Eyes are on the 335-room Sonesta Irvine in Irvine, Calif., which is now home to Sonesta International’s new meeting-room concept, the Sonesta Work Suite.
Sonesta has created a multi-zone design, with areas for working and socializing for groups of 50 people or fewer. The configurable space includes a convenient in-room pantry for when-you-need-it breaks; puzzles, brain teasers, stress-relief novelties designed to spark conversation; and tech elements such as high-resolution screens, integrated cameras and audio, and wireless connectivity.
The concept meets the moment, says Kaaren Hamilton, Sonesta’s vice president of global sales. As companies address the challenge of bringing remote teams together for brainstorming and culture building, hotels are seeing a demand for small-meeting spaces that support collaboration, she notes.
Interestingly, planners will be able to book the Work Suite by the hour via Cvent Instant Book on Sonesta.com beginning later this month. Bookings will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will not require overnight stays or any request-for-proposal process.
Over the next year, Sonesta plans to add Work Suites at 10 properties, typically in the 1,000-square-feet to 1,200-square-feet range, says Hamilton. Like Sonesta Irvine, which is two miles from John Wayne Airport, several of the properties building out the new Work Suites will be especially convenient for fly-in meetings: Sonesta Miami Airport, Sonesta Nashville Airport, and Sonesta Atlanta Airport North. Other properties getting the new spaces include Sonesta Denver Downtown, Sonesta White Plains (N.Y.), Sonesta Select Foxborough (Mass.), Sonesta Charlotte (N.C.) Executive Park, Sonesta San Jose (Calif.), Sonesta Columbus (Ohio) Downtown, and Sonesta Capitol Hill (D.C.), a property expected to open in April 2023.