You've got one of those annoying layovers at Toronto Pearson and desperately need a comfortable bed, or a gym. Or maybe you're looking for an afternoon at the pool at an urban hotel but don't need to spend the night.
Some folks are taking "daycations" at top hotels in Canada and other parts of the world. And while there most certainly are couples taking advantage of the reduced daytime rates, business travellers and urbanites are also looking for a quiet daytime getaway.
Day-use rooms "can be a home base for the day providing a place to freshen up, get some rest and stay productive before having to catch a flight home in the evening," said Dan Young, spokesman for Starwood Hotels in Canada.
But it's more than a convenience for guests, daytime sales mean hotels can make money on rooms that are often empty until the evening hours.
There's even a new website and app called HotelsByDay (hotelsbyday.com) that will help you find day rooms in New York, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale and other American cities. The Flatiron Hotel in New York was listed day at $139 (U.S.) for use between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., while a room at the Town Place Suites in Chicago was posted at $79 (U.S.) between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
You won't find them on the Hotels by Day site, but several properties in Canada already offer day rates, including the Fairmont Vancouver Airport.
"Most of the guests who take advantage of the day-use rates are leisure guests from primarily the UK and Australia," said Ken Flores, the hotel's general manager. "The heaviest usage takes place in our summer months during cruise season when they disembark from the cruise early in the morning and have several hours before their flight departs."
The Fairmont Vancouver Airport offers soundproofed guest rooms, many of them on a "quiet floor" with no bellmen, no housekeeping and no room service that might accidentally wake you up after that long flight from Hong Kong. Day use rates start at $159. "We realize our customers sometimes need flexibility and convenience, and may only need a room for a very short period of time," said Jane Mackie, Vice President, Fairmont Brand.
At the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at Toronto Pearson, day-use rooms are available from $129, officials said, and include access to the pool and fitness centre, plus discounts at the spa and restaurant. In downtown Toronto, day passes to the Sheraton Centre pool and fitness room are $35 a day per person (passes aren't available on long weekends).
I found day use rates at Sheraton Hotels in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other European cities. Sheraton Frankfurt Airport hotel also has day-use rates for the club lounge (€95, about $128), which offers free high-speed Internet, access to the business and fitness centres, plus snacks and beverages. For some travellers, the free drinks might even be a better deal than the fitness centre.
DESTINATION OF DAY: ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Right now most flights to St. Vincent and the Grenadines have to go through Barbados, forcing Canadians to take two flights. That's not so popular with sun-hungry tourists, so the Caribbean country is adding a new airport with larger runways so larger planes can be used for direct flights. The island is a delightful place with a bit of a throwback feel. You'll find nice but not overly fancy resorts, including Young Island resort and the low-key Beachcomber Hotel, where I stayed a few months back. The waterfalls, hiking and coastline views are spectacular, and it's definitely off the beaten track. discoversvg.com
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