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Book a hotel room or join a coliving space?

At first glance, hotel coworking rooms and coliving spaces with coworking areas may seem similar. Both operations cater to travelers who require a space to productively work throughout their stay. They also offer a variety of amenities beyond the room you rent. 

Some people might mistakenly assume that coliving spaces are similar to staying in a hotel. While the two may appear to operate for the same reason (serviced accommodation), the operations vastly differ in their purpose. Hotels are private, independent accommodations. You rent a room, often keep to yourself, and don’t stay for too long. 

Coliving spaces, conversely, are both short and long term furnished and flexible accommodations that are designed primarily with community in mind.

When it comes to coworking, hotels cater to a mishmash of people working independently without much interaction. Contrarily, coliving spaces attract groups of like-minded and passionate entrepreneurs, remote workers or digital nomads working together and motivating one another in the process.

Research shows that people who work in an interactive coworking climate are more likely to reach a positive mindset and thrive throughout their day—and coliving spaces capitalize on this insight.

In this article, we will outline the differences between hotel and coliving coworking spaces,  discuss the pros and cons of booking a hotel room vs. a coliving space and help you make a decision on which option is best for you.

A brief history of coworking in hotels vs. coliving spaces

With the rise of remote work possibilities, coworking spaces have become vital for people with location independence and those who travel and work on the go. Access to reliable and fast WiFi in a comfortable place that triggers productivity is paramount. 

Hotels

Knowing this, many hotels have jumped at the chance to improve their media centers beyond primitive dial-up internet. These dated business lounges or lobby meeting rooms no longer suit the needs of today’s flexible workers. 

Therefore, hotels today are transforming their shared spaces into more comfortable and ergonomic settings for the modern business guest. They are mimicking the successful coworking spaces that are popping up across the globe by designing fully equipped coworking environments inside their hotels. These are often free for guests while the general population must pay a fee to gain access. 

Coliving spaces

Coliving spaces, on the other hand, were conceived with the concept of coworking ingrained in their DNA. This means that their facilities have always been tailored towards the needs of remote workers. 

It started with hacker houses, where startup founders and their teams realized living and working together inspired creativity and productivity at unprecedented levels.

As coliving spaces have evolved, they’ve expanded to suit the needs of not only entire teams, but individuals that work independently, together. The community thrives by sharing and learning from each other in order to accomplish both personal and group goals.

What are the differences between coworking spaces in hotels and coliving operations?

The main difference between the two is the social aspect of coliving vs. residing in a hotel.

When staying in a hotel, it can be difficult to get to know your neighbors. As hotels promote short term over long term stays, there’s often little motivation to attempt to make new connections during the journey.

In coliving spaces, however, socializing, collaborating, and inspiring one another is actively encouraged. Ingrained in the ethos of these organizations is the desire to create dynamic communities that foster productivity. Bringing like-minded people together to live and work creates a catalyst for new ideas and better business. 

Let’s take a look at some of the other main differences: 


Hotel coworkingColiving coworking
WifiReliability cannot be guaranteedAlways included with guaranteed reliability
Professional CleaningIncludedIncluded
Amenities (shampoo, soap, clean linens, toilet paper, etc.)IncludedIncluded
Coworking Space DesignVary greatly from hotel to hotel, requiring tons of research to ensure it’s worthwhileAlways enhanced for productivity and comfort regardless of coliving company or location
Networking OpportunitiesRarely includedIncluded and actively encouraged
Community EventsNot includedIncluded
Stocked KitchenNot includedIncluded
MealsSometimes breakfast includedSometimes included
GymIncluded if available, sometimes at an additional costIncluded if available
Streaming ServicesNot includedIncluded

What’s best for your budget?

When looking for accommodation, budget is often the biggest concern. You don’t want to spend what you’d pay for rent in one month on one week of temporary housing. 

Coliving pricing

Source: Coliving.com

Coliving allows for the flexibility to rent for as short as a single week but also gives you the option to stay for however long you’d like. And they do this at an affordable price. 

For example, this coliving space operated by The Redeye close to New York City costs $125 for a shared room and $325 for a private room for 7 nights. That’s $18/night and $46/night, respectively. 

For that price, you get:

  • A comfortable room and bed to sleep on 
  • A safe and secure environment
  • A coworking space inside the unit
  • A fully stocked kitchen to use
  • Social and networking events
  • A supportive community
  • Free tickets to local activities
  • An onsite media center that’s free to use
  • Professional cleaning services
  • Access to free laundry machines
  • Access to a free gym
  • Access to free streaming services
  • Access to a communal garden and outdoor lounge area 

If we look at another coliving space operated by Outpost Club located in the center of the action in Brooklyn, we see that the prices aren’t much higher. Guests only need to pay $36/night, or $1,090/month to live there in a shared room and $70/night, or $2,090/month, for a private room.

Again, members gain end-to-end access to networking events, community activities, a coworking space, tons of amenities and much more.

Hotel pricing

Source: publichotels.com

When people think of hotels, they automatically assume they will be expensive. Nobody plans on moving to a hotel for the long-term, as that would literally break the bank. 

That’s because prices for a hotel room in New York City range from $100-$400 a night, depending on the location and room type. 

For example, Public Hotels in Manhattan offer rooms ranging from $195-$395 a night. 

For that price, you get:

  • A comfortable room and bed to sleep on 
  • A safe and secure environment
  • Communal wooden tables to cowork at within the cafe on the ground floor
  • Professional cleaning services
  • Paid restaurant and bar, cafes and shops in the hotel
  • Paid laundry services
  • Included weekly entertainment (often concerts in the hotel)

As you can see, the price of staying in a hotel far exceeds that of a coliving space. In a hotel, you are paying for maximum comfort, guaranteed privacy, daily cleaning services, amenities such as room service, access to hotel events and utilities, and more. 

Yet, if your goal is to network, stay within a designated budget, gain an automatic community, and reap the benefits of several other perks, such as a stocked kitchen and streaming services, then coliving gives you more for your money. 

And when it comes to coworking, in a coliving space you become immersed in collective motivation, whereas in a hotel you must rely solely on self-determination.

How to decide which operation is right for you?

When considering if coliving is right for you, ask yourself if you thrive more when surrounded by people, or when you’re alone? Do you enjoy a supportive community, or do you value your total privacy and independence when traveling? Are networking events important during your trip?

Hotels certainly make more sense if you are only staying for one to two nights. But, if you’re looking to stay somewhere for a week, hotels can get quite lonely, and expensive.

Coliving spaces remove any feelings of isolation, while also remaining exceptionally respectful of your boundaries and needs. They provide an intrinsic community vibe and a surrogate workplace environment where teamwork, collaboration and idea-sharing are highly valued.

And when it comes to a coworking environment, it must be a completely dedicated space to those working remotely, ranging from freelancers in all industries, self-employed creatives, driven entrepreneurs, and studying students. If it doubles as a cafe, as many hotel coworking spaces do, that can cause unwanted distractions.

Where will you book next?

When choosing a temporary place to stay, you have to weigh the pros and cons of price, amenities, community and networking opportunities.

If your stay is more transient, then maybe a hotel room is the best option for you. Though they often lack the networking and extended amenities that coliving spaces provide, they can be a convenient option for a quick stay.

However, if you’re looking to stay longer and develop meaningful connections during your visit, then a coliving space is the obvious choice. With affordable accommodation, dedicated coworking areas, and endless networking opportunities, coliving provides everything necessary to make life as a remote worker, digital nomad, or student as easy and productive as possible.

Head to Coliving.com for an extensive list of coliving spaces around the globe. Easily filter the many options by price, room type, amenities and more, and find your next place to stay today.

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