• Wyatt Franta

One New York Hotel is Converting Its Rooms Into Flex Space

InterContinental New York Barclay is tapping into a flexible space concept hoping to recoup lost revenue due to Covid-19

Flex Space Room Conversion Concept

With occupancy hitting recent lows at the InterContinental New York Barclay, General Manager, Sofia L. Vandaele, decided to provide an alternative option for those looking for a change in scenery. “We started to realize that many people need a change of scenery,” Vandaele says. “It came out of our own experiences and then relating it to what we hear.”

To meet that demand, The InterContinental New York Barclay is transforming some of its hotel rooms into flexible space. “Some people in their job have to continue to forge ahead,” Vandaele says. “We wanted to give them a very comfortable, customizable home feeling in a space where they could fully concentrate and keep moving things ahead.”

When a client contacts the Intercontinental, her team can take guests through a 360-degree tour of their space. “We can do a digital kind of walkthrough and then can prepare any of the rooms,” Vandaele says. “If they want to keep the bed in there because they want to stay overnight or if they want the furniture removed to set the room up as efficiently as possible in an office setting, we can do that. There can be a little coffee corner for the four or five of the rooms. Everything really can be customized to what the guests would want.”

Vandaele says people are asking for stays from one day to as extended as into the Fall. “People may lease for one day to get a project finished or separate themselves from what’s happening in their household,” she says. “We don’t put a maximum on how long we will allow people to say, The InterContinental can bring in furniture, office equipment, and even exercise machines from the outside if the guests request them. “If they need to get ready for that big Zoom call with the CEO and you want to feel your best, we can get hair and makeup services,” Vandaele says. 

The spaces are allocated on a $/foot basis. “If people don’t need a lot of space, they pay less,” she says. “If they need a lot more space and they will pay a little bit more, but it includes a fully stocked fridge and snacks.”

Vandaele says she can put multiple rooms together for offices, break out areas, and even meeting spaces if corporations would rather work in a hotel than go back to their offices. “We could actually prioritize certain wings or even allocate a complete floor to one specific company,” Vandaele says. “We are also very, very happy to welcome just the individual that needs to get out of the house a little bit. We have had inquiries from individuals, mostly people from within Manhattan, that need to get out.”

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