With the Covid-19 pandemic bringing remote work into the mainstream, boutique hospitality player Selina is looking to lure telecommuters with its new work-from-anywhere subscription model.
The hotel brand, launched in 2015, has long catered to freelancers and other "digital nomads," offering coworking spaces as well as wellness programming and other amenities at all 74 of its locations globally. (About 55 of those locations are currently open.)
"When we opened our first Selina, we were already thinking about the future of work," said Rafi Museri, Selina's co-founder and CEO. "We always knew the future would mean more remote work, with people perhaps choosing to live in cheaper countries in order to afford a more experiential, travel-oriented lifestyle. And I think the coronavirus has really just sped up this existing trend."
With more companies adopting work-from-home telecommute policies in the era of social distancing, Museri expects the global workforce will evolve to comprise "millions of new remote workers," many of whom may decide they'd rather work somewhere other than home.
"If I'm in New York and I work remotely for some financial institution right now, and I now have the ability to work and live in Costa Rica for the next six months with access to internet, great food, a beach, sun, surfing and yoga, why not do that?" asked Museri.
Selina's new subscription-based products, designed to tap into anticipated demand for live-work accommodations, roll out this month.
They include the Selina Nomad Passport, which enables members to purchase 30-, 60- or 90-night credits at discounted rates and use the credits whenever they want at the Selina location of their choice. Also on offer is the Selina CoLive plan, which enables remote workers to stay at any Selina property for a one-, three- or six-month stay. Lastly, the B2B Remote Work Pass allows companies to purchase one- to 12-month stays for their remote-working employees.
Both the CoLive and B2B programs include weekly cleaning and other services, and all three plans feature access to an allocated coworking desk. The Nomad Passport and CoLive packages range from $180 to over $2,000 per month, depending on region, property and room type.
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According to Museri, Selina plans to allocate 50% of accommodations at each of its locations to its subscription platform, with the concept building off a trend toward long-term stays the brand had already been seeing across its portfolio.
"Even before Covid, we had many people travel and stay with Selina for three or four months at a time," he explained. "But now, this allows them to package it through a subscription and have a new level of flexibility."
Meanwhile, Selina's deeper push into the live-work market comes as the company continues to expand its footprint. Among the brand's most recent additions are the Selina Neve Tzedek, Tel Aviv in Israel and the Selina Theatrou Athens in Greece, which each opened in July.
Though those two debuts are in more urban locations, moving forward, Selina plans to ramp up focus on rural and off-the-beaten-path locales, with plans to open outposts in markets like Kinneret, Israel; San Miguel de Allende and Isla Mujeres, Mexico; Mancora, Peru; Woodstock, N.Y.; and Bad Gastein, Austria.
Concurrently, the company has opted to exit deals in some cities, including New York.
"One thing that has come to the forefront of people's mindset is health -- if you're not healthy, you're more at risk" of contracting Covid-19, Museri said. "People are looking to lead a lifestyle that's healthier for the body and for the mind, and many who used to prefer the city lifestyle will shift toward more rural living. So we're going to trend more, -- around 80%, toward mountain, resort and beach locations. We will keep the urban locations, but it will be a little bit less of a focus for us."