HotelsByDay is targeting travelers looking for a quiet place to work, nap, or refresh, as well as locals looking for a nearby getaway. But will the four-hour hotel stay ever really catch on?
HotelsByDay, a service that claims to be the first to allow travelers to instantly book mid-day rather than overnight hotel stays, launches today. The startup offers morning, mid-day, or afternoon stays of four to eight hours at 40 different hotels in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The company plans to add Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Miami, and other cities soon.
HotelsByDay says it’s targeting travelers looking for a quiet place to work, nap, or refresh, as well as locals looking for a getaway in their home city. It could also appeal to business people who prefer a quiet room to a coffee shop, travelers who crave a shower upon landing, or people wanting to take advantage of a hotel’s fitness facilities. To me, it sounded like a good option to leave behind the distractions of my D.C.-area home and get some work done. So when HotelsByDay offered a preview ahead of the launch, I accepted.
Using the HotelsByDay website will be familiar to anyone who’s booked a room online. So far, though, the only Washington, D.C. accommodation available is at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, which I booked. In a location where more options are available—most of the current offerings are in Chicago and New York—travelers can browse them all by location, time available, cost, and amenities. Rooms are for two guests, and check-out time is not flexible, which is no surprise given the nature of the service. (While none of the participating hotels are giving rewards points for intra-day stays yet, HotelsByDay is looking to partner with hoteliers in that area.)
My five-hour intra-day stay was $90 before tax. That was also the lowest rate I was able to find online for an overnight stay at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, checking in the night before my visit. On my stay, I was able to use the room from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; had I spent the night, checkout time would’ve been noon. Some people may prefer the quiet of a hotel room to alternatives like simply working in a local coffee shop, but the cost of a $90 room compared to a $3 coffee may limit the appeal of HotelsByDay to those with flexible expense accounts.