In an effort to promote social distancing among college students, several colleges in Boston are teaming up with hotels this fall. Instead of traditional dorms, some hotel rooms will serve as dorm rooms for students. This not only ensures a safer environment for students but also provides a much-needed boost to the struggling hotel industry. Colleges like Suffolk and Northeastern have reached agreements with area hotels to rent blocks of rooms, offering a lifeline to these properties. Despite the reduced rates for students, this partnership presents a tremendous opportunity for hotels to stay in business and retain their workforce. To maintain order, universities will have staff on each hotel floor, monitoring behavior, and offering COVID-19 testing twice a week. Additionally, this arrangement may benefit local businesses as the hundreds of students living in hotels might patronize nearby shops. Overall, this collaboration between colleges and hotels is a creative and practical solution to address the challenges presented by the pandemic while supporting both students and the hotel industry.


In response to the need for social distancing among college students in Boston, several colleges have partnered with local hotels. This innovative collaboration serves a dual purpose: providing safe living spaces for students and offering a much-needed boost to the struggling hotel industry. By renting blocks of hotel rooms, colleges such as Suffolk University and Northeastern University are able to ensure that students have adequate space to maintain physical distancing while also supporting local businesses and the economy.

Participating Colleges and Hotels

Two notable examples of this partnership are Suffolk University and Hyatt Hotel, as well as Northeastern University and another yet-to-be-disclosed hotel. These institutions have recognized the mutual benefit of joining forces with hotels to address the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. By renting hotel rooms, students can enjoy the privacy and safety of their own spaces while hotels receive much-needed income and the opportunity to maintain their workforce.

Financial Impact on Hotels

For hotels in Boston, this partnership has proven to be a lifeline. With the ongoing effects of the pandemic and a decline in tourism, the hotel industry has been severely impacted, facing significant financial challenges. However, by collaborating with colleges to provide accommodation for students, hotels are able to generate income that would have otherwise been missed. While the rates for students may be lower than the standard hotel rates, this opportunity allows hotels to stay in business, retain their workforce, and avoid a complete collapse due to the current crisis.

Ensuring Social Distancing

To ensure the safety and well-being of the students residing in hotel rooms, colleges are implementing strict measures to enforce social distancing. University staff will be present on every floor of the hotels to monitor behavior and ensure that students adhere to the established protocols. Additionally, both Suffolk University and Northeastern University have implemented behavior monitoring systems to discourage any parties or gatherings that could jeopardize the health of students and the public.

Furthermore, regular COVID-19 testing will be conducted for residents living in both the dorms and the partnering hotels. This proactive approach to testing, with a frequency of twice a week, will help in the early detection and containment of any potential outbreaks. These measures work together to create a safe living environment for the students while maintaining the highest standards of health and safety.

Benefits to Local Businesses

The partnership between colleges and hotels not only benefits the students and hotels involved but also has positive effects on local businesses. With this arrangement, students residing in hotel rooms are more likely to patronize local businesses, such as sandwich shops, thus increasing patronage and providing a much-needed boost to these establishments. These local businesses have also been struggling due to the pandemic, making the support from the student population crucial for their survival. By actively engaging with nearby businesses, the colleges and hotels are ensuring that the benefits of this partnership extend beyond their immediate scope and contribute to the overall economic recovery of the community.


The collaboration between colleges in Boston and hotels presents a win-win situation for both students and the struggling hotel industry. By utilizing hotel rooms as dormitories, colleges can effectively implement social distancing measures and provide students with a safe and comfortable living environment. This partnership also offers a vital lifeline to hotels, allowing them to generate income, maintain their workforce, and remain in business during these challenging times.

Furthermore, the collaboration has wider positive implications for the local economy. Increased patronage to local businesses, such as sandwich shops, provides support to these establishments, which have also been heavily impacted by the pandemic. As colleges and hotels continue to work together to navigate the complexities of the current situation, they are not only strengthening the economy but also reinforcing the importance of maintaining social distancing measures to safeguard the health and well-being of all.