Renting out a hotel room by the hour used to be a clear indicator of illicit goings-on. The current era of “pod” hotels and airport napping stations has removed some of that stigma — just in time for an app that lets people rent hotel rooms by the minute.
These are not the seedy motels and flophouses frequented by the cheating couples and sex workers of yesteryear, however, but pricey boutique hotels charging up to $2 per minute through an app called Recharge, reports Bloomberg.
The app expanded to New York today with a roster of 16 luxury properties available by the minute: Prices start around $0.83 and can go up to $2 per minute, plus a 14.75% lodging tax.
Once a user has chosen their hotel, the billing cycle starts 30 minutes after they hit the “book now” button, or as soon they pick up the key, whichever happens to come first. The app will charge you extra for overstaying your welcome if you hit the checkout button before you actually leave, though it’s unclear how it will know.
And while yes, people might be tempted to rent a room for a brief taste of afternoon delight, others may just want to take a power nap or enjoy some privacy.
“Imagine if you could only park your car for 24 hours, and that was just the only option,” Recharge Labs CEO and founder Manny Bamfo explained to Bloomberg. “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.”
On the one hand, we could imagine this could be pretty annoying for workers who would have to turn over rooms more often. But on the other, more customers — with pockets heavy enough to pay to stay at luxury locations — could mean more tips.