Now that I am 100% remote for work I’ve been trying to fit a few working staycations into the schedule. If I can work from anywhere, why not work from a local-ish resort? “Real travel” isn’t on my agenda anytime soon, but I can still take advantage of living in Florida. Last week I had the opportunity to visit the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive for a working staycation.
I’m sure that lots of you may be worried about how safe it is to visit a hotel or resort right now. To start, you can find an entire page on the Wyndham website about what they are doing to make your visits to any of their properties safe. Most hotels & resorts have something similar on their websites.
As soon as you arrive on property you see the steps they are taking to keep their guests safe. Right inside the front door, you start seeing social distancing markers on the floor. There is a bar in the lobby, but right now it is not open. That REALLY helps cut down on the number of people in the lobby. When I arrived the only other people in the lobby were the 2 staff members checking in guests.
At the check-in desk, there are plexiglass dividers and the staff are wearing masks. Check-in was super easy and within just a few minutes I was on my way to my room. The resort is a lot of separate buildings, so you are able to park very close to your room. This is handy since right now they are not offering bellhop services.
I drove to the building my room was in and started to get settled. The room was SUPER clean and ready for a few days of rest, relaxation, and work. I was in a suite so I had plenty of space to spread out. A full-size desk with a lamp, phone, power strip with 3 plugs & 3 USB ports, and adjustable chair made getting set up for work a breeze! I was able to set up my workspace and leave it set up for the duration of my trip. There was a dining table that I could use for meals or other activities, so that made things nice.
Right now they are not doing housekeeping while guests are in the rooms. If you need anything all you have to do is call the front desk and ask. Need new towels? Put the used ones outside your door and they will bring you fresh ones. I felt that the room was well stocked for my 3 day stay and at no time did I need to request additional items.
The suite has a mini-fridge which was a great thing to have during this time of social distancing. I was able to bring drinks, snacks, and even some salads for lunch. This helped out for a couple of reasons. First off, it kept me from having to leave the room (or hotel) when I needed something to eat or drink. It also kept me from getting distracted while I was working. Second, the onsite restaurant is currently running reduced hours and was not open during my stay. Having lunches available in my room worked out REALLY well.
I found the property to be very empty when I was out and about. On my first trip to the pool, there are two, I only saw 6 other people. Three of them went to the other pool and the other three stayed at the opposite end of the pool from where I was. It was fantastic! It gave me the ability to spend multiple hours poolside working and enjoying the sun. Who says you need to spend your whole work day inside?
Each time I was at the pool I saw a staff member taking care of making sure the pool area was clean and stocked with towels. The property as a whole is beautiful and they take sure good care of things!
On my last night, I made a trip down to Icon Park with a friend to grab some dinner and take a ride on The Wheel. It is less than a 1/2 mile walk from the resort, so we took advantage of the nice weather and walked there. We saw people on our walk, but not as many as you would normally see on I-Drive during the summer. Everyone was wearing masks and made an effort to distance themselves. When we got to Icon Park there were a fair amount of people. We were able to enjoy a nice dinner on the patio at Yardhouse and didn’t feel like we were on top of other diners.
Our ride on The Wheel was great! They are putting each party in their own capsule, so you don’t have to worry about sharing with others. The air conditioning system draws in fresh air during your ride and every capsule is cleaned between each party. So were they REALLY cleaning each capsule every time guests got off? Yep. As our capsule was heading back down for us to get off we watched as a designated staff person cleaned each capsule after the guests had exited.
Overall I enjoyed my stay and it was a welcome change to working in my at-home office every day. I felt the resort was doing everything they could to keep guests safe and the property clean. I was able to get my work down and enjoy a bit of the fun that comes with staying at a resort. I’m all about a mid-afternoon swim break!
The only thing about my trip that bothered me was the lack of people at the resort. I’m sure you are good and confused now. YES, it was fabulous as a guest to be at a fairly empty resort. It mean that I had less to worry about for sure. But it made me worry about other things… like how long can the hotel operate with this few guests, how many people are out of work in the hospitality industry, and what is this doing to our local economy. So if you can, and feel safe doing so, please try to take advantage of the hotels, resorts, and attractions where you live. You are helping out SO many people by doing so.
*Disclosure: I have been provided a complimentary stay and other perks by Wyndham Orlando Resort. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.