Skift Take

Well, you know what they say. Regardless what the activity is, there's an app for that. And, now there is. Hourly room rentals via a mobile app. We know HotelTonight is poised to broaden its offerings a bit, but we doubt the company will try to mimic Breather on this one.

Why didn’t they have this when I really needed it?

It has come to this: The last-minute, same-day hotel app space is evolving and has spawned mobile room rentals by the hour.

Breather, an iPhone app with several locations in New York City and Montreal, enables users to book a room for $25 per hour — and a cleaning service shows up after each reservation.

The service, also bookable on the desktop and mobile web, bills itself as a workspace or a respite from the rigors of city life, offering “peace and quiet on demand.”

With Montreal-based Breather, Rooms can be rented for more than an hour, as well.

With three locations in New York City, a room at 1123 Broadway, unit #809, comes with a “comfy couch, large workspace, park view, Wi-Fi and yoga mat.”

After booking through the app or website, all users need to do is present their IDs to the doorman to get in during the week, and they would have to see the doorman at an adjacent building on weekends.

The rooms available at Breather, which has $1.5 million in funding and nine employees, including a Series A from SOSventures, are short-term commercial rentals, says Evan Prodromou, CTO.

“It’s like renting a desk at a coworking space or renting a meeting room at a hotel,” Prodromou says. “Our legal review seems to show that we’re well within the law.”

Are these rooms — and the service is supposedly coming to San Francisco soon — really going to be used for that quick business meeting, or that chance to finish up that deal presentation prior to that boardroom conclave, or will they be used for something more primal or romantic?

The Breather FAQ addresses this issue:

“What about…how do we say this…ahem, questionable activities?

“Get your minds out of the gutters! This isn’t that kind of place.”

We can’t wait for the customer surveys on this one.

In fact, Prodromou says the couches don’t convert into double beds, for instance. “The couches are couches,” he says. “They are good for a single person to take a private nap.”

He adds: “Our terms of service require that you wear clothes.”

And, that may be the naked truth.

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Tags: apps, last-minute

Photo credit: Breather's Norman House in Montreal rents for just $15 per hour. It is geared to "impress clients" or to, well, otherwise "unwind from a hectic day." Breather

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