My 10-year-old daughter, Alexis, is always ready to pack up and go on vacation. I guess it stems from the enormous amount of travel our family did when Alexis was much younger.
By the time she entered kindergarten, Alexis had been on 42 trips with my husband and me, including many visits out of the country.
So now, anytime she hears us talking about traveling – locally or afar, whether for business or leisure – her very first question is usually this: “Does the hotel have a pool and a kids’ camp?”
She’s also been known to ask about ordering room service, which sometimes makes me think that I inadvertently created a travel diva-in-the-making.
Anyway, recently I explained to Alexis a new concept in hotel accommodations – called day hotels – and now my fourth-grader is just as eager to try it out as I am.
Romance, Relaxation or Business?
The premise behind a day hotel is pretty simple: You get to book a room for a block of time during the morning, mid-day or afternoon — without having to stay overnight, and at a cost averaging 40% less than the regular rate.
It’s a sweet deal for plenty of folks, including:
Business travelers on the road who need a nap or a place to regroup between meetings
Anyone who has a long layover between connecting airline flights
People taking overnight flights who have other hotel rooms that won’t be available until late afternoon, typically 3pm or later
Individuals, like busy moms, who need some down time or “me time”
Couples who want a fun but affordable, local getaway (Valentine’s Day surprise anyone?)
While you’re at a day hotel, you can use all of the property’s facilities – pool, Internet, room service, the works.
So where can you find and book such hotels? Check out the new website: HotelsByDay.com.
HotelsByDay launched in 2015 and is the brainchild of entrepreneur Yannis Moati.
He got the idea after seeing several European companies, such as ByHours and DayUse, offering day hotels overseas to travelers and locals. Most of those day hotels pushed the romance angle – suggesting a short but sweet daylong excursion for couples.
Moati says he knew the potential for day hotels could be much larger in the U.S., given market demographics, the huge number of business travelers, and consumers who are very mobile.
It also doesn’t hurt that “Americans traveling on business are willing to drop $80 to $150 to avoid feeling stranded in a city, or when they want to be productive, and use hotel amenities like showers and wifi,” he says.
So far, HotelsByDay has more than 210 hotels in its network – including Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, Best Western and other well-known brands as well as boutique hotels.
The typical booking on the HotelsByDay website runs an average of $80 for 6 hours, according to Moati.
“We aim to change the concept of a hotel stay,” he says. “For centuries, people thought of it as a place they can stay the night.”
“But with HotelsByDay, it’s a minimum of 4 hours, anytime between 7 am and 7 pm,” he adds. “We call it the intraday stay.”
Connecting to Hotels Across the Globe
While the company is currently on-boarding just three new properties each week, its network of hotels is set to soar, since HotelsByDay recently finished live-testing a connection with RateTiger, a channel manager.
In the hotel business, connectivity is everything.
The RateTiger website/platform is a one-stop shop where a hotel manager puts in a rate for the day for, say, 20 rooms that can get sold by different channels, like Expedia, Hotels.com, and others.
Bottom line: connecting to a channel manager is an easier, simplified way for HotelsByDay to offers its services to a larger pool of properties globally.
“In an industry that’s 5 years old, we’re the only day player that is connected to a channel manger,” Moati says. “It’s a much higher level of sophistication. But you’re changing the whole coding,” because in the back-end computer systems within the hotel business, the industry is used to pricing rooms only for overnight stays.
“Now we have the potential, through RateTiger to distribute our model to 8,800 properties worldwide,” Moati reveals. “It opens up properties from here all the way to China.”
For now at least, the company remains very regional – with all of its properties in the U.S. and Canada.
New York City is the sweet spot, getting 47% of the traffic for HotelsByDay. The average daily rate for a day room in the Big Apple runs $125 plus tax. Most of those hotels have availability between 10 am and 4pm.
Additional Revenue for Hotels
In case you’re wondering why hotels would do this, it’s because it makes sense, from a business standpoint.
After all, once overnight guests check out, many hotels are just sitting with empty rooms between 9 am and 6 pm.
Leisure hotels have 10% to 15% of customers leaving by 9 am. With business hotels, 30% of clients leave by 9 am, and hotels located at airports see up to 50% of guests checking out by 9 am.
“So we provide hotels the protocol and marketing program to sell rooms,” Moati notes, adding: “Business hotels are easier to commit to our platform. We cater as best as possible to the business traveler.”
Still, the HotelsByDay site isn’t just popular among business travelers with long layovers who want to work or change clothes.
Moati notes that 38% of HotelsByDay customers are “suburbanites that live within 20 to 70 miles of the property they visit.”
That suggests leisure travelers are using HotelsByDay too, likely for everything from romantic getaways to having a base for shopping when visiting cities like New York or Chicago.
Advantages and Disadvantages
When I checked out HotelsByDay online, I really liked what I saw: nice properties, good pricing, great hotel availability – not to mention an elegant and easy-to-use website that would make booking a breeze.
I only saw two potential downsides.
First, there were just a handful of hotels in some well-known cities; only two in Boston, two in the Dallas area and one in San Francisco, for example. That’s an issue the HotelsByDay team hopes to rectify very soon, thanks to RateTiger.
Additionally, the HotelsByDay site currently only lets you book a stay that is as far as 60 days in advance. The ability to snag a day room with an hour’s notice, a week from now, or even up to two months away is probably fine for most people.
However, it would be nice to be able to plan ahead a bit more if you know you’re going to be in a given city several months from now — and may need a hotel room for the day.
Online Booking Discount
Despite those minor drawbacks, I’m definitely planning on booking a stay via HotelsByDay in the not-too-distant future.
I’m just trying to decide if I’ll do it for a business trip, something leisure-oriented – or maybe a combination of the two.
As for my daughter, Alexis – who’s already been bitten by the travel bug, just like her Mommy – I’ve had to introduce her recently to the reality of staycations.
But with HotelsByDay on the scene, I’m now telling Alexis that we may soon take our very own daycation — just by making the 45-minute venture from our home in northern New Jersey into New York City.
If you’re interested in trying out the HotelsByDay.com website, use the code THEMONEYCOACH for an extra 5% discount, and then let me know how your stay went.
Prefer to book through a mobile app? Not a problem. HotelsByDay is also available for Android and iOS devices on Google play and in the App Store.