updated 3/3/2011 11:13:40 AM ET 2011-03-03T16:13:40

Some luxury hotels are embracing the example of cheaper motels and letting guests rent rooms by the hour, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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Manhattan's upscale Le Parker Meridien, where rooms with a view of Central Park normally start at $379, recently touted an eyebrow-raising Valentine's Day promotion — $150 for a four-hour stay between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The package, which included movies on demand and strawberries with whipped cream, was a sellout.

"One customer called and asked if she could book it every weekend," Marisa Zafran, the hotel's marketing director, told the newspaper.

These posh rooms-by-the-hour aren't just targeted at couples planning a clandestine tryst but also shoppers who want to rest their weary feet, guests in need or a power nap or travelers in search of a quiet place to wait for a late plane or cruise ship boarding.

In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for example, cruise ship passengers with time to kill before embarkation can pay $250 for a few hours at an oceanfront cabana at the posh Ritz-Carlton, where they can sunbathe, relax and enjoy spa amenities including showers. Regular in-season overnight rates start at $409.

In trendy Malibu, Calif., weary shoppers who pay the $270 day rate can get a cabana room just steps from the sand and a three-course lunch at the Malibu Beach Inn. Prices for oceanfront rooms usually start at $385 a night.

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