Reserving A Day Hotel Room On Dayuse

Filed Under: Hotels

I find that flights from the U.S. to Western Europe are challenging, regardless of whether I fly business class or economy. Since they tend to be overnight flights, I try to get some sleep, but usually you’re not in the air for long enough to get sufficient rest.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the feeling of arriving in Europe early in the morning exhausted and desperate for a nap. I’ve posted in the past about early check-ins at hotels, but sometimes that’s not an option.

A few months ago I found myself arriving in Madrid after a premium economy redeye. When I got to my hotel around 9 am, they told me a room wouldn’t be ready for several hours. I was completely knackered and desperately needed a few hours of sleep. On a whim, I used my phone to search for day rooms.

Booking a day room hotel

The website had a few good options. For each hotel, it tells you the hours during which you would have access to a room — typically you’d have access for between 3 and 8 hours, depending on the property. I ended up booking a room for between 10 am and 4 pm at a place called Hotel Victoria 4, near the Puerta del Sol. The total price was just 50 Euros (to be paid at the hotel upon arrival).

As a point of comparison, the nightly refundable rate at the hotel typically runs around $125, including breakfast.

Overnight rate at Hotel Victoria 4

I arrived shortly before 10. At check-in, I showed the reservation on my phone to the front desk agent. I gave her a credit card to pay for the room and off I went.

Hotel Victoria 4 lobby

The hotel and room weren’t necessarily ready to be featured on a short list of the world’s finest properties, but everything was clean and comfortable, and that’s all I cared about. (In fact, I was so tired at that point I probably could’ve slept on a pile of Legos while listening to Nickelback’s greatest hits on full blast.)

The hotel seemed to be popular with tour groups, because there were a lot of them around. The building and furniture were on the older side. My room had three beds, two of which were pushed together.

Day room at Hotel Victoria 4

Bathroom at Hotel Victoria 4 Madrid
Day room at Hotel Victoria 4

That nap was glorious. I slept for about 3 hours, and it was all I needed to enjoy the rest of the day. The chance to take a quick shower was great too. So if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, a site like might be a good option — though keep in mind it’s not available in every city or country.

That day room in Madrid ended up being well worth it to me, but there are a few alternatives to this approach:

Stay Awake, No Matter What

Lots of people prefer to just power through that first day and go to bed in the early evening. The downside to this is the prospect of a potentially exhausting day. But for many, this is a good way to quickly adjust to the time difference, and I try to do it when I can. In fact, it’s what I’d planned to do on this Madrid trip, but I underestimated how tired I’d be.

Book An Extra Night

Others book a hotel for the night before they arrive so they can be sure they’ll have a room waiting for them in the morning. If you do this, you should obviously let the hotel know your plan so that they don’t give away your room when you don’t show up the first night. I personally have never gone this route, but some people swear by it.

Travel At Off-Peak Times

Traveling at off-peak times or on days when you’re confident the hotel is at low occupancy can increase the chance that a room will be ready if you arrive early — but you’re rolling the dice. Some hotels try to monetize early check-ins, meaning they won’t let you into your room before the published check-in time unless you pay extra — which leads me to my next option.

Pay For It

With some digging, you can often find a hotel that will give you early check-in, for a fee. As Ben pointed out a couple months ago Hyatt Place started offering paid early check-in (with the fees waived for World of Hyatt Globalists and Explorists). Personally, I don’t mind this — I’d gladly pay a bit for the certainty of having a room available.

Leverage Status

Most programs don’t offer early check-in as a published benefit, but staying at a hotel where you have elite status can help make sure that you’re among the first to receive a room when it’s ready.

Have you ever reserved a day room after an overnight flight? What was your experience like?

  1. *absolutely knackered*
    Andrew: let me snap some pictures first.
    I salute the dedication.

  2. I used this site on a couple of occasions when I am passing through JFK. Its a fairly simple way to book affordable rooms for a few hours. The chance to nap for a few hours and shower before the next ultra long haul is wonderful.

  3. One more option: sometimes the lounge at your destination airport can be used on arrival.

  4. I had no idea that this existed: what a great idea ! It’s a roll of the dice when arriving very early in Europe from Asia. Sometimes Marriott Your24 works, sometimes not. I’d be less picky about the quality of the day use hotel if the location is good.

  5. As a person who experiences insomnia on an ongoing basis, a lousy night of sleep on the plane is pretty much like a lousy night of sleep at home, so if I’m arriving at my destination I’m ready to go after a good cup of coffee or two. I almost never experience jet lag the way sound sleepers do. I could see using the concept, though, if I have an extra long daytime layover in a place that I have no interest in visiting.

  6. Other times to do this are on certain cruises where you’ve arrived first thing in the morning at a place where the hotel/resort has lots of activities (snorkeling, paddleboarding etc.,) you want to take advantage of that is a better deal or has more options than the cruise line offers. Number of hotels & resorts in the Caribbean offer this, and you get a room to use as well, with checkout by 5 or 6pm (which is when your cruise usually leaves anyway).

  7. Andrew:

    So timely, thank you. I’m flying BOS-AMS in mid June and arriving at 0600. Even though I’m flying Delta One, given the early departure of 1700 and short flight time, sleep isn’t going to happen. Conference I’m attending has a river cruise at 01830. Check in to hotel is 1600. 3 hours of crash time upon arrival will do the job.

    Other option was Priority Pass, but I don’t think Priority Pass upon arrival is allowed, is it?

  8. Why aren’t there more daytime flights to Western Europe? I would much rather leave in the morning and get there in the evening. With redeye flights, I agree with you that losing a night of sleep can be the worst for jet lag- the flight isn’t long enough to get enough rest even in the most comfy premium cabin, and you arrive typically too early in the morning to check into most hotels.

  9. I used this after a long haul IAH-FRA at the Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport. I had a meeting the same afternoon so wanted to get a few hours of good sleep. 5 minutes walk from the terminal, 20 seconds check-in, clean, comfy bed, quiet room, completely dark. Got 7 hours of comatous sleep and a shower.
    In summary the best 79€ I had spent in a while.

  10. “In fact, I was so tired at that point I probably could’ve slept on a pile of Legos while listening to Nickelback’s greatest hits on full blast.”

    Best sentence I’ve ever read on this site. Bravo 😉

  11. @ ian

    Funnily enough, a friend of mine yesterday flew back to London from NYC on the only daytime JFK-LHR flight BA operates. I’ve heard this flight makes you avoid jetlag as you arrive in London in time for bed.

    He however found himself completely unable to sleep last night and felt that he’d wasted a whole day flying east. So I don’t know if demand will ever get that great for a daytime TATL that BA adds to the one they already operate. I think AA operates one as well.

  12. I usually pay an extra night and check in early on a red eye flight. I didn’t even know this site existed. Thank you for posting this!

  13. @Ian

    Daytime flights to Western Europe are uneconomic except in the largest markets due to timing.

    Take JFK-LHR: The daytime flight leaves at ~9 a.m. ET and arrives ~9 p.m. GMT. That means that the flight must survive solely on local traffic; it departs New York too early for most practical inbound connections and arrives London too late for many onward connections.

    So you can make a daytime flight work in NYC-LON (indeed, AA, BA, UA, and VS each have one) because there is so much local demand, but even a market that’s still large but smaller, like NYC-PAR, can’t make it work easily.

  14. I have had a hotel chains make an offer to me for early check in for an additional price. I believe this includes Hilton and possibly IHG. Generally they guarantee you check in at 10 AM on your first day. That’s great if you have a redeye and you arrive in the morning. I flew to Dubai, arriving at about 5 AM, and in that case I had to book an extra night if I wanted to get in the room at 5 AM.
    I’ve never heard of these day stays, but one suggestion I’ve received is to get a room at a 3star near the airport of your arrival if you arrive early AM and your hotel isn’t available until 3 PM. You can stay there for a low rate and freshen up, and take your time getting to your hotel later that day. I’ve also considered on flights from LA to Europe where you have to stop on the East Coast, to actually take a flight that requires an overnight hopping on the morning flight to Europe and staying the night at a hotel near the airport on the East Coast. Again you get some time to sleep and shower and you’ll get to Europe late afternoon, right on Time to check in, Rather than that same morning, Exhausted, and potentially with nowhere to go.
    I am planning to do this when I take my dog to Europe as she and I will both need a break in the middle LOL

  15. Many lounges have day beds and showers. Lufthansa in Frankfurt, Royal Thai in Bangkok, Air India in Delhi.
    Changi Singapore has a transit hotel in each terminal.
    I have stayed at all of these.
    There’s also the website sleepinginairports.

  16. @ian

    Apocryphally, they call that daytime flight BA178 the “club kid” flight because people would stay out all night in New York, not book a hotel room, get on the plane to London, and arrive in time for another night out.

    I took Air Canada’s equivalent AC868 out of YYZ once for a quick weekend in London and it was perfect. A nice 7 hour daytime flight where you can enjoy the service, landing in London feeling like a human being, enjoy the nightlife on Friday then two full days in the city before taking the 6pm back to Toronto on Sunday evening. If I take a Thursday redeye, Friday daytime I’m a hopeless zombie.

  17. @ian

    Part of the reason is also regulations on airport landing times. I’ve been told for ORD to LHR the flight can’t arrive in London past something like 9 or 10 pm. That doesn’t leave a lot of time in morning to get flights out, and any delay can easily turn into an all day wait.

  18. @Nick

    The Heathrow curfew is 2330-0600 ( but even during curfew there is an allocation of landing slots, just fewer than during normal hours). The problem is turnaround: even if a flight could be turned around in 90 minutes for a late evening departure ex LHR, that would create an awkward arrival time for NYC and East Coast ( but probably good timing for LAX/ SFO).
    Personally I like the day flights; it makes economy class travel bearable, but overnight I need to be in business.

  19. I didn’t know about “” either! I just knew you could call hotels and ask for a 1/2 day or day rate , including when on cruises for an off the ship respite for the day as mentioned before. I have booked day rates or reserved the room for the night before wherever I am going, (try to use points wherever possible since I’m only essentially using it for 1/2 the first day anyway) as I do not sleep very well ll on planes, even in the lay flat seats, unfortunately. I try to do overnight going and daytime coming back to get back on time zones.

    Another option not mentioned is rather than booking a hotel the night before either due to cost or room not available, I booked a massage at a hotel spa (not the hotel where I was staying as it was cost prohibitive) in London which allows you to use the facilities for the day. You only need to book one treatment typically at a full service spa (facial, massage, body wrap ) to stay as long as you want. Sometimes you can just pay for a day admission but often that is “space available” as well. I swam laps in the pool, used the steam room, whirlpool spa, shower, had a nice massage, which got the kinks out from the 10 hour flight, lunch with a glass of wine, and in between cat-napped by the pool or the relaxation room. Great way to spend the day not wandering around in a fog waiting for your room! Not quite the same as sleeping but really didn’t want to sleep a lot during the day for time zone issues anyway.

    I fly out of Phoenix, with a BA flight being the only direct (and expensive!) option to LHR up until this year when AA started their own route. I have back issues so an economy or economy plus seat is not an option for 10–11 hours of flying. Miles are my friend! Rather than flying to the east coast for 5 hours sitting up, having less hours to take advantage of the lay-flat business class seat I essentially paid for, I have flown a shorter hop (LAX, DFW, AUS) to get on the comfy lay flat seats for a longer portion of my flight. FYI The Hyatt at DFW offers a 1/2 day rate, right off the tram in the airport and is very nice, quiet rooms, if you have a long time between connections, FYI. I often fly an earlier flight to be sure I don’t miss my international connection, and if I have 4-6 hours in the airport I use the hotel vs sitting in the club for that long. I lay down and watch a movie or use the gym, have a better meal than airport food!

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