Hotelsbyday - The Option To Book Short Term Hotel Stays For Less

We had the opportunity to interview Yannis Moati, CEO and founder of HotelsByDay, the premier provider of day-stay hotel spaces in the U.S.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and HotelsByDay?
A: My name is Yannis Moati. I was born in Tunisia, a peaceful and enlightened country in North Africa, from a French father and an Italian mother. History was the main thread of my childhood, where everywhere I went and everything I touched while growing up had a deep connection with the past. It set the stage to my professional life, where while on summer breaks from college, I worked as a tour guide in Italy, France and Spain, mostly for American tourists.

Without giving away too much of my age, I can safely say that I am a 20 year veteran of planning travel arrangements in Europe, before setting my current specialty in promoting flexible stays: hotel rooms for a few hours, all available on

I was a travel agent before launching HotelsByDay back in early 2015. I identified the opportunity when I was faced with an increasing number of travellers that wanted flexibility in their hotel stays, and I simply could not have any from our long-standing partners. Hence, I decided to do something about it.

More info on this topic is listed in the Q&A section of our latest crowdfunding campaign.


Q: How did you get the idea for Hotels by Day?
A: Customer wanted it. Someone had to do it.

Q: How did you get your company out there into the industry? 
A: First, I assembled a founding team. We worked feverishly in building a business plan. We got seed funding, then we launched the company with massive amounts of PR. Which lead us within 12 months on the Shark Tank show, and the rest is history.

Q: What makes your company different from others in your space?  
A: Most other Online Travel Agents (or OTAs) sell commoditized overnight stays, which give you no flexibility whatsoever in possibly checking-in earlier than 3pm, and checking out the next day later than 11am. If every flights were landing and taking off at 12 noon, then there would be no need for our flexible hotel booking service.

Q: What is the main benefit that your company provides to the travel world?
A: We give our B2B partners a set of protocols and technology for them to monetize idle rooms and add flexibility to their check-in/check-out procedures. Then we top it off by being the marketing engine that converts guests towards that particular service.

Q: What was the final push that lead you to take the risk to create your own company? 
A: Seeing that multiple startups in Europe were launching similar services, I rushed to launch the American operator in this nascent field.

Q: How has creating Hotels by Day changed your life?  
A: In too many ways to count. But what I lost in financial stability, I gain monumentally in character stability and growth. Enormous satisfaction.

Q: Are you looking for additional funding or have a crowdfunding campaign? If so, what are you looking for in a potential investor, and how can interested readers get in touch/learn more? 
A:  This year we plan to:

- Raise $2.5M to accelerate our growth from $4.5M Gross Booking Volume to $127M Gross Booking by year 5, of which $400k earmarked to a crowdfunding campaign, to open the opportunity to the public (not just institutional investors).

- Engineer centralized portal for hotels to monetize all unused spaces: from day rooms to conferences, coworking, amenities, spas, events.

- Grow to become the world's first B2C one-stop shop for all day spaces (the Expedia of day-spaces and events).

Q: Is there any advice you'd give to other aspiring entrepreneurs? 
A: Yes! Measure twice, cut once. Spend extra time thinking of the launch of the company prior to getting on that crazy train. Also, learn to meditate.

Q: Is there anything else you want to share with our audience?  
A:  A quotes from Herb Kelleher, Founder of South West Airlines (LUV):

"You must be very patient, very persistent. The world isn't going to shower gold coins on you just because you have a good idea. You're going to have to work like crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people."

Disclosure: Startup Watch is a platform TalkMarkets provides for startup company executives to discuss their companies in depth. TalkMarkets provides a suggested list of questions but the format ...

How did you like this article? Let us know so we can better customize your reading experience.


Leave a comment to automatically be entered into our contest to win a free Echo Show.
Kirk Sheffield 3 years ago Member's comment

How many hotels do you currently work with?

Yannis Moati 3 years ago Member's comment

Hi Kirk. We have over 1000 hotel signed-up in the USA. Not all are live at any one day. Especially during Corona. Our rate of sign-up last year was up 38%. This year will be much greater, as hotel will need our revenue source more than ever. Thank you.

Backyard Hiker 3 years ago Member's comment

Sounds like an interesting idea, quite frankly, I'm surprised no one thought of it first.

Yannis Moati 3 years ago Member's comment

Well, dayrooms always existed. But haven't been digitized and tech-enabled before HotelsByDay in the USA and its peers in Europe.

Harry Goldstein 3 years ago Member's comment

This is an intriguing idea for a business model. But how is your company able to survive during this pandemic? With #coronavirus keeping people stuck at home, I assume all hotels are shuttered until further notice.

Anastasija Janevska 3 years ago Member's comment

Excellent question, I'd like to know this as well @[Yannis Moati](user:128396).

Yannis Moati 3 years ago Member's comment

Hi everyone. True: the pandemic has slowed our growth, but:

1 - hotel sign-ups are up 900%

2 - our guests are hyperlocals (VS foreign tourists) and will be the first wave of bookings back at hotels, strengthening our partnerships

3 - we hold no physical inventory and little fixed expenses, with a team committed and willing to make sacrifices, we are not laying-off anyone and have enough cash to hold 6 months, gov. loans not withstanding.

We'll get through this. Scared. But alive.

Wannabe Warren 3 years ago Member's comment

I think your company will go far!

Harry Goldstein 3 years ago Member's comment

Yannis, great answers.

Beating Buffett 3 years ago Member's comment

Great idea @[Yannis Moati](user:128396). Empty rooms at hotels are wasted money. It reminds me of the original Priceline idea of selling unused plane seats for cheap.

Flat Broke 3 years ago Member's comment

Why would any one want to stay at a hotel for just the day? People pay for a hotel specifically for a bed to spend the night. Why would someone need a bed for a few hours in the middle of the day.

Yannis Moati 3 years ago Member's comment

Hey. So we have 13% of our guests that use our platform to guarantee an early check-in & late check-out. We have another 25% that use the amenities of the hotel for the day, and 'daycation' by using pool, spa, sauna. We have 9% of naps. Another 28% for long layover at an airport hotel. And yes, Stock Vamp is also correct, we have a portion that also uses it for romance. Plenty of couples want to meet up at a hotel when the kids are in school. Day or night...

Flat Broke 3 years ago Member's comment

That's pretty cool. How do you have so much data? People share why they are using the services?

Yannis Moati 3 years ago Member's comment

yes. 5 years of guest polls as well as data collection from collaborative front desk staff.

Adam Reynolds 3 years ago Member's comment

I really like this idea. So is it safe to assume that customers get a considerable savings when they book a hotel room for only select hours during the day?

Yannis Moati 3 years ago Member's comment

Rates for dayrooms are about 50% off night rooms, for an average of about 6 to 8 hours of stay during the day (mostly 10am to 4pm, or to 6pm)

Kurt Benson 3 years ago Member's comment

This is ideal for business travellers etc, who need a place to freshen up, shower, change etc. before an important meeting. Or even just wants a comfortable place to relax or kill time. If it was affordable, I would do that more.

Stock Vamp 3 years ago Member's comment


Flat Broke 3 years ago Member's comment

Lol, very funny, but I was serious.

Stock Vamp 3 years ago Member's comment

I was serious too. Where do you think most affairs happen? Business professionals need a safe place to sneak out during their lunch break for a quickee!