Most hotel guests stay for a certain number of nights. But did you know it’s often possible to book a hotel room just for the day? No, this isn’t the magic of an early check-in on an overnight stay. You can literally book a room just for use during business hours. It practically becomes your own private office.

This is a great ‘hack’ to keep up your sleeve – not just when travelling, but even in your home city. Here’s a look at why you might book a hotel just for the day, and how to go about doing it.

Why would you book a hotel room for only a day?

Whether the hotel calls it ‘day use’, a ‘daycation’ or something else, having a quiet place during business hours can have many practical advantages.

Here are some great reasons to book a hotel room for the day as part of your travels:

  • You might have a long transit between flights. Say, an early morning arrival, followed by an evening flight. A hotel room could give you the chance to shower, nap, use the gym, go for a swim and more.
  • Taking a day trip, and don’t have an office in that city? A room can be your place to call ‘home’ between meetings. On longer treks, such as a day trip to Perth from the east coast, having somewhere to freshen up and iron your outfit before a meeting can help you look and be your best.
  • On the last day of a multi-night trip, you mightn’t be able to land a late check-out. In fact, you might’ve even been staying some distance away from where you’ll be on the last day. By switching to a day room nearby, you’ll have all the features of a hotel at your disposal until it’s time to depart. You might also save time on departure by not backtracking to your original hotel to collect your bags.

Even in your home city, day-use rooms have advantages:

  • Planning to have some noisy tradespeople at home during the day? Escape the commotion!
  • Do you work from home and need a change of scenery – particularly somewhere quiet? Make the hotel your workspace for a day, and inspire some new ideas.

For rooms booked for day use, check-in is often available from 9 am. That’s much earlier than most mid-afternoon check-in times when staying overnight. Check-out times can vary, but are typically 3-6 pm that same day.

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How to book a hotel room just for the day

Because these aren’t ‘conventional’ hotel bookings, each chain has a different procedure for reserving a room for the day only.

Personally, I find Hilton’s approach the easiest. When booking on the Hilton website or via Hilton’s mobile app, you can just select the same date for both check-in and check-out. This will show only ‘day use’ rates.

Screenshot of Hilton website showing hotel day use room rates.

Marriott also allows day-use bookings via its mobile app and website, but it’s something of a secret feature. You need to enter the code ‘ZDY’ into the ‘special rates’ box when searching. When entering your search, you also can’t select a departure day that’s the same day as arrival. You have to choose the next day, as though you’re staying overnight. But with day use, you’ll only have the room on the arrival date listed on your booking. Marriott’s website has more on this.

Some other chains also rely on promo codes to book hotel rooms just for the day. With Hyatt, the promo code you’ll need is ‘OFFICE’ to unlock these ‘Work from Hyatt‘ day-use rates. With TFE Hotels, the code to enter online is simply ‘DAYUSE’.

Accor allows day bookings too, but not via its usual channels. You have to search for rooms via this specific page on the Accor website, to see the available rooms and rates.

Other chains like Shangri-La handle day bookings property-by-property. For instance, ‘daycations’ are possible at Shangri-La The Shard in London, but can only be booked via phone or email directly with that hotel.

For greater choice, the website is a great resource and booking portal. Think of it as the Expedia of the ‘day use hotels’ category.

One final tip…

Different hotels have different approaches to day-use bookings. More than anything else, be sure to check exactly what times the room will be available. This information is often buried in the fine print of the room rate conditions. And of course, the check-in and check-out times for day use won’t match the usual arrival and departure times for overnight guests.

Here’s a good example. When searching for a day-use room in Sydney, I’ve observed that the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth usually requires a check-out by 3 pm. But at the Swissôtel Sydney, you usually have until 6 pm before handing back the key.

There’s another tip that might seem obvious, but it’s good to call out. Because you’re not actually staying for the night, it’s unlikely you’ll accrue ‘nights’ in hotel loyalty programs. On direct bookings, you can still expect to earn points – just not ‘nights’. For loyalty programs that count ‘stays’ towards status, these may or may not be earned on day bookings.

This is to say, if you earn a ‘stay’, be pleasantly surprised – and if you don’t, make that your expectation. After all, day-use rates can be significantly cheaper than the overnight rates charged for the same room. And in that sense, you get what you pay for.

Also read: Where can you earn the most points at hotels in Australia?

Feature image courtesy of Pexels/Andrew Neel.

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How to book a hotel room just for the day was last modified: March 29th, 2023 by Chris Chamberlin