Sex by the hour : Q&A with the co-founder of Dayuse-Hotels.com
"London Loves Business" | 31/08/12 | | Published on the website www.londonlovesbusiness.com
An online service that allows people to book out rooms by the day now has 350 hotels on its books since launching in November 2010. With boutique hotels such as the St John Hotel and Knightsbridge Green offering its services, Dayuse-Hotels.com has bypassed the stigma of the seedy motel label. So how did co-founder Thibaud d’Agrèves manage to cash in on playing Cupid?
Q How did the concept come about?
I had recently returned from San Paulo when an old colleague of mine told me he had an idea to help hotels increase their revenue. Why not offer a service that allowed people to discreetly book boutique hotels by the day as well as the night?
In San Paulo, where I’d been living, children lived with their parents until much later – sometimes into their thirties. So hotels catered for people’s privacy and booking a hotel room for the daytime was normal – I’d seen it work already so thought it was a great idea.
Q Where did the investment come from?
We didn’t have any. The business cost very little to launch. All founders had worked in the hospitality industry and we had all the contacts we needed to launch it successfully.
Q What sort of people use the service? Is it all lovers?
No, not at all! Especially in London – where we have 20 hotels signed up to the service – business people use it as a rest from their travels. People coming to London for a meeting can then use the hotel to relax and work – the same applies for New York which has many business people passing through.
Q For those people using the service for “extracurricular” activities, how do you ensure their privacy?
Anybody wishing to book does so through our website in just four easy steps. We don’t take any credit card booking online and you can pay cash on arrival.
Q What’s the growth of the business been like?
A Brilliant – but not enough! We’ve more than 350 hotels now, most of them in Europe, we’re hoping to have 50 in London next year.
Q How do you make your money?
Dayuse-Hotels.com takes a commission on every reservation made. How much commission depends on the deal made with the hotel, each deal is different and depends on the contract.
Q Describe your marketing strategy
When we launched the company [November 2010] we were lucky to have lots of contacts in the media so we approached everybody we knew and persuaded them to run articles about us! The publicity has been great, people love the idea. It was a little revolution in the hospitality industry.
Q What about the inevitable stigma that must be attached to offering this sort of service? How have you avoided that?
We’ve been very selective in the hotels we have affiliated with. We don’t work with any big brands and groups but only boutique hotels. It’s important when you use this service that the same person checks you and checks you out – you need to feel confident and have peace of mind.