After a year of work from home, a new Ontario company is now offering the chance to work away from home on a Muskoka “workcation.”
The company, Mamalli, has set up a pop-up remote working campus in Gravenhurst, Ontario where you can take your Zoom calls while surrounded by nature, or go for a quick kayak trip on your lunch break. Workcationers have the option to stay in either a one-bedroom resort suite or rent a one-bedroom in a shared cottage.
Mamalli founder Tricia Jose said she was inspired to create the pop-up after taking a cross country road trip last year from Toronto to Vancouver.
“I was reminded of how much beauty there was beyond our major cities and tourism hot spots, and how privileged we are to live in such a beautiful country with such close proximity to nature,” Jose told Daily Hive. “It was also an incredible reminder of what really matters in life at the end of the day; it helped me refocus my energy and gave me clarity I hadn’t had in the months I spent cooped up in my condo.”
With the tourism industry taking a huge hit during the pandemic, Jose says she wanted to find a way to help.
“This is the first of hopefully many initiatives to do our part in rebuilding our economy, with communities at the centre,” she said.
Mamalli is working with a variety of accommodations to hopefully accommodate everyone who’s interested. The shared accommodation option, Jose says, will prioritize existing social bubbles and every participant will be required to complete a health screening before arrival.
As to be expected, wifi will be available in all workcation accommodations. Jose says they have done their best to source places that have strong wifi capabilities, but because the accommodations are spread across different cottages and resorts, the “wifi varies from provider to provider.”
The shared cottages come equipped with a gourmet kitchen, rooftop deck, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, a dock, and fire pit. Meanwhile the one-bedroom suites are in a resort that has complimentary breakfast, a pool, and fitness centre, with the latter two having some restrictions due to the pandemic.
Jose says that the length of your workcation stay can be two, three, or four weeks — lengths of time that have been chosen to promote “slow travel”
“Through this program, we are trying to encourage a different, more mindful way of travelling than the pre-COVID ‘consumption travel,'” she said. “We are trying to promote ‘slow travel’ where you live more like a local than a visitor. This time period allows for you to get to know a place better and discover its unique beauty and charm.”
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The pop-up is running from April 2 to April 30, and two week stays are starting at $1,750. Those interested in joining have to send in an application to reserve a spot and Jose says that since launching a few weeks ago, she’s received an overwhelming response and is already having applicants ask if the pop-up will be extended past April.
“All of that said, I need to add that this program will only operate under federal and provincial recommendations and our terms and policies reflect that,” Jose said. “Safety of participants and residents is our number one priority and we will conduct this program only if we are able to do so safely.”
Mamalli is still accepting applications to reserve a workcation spots next month. Applications can be found on their website.