Workcation at the Southern Hotel

As a full-time wife, mom, blogger, chef, chauffeur, and nurse- at least, for my family, life can get a bit CRAZY. The daily to-dos can quickly pile up, and after a while, my body and mind ask me to slow down a little.

But then there are all the ongoing production projects, partnerships, filming, photo shoots, and recipe development that are not just a “do-do” they are all on deadline. “Unplugging” isn’t something I’m able to do at this stage in my business, so a work-cation is always a welcomed slower pace.

laura fuentes at work

Many of my friends opt for a glass of wine in the evening, a workout, or even vegetate in front of the tv to catch up on their shows ( I usually do this when I travel, when the laundry isn’t asking to be folded, lunches don’t need to be prepped, and nobody needs “mom”).

A few weeks ago, I really needed a quick “reset” for mental clarity and the ability to step away from the office to create a new prioritization for what’s the busiest time of the year for me: June – October.

laura fuentes southern hotel workcation

Not wanting to go far, I decided to stay at a local hotel called The Southern Hotel in Covington, Louisiana for my work-cation. Just like a vacation, this mini trip was meant to do a little work and a little mind and exercise.

Thankfully, I have an awesome husband that understands that sometimes (once a year or so) I need to step away to see the full picture at work. He too needs weekends like these to reboot his creativity and be able to dedicate some laser-focused time on some projects he’s also working on.

As entrepreneurs, it’s important to feel excited about the projects we work on, so we can put our best efforts and products out into the world. For me, a work-cation is not a getaway from my family. In fact, being with my family is the best part of my every day. They are my source of inspiration and continue to offer the best support.

laura fuentes at southern hotel

So back to my work-cation. Or is it a stay-cation because I stayed “in town?” Not sure. But I can tell you is that the Southern Hotel, a newly renovated hotel in the heart of Covington, Louisiana, is a quaint small-town immersed in a creative culture of art, music, and fantastic food! -and you know how I feel about food.

The Southern Hotel originally opened in 1907 and was the hub for hospitality until 1960 when it ceased operation as a hotel. It sat vacant for over 50 years before being purchased in 2011 and completely restored to a modern interpretation of the original. And man, what a gorgeous restoration! Luxurious details that make you feel at home.

Plus, there’s nothing like being a guest and experiencing genuine southern hospitality with a sophisticated flair and attention detail.

As soon as I checked in, I was smitten by the old Spanish-style fresco walls, adorned with a collection of vivid paintings from various local artists and the lobby’s open layout, which provided a beautiful view of the courtyard, located in the center of the hotel. Yup, this work-staycation was off to a good start!

I spent a lot of time working from the lobby’s sunroom in one of their plushy chairs with an iced coffee from the bar -which by the way, it’s strong and delicious, just the way I like it!

southern hotel courtyard

My suite proved to be a charming and serene abode that was perfect for everything I had in mind, working from bed, catching up on shows, and of course, sleeping! With strong wifi throughout, I felt like I could conquer my work and chill online at the same time -a super-bonus because I can’t tell you how many times hotel wifi’s have just sucked. It’s the ideal way to explore sweet, small-town charm!

laura fuentes coffee

There are two things you should know about me: 1) I love coffee and 2) I REALLY LOVE to have a hair blow-out!

If I can get someone else to wash and blow out my hair and I can get some work done at the same time… WOAH. And since the Southern Hotel is located right in town, I literally walked two blocks to Air Salon and received a great blow out. Better yet, when I mentioned this to the front desk, they offered to book the reservation for me. That just made my experience epic.

Oh, and they knew I love coffee and get up super early, so they made sure to have some freshly brewed for me at the front desk. This way, I could wake up at my own pace and conquer my day. Immediately, the Southern became my home away from home.

laura fuentes hotel workout

Well, until dinner. Working all day from bed the first day (why get out when I could stay in my pjs?) made me hungry and thankfully, I didn’t go far. Just downstairs by the lobby is The Southern’s very own, Oxlot 9, an upscale Southern Bistro with a menu featuring comfort food dishes prepared with seasonal Gulf-coast ingredients.

I started out with the Southern Cheese Plate and enjoyed a Seared Red Grouper for dinner. My friend Christy showed up and she ordered the Roasted Chicken and Dumplings from which I snuck a bite and OMG, fresh Southern food that warmed up my soul.

I should mention that besides all the work, coffee drinking, and delicious food eating; I did have a chance to walk around downtown and explore some of the magnificent local shops I typically drive by. And just like that, in two days time, my work-staycation was over. I should have booked myself another day. And that, my friend, is how you know that it was a great stay.

Have you taken a workcation? What do you do with your time?

June 7, 2018

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Beth - June 7, 2018 Reply

I went to a wedding there last fall. It was beautiful. I visited teh bride in her suite and loved it. My husband and I live in Mandeville and love to eat dinner at Oxlot. We are big fans of their tapas and atmosphere.

Michelle B - June 7, 2018 Reply

Gorgeous stay! We usually do a staycation in New Orleans (we live in Abita) but we may have to reconsider. Thanks for sharing your experience, Laura!

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