New York hotels have had to get creative in order to find demand. Many have launched staycation offers in an effort to lure locals, while others have crafted "work-from-hotel" promotions designed to target those now working remotely from home.
One hospitality group, however, is looking to cater to college students looking to upgrade from a dorm to a more socially distanced accommodation offering.
On Sept. 21, Affinia Hotel Collection launched the Affinia University program, available at the group's Fifty Hotel and Shelburne Hotel on Manhattan. The package, which is $129 per night or $900 per week, includes a room with a workspace and kitchenette, free WiFi, optional daily housekeeping, daily midnight cookie delivery and access to the fitness room and a study room, among other amenities.
Notably, pets are welcome to stay with students in their guestrooms.
According to Affinia Hotel Collection managing director Chrissy Denihan, the intent behind the program is to "create an opportunity for students to continue to have that college experience, but in a safe environment."
As for cost, a private, air-conditioned dorm room for a first-year undergrad at New York University starts at approximately $9,000 a semester. Meanwhile, 15 weeks of housing through Affinia University will set a student back $13,500.
"We're providing a much more extensive offering than the typical dorm room, so it's really hard to make a direct comparison," said Denihan. "But we think it's an approachable cost, especially when you consider you don't have to sign on for a whole semester up front."