Weary travelers arriving on redeye flights may not be able to check into their hotel rooms early, but with a new service, they can still have a nap, shower and a hot cup of coffee before exploring. Recharge is an app that lets you book a hotel by the minute.
The app launched in San Francisco in 2015 and debuted in New York City this week with 16 high-end hotels. Properties like the sleek Q&A in the Financial District or The Pierre, overlooking Central Park, range from $0.83 to $2 per minute, plus 14.75% lodging tax. So a quick 20-minute shower and change could cost between $20 to $46, while a 90-minute nap might run $85 to $207.
Users download the app (it’s free on iPhone or Android), choose a hotel and hit “book now.” There’s a 30 minute grace period for traveling, and the clock starts at check-in, or after 30 minutes, whichever comes first. (Recharge is an on-demand service, so there’s no advance booking.) Use the room and the hotel’s amenities like the gym or Wi-Fi, and after recharging, tap the “checkout” button. Make sure you’re ready to walk out the door, though, if you’re still in the room when housekeeping arrives you’ll be billed a $250 overstay fee.
According to Bloomberg, CEO and founder Manny Bamfo uses a parking analogy to describe Recharge. “Imagine if you could only park your car for 24 hours, and that was just the only option,” he says. “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.”
Besides redeye travelers, the company also touts the service for on-the-go folks looking for a quiet place to work (that isn’t the coffee shop), nursing mothers, or anyone who needs to find a private spot away from home.
Recharge plans to expand to more cities, with the possibility of Chicago or Los Angeles next on the list.