Travel Pods and Buyouts: Hotels Offer Private Accommodations for Safer Socialization

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers who still wish to share experiences and socialize with loved ones are devising ways to bring their friends and family together more safely, including creating quarantine pods or travel pods through which multiple households gather exclusively in a private place to reduce contact with others outside their “pod.” Members of travel pods often agree to follow health and safety measures like wearing masks indoors, quarantining before and after trips, and getting tested for COVID-19. At the same time, hotels are coming up with creative ways to facilitate the increased demand for private accommodations, including offering floor-wide or even property-wide buyouts along with unique experiences. Below are just seven buyout offerings at hotels nationwide.

1Camellia Inn 

Camellia Inn

Camellia Inn is a 10-room, 1869-era bed and breakfast in Healdsburg, California, that is currently offering full buyouts. Two blocks from Healdsburg Plaza, the buyout includes daily afternoon wine and cheese, breakfast, a stocked drink refrigerator, a massage room, iPads in most rooms, complimentary wine tasting passes, and private access to the outdoor pool. Each Friday in December, excluding Christmas Day, Camellia Inn has special holiday treats for an “at home” afternoon tea experience. Afternoon Tea To-Go includes a selection of teas, scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, savory sandwiches, and an assortment of artisan chocolates that are available to in-house guests in addition to takeout.

2The Curtis 

The Curtis Video Game Room

The Curtis in downtown Denver is offering a “Choose Your Adventure” package through which guest can take over an entire floor of the hotel and create a customized experience to safely enjoy. Each floor of The Curtis is pop-culture-themed—ranging from the superhero floor to the scary movie floor (i.e., the “Dun Dun Dunnnnn!” or 13th floor). Allowing up to 24 guests (12 guestrooms available and two people per room), available adventures include laser tag, a murder mystery game night, a silent disco, a tailgating celebration, and even a “Time to Jump Ship” divorce party, among others. The Curtis has even introduced holiday-themed adventures, like caroling karaoke, a gift-wrapping workshop and toy donation station, and more.

3DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

Set across 27 acres on the south end of Ocean Boulevard and next to Myrtle Beach State Park, DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Myrtle Beach Oceanfront provides a scenic coastal escape for groups and hotel buyouts. The South Carolina resort has 452 oceanfront rooms and suites with ocean views and private balconies as well as indoor and outdoor pools, lazy rivers, and the Springmaid Pier for fishing and sightseeing. The hotel most recently hosted socially distant concerts on the hotel’s beach and verdant lawn.

4The Duchamp Hotel

The Duchamp (Photo credit: Kim Carroll)
Photo credit: Kim Carroll

The Duchamp Hotel in Healdsburg, California, comprises six freestanding private suites— each personalized with its own entrance and self-contained air quality system—surrounding a 50-foot azure pool, which is limited to just 12 registered guests. The property is near restaurants and wine tasting rooms in the downtown Healdsburg Plaza. For guests who buyout the entire property, The Duchamp will provide VIP access to the Williamson Epicurean Dinner experience at the nearby Dry Creek Valley estate of Williamson Wines and hosted by owners Bill & Dawn Williamson.

5St. Regis Bal Harbour 

St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort Pool

The St. Regis Bal Harbour in Miami Beach, Florida—recently named a Five-Star Hotel by Forbes Travel Guide for the seventh consecutive year and awarded the AAA Five Diamond—is known as an exclusive enclave. The resort is offering several buyout options, including floor buyouts that include 14 rooms and a hotel buyout that encompasses the property’s 216 guestrooms that includes a complimentary one-hour reception with sabering ritual as well as other perks. Guests can also choose a signature St. Regis Ritual to round off their experience, like a complimentary Bloody Mary break or afternoon tea.

6W Miami

W Miami Cocktail Lounge

W Miami is an urban oasis centrally located in Miami’s Brickell District that recently ranked fourth in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for Miami Hotels. The hotel is offering floor-wide buyouts that include 16 rooms and also property-wide buyouts of all 146 rooms, each with a private balcony offering views of the city or the Miami River as well as floor-to-ceiling marble bathrooms with W-signature Bliss amenities. The property buyout includes a complimentary one-hour beer and wine reception, two complimentary VIP amenities, and more.

7Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead

Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead

Located in the highly sought-after Buckhead neighborhood and home to world-class dining and shops, the Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead has 127 rooms, 10 suites, a 15,000-square-foot spa, an expansive pool, a private garden, and an on-site restaurant, Café & Bar—much of which is available for families and groups through a property-wide buyout, which includes usage of the hotel grounds, guestrooms, meeting and event spaces, flexible dining operations, and—depending on the group—the spa as well.


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