Can You Book A Hotel Room For A Few Hours – Call it on demand on steroids. A 10-month-old San Francisco company called Recharge has developed an app that lets users book hotel stays for just 67 cents a minute, or $40 an hour.
The IPO sounds both ridiculous and illogical, but it has already attracted some smart investors, including Scott and Cian Bannister and early Google engineer Harry Chung, who provided the company with $650,000 in seed funding. That comes to $2.5 million in total.
Can You Book A Hotel Room For A Few Hours
To learn more about the company, we recently spoke with CEO Emmanuel Bampou, who spent several brief stints at startups including carpooling company Hitch (acquired by Lyft) before teaming up with two former classmates at Washington University in St. Louis. Job done. Create reload.
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TC: Okay, so tell us about that crazy sounding idea that just might work. Who is your target audience?
EB: Someone coming from Los Angeles to San Francisco for a day trip ordered a charge earlier today. We see people who just want to change a diaper or take care of their child. We get people who live in Menlo Park but work in San Francisco and want to shower and have some time to themselves before they go out for an evening engagement.
This is a real need that we are solving. [Clients] get privacy in the city to sleep or shower or get ready for something. You can’t do that at Starbucks.
TC: The concept is very similar to Breather, which provides on-demand rooms in cities so visitors can relax with friends or make quiet phone calls. We should also note that Breather raised about 28 million dollars from investors. Why is it better?
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EB: It’s similar to breathing, but in a breathing office space. You can’t use it on weekends. It’s a 9 to 6 thing. We provide users with a bed, a shower, a bathroom. It’s not currently in the market anywhere else, so we think we’re going to see people from Salesforce using it, people in the enterprise community, from law firms. We have 12 minutes left for the guests; We have someone stuck for 25 hours.
EB: There is none. We have relationships with Hyatt and Starwood properties in San Francisco, and whenever someone orders a top-up, that person can stay as long as they want and the hotel will clean the room afterward. A person can stay 20 minutes at one property one day, then stay at another property 2 hours before the evening event. This hotel is worth it.
EB: We share revenue with the property that [range] depends on the day and time of day and time of month.
EB: No. We do not buy these rooms and resell them. If people come, we make money and so does the hotel. If not, we don’t. But we have inventory every day, and we’ve brought evidence that hotels can make money [from it]. We create a new source of income for hotels by bringing in local customers; We also create a new source of productivity for customers. People don’t have to drive back to Palo Alto to get ready for the evening.
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TC: You said your income distribution varies depending on the day and time of day. Do the users also pay an additional cost, or do you offer a discount for those who want to stay eight hours instead of 12 minutes?
EB: We don’t have price increases, and currently, when a customer wants to come for eight hours, he pays by the minute. We are planning to include a day rate but we don’t have that at the moment.
TC: Made a quiet debut last summer at a handful of Bay Area hotels. Can you tell how many people have used one charge so far?
EB: We don’t talk publicly about our numbers, but we’re growing 104% month over month, and 25% are repeat customers.
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We’re working in the Bay Area right now, although we’re opening coverage, starting at the [San Francisco] airport and we’re planning to go to Los Angeles, New York and London next.
TC: A lot of people will see Recharge as a place for pure panky, because, well, humans. Are you or your hotel partner concerned about this?
EB: We didn’t see rock and roll customers. We’re in prime time in San Francisco. This is a business hotel. And you may be rated by the hotel, so there is a certain expectation [that users will behave]. There is a lot of evidence that people want to use these [hotel rooms] as short-term living spaces beyond the thought of [sex].
Reader, you can also look at the service. Right now, if you go to the website and enter the code, the company will give you up to 30 minutes free. Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy, you may receive a small commission at no additional cost.
Best Western Plus Fergus Hotel
What are your biggest pain points while traveling? Traffic driving on the road? Flight delay at the airport? A rainy day on your beach vacation?
Sometimes it’s your fault. You are delayed or you are just traveling to the destination during their busy season. Whatever the reason, it’s very frustrating when you try to book a hotel and get a “no rooms available” booking message.
But you don’t have to give up and move on. If the resort is sold there is still a chance you can get a hotel room. With these hacks and tips from hoteliers and travel pros (plus a little luck) you just might score that coveted room!
If you keep trying, you may be rewarded with a comfortable hotel room. Photo credit: Kathy Bennett Kopf
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Are you like me I choose my vacation days when the second calendar is in my office cycle. This is how I maximize my time. By extending the weekend by 3 days, I can extend my vacation. My coworkers grumble behind my back, but that’s a perk I get as the most senior member of staff.
And I know to book your flights at least 3 months in advance to get the best deal on flights. Where I usually fail in my vacation planning is the hotel rooms. For some reason, I usually put off booking a room.
This is not a big problem when I visit a destination like New York or Los Angeles where there are dozens of great hotels. But when I’m on my way to a place that only has accommodation, it’s very disappointing to find that there are no rooms available. More than once, I found myself living in a less than ideal place because of this.
Familiar? Then, read on to see how I’ve booked a sold-out hotel in the past so you can avoid booking failures in the future.
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The last time I was in a selling situation, I booked a family trip to California over Christmas break. We – a party of 7 – planned to attend the Rose Bowl parade and games in Pasadena on Rosh Hashanah and wanted to extend our vacation by a few days exploring the vineyards in Temecula.
After doing my research, I had a list of three vineyard properties that met our needs – large rooms, a pool, and on-site dining. Then I tried to book the hotel according to my first choice. No rooms available. It happened again with the second and third hotels. Argh!!
If you get a “no availability” message when you try to book a hotel room online, it’s time to go old school and pick up the phone.
Family travel blogger Sarah Pittard says, “I do this all the time… I call the hotel directly – not 1-800 – and explain why we want to stay, etc. We get a room 85% of the time. “Ask for the manager, Not the person with the order.
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Sarah also advises that most hotels operate waiting lists. “Ask them to write down your name, number and email, even if they’re already filled in. Book another hotel that has a 1-day or 24-hour cancellation policy, then keep calling your chosen hotel until you can cancel at another.
That’s what I did in Temecula. At first I was afraid that the manager of the South Coast Winery and Resort would put me on the “Top 10 Telephone Pests” list, but she was really happy to hear from me and grumbled every time she said she didn’t have any rooms available yet. ,
In the meantime, I made my reservation at the nearby Ponte Vineyard Inn. This seemed like an excellent option to us, except that the new pool is still under construction.
I caught up with Pierre-Alex Maillard, General Manager of the Serafina Beach Hotel in San Juan, to get some insider tips. He also highly recommends calling or emailing the hotel directly. “This is the best way to determine real-time room availability, as well as exclusive resort credits or benefits that are only offered for direct bookings.”
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Pierre-Alex points out that you’re more likely to get a room grade due to last-minute cancellations at a travel hotel chain than at a resort. flash
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