MONTREAL -- Work-from-home parents in the pandemic may find it an offer too appealing to refuse.

A Montreal hotel, starved for customers, recently had a revelation: what if it doesn’t take out-of-towners to fill up rooms?

After all, forget travel -- a lot of people right now just want to get out of the house. 

“Sometimes two people working from home, two different companies with Zoom conferences to have at the same time, it’s really tough to get that room quiet and ready for a big conference call,” points out Sebastien Gagne, the general manager at the Intercontinental Montreal.

“In a hotel room, we guarantee this.”

Hotels are desperately searching for creative solutions to their plummeting business. The occupancy rate at the Intercontinental is between 4 and 10 per cent, says Gagne, with a 91 per cent decline in revenue from last year.

Now it’s waiting to see if it’s finally found a target market during the pandemic.

Its new “work from hotel” offer allows people to book a room or suite starting at $100 for an eight-hour stretch. They can access hotel services, including printing, room service—maybe even a quiet nap.

And there are discounts for people who decide to stay the night. The same offer is available at the hotel’s Toronto locations.

Right now there are just a few work-from-hotel bookings, but the hotel is predicting that will change in September. It’s already arranged for some professional exams to be written at the hotel, in its banquet rooms, and believes there will be more need for that kind of service.

“We're trying to reinvent ourselves to grab as much as we can from the business that is left,” says Gagne.