Sometimes, travelers just need a quiet place to relax for a few hours during the day without incurring the expense of an overnight hotel stay. A convenient new app called HotelsByDay hopes to make it easier for both business and leisure travelers to book four to eight hour stays at 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels in major cities.
These stays can be especially useful for business travelers arriving in a city who need a place to shower and prepare for a presentation; for weary day-trippers seeking a mid-day respite after sightseeing or shopping; or for cruisers arriving at a port city before their ship is ready to board.
Launched this February, HotelsByDay currently includes properties in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The inventory will be expanded to include Los Angeles, Miami and Fort Lauderdale in March, and San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta and Charlotte soon after.
The mobile app relies upon geolocation to display the availability of “intra-day” rooms based on the user’s location. Users can also search for properties by city and date, and find out available times, locations, and amenities, either via mobile apps available for both Android and iPhone or on the website. Photos and IDs are required upon check-in and payments are made directly to the hotel upon checkout. Stays can be booked up to two months in advance.
Prior to HotelsByDay, there was no easy or affordable way to book an upscale hotel for less than a day,” said HotelsByDay co-founder Yannis Moati. “Younger travelers want spontaneity and instant access to last-minute bookings via their mobile devices. The app offers a sleek and easy way to peruse and find a hotel tailored to each individual traveler’s needs, from free WiFi and a spacious desk to a posh rooftop pool and bar.”
The site benefits hoteliers by offering additional revenue for rooms that often go unused during morning, mid-day and afternoon hours. According to HotelsByDay, 23 percent of hotel rooms in the U.S. are empty each night, and 11 percent more are available for intra-day bookings due to early check-outs/late check-ins.
[This article was written by Irene S. Levine and published in the Sunday travel section of the Chicago Tribune on 3/1/15 and reprinted in the Hartford Courant, Orlando Sentinel, and Miami Sun Sentinel.]