10 months ago
No need for travelers to stay the whole night when they can live for the moment—literally.
The new Recharge app allows users to pay for luxury hotel by the minute.
The app was developed to capitalize on unoccupied rooms, and with the average visit about two hours, guests can still easily spend upwards of two or three hundred dollars per stay. And the purpose is not as tawdry as the time demands could imply.
“There’s a significant part of the day where the rooms are empty,” David Lewin, Hyatt Hotel’s senior vice president of the Americas sales and marketing division told the Independent. “Most business travelers leave early in the morning, and a lot of them don’t come until late at night, so that time in between is really where Recharge became an interesting thing to consider.”
Recharge, which launched two years ago in San Francisco and is funded by JetBlue Technology Ventures, expanded to the Big Apple this week. And since New Yorkers work a lot—and subway rides are long—this might be the perfect city to Recharge. There are 16 participating high-end hotels in the city with prices that range between .83 cents and $2 a minute.
No check-in and check-out times means users have the freedom to come and go as they please. But that also means people can’t book in advance. Similar to Uber, the app displays a list of hotels by proximity, as well as pricing and amenity options. Users tap on an icon to book and tap on another icon to end their session when they are done.
So far traveling professionals, tourists and residents have enjoyed the convenience of a quick power nap or shower between meetings, or the chance to sample a luxury hotel that may have otherwise been out of their travel budget. Interestingly, the company said the largest demographic to use the service has actually been nursing mothers who are looking for some privacy.
Still, the app’s target audience remains luxury users.
“Our two fixations are luxury and consumer control,” Chief Executive Officer and founder Manny Bamfo told Bloomberg. “Imagine if you could only park your car for 24 hours, and that was just the only option. All we’ve done is put a parking meter on some of the greatest hotels in the world and allowed travelers to decide on their clock when to come in and come out.”