Lonely Planet Writer

Pay-by-the-hour hotel room service booming in 100 cities and 14 countries

A French startup has had great success in its business of pay-by-the-hour hotel rooms, offering reduced prices on overnight rates by up to 75%.

The peepee ladies of Paris picketing to defend their jobs.
Home of start-up DayUse which rents rooms by the hour. Image by Moyan Brenn / CC BY 2.0

According to the company, DayUse, selling a room by the night is a thing of the past. And so far they seem to be right. The company has made a €15m profit with which it plans to expand on operations that are already in 14 countries and 100 cities worldwide, such as New York, London, and Paris. DayUse’s website refers to the hourly rental as a ‘daycation’, and offers as little as a two-hour booking, with no name or credit card details necessary (ahem)!

The response to the startup has been mixed, with the French press referring to it as bringing back the “5-7”, the time when men supposedly meet with their lovers before heading home to their families. The fact too that in France the startup ranks over 100,000 users means it’s reinforced a stereotype about the French’s relaxed attitude to extra-marital affairs.

Speaking to French paper LeParisien, DayUse’s founder David Lebée insisted that the hotel room service wasn’t encouraging infidelity, but at the same time he pointed to how there was a cultural shift around adultery. “At first there was a cultural taboo around infidelity, but that is decreasing bit by bit. We are not there to judge,” he said. He also added that the service catered to the exhausted worker as much as it did to couple’s escapades.

Man and woman holding hands
Man and woman holding hands Image by Cher Vernal / CC BY 2.0

DayUse’s US market head Maud Chabanier spoke to The Local, expressing how they were interested in promoting a more innocent type of customer for their by-the-hour service, in the shape of couples looking for what they termed ‘play from home’.

Whether they provide a functional service or a tool for adultery, one thing that’s certain is that DayUse is on the rise and has even helped the hospitality industry in Paris which has seen tough times following the Paris attacks and the rise of Airbnb.