Discover Southern Europe, Issue 11, January 2020

Page 26

Discover Southern Europe  |  Relax in Barcelona

When you only need a hotel for a few hours, say hi to microstays Booking a room for a full day and night when you only need it for mere hours is a complete waste of money. Therefore, the innovative booking company BYHOURS allows you to book one for just the time you need; whether it’s for a long lay-over or a quick siesta. TEXT: ESME FOX  |  PHOTOS: SHUTTERSTOCK


tephanie is a fashion editor, attending meetings and events across the world. This week, she’s flying to Barcelona for a fashion show, before returning to London the same day. She’s only in Barcelona for the day, so doesn’t need a room for the night, but she could do with a space to change after her journey and prepare before the show. She would also need the room mid-morning, so it wouldn’t help checking into a hotel at the normal time of 2pm. This is a common example of someone needing to book a room for just a few hours. Jordi is the manager of a hotel chain with properties in Barcelona. The hotel industry’s current occupancy rate is around 60 per 26  |  Issue 11  |  January 2020

cent, and often, Jordi’s guests only use their room for up to 12 hours. He could increase his bookings were he to allow visitors to book for just a few hours. This is where BYHOURS comes in, an innovative company set up in 2012, which allows customers and hotels to book and sell microstays. “We are the first and only international online platform and app which allows people to reserve a room for just three, six or 12 hours, any time of the day or night,” says brand and communications manager, Maria Velasco. With this original concept, Stephanie can now book her hotel in Barcelona for just three

hours, giving her time to change. It also gives Jordi the chance to sell the same room twice, once to Stephanie in the morning and then to a family in the evening, who need a room for a long layover. This means customers just pay for the time they need, saving up to 50 per cent on the full rate, while hotel brands have the potential to increase their revenue. “BYHOURS works with the best independent and chain hotels, including companies such as Hilton, Barceló, NH, Sheraton and W Hotels,” says Maria. It’s not just business people like Stephanie who benefit from BYHOURS, but also couples and families who might want to check in to a hotel early, make use of the facilities or just relax. The platform has connections with more than 300 hotels in 24 different countries throughout Europe, Latin America and travel hubs in the Middle East.