantastical hotel that combines raw beauty with industrial elements, inspired by Phuket’s tin mining past.
The Pearl Bed Suites come with a desk, oversized bathtub and balcony. If you need more space to stretch out, bring your briefcase into a Private Pool Suite where you can check your emails while luxuriating in the cool waters of your private plunge pool. There’s a wine cellar where you can have private dinners or meetings, along with a selection of sublime dining experiences that specialise in authentic dishes with deliciously nutritious ingredients. After a particularly hard day’s work, let off steam with a few quick kicks and sharp punches in a hand-to-combat Muay Thai experience with one of the hotel’s skilled martial arts specalists.
Raffles Bali – Indonesia
A day at the office looks a whole lot different when you add beach vibes to your next Skype video call! With only 32 ocean-facing pool villas set in 23 acres of lush tropical gardens leading onto a sprawling private beach, Raffles Bali is an exotic oasis for the most fortunate and intrepid of remote workers. Sit at a sunlit-drenched workspace in a pool villa that has everything you need including well-appointed work desks, coffee machines and even yoga mats, for when you feel the need to stretch out.
Choose from a Hill Top Pool Villa, an Ocean Pool Villa or a Panoramic Pool Villa depending on your preference of view. After a long day of working in the sun, unwind beneath the expert hands of a massage therapist at Raffles Spa, sample Balinese cuisine, take a cooking class or sip a sundowner in the iconic Writer’s Bar. Anything else – just check in with one of the Raffles Wellbeing Butlers – they will make sure you have everything you need.
137 Pillars House Chiang Mai – Thailand
When you need a workday without distractions, head to this haven of tranquility in the north of Thailand, also known as 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai. Built in the late 1800’s as part of the Borneo Company headquarters, this beautiful teak wood building has been carefully restored to reflect its 19th-century origins. Lush landscape, majestic trees, and a soaring green wall enveloping the pool create a tranquil rainforest environment. The location offers a sanctuary in which to relax, refocus and get down to business, yet the old city is close enough to spend the evenings wandering the markets or dining in riverside restaurants.
All rooms are exquisite, with colonial-style furnishings, rattan rocking chairs and Victorian baths. We love the D.F. MacFie Suites. Each of these 80-sqm suites boasts an adjoining tropical vintage-tiled conservatory which has the option of being enclosed and air conditioned, or opened up to the fresh air. The ideal place to channel your inner Hemingway.
Riva Surya Bangkok – Thailand
You’re guaranteed the best desk views from the four-star Riva Surya Bangkok, a luxurious urban oasis along the banks of Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. This modern boutique hotel provides true Thai hospitality, along with 68 beautifully designed rooms, elegant dining options, a riverside swimming pool and leisure facilities.
There’s a working table in all rooms, but our favourites are the Deluxe Riva Rooms and Premium Riva Rooms as they come with a balcony overlooking the historic river. Just steps away are the quaint shophouses, quirky cafes and local restaurants of Phra Athit Road. Further your nomadic experience by taking your laptop to one of these cool eateries and work alongside the many Thai students that frequent this area. After working hours are over, delve deep into the history of Bangkok with a visit to nearby attractions including the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and the National Museum.
Anjali by Syphon – Siem Reap, Cambodia
Transport your home office to the gateway of the magnificent temples of Angkor and work from the inviting interiors of Anjali by Syphon. Just 12 minutes from the airport in Siem Reap, this hidden green oasis is peacefully designed in harmony with its surroundings and shaped by its local culture. The exquisite Khmer hospitality ensures a home away from home experience – with plenty of sunshine.
All rooms have working desks, USB and Bluetooth connections, coffee facilities, and duck down feather pillows to ensure a good nights sleep. Splurge on an Anjali Deluxe Pool Access Room, then whenever you need a break from spreadsheets simply step off your terrace straight into the pool. After logging off, take the free tuk tuk into the town and check out the many night markets and restaurants. On the weekend, step back in time and immerse yourself in the creativity and ingenuity of the Khmer empire and explore the ancient Angkor temples.
akyra Thonglor Bangkok – Thailand
Decamp to this trendy Thonglor hotel – the perfect place for a long stay workation. Featuring luxurious and contemporary design, akyra Thonglor Bangkok offers a total of 148 units that cater perfectly for both leisure and corporate travellers. The long stay serviced suites even come with a well-equipped kitchenette and some have washing machines and induction ovens. There’s an adjacent lifestyle mall and a 24-hour supermarket whihc could come in handy after late night meetings!
The hotel is located on Thonglor Road – an up-and-coming area in Bangkok. In the evening check out the happy hours in the hip bars near the hotel, sample street food from local vendors or venture further by taking the free hotel shuttle to the skytrain station.
The hotel’s Workation Package includes daily breakfast; 20% discount off food and beverages; and a working space at The Lounge along with free tea, coffee and cookies. Similar packages are available at akyra Manor Chiang Mai, Aleenta Phuket-Phang Nga and Aleenta Hua Hin-Pranburi.