Our Hassles Booking A Day Room At An Airport Hotel

by joeheg

The first leg of our trip to Southeast Asia was a doozy. We started with a morning flight from Orlando to Los Angeles. We then had a 7+ hour layover before our almost 18-hour flight on Singapore Airlines.

We were trying to meet up with some of our LA friends but our schedules didn’t work out. I thought about spending a few hours going to the beach but as we sat in the MCO Delta SkyClub, we realized that after a 5 AM wakeup, we’d be zonked by the time we got to LAX.

I considered this scenario the day before and researched if there were any hotels near LAX that offered day rooms. I used HotelsByDay.com to find a room in Seattle for my dad in 2018 when he had a long layover before flying to Bali. I was glad to see that the website was still in operation.

I found several hotels close to the airport, including the Hyatt Regency LAX. I prefer to book a room with the hotel than with a third party so I called the Hyatt Regency hotel around 4 PM local time. It took a while for the front desk to answer and they told me they didn’t have day rooms. I even tried Hyatt Concierge on Twitter who confirmed the hotel didn’t have any day rooms.

I called two other hotels that showed available rooms on HotelsByDay and was also told by both of them that they didn’t offer day rooms.


Snap back to the SkyClub needing a hotel room for our LAX layover. I decided to take a chance and use HotelsByDay to reserve a room at the H Hotel, a Hilton Curio property. I booked a room from 12 PM to 8 PM, which was longer than we needed but was the only timeframe that worked for us. I received an instant confirmation from HotelsByDay and I didn’t have to pay until we were at the hotel. I was concerned that HotelsByDay had information on what to do if the hotel can’t find your reservation when you arrive.

Is the front desk having trouble finding your reservation? Ask to speak to a hotel manager or better yet contact us!

While it’s within walking distance from LAX, we waited for the free hotel shuttle which arrived within 15 minutes. We arrived at the hotel and went to the front desk. I gave my name and the agent said that the rooms weren’t ready yet so I could leave my phone number to get a text.

I told her that we had a day room booked for 12 PM and since it was already 2 PM, it should be available. She was confused and turned to the more senior employee (possibly a manager) and said, “He says he booked a day room? Do we do that?”

The second employee knew what was happening and took over. He showed her how to enter the booking and confirmed the rate, which was the same as on the HotelsByDay website. The hotel charged an additional $200 hold (which was less than what they usually charge overnight guests). As promised, it dropped off the credit card in a few days.

During our stay, we’d have full access to the hotel amenities, including the pool, exercise room and rooftop viewing area.

We didn’t care about any of that. All we wanted was a clean, comfortable bed for a nap. This room fits the bill.

a room with a bed and a table

After our nap, we headed to the roof to check out the plane spotting. It was a great location and several other people were up there taking pictures of the arriving and departing planes.

an airport with buildings and airplanes

Final Thoughts

Selling day rooms is a way for hotels to bring in extra income. This is especially true for airport hotels, where guests depart early in the morning or arrive late in the evening. Selling a room for a few hours in the afternoon only costs the hotel the extra to pay housekeeping staff to make up the room.

However, there’s currently no efficient way for hotels to sell this inventory. Websites like HotelsByDay are trying to connect properties to customers who want to stay in these rooms. While the process isn’t without its hiccups, it seems to work more often than not. Just go in knowing that you might need to do some extra legwork if you come across an employee that isn’t familiar with the program.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Geoff February 18, 2023 - 6:26 pm

Hilton Website – actually makes it fairly simple

Enter a stay and depart that is the same day… available hotels (usually airports) show up

Other hotels not so much

Michael February 18, 2023 - 6:29 pm

How much was the room in the end?

joeheg February 18, 2023 - 11:01 pm

Just over $150 for the 8 hours. That was average for the area but the Hyatt was charging $200+ for 6 hours.

Christian February 18, 2023 - 9:16 pm

Hilton is pretty good about offering day rooms on their app and website. I haven’t seen any other major chain that does it as smoothly.

joeheg February 18, 2023 - 11:00 pm

I didn’t think about trying to book on the Hilton website. I’ll need to give that a look.


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