The rise of the Manchester hotel rooms you can book by the hour (and it's not what you think)
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The rise of the Manchester hotel rooms you can book by the hour (and it's not what you think)

Published on manchestereveningnews.co.uk | 11/02/2020 I Direct link

By Zara Whelan



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Booking a hotel by the hour might stir up some amorous connotations, reserved for quick liaisons and romantic encounters.

But the reason a rise in the number of Manchester's hotels offering the service is probably not why you think.

Demand for "micro-stays" or "daycations" has forged a gap in the market, and several online agents have sprung up, capitalising on the up-take.

While hourly rooms - or beds - are not a new phenomenon, these new sites have digitalised the process, making it easily accessible - not to mention increasing awareness.

Selling empty rooms – or even selling rooms twice over – makes great financial sense.

And it's not aimed at those looking to find a "love hotel" either.  These agents are directly targeting a specific day-stay clientele, mainly business people, travellers and families.

In fact, leisure travellers make up around 35% of customers booking a day-use hotel.

The large majority use them for business, with around a quarter using it as a place to rest while in transit.

By opening a room up in the day, it opens the opportunity for a bleary-eyed traveller to rest for a few hours, a worn out parent needing a couple of hours to themselves, or an alternative to city centre coffee shops as a quiet to get some work done.

And of course, the service does still welcome clients looking for a room for a romantic rendezvous - and in many cases, a credit card is not required to book.

At least 30 hotels in Greater Manchester now promote rooms to be booked during business hours through new online portals including Dayuse.com and bythehour.com.

Even the hotel chain Accor has dedicated a section of its booking site to those hoping to book a room for day use.

In most instances, a variety of time slots are available, usually between 3, 6 and 8 hour periods and are often at rates of up to 75% cheaper than an overnight stay.

Many of the Manchester establishments that have signed up to the service are high-end hotels, including The Edwardian Manchester, a five-star Radisson Collection Hotel.

And it seems to be a win-win situation on both sides. Customers can book without having to commit to an overnight stay, and hotels are earning money on a room which would otherwise remain empty until the evening.

Selling empty rooms – or even selling rooms twice over – makes great financial sense.

In many instances it's not just a room that's on offer, as many of the hotels signed up for the service also offer full use of their facilities for guests while they're there. And depending where you book, it could include a luxury spa, food and drink or a pool.

David Lebée, founder and CEO of Dayuse.com, said: "It's already a growing phenomenon in France, where dayuse.com started, and we are excited to introduce daycations to the UK market. We believe it could become the new travel trend in the UK just as it has on the continent and across the globe.

"Not just for affairs and people who want to escape from their kids, micro stays are also of interest to business travellers who may need a place to work, to freshen up between meetings or to catch up on sleep when jet-lagged.

"For other people, the idea of simply having a daycation in a swanky hotel that they couldn't otherwise afford is, simply, fun. This works best, obviously, when combined with a staycation so they can go back to their home for the night."

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