By Laura Hampson
“A ‘daycation’ is the concept of enjoying all the benefits of a hotel - luxurious room, access to spa facilities and gyms, fine dining - without the cost or hassle of staying overnight,” says Simon Botto, founder of DayBreakHotels.
Recent research from DayBreakHotels found there has been a 173 per cent increase in daycation bookings on its site and London in particular has seen a 20 to 25 per cent uplift in day use room booking month on month since March last year.
These short breaks are already a popular solution for business travellers, but couples are jumping on the trend too with DayBreakHotels reporting 40 per cent of its bookings come from business travellers and a further 40 per cent comes from couples.
Daycations have already caught on across the Atlantic, as sites like daycationapp.com offer ‘day passes’ to luxury hotels across the US and the Caribbean. French website Dayuse also offers the service in different cities across the world.
“More and more people are seeking out convenient and cost-effective ways to relax and unwind. Taking a week off work and jetting abroad for a retreat just isn’t practical for most of us. If you’ve got kids and can’t afford an overnight babysitter, this is an ideal way to spend quality time with a partner without breaking the bank,” adds Botto.
“For Londoners, it’s the perfect way of tapping into a slice of luxury normally reserved for tourists. And for business travellers, it can be a saving grace when it comes to layovers or when you need to prepare for a meeting straight from the airport.”
One of the appealing things about a daycation is that you can save up to 70 per cent on what you would pay if you were staying overnight.
For example, an overnight stay at The May Fair in central London generally costs £275 in the low season and £295 in the high season. A daycation at The May Fair (where you can use the room from 10am to 6pm) costs £169 – a saving of 39 per cent.
With this in mind, we have looked into the best hotels in London to visit for a daycation below.
Where to visit for a daycation in London
San Domenico House, Chelsea
An intimate boutique hotel with just 19 individually-themed rooms and suites, discover this hidden gem during a London daycation. The townhouse façade conceals a wealth of sumptuous interiors with some rooms offering in-room tubs and others featuring rare artwork from the eighteenth century. Rooms are available from 9am to 4pm so be sure to order breakfast to your room once you arrive – the perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday morning.
The LaLit, City of London
Named as one of our best hotels in London, The LaLit is set in a Grade II-listed Victorian building on the South Bank. The afternoon tea with its Indian twist is particularly lovely and be sure to take advantage of the spa which offers ayurvedic therapies.
Day stays from £204, saving 19 per cent. dayuse.co.uk/
With an Eastern-inspired spa – using ESPA products – and a 24-hour gym, the spa alone is worth checking into The May Fair for a day. Inside the room you’ll find marble-clad bathrooms and cloud-like beds among stunning décor. If you can pull yourself away from the room, the May Fair Kitchen offers small plates of Spanish and Italian-inspired fare for a leisurely lunch.
Day stays from £169, saving 39 per cent. daybreakhotels.com/
In the heart of Mayfair, opposite Green Park, you'll find The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences – a luxury five-star hotel with rooms available from 10am to 6pm daily. Spacious and vibrant, book yourself in for a lush spa treatment at its REN spa or opt for a truly regal afternoon tea - many of the ingredients used in the afternoon tea are produced by Royal Warrant holders who supply Her Majesty The Queen. Scone, anyone?