How to: Book a Hotel Room for Just a Day at a Fraction of the Overnight Price

by  Kristine Hansen | Apr 23, 2015
iPhone / Farknot_Architect/iStock

Sometimes you need a hotel -- but not necessarily for an entire afternoon and night. Hotels are now starting to offer daytime-only bookings, giving travelers the chance to soothe a grueling layover with a quick nap, take a shower, or perhaps even carve out a quiet space to pound out a project.

Thankfully, these reservations are priced accordingly. What's more, hotel day stays are competitive with what airport club lounges are charging these days. If you don't already have access thanks to airline status or a first-class ticket, a pass could be around $50 per day. You might shell out just a bit more for hotels, but you'll enjoy privacy and more space.

Here's a rundown of your current options:

One hotel offering day rates is Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel, whose Day Room Package includes a room between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., free WiFi (valued at $15.50), and access to the fitness center ($22.40), featuring a swimming pool and whirlpool. In the rooms itself, blackout drapes help you snooze, or you can simply relax in the comfy leather recliner, too. Compare the $79 weekend and $99 weekday rates to the overnight rates, hovering between $169 and $329 in May, and you know you're getting a great deal.

Looking to cast your net a bit wider? New mobile app HotelsByDay lets you choose between four- and nine-hour time slots to suit your needs. The app currently pulls 3- to 5-star hotels, servicing the following locations: Chicago; Atlanta; Palm Springs; Charlotte; Los Angeles; Baltimore; Philadelphia; Washington D.C.; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Newark; Miami; Fort Lauderdale; New York City; and Portland, Oregon. (Properties include Seton Hotel, The Cadillac Hotel, and Capitol Skyline Hotel.)

Reservations can be made up to two months in advance. We took a peek at the offerings and received a quote for Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel for $89 the last week of April. The rate includes a shuttle to and from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Another option is Book[A]DayRoom. Simply punch in the airport code where you need a room and options pop up. All rooms are available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. We tried for a room in Phoenix in mid-June and were offered two 3-star choices: an Econolodge for $69.99 and a Travelodge for $119. In the popular layover hub of Amsterdam, Radisson Blu Hotel Amsterdam Airport is among the choices, from €79 ($89).

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