Sometimes you may only need a hotel room for a short time instead of a whole night. But is it possible to book a hotel room for just a few hours during the day?
While not all hotels offer hourly room booking, some flexible hotels do accommodate shorter daytime stays. The availability, policies, and procedures vary.
This comprehensive guide explains everything you need to know about booking hotel rooms for a few hours – the pros and cons, how to book, types of hotels that offer it, and more.
What is Hourly Hotel Booking?
Hourly hotel booking, also known as microstays or short stays, refers to the practice of renting a hotel room for a few hours rather than for a full day or overnight. It offers a flexible and convenient option for travelers who only need a place to rest, freshen up, or work for a short period of time.
Hourly hotel booking allows guests to book a room for a specific number of hours, typically ranging from 4 to 6 hours, depending on the hotel’s policy. It is an alternative to traditional overnight stays and is particularly popular among business travelers, transit passengers, and individuals who require a temporary space for various purposes.
Hourly bookings are usually available between 9am-5pm
Common Usage Situations
Hourly hotel booking can be advantageous in several situations:
- Transit Passengers: For travelers with layovers or long waiting times between flights, hourly hotel booking provides a comfortable place to relax, take a shower, or catch up on work before continuing their journey.
- Business Meetings: Professionals who require a private space for short meetings, interviews, or negotiations can benefit from booking a hotel room for a few hours.
- Daytime Leisure: Some individuals may want to use hotel amenities such as swimming pools, spas, or fitness centers for a few hours without the need to book an overnight stay.
- Rest and Refresh: Travelers who are on long road trips or need a quick nap during the day can find hourly hotel booking convenient for a short rest and to freshen up.
Hourly hotel booking platforms have made it easier than ever to find and book rooms for shorter durations. These platforms often offer a range of hotel options, allowing users to choose based on their location, budget, and specific needs.
Hourly hotel booking provides a flexible solution for individuals in need of a temporary space, offering convenience, comfort, and privacy for shorter durations.
Benefits of Hourly Booking
Booking hotel rooms for a few hours, also known as hourly booking, offers several benefits that make it an attractive option for travelers seeking convenience and flexibility. Whether you’re a business traveler in need of a short break or a couple looking for a quick getaway, here are some advantages to consider:
Booking a hotel room by the hour can potentially save you money compared to booking an overnight stay, depending on the hotel’s rates and your specific needs. Here are some examples of potential cost savings:
- Airport hotels – An hourly rate may be $50-75 vs $150-200 for an overnight. If you just need a room for a nap before a flight, you can save 50-75%.
- Highway hotels – Hourly rates around $40-60 can be 30-50% cheaper than a full overnight stay. Perfect for a short rest stop.
- Business hotels – Hourly business room rates are often $80-150. An overnight can be $200-400, so you may save 40-60%.
- Budget hotels – Expect to pay $30-50/hour compared to $80-120 for an overnight. You can save 30-40% with just a day stay.
- Luxury hotels – Paying $150-300/hour is expensive but still cheaper than rack rates going up to $1000 overnight for high-end rooms.
- Boutique hotels – Boutique hourly rates around $100-180 can be 40-50% off compared to overnight prices.
Keep in mind taxes, fees, deposits, minimum hours and other policies can affect the actual savings. But in general, multi-hour hourly hotel stays during the day can provide substantial savings over overnight prices if you don’t need the room in the evening. The more hours booked, the higher potential savings.
Remember, the cost savings will depend on individual hotel policies, the duration of your stay, and the location. Always be sure to inquire directly with the hotel about any discounts or special rates for short stays.
Another advantage of hourly booking is the flexibility it offers in terms of scheduling. Traditional overnight stays require you to adhere to the standard check-in and check-out times, which may not always align with your travel plans. With hourly booking, you have the freedom to choose when you want to check-in and check-out, allowing you to customize your stay according to your needs.
This flexibility is particularly useful for travelers with unpredictable schedules, such as those attending conferences or events with varying start and end times. By booking a hotel room for a few hours, you can ensure that you have a comfortable space to relax and prepare, without having to commit to a full night’s stay.
Furthermore, hourly booking can also be a great option for couples looking for a romantic rendezvous or individuals in need of a quiet workspace away from home. Whether you need a few hours to unwind or complete an important project, hourly booking provides the flexibility to create your own schedule and make the most of your time.
Hourly Booking Availability
Hotel Types that Offer Hourly Rates
Hotels that offer hourly rates are often called day use hotels or short-stay hotels, and they cater to a variety of clientele for different reasons. Here are some types of hotels that might offer hourly rates:
- Transit Hotels: These hotels are often found inside airport terminals or near train and bus stations. They cater to travelers who have long layovers or unexpected delays and just need a few hours of rest.
- Capsule Hotels: Common in Japan but spreading to other parts of the world, these hotels offer small, capsule-like rooms. They’re often used by individuals who missed the last train home and need a place to sleep for a few hours.
- Love Hotels: These hotels, primarily found in Japan, South Korea, and other parts of Asia, provide couples with a private space for a few hours. They prioritize discretion and often have separate entrances and exits to ensure privacy.
- Day Use Hotels: These types of hotels are generally targeted towards business travelers who need a place to freshen up, take a nap, or even conduct a meeting. They’re also useful for people who might have a long wait before their next appointment or event.
- Micro-stay Hotels: Similar to day use hotels, these provide accommodations for a few hours at a time. They can be found worldwide and are perfect for travelers who need a place to rest during the day, whether that’s due to jet lag, long layovers, or road trips.
- Motel/Highway Hotels: These establishments, often found alongside major highways, may offer hourly rates for travelers who need to rest for a short period during a long drive.
- Budget Hotels: Some budget hotels may offer hourly rates. These are usually in big cities and are aimed at travelers who need a quick nap or a place to store their luggage while they explore.
- Business Hotels: In some cases, hotels catering to business travelers may offer rooms for a few hours. This could be for a quick rest, a place to work, or a location for a meeting.
- Casino hotels – Hotels associated with casinos cater to gamblers who may want to book a room for a few hours rest between sessions.
Remember that not all hotels of these types will offer hourly rates, and the availability of such rates will often depend on the hotel’s policies, location, and occupancy rate. It’s always best to check directly with the hotel for their specific offerings and rates.
Geographic Areas Where It’s More Common
While hourly booking is becoming more popular worldwide, there are certain geographic areas where it is more common. In major international cities with bustling airports, such as New York, Tokyo, or London, you are more likely to find a wide range of hotels that offer hourly rates. These cities cater to a diverse group of travelers with varying needs and schedules.
In addition to airport locations, hotels in urban areas with high tourist traffic may also offer hourly rates. This is especially true in popular destinations where tourists often have limited time and want to make the most of their visit. Hourly booking options allow visitors to rest or freshen up before continuing their exploration of the city.
It’s important to note that while some hotels may not explicitly advertise hourly rates, they may still offer them upon request. It’s always worth contacting a hotel directly to inquire about their availability and rates, as they may have flexible options depending on their occupancy levels and time of day.
How to Book Hourly Hotel Rooms
Booking hotel rooms for a few hours can be a convenient option for travelers who need a place to freshen up, rest, or work during a layover or a short visit to a city. Many hotels now offer the flexibility to book rooms on an hourly basis, giving guests the option to pay only for the time they need. Here are two ways you can book hourly hotel rooms:
Booking Directly with Hotels
One way to book hourly hotel rooms is by contacting the hotels directly. Many hotels have started offering this option, especially in urban areas and near airports. Call or email the hotel of your choice and inquire about their hourly rates and availability.
Some hotels may have specific rooms designated for hourly bookings, while others may offer this option based on availability. It’s always a good idea to check if the hotel has any restrictions or conditions for hourly bookings.
Using Specialized Booking Platforms
Another convenient option is to use specialized booking platforms that cater specifically to hourly hotel bookings. These platforms allow you to search for hotels that offer hourly rates and make bookings online. They provide a hassle-free experience, allowing you to browse through a wide range of hotels and compare prices and amenities.
Some popular platforms include ByHours.com and Dayuse.com. These platforms often have user-friendly interfaces and provide detailed information about each hotel, including their hourly rates, amenities, and customer reviews.
Booking hourly hotel rooms can be a great option for various situations, such as layovers, business meetings, or simply when you need a place to relax and freshen up during the day. It provides flexibility and cost-effectiveness, allowing you to make the most of your time without having to pay for a full night’s stay. So whether you choose to book directly with hotels or use specialized booking platforms, the availability of hourly hotel rooms offers a convenient solution for travelers seeking short-term accommodations.
Potential Drawbacks and Misconceptions
One potential drawback of booking hotel rooms for a few hours is the limited availability. While some hotels do offer this option, it may not be available at all locations or during peak seasons. It’s important to check with the hotel in advance to see if they offer this service and if there are any restrictions.
Minimum Stay Requirements
Another common misconception is that you can book a hotel room for just a few hours without any minimum stay requirements. However, many hotels have minimum stay policies in place, especially during busy periods. These policies are in place to ensure that the hotel can accommodate guests for longer stays and maximize their occupancy rates. It’s important to inquire about any minimum stay requirements before making a booking.
Amenities like housekeeping, room service, gym access may be limited for hourly bookings. In-room entertainment like TV may also not be available.
Some hotels may have non-refundable policies for rooms booked for a few hours. This means that once you make a booking, you may not be able to cancel or change your reservation without incurring a penalty. It’s essential to carefully read the hotel’s cancellation policy before making a booking to avoid any unexpected charges.
It’s worth noting that these potential drawbacks and misconceptions may vary from hotel to hotel. It’s always advisable to do thorough research and contact the hotel directly for accurate and up-to-date information.
While hourly hotel room booking has limitations in availability, it can be a practical option for travelers who only need a short stay. With flexibility and research into hotel policies, booking a room for a few hours is achievable and allows for greater scheduling freedom and potential savings.