Get your mind out of the gutter—you can now rent hotel rooms by the minute, but it’s not for what you’re thinking.
A new app called Recharge wants to make it possible for you to take a power nap, grab a quick shower or catch up on email at luxury hotels.
Why waste your money to pay for an entire night when you’ll only need 30 minutes? That’s the idea behind Recharge, which launched in 2015 in San Francisco.
The company is expanding to New York City this month and will charge between $0.83 and $2 per minute (plus a lodging tax). At those rates, an hour will cost you $57 to $128.
You’re only billed for the number of minutes you’re in the room—you don’t have to decide upfront how long you’ll stay, either.
Romance aside, apparently even new mothers have found this app useful for nursing. The company’s founder sees Starbucks as his main competitor—that’s the vibe he’s going for. Stop by to freshen up, get some work done using the WiFi and get out back into the world (and Starbucks doesn’t even have a shower).
“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,” Manny Bamfo, the company’s CEO and founder, told Bloomberg.
But what about the extra labor costs for hotels, who will have to pay people to clean rooms multiple times a day? Apparently the per-minute and per-hour rate is so good (read: expensive), that hotel owners say it’s still worth it for them to list available rooms on the app. Hotels in San Francisco are making six-figure profits each year based on reservations made with the Recharge app.
Even hotels that are 100 percent sold out overnight have vacancies during the day—roughly 35 percent of rooms are empty. People check in late and check out early, which leaves lots of hours in between to re-sell those rooms.
So far, this app is only available in two major U.S. cities but could be coming to Chicago and Los Angeles soon.
What do you think? Would you rent hotel rooms by the minute if you could?