Hotel Buyouts Are One Way to Party and Stay Safe This Summer
By Quinn He
Travelers continue to look for different ways to stay safe this summer in their vacation travels. RVs have been touted as a popular escape from hotels and lodges for summer getaways, but for those wanting to avoid life on the road, a new trend is beginning to emerge in the wake of continuing COVID cases.
Requests for full hotel buyouts are becoming increasingly popular for groups of families and friends as an alternative for safer vacations this summer.
Buying Every Room
Hotels are seeing these larger groups buying out entire hotels or hotel floors to ensure effective social distancing from outside guests.
It’s a sure-fire and safe way to still hold onto summer vacation plans and escape the chaotic pandemic life we’re facing.
“People are wanting to get outdoors and enjoy nature while still making sure they are being as safe as possible,” says Bjorn Boyer, co-founder of Eastwind Hotel & Bar. Eastwind, residing in Windham, New York, is seeing a particularly substantial increase in hotel buyout requests.
“While we offer a contact-free stay, by renting out the whole hotel, guests can ensure they are the only people on the property.
“We also find that people who are traveling with groups of friends and family are interested in the buyout option to provide everyone with ample space to enjoy, privacy, and proper sleeping accommodations for each attendee.”
Eastwind Hotel & Bar opened its doors June 1, 2018 for the first time. Since then, the boutique hotel has hosted countless events, retreats, and guests.
The hotel relies on its roots as a Bunk House for outdoors people like hunters, hikers, and fishermen in the 1920s and injects Scandinavian styled housing and living to culminate in a fantastical outdoor experience in the Catskills.
Hotel Buyouts Before COVID
Hotel buyouts are not a new pandemic living trend. Eastwind and other hotels alike saw buyouts for weddings, banquets, corporate groups on a regular basis, but Bjorn noted there has been a notable increase in bookings during the pandemic.
This hotel is not a standard run-of-the-mill establishment like a Holiday or La Quinta Inn. Eastwind Hotel & Bar is devoid of standard floors.
The accommodations included in a full buyout of Eastwind are three 220 Sq Ft Lushna cabins, eleven bunk houses including two Writer’s Studios, and five Hill House rooms that include two suites.
Eastwind Hotel was essentially made for social distancing living in this pandemic riddled world we find ourselves in now. The property has extensive experience hosting events and other types of buyouts. The boutique establishment specializes in servicing parties of guests on the property with many activity options available.
Usually, the salon and bar area would be closed due to COVID-19, but for entire buyouts, the hotel hands the keys over as the entire group is not making contact with other hotel goers.
When you know everyone in the hotel with you, it’s easier to let yourself loose and have a worry-free stay.
It’s All in the Location
“Eastwind’s location allows easy access for city dwellers to escape without having to go far/outside of the state. The property’s natural surroundings lend itself for guests to unwind, reconnect with friends and family, or work remotely making it ideal for people looking to safely vacation.”
The hotel’s location in the Catskills makes it a fantastic place for people to experience nature and the outdoors in a comfortable and safe setting during the pandemic. Hiking and fishing are popular past times for visitors to the Catskill mounts. As the property gets hit with a blanket of golden-hour sun, what better a place to enjoy yoga with a view, one of Eastwind’s outdoor events for visitors.
Often times, Bjorn noted, entire parties will rent out all the accommodations at Eastwind, but a single individual will pay the cost upfront.
How much could such a getaway cost? For all the 26 rooms the hotel has to offer, a full weekend buyout can run up a bill to around $9,000-$10,000/night on a weekend and about $6,000-$7,000/night on weekdays.
It may appear expensive to many, but as mentioned, the cost is more often split by multiple families or parties renting out the entire property together.
You really get access to everything with a full buyout, as you’d expect. The Catskills property mimics the lush open scenery of Midsommar with large open areas, Scandinavian style lodgings, large family-style outdoor eating, and an emphasis on the outdoors; of course devoid of cults, unless you define your party as such.
Visitors have a multitude of local hikes to choose from like the Windham Path, the Hudson River School Art Trail, the Overlook Mountain Trailhead, Diamond Notch Falls, and Mine Kill Falls.
At Windham Mountain groups can go mountain biking and play golf. There are so many other outdoor adventures that can be enjoyed locally like ziplining, rock climbing, fishing, and horseback riding.
The Way of The Future?
As states begin to open up again, it’s clear a coronavirus free country is farther away than we would have hoped. Bjorn sees Eastwind Hotel continuing their strategy of offering full buyouts as a way to make it through COVID-19.
“We will continue to offer buyouts to guests for the foreseeable future as we enjoy catering to our guests and the countless reasons they’re interested in this option, from privacy and reunions to retreats and weddings,” says Bjorn.
Eastwind is not the only boutique establishment offering entire buyouts of the property. Bjorn noted two other examples of properties, of about 50 rooms or less, employing a similar business style: Nakoma Resort in California and The Chanler at Cliff Walk in Rhode Island. As the coronavirus continues to spread rapidly within states, a full hotel buyout looks to be a practical, but a pricey solution to vacationing in safety.
“Providing the buyout option financially makes sense on our end and allows us to provide travelers with a blend of boutique luxury and nature, something distinct in the Catskills, which has translated to guests returning,” Bjorn notes.
Those looking for an escape from the chaotic COVID anxiety and lifestyle will find peace at places like Eastwind Hotel & Bar.
A large group buyout of a hotel will mean you won’t have to worry about coming into contact with someone with the virus since, ideally, you’d know your whole party is coronavirus free.
Safe social distancing tactics, like hotel buyouts, are becoming more popular as the summer continues and COVID cases stack up. It’s a way to still enjoy a vacation with friends and family that’s safe, fun, and practical.
Eastwind Hotel will continue to offer its hotel buyouts during the pandemic for those who need to retreat into nature to replenish their batteries and take a break from the world around them. Don’t cancel your summer plans yet, stay safe and look out for other hotels offering the same getaway experience.