There’s a new way to enjoy the amenities of great hotels, even if you aren’t staying there overnight.  Day stays, also called micro-stays, give travelers the option of enjoying the best of a hotel amenities, without the expense of staying all night.

four seasons bathroom

Photo by Desiree Miller, Family Fun Mom. Sometimes, day stays offer a place for a nice bath or shower where you can re-energize between flights or business meetings.

Day Stays: Enjoy Hotel Amenities Without Staying Overnight

Day Stays.  They’re a popular option for business travelers who might have a long layover, as well as families staying overnight at less expensive alternatives who want to enjoy exclusive amenities during the daylight hours.

Barak Hirschowitz of the International Luxury Hotel Association says, “Micro-stays are becoming more and more popular as hotels are catching on to the idea that they can make extra revenue by basically monetizing vacant rooms during the day.” It’s a great way for the hotels to keep busy, and many understand that a busy restaurant and busy spa builds momentum for more business from others at the hotel.

Hirschowitz explains that you can expect to be treated very much like a hotel guest, so the only thing you don’t have in many of these packages is the room. If you need to use the business facilities, send a fax, lie by the pool, eat at the restaurant or use the spa, these types of things would be available to you just as they are to guests of the hotel.

Dana Zucker has tried it several times, both on the road and in her hometown.  She explains, “It’s a great way to escape in your local city without having to spend the night.”  She elaborates about one particular hometown hotel where she said using the day package “would give use of the facilities. You could use the infinity pool, you can use all the scheduled classes that they have whether they have yoga, trapeze class that day.”

Sometimes, travelers like having the room for a few hours while just passing through an area.  They can be a fit for all kinds of people in various situations.  Day stays are great for people who might have long layovers or maybe want to relax before cruises depart.  Business travelers love them because they can freshen up before a big business meeting or get some work done during the day.  Another trend is when locals take advantage of regional deals because they can experience the hotels and basically pay less for them than if they stayed for the night.

Hirschowitz says even he’s made use of day stays in the past.  “I did it, for instance, in London. I was flying through Heathrow.  We arrived at 7 in the morning, checked in, had a shower, a meal in the restaurant, took a nap, then headed out… it really broke up the trip nicely rather than sitting in an airport 6 or 7 hours.”

How Do You Find a Staycation Deal?

day stays meme

Four Seasons Day stay: caption: Photo by Desiree Miller, Family Fun Mom. The Four Seasons in Orlando, FL, offers passes to its facilities for those using spa treatments.

You most likely won’t see these deals advertised publicly.  There’s a limited amount available and they are often very exclusive. You’ll find the option at luxury resorts more than others, and most likely at smaller, independent hotels.  You can call the hotels directly to find out about their day-stay availability, or use a growing number of online websites.  Those include DayUse.com and Hotels9to5.com, designed to help you book these hourly rates at hotels conveniently and effortlessly.  Some hotels actually have special deals for locals, too, so ask whether there’s a membership you might be able to join or a day-pass you can purchase if you just want to enjoy a hotel where you live.  Hirschowitz explains, “There are also packages, like for instance restaurant packages, spa packages, so you can come treat yourself to an entire day, use the pool, unwind relax without having to actually go and stay in a hotel somewhere.”

What Does It Cost?

Zucker tells us, “I’ve paid a wide range of fees for staying at different places for the day, anywhere from 50 dollars to 150 dollars a person.”

She goes on to explain that if you’re trying this, you’ll want to be sure to compare rates.  Sometimes, especially if you’re traveling with your family, paying the day rate for each person could end up costing more than a room overnight would, and in that case, many of the same perks come with the stay.  Plus, an overnight stay would get you access to the amenities the day you arrive AND the day you leave.  You should also confirm whether any of the perks are off-limits to micro-stay visitors.  At some resorts, some amenities may not be available to day-stay participants.

But, if you work it right, you could end up enjoying all the extras for about 30 to 70 percent less then the cost of one night’s stay.

Meantime, if booked correctly, the resort can book the same room for a day and a night to two different guests, increasing their bottom line.

It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Four seasons Orlando offers day stays