The Secret World of Daytime Affairs: How Hotel Logistics Work For Clandestine Meetings

Often people have affairs during the day, to keep their spouses from knowing about it. They’re supposed to be at work, maybe they grab a hotel room over lunch?

But the logistics of it just don’t seem to work. Hotels clean their rooms precisely when people want to use those rooms for affairs.

  • Standard hotel check-in time is usually 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.

  • Check-out time is often 11 a.m.

  • That leaves a four hour gap in the middle of the day where you can’t be sure of having a hotel room. Those are the exact hours of the affair.

Comedian Kate Barron thinks people are booking two nights and leaving most of the hotel room time unused, wondering if maybe she could use the time, maybe hit the hotel gym or take a swim in the pool?

If you book the night before, you might not be able to have late check-out, and that’s no help. If you try to check in early you might show up with your paramour and not get a room? That would be awkward.

So are people booking two nights of hotel to get a single block of a couple of hours in the middle of the day, booking the night before and the next night?

Elite status helps here, but it really depends on the chain.

  • Hyatt and Marriott allow guaranteed late check-out at most hotels. So book the night before and don’t check out until after lunch.

  • Marriott Ambassadors can do ‘Your24’ if requested in advance and the hotel approves, check in any time and check out 24 hours later. But fewer hotels seem to approve these requests than in the psat.

  • Hyatt and IHG both offer, but do not guarantee, elite early check-in. Without a guarantee this doesn’t seem helpful.

  • Hilton status is the least useful here, without a late check-out guarantee.

When I was growing up I’d always heard that prostitution takes place at ‘the kind of hotels that rent rooms by the hour’. But now that I’m more engaged in travel, it occurs to me that I’ve never actually come across a hotel that rents room by the hour.

Hotels By Day markets day use rooms and also normal hotels for a few hours. Is Hotels By Day really a tool for affairs? Is that what people are using?

And I wonder if Hilton should really be marketing their inferior Honors status as the most family-friendly status among major hotel chains. Their (lack of) benefits are designed to ensure fidelity for their most important guests?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Depending on how busy the hotel is, there may be unsold rooms at noon. Ideally, you use a no tell motel, they usually are not busy-so I’ve heard.

    And why would you want to use an expensive “nice” hotel?
    All you should care about is a sturdy bed and clean towels-so I’ve heard…..

  2. @Gary
    Stick to what you do best and just don’t blog for a day if this is all you have..

  3. Never had a Hilton property turn me down for a 2-4 pm, and a 6 pm on one occasion at a Conrad, checkout.

  4. Hopefully no one tries to say just because you have commented about what is out going on in the world means that you are in on doing the same stuff yourself.

  5. nsx,

    Airside hotels and other airside rest-up commercial facilities at some airports do rent rooms by the hour. But if going cheap and not wanting to pay up for the airside hotels and other such airside “private resting” facilities — some of which may be covered by Priority Pass use — the free airside spot for extramarital sexual relations has been some airports’ bathrooms. Earlier this quarter, I saw a couple come out from an airside shower stall at AMS airport — and those are free for use.

  6. When there is a long waiting list to enter an AMEX Centurion lounge, American Express premium card members can use their Priority Pass lounge card, which includes one hour of complimentary meetup time at airport Minute Suites. Priority Pass is helpful for clandestine airport meetings. Minute Suites helps C-suite executives and other frequent flyers save time and money by facilitating intimate rendezvous while they wait for their next flight.

  7. Republican then-US Senator Larry Craig really could have bought himself more time in office if he knew back then what the contributors to this site have shared since.

  8. Señor Leff,

    Between not being born yesterday and being a thought-leader, such persons ought to know how things could be done without engaging in such behavior itself. Also, such information can be for “dual-use” purposes even if only used by a user for one purpose.

    Covering a wide variety of travel-related topics — even those that may be considered titillating — does make this blog more interesting than it would otherwise be in this age of content overload competing for attention and how ephemeral great travel deals tend to be nowadays.

    If people aren’t interested in a blog topic, just pick another blog topic. There is plenty of information and opportunities presented here to make this a good site to use and not bad just because it also includes your sharing stuff you and some in the audience too probably find amusing whether they say it or not.

  9. The DB’s who constantly comment on what Gary should write about, on his own blog, are annoying AF.

  10. Obviously US lacks a regukar hourly hotels like in other parts of the world. Not mentioned hoirly drive inns. Could be a niche here.Lol

  11. Huh?
    I suspect hotels for extramarital affairs are a cultural thing, and region, nation, and class all come into play. A former boss’s husband once talked (in his wife’s presence) of how the hotel Ibis (Accor Group) was designed for extramarital affairs, with 2-start air-conditioned rooms, good beds, a shower, and not much else, always by the offramp, and with their prices on a sign that mimicks that of gas stations.
    Of course, that’s a French company, and French expression ‘cinq à sept’ (5 to 7 PM) tells you it’s not a nooner for them, but “working late at the office”.
    Otherwise, I’m sure a hotel can accommodate. The hotel business is supposed to be built on discretion. But I’m sure if you asked some hoteliers, with the promise of anonymity of person, brand, and location, they’d tell you some interesting stories. Heck, there’s probably a reddit thread you can just repackage as a lusticle optimized for AMP.
    Or you can use the mobile office. I had some coworkers who had an office with a window on the alley, and one couple would take the car there during the afternoon.

  12. I’ve seen more than my share of US and European airline pilots in South America get “stopped” at hotels for bringing in local “ladies of the night” — more typically “stopped” to “register” their “guest”. I think it’s a safe bet to think that at least some of the visiting airline pilots are/were married. A layover layover.

  13. I’ve found smaller – not chain – hotels around airports to quite useful for this activity. Just call the hotel before hand and talk to reception. Tell them what you need. Just a day use room. Clandestine assignations are not a new thing.

  14. I’m no expert but to me it sounds stupid to use elite status or even check out using a credit card as those would provide proof of that sort of event.

  15. @DaninMCI: Although many elite road warriors may book over 500 one-hour hotel stays a year, they can’t resist earning bonus American Airlines AAdvantage miles to help them keep and maintain their valuable AAdvantage Executive Platinum status.

  16. You sure know how to destroy a fantasy, Gary! :⁠-⁠P Instead of a torrid affair, this feels more like UPS logistics now…!

  17. GU Wonder. My wife and I frequently share a shower stall when we are traveling overseas. Much easier than separating out the toiletries and keeps the shower attendant from having to clean two rooms. At that point in our trip we are usually too tired to even think about sex.

  18. I frequently see hotels in the Philippines and other Asian countries offering hourly rooms or 3 hour time slots. There is a hotel chain in the Philippines that specializes in such rentals. Many of they’re customers are actually married couples or couples in LTR who simply want a private place to be intimate in due to a lack of privacy at home.

  19. Dear novice travellers (most of you, it seems):
    Search for “Day use rate” or “Day rate”. For Marriott, one Day Rate code is ZDY. It works mainly for airport hotels. I often land between midnight and 5 am and have used Day Rates with multiple hotel chains in numerous countries.

  20. Hotels By Day was conceived out the need for flexible stays made for the modern, on-the-go, consumer. With this app you now have the convenience to check-in / out at different times than the rigid traditional antiquated hotel hours, work at a hotel or daycation in style. But sure: let’s talk about sex baby…

  21. There are some hotels who rent rooms from 2 to 6, with the idea that they are for travelers who have layovers between flights. HM! There are some here in Las Vegas.

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