Renting luxury rooms by the minute now possible in New York

Recharge, a 2-year-old San Francisco-based company whose app enables users to book a stay in a luxury hotel for just 66 cents a minute, is opening in select New York hotels, after testing its service over the last year in San Francisco.

The on-demand mobile app debuted in New York City, with 16 luxury NYC hotel offerings including The Pierre, W New York, The Knickerbocker, and 1 Hotel Central Park, among others. The company also recently expanded in the San Francisco area, now offering 15 luxury and premium hotel properties, including 5-star hotels like Taj Campton Place and W San Francisco, and airport hotels like The Westin SFO and Aloft SFO.

The company has also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from JetBlue Technology Ventures, the corporate venture arm of airline JetBlue, which began providing seed funding to early-stage tech, travel and hospitality startups roughly a year ago.

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Recharge’s earlier investors include Binary Capital, Floodgate, entrepreneur Rick Marini, Eniac VC, Expansion VC, investors Scott and Cyan Banister and early Google engineer Harry Cheung. They’d provided the company with $2.3 million in seed funding as of June of last year, reports Tech Crunch.

“We’re fortunate to have seen 800-percent year-over-year growth in San Francisco and overwhelming customer loyalty, with more than 75 percent of stays coming from return bookings,” said Emmanuel Bamfo, CEO and co-founder, Recharge. “We believe there’s an immense opportunity in the hospitality industry to optimize hotel room vacancy and are excited to start offering travelers with flexible access to high-end hotels across New York City.”

Recharge allows people to book flexible-length stays at luxury four- and five-star hotels, while only paying for the time they need. There is no minimum stay requirement for guests using Recharge, but the average guest stay is approximately two hours. Recharge rooms start at 66 cents per minute and can range to $3 per minute depending on the hotel.

Prices in New York range from 83 cents to $2 per minute (plus 14.75-percent lodging tax). Let's say your priority is getting some rest; that means you’ll pay from $20 to $46 for a 20-minute power nap, $57 to $128 for a 60-minute snooze-and-shower, and $85 to $207 for a 90-minute stay in which you can catch up on email, reports Bloomberg

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