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.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

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.

© 2012 msnbc.com Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments