Culture

Day ‘N Night: Luxury Hotels Per Minute




The latest app lets you share hotel rooms. No, it’s not how to plan for your first (or second) orgy but rather a maximization of corporate space. It’s essentially like Uber but for naps. Or quickies.

The Recharge app allows people to book flexible-length stays at luxury hotels for a fraction of the nightly room price. Instead, Recharge charges only $0.66 per minute or $40 per hour for a room.

Recharge was co-founded by Manny Bamfo, a 26 years old who was inspired by the idea of room-sharing much like ride-sharing while he was working as an analyst at Lyft.

“I started thinking, ‘I commute from the East Bay. If I’m in [San Francisco] and I need to use bathroom, shower, scream, yell — what do I do?'” Bamfo said. “I go to a friend’s house, but what if his girlfriend is over? Most places aren’t open 24 hours. I thought, ‘What about Airbnb?’ But I’d have to rent a home for 24 hours.”

So to solve the problem, Bamfo formed Recharge with his college friends from Washington University in St. Louis. The team also consists of former employees from Cloudy and Square.

Currently the application is only available for hotels in New York City and San Francisco.

Recharge is hoping to distinguish themselves from the motel stereotype of hourly rentals for sinful acts. Instead, the company stresses the business aspect, such as utilizing the startup for showers between meetings. To also insure not too much foul-play, there is a client rating system much like Lyft and Uber for hoteliers to potentially ban users.

But looking towards the future, this app would be ideal for traveling musicians between tour dates or spaces to shoot music videos. The per-minute aspect is revolutionary in terms of space rentals, and who knows where those possibilities could lead?




Hotels seem to be excited about Recharge, mainly for the extra profit. “There’s a significant part of day where the rooms are empty,” David Lewin, marketing executive for the Hyatt Hotels. “Most business travelers leave early in the morning, and a lot of them don’t come until late at night, so that time in between is really where Recharge becomes an interesting thing to consider.”

But the emphasis of the app is to experience the same comfort as one would at home. “Essentially, what we’re selling is your house,” co-founder and CEO Manny Bamfo said. “Sometimes home is just expensive to get to because of time or distance. That’s where we come in.”

So next time you need somewhere private– to nap, clean up, or have a rendezvous, plug into Recharge.




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