ByHours transforms time gaps into pop-up offices or pit-stopsStarted in Spain in 2012, ByHours.com has proved itself successful enough for its founder, Guillermo Gaspart, to expand its services. Many more hotels are now joining the scheme. ‘We now have as many as 150,000 travellers as regular users’, he explains. ‘and they all report how valuable it is for making the most of otherwise wasted time during a trip’ The idea is very simple. Travellers can book facilities in hotels in slots of 3, 6 or 12 hours.
During that time they can use the hotel as a place to meet with business clients or as a very comfortable means of relaxation and rest or to make use of the property’s, dining, spa or sports facilities.
‘For the number of hours required,’, Guillermo elaborates, ‘the hotel can serve as a pop-up office or luxurious pit-stop’.
The hotels that have joined the scheme are mostly 4- or 5-star and are located in strategic city centres or transportation hubs – just where most travellers might find they have time to kill. They can be found in destinations such as Barcelona, Berlin, Madrid, Milan, Paris or Rome.
Through the scheme’s website or via its app, it is possible to book the slots either on the spot when a time gap suddenly arises en route – or in advance when a tedious gap cannot be avoided between appointments or travel connections.
Prices vary, of course, from property to property, but they are displayed on the website. At Hotel W Barcelona, 3 hours is about £118, allowing the user to access the hotel’s Bliss Spa via a private beach. At the Hotel Miramar Barcelona a short-time traveller can enjoy a room with picture windows giving views over the Med or the beautiful gardens at a price of about £90 for 3 hours.
A property at Milan’s Malpenso Airport, with a free shuttle service, allows the traveller to catch up on correspondence, access the gym and pool at a price of about £34 for 3 hours.