If, like millions of people, you're working remotely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and are getting a bit of cabin fever, you could trade your home office with a view of bare or snow-covered trees for a balcony view of a beach or a golf course.
The term "workcation" - a portmanteau of "working vacation" - has been coined as the pandemic's effects on the way we work include greater ability for people to work from home ... or anywhere with a wi-fi connection.
The pandemic has caused golf to enjoy something of a resurgence after a decade of declining participation. The game mixes enjoyment of the outdoors, engaging physical and mental activity and natural social distancing in a way few of its recreational rival pursuits can match.
The travel industry is extremely eager to get heads in beds again, and that aggressive position can work to your advantage if you're currently willing to get out and about. Individual brands and even entire local and even national governments have been pitching themselves as temporary relocation refuges, especially for those of us who find ourselves working remotely.
For most, that means a transition from a work-from-office to a work-from-home situation, but the latter often really means work-from-anywhere-with-good-wi-fi. Behold, the advent of the workcation.
Several American hotels and resorts courting workcationers are of interest to golfers as well. There's an undeniable appeal to walking to the range to hit a bucket between meetings or sneaking out at 3 p.m. for a quick nine or 18.
If a workcation just sounds like an actual vacation but with less free time and fun, consider also that properties want you to stay a while, so they're making their accommodations more affordable than usual, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of dollars per night.
The worldwide Hyatt chain of hotels has three different types of "Work From Hyatt" opportunities. There's the "Office for the Day" program, which grants access to a room and property amenities in one of hundreds of their hotels from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for as little as $65 per day. The "Extended Stays" program requires five or more nights but, depending on the specific destination, grants perks such as waived resort fees, daily food & beverage credits, free valet or self-parking and high-speed wi-fi.
More specialized perks like discounted spa services at Andaz Mayakoba in Mexico and pool cabana access at Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach in Hawaii are available, as are golf perks like a free round at Aviara Golf Club plus a free spa treatment per stay at the Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, Calif., and 50% off green fees at the 27-hole Hill Country Golf Club, part of the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort near San Antonio, Texas. At Aviara, golf rates can top $200, making its Work From Hyatt perk particularly strong.
Hyatt also offers a program called "The Great Relocate" for stays of 29 nights or longer. Participating hotels include many international venues, from the Hyatt Place London Heathrow Hotel to the Grand Hyatt Muscat, Oman (a developing Middle Eastern golf destination that includes annual European Tour stop Al Mouj Golf). Perks, dependent on location, include 25% food and beverage discounts, savings on laundry services and complimentary boardroom usage.
Other individual resorts tempt golfers with workcation possibilities. Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif., is combining up to 40% off best-available rates with unlimited golf, plus a dozen golf balls at the beginning of your monthly stay under their Eat, Sleep, Play, Repeat package.
Turning Stone Resort in upstate New York's Sunday-through-Thursday "Work Away from Home" package includes a $100-per-night resort credit, as well as the resort's high-speed wi-fi and an on-site IT and tech support team should any issues arise.
A robust, government-sponsored "Work From Bermuda" program was instituted back in August and seeks to pitch the small Atlantic island as a temporary relocation spot, touting extremely low incidences of COVID-19 in addition to its temperate climate. The boutique Royal Palms Bermuda hotel's Covid Escape Package includes airport pickup upon arrival and complimentary laundry services each week.
In the Bahamas, the historic Graycliff Hotel in Nassau offers a "Workation" package for guests who plan to stay 14 or more nights. It is centered around a 50% discount on normal room rates. Golfers will note the Graycliff is close to both the Ocean Club and Royal Blue golf courses.