New travel app lets you book hotel rooms by the minute

Some travelers do not need an overnight room just to freshen up or have a quiet space to work. Source: Shutterstock

ALL checked out and still have hours to burn before your flight home? A new travel app is here to save the day.

Mobile app Recharge lets travelers book luxury hotels by the minute anytime they need a bed, some time to freshen up, find a quiet space to work, make a private call, or even to squeeze in a gym session.

According to its website, Recharge targets “influential locals and corporate consumers and travelers who are willing to pay a premium price for a luxurious home-away-from-home”.

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Recharge Labs chief executive officer and founder Manny Bamfo said the app will also come in handy for long-distance commuters and families.

“We’ve been most surprised to see how useful it is for nursing mothers,” he said. Guests tend to book rooms through the app for an average of two hours.

David Lewin of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, a client of Recharge, said, “There’s a significant part of the day where the rooms are empty.

“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.”

Prices of a room in New York City range from US$0.83 to US$2 per minute, which can scale up to US$240 for a two-hour stay.

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The app was designed to help hotels capitalize on vacant hours. Rooms often sit unoccupied for up to 12 hours in a day and Recharge aims to fill those rooms in between overnight stays. It’s a win-win scenario for both hotels and guests.

While the app is only available in San Francisco and New York City at the moment, chances of an expansion in Asia are high if the concept takes off.