Although not the first company to have the idea HotelsByDay are confident they can fill hotel rooms that so often stay empty during the day. The startup is aiming to help a variety of customers, including leisure travellers looking for a quiet place to relax or business travellers wanting to rest or work between meetings.
There is however a definite stigma associated with daytime hotel bookings, particularly focusing on the activities of those wanting to use the room. “We think there is a stigma in the industry,” said co-founder Yannis Moati. “And we’ve structured the whole company around moving away from this.”
The company is focusing on the likely usage periods rather than what people may assume is bookings by an hourly rate. The service lets you book a block of hours that start mid-morning or noon and last until the early evening. Moati indicated rates start at about 40% less than the regular rate for the room, compared to paying by the hour. “Our rates are not as dynamic as night rates,” stated Moati. “Convenience is key, more than rates.”
By carving a niche HotelsByDay hope to find a successful business model. Similar sites such as Between 9 and 5, and Day Use Hotels, do not have the same professional look and feel of HotelsByDay. “As a user experience, it’s seamless, visual and fluid,” Moati said.
The site offers a search engine that configures by location, check-in and check-out times, hotel features and of course price. On top of the money from a room that would otherwise stand empty, an additional commercial benefit to hotels would be if travellers decide to stay for the night following a daytime booking. Moati added, “we’re the only sharing economy tool that drives business back to hotels.”
The service launched in the US at the start of the year and HotelsByDay’s app can be downloaded from Google Play and App Store.