I founded DayBreakHotels in 2013 in Rome. We are helping hotels globally become more than just places to sleep, by enabling them to sell their rooms and services at a more affordable rate, during the day, to a new market of hotel customers.
The aim is to make beautiful hotels more accessible to a range of customers (city residents and day trip travelers) and to help hotels boost profits, by selling assets that would otherwise go unused. It has never been more essential for hotels to diversify in this way. It has been a very tough year for the industry, and we are handing hotels a lifeline.
How did you come up with the idea for the company?
The idea came about because I used to travel lots for sport having been a professional water polo player for over 15 years. With my teams, we often used hotels for a few hours to have lunch, rest and prepare for the game. Similarly, when I was working as a corporate lawyer I noticed that most hotel services are available during the day, but aren’t available when you check-in late in the evening or check out early in the morning.
I did some research and realised how many hotel rooms went empty during the day. I wanted to find a way to help hotels make better use of this valuable real estate, whilst also giving business and leisure travellers somewhere comfortable to rest up when they needed it.
We built our proprietary technology and started partnering with hotels across Italy first. We appeal to a wide range of customers, so the concept grew popular quickly. We started expanding into other international markets and we’re now in 16 countries.
Guests can book services like pool and spa access using our platform, or they can just go for a room or suite. We also offer meeting rooms, restaurants and recently luggage storage. So whether guests have a layover, business meeting or just fancy a luxurious day out, we have a hotel that will suit their needs. It’s cheaper than staying overnight, too. We offer savings of up to 75%.
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Tell us about your new smart working initiative.
Our ‘smart working’ initiative is enabling hotels to sell rooms as flexible remote offices between 8am and 8pm. To qualify, rooms must have strong wifi, tea and coffee facilities and a comfortable chair and desk. Remote workers are then able to book these rooms for 1, 5 or 15 days, and enjoy a safe and tranquil office space that’s cheaper than traditional co-working.
Over 400 hotels are now offering smart working across the UK and Italy, and we’ve noticed 300% growth in bookings since we launched.
We can also offer companies our entire network as an extension of their offices; and with so many employees working from home, it’s cheaper (on average by more than 50%) to pay for an employee to work from a hotel, than it is to give them a desk in a big office – with all of the overheads and costs associated with those big corporate buildings.
This offers a huge lifeline to hotels, making them money and attracting an entirely new type of local customer to the premises. It’s also brilliant for workers, who get all the benefits of a plush office without the commute – and with the added perks of pool, spa and gym access. We’re really confident that the concept is here to stay, and will become part of a ‘liquid’ or ‘blended’ office structure for businesses, even when COVID is no longer a threat.
What can we hope to see from DayBreakHotels in the future?
We’re always expanding our offering to meet evolving market demands, and will continue to find innovative ways to support hotels and create great experiences for customers.
At the moment, we’re offering a real lifeline to the hotel industry, so we hope to continue to grow our global network and help as many hotels as possible through this difficult period. We’ll also continue listening to our customers, to ensure our offering meets their needs be it through leisure, work or travel.
We’re really passionate about expanding the definition of a hotel, and have already set trends for ‘daycations’ and ‘workcations’. So in future, we’ll also be thinking about what travel trend we’d like to set next.
Interview with Simon Botto, Founder at DayBreakHotels