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NYC Hotels to Beware Of

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Jan 27th, 2009, 06:30 AM
  #1
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NYC Hotels to Beware Of

Many of us who live in New York have long warned travelers to avoid certain hotels in the city. Add three more to your list, all of which are on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: The Marrakesh, the Broadway, and the Royal Park. All three are illegal hotels that are actually what we call in New York SROs (Single Room Occupancy). In these hotels, you'll find many long-term, rent-stablized tenants who live there permanently with other rooms being rented out by the night or week. This is a highly illegal and unsafe situation that tourists ought to avoid.

I've told many posters in these forums that virtually all short-term apartment rentals are illegal, and this story that ran on Fox 5 News last night explains why. It's useful listening. Regrettably, there are a lot of scams out there in NYC, and you need to be aware of them to have a safe trip to the city.

I can't post a link directly to the video from last night's news, but it's at www.myfoxny.com. Look under "Local" stories and search for "New Yorkers Not Welcome at Local Hotels."

doug_stallings is offline  
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Jan 27th, 2009, 08:35 AM
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Really good information, Doug.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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The Marakesh is notorious for this. They have operated under a couple of different names, use some rooms as hotel, some as hostel - and many as SRO. Completely illegal and an awful place.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 11:03 AM
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Topping so this good information will be read.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 11:23 AM
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Doug, I've never read the NYC guide, but is this information in the guide ? I think it would be helpful for those people that pick up the hard copy.

thanks for the alert.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 11:27 AM
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Doug, you're actually touching on 2 different problems visitors to NYC come across
1)Illegal hotels, like the ones you've mentioned
2)short term rental apartment scams (like some found on Craigslist etc)

Definitely helpful information.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Here's a link to the story http://gothamist.com/2009/01/27/ille...e.php#comments
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Jan 27th, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Rule to live by: If is sounds too good to be true, IT IS!

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Jan 27th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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Yes - but if you're not familiar with NYC - prices, types of apartment, etc - it may not sound too good to be true.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 01:42 PM
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Not that I've ever (or would ever) consider staying there, but the Marrakesh regularly pops up on the quikbooks site. Maybe someone at Fodors should send the link to quikbooks!
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Jan 27th, 2009, 01:49 PM
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I know that some posters here, including Neopatrick, have found good, legitimate apartments to rent out, but they are actually few and far between. Most are illegal, though in truth, most of the apartments you see listed on VRBO, etc. are not really "scams" per se. The people who own the apartments will rent the apartment for the amount they offer; you just need to know that you're breaking the law, and you have no recourse if something goes wrong.
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Jan 27th, 2009, 02:12 PM
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I think you need to be aware that there are levels of risk. While VRBO is "by Owner" there are some controls - those who scam are eventually removed from the site if renters complain.

But, if you use Craig's list there are no controls - and a fairly high percentage are outright scams - never mind the ones that are misleading (forget to mention it's a 5th floor walk-up, or in a neighborhood best described as "gritty"). And then there was the apartment in NJ that was only 3 iles from midtown (across the Hudson River, with no easy access).
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Jan 27th, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Wow, I just love this site. Everyone is so helpful and generous sharing their knowledge.

This thread is so timely for me. I have girlfriends who are going to NYC later in the year and were thinking of renting an apartment. They have been referred to Craigslist and assume that it is all legit. There will be 4 or 5 of them I think and they would prefer an apartment due to the cost of hotels.

Any suggestions on where they can source legitimate accommodation for this number of people?
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Jan 28th, 2009, 06:01 AM
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That's a hard one. There are two-bedroom suites at some of the Affinia hotels, but these are pretty expensive. Radio City Apartments is the most cost-effective apartment-style hotel that I'm aware of in Midtown, and they might look there.

But with the cost of hotel rooms going down, it might not be cost-prohibitive for them to rent two modest hotel rooms at, say, the Hilton Garden Inn or the Hampton Inn or some other mid-range chain hotel. Hotel prices in NYC are definitely going down now.

I think another viable option would be to try Priceline or Hotwire for a hotel (be sure to read up on the process on www.biddingfortravel.com before making a big).

A final option would be a mid-range hotel room in Long Island City, Queens, just over the 59th Street bridge. The Comfort Inn Long Island City is 2 blocks from the Queens Plaza subway stop (one stop from Midtown) and is usually reasonably priced. They could get 2 rooms there. I think this is a better option than looking in NJ or further out because it's on the subway and NJ Transit is more than twice the cost of the subway (late-night, it's also about a $20 cab ride from the east side of Midtown, moving that into the realm of possibility for most people). But cabs only hold 4 people.

Hope this helps.
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Jan 28th, 2009, 06:02 AM
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FYI: I forgot to mention that Priceline allows you to bid for a room only for 2 people, and many NYC hotels have only 1 double bed. Hotwire allows a bid for 4 people (2 double beds).
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Jan 28th, 2009, 10:32 AM
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I would try Radio City Apartments first if theyhave anything left for their dates - they are about as inexpensive as you can be and still reliable.

If their budgets are really low theymight consider a relaibel hostel - some of which have private rooms.

Also, look at travelzoo, kayak, etc for deal - but do be sure they check out the hotel here and on tripadvisor.com.

Do youhave nay idea what they want to spend?
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Jan 28th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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There are plenty of suite hotels that offer the space and kitchen of an apt. but the safety, certainty and amenities (like daily maid service) of a hotel. In addition to Radio City apts., nycsalisbury.com, milburnhotel.com, beaconhotel.com, affinia.com are some others. Renting an apartment for less than a month is just too much of a risk.
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Jan 28th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Thank you all so much. The information is really helpful. I have had a quick look at the Radio City appt and I think they will be within the budget and suit. They like the idea of being able to cook but in reality I'm not sure they will bother - there are so many options available. They are first timers to NYC and the midtown location of these appt. would be ideal.

Will look at the other ones you have suggested too mclaurie.

I will suggest looking at mid priced hotels too. I have already laid the seeds that NYC is expensive (due to the horrid exchange rate with the Oz$) so they expect to pay what we would consider high prices for smallish rooms - again by our standards.

You know at the end of the day they are all so excited about the trip I think they would camp out in the park and be happy.
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Jan 28th, 2009, 08:21 PM
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NYC is expensive (due to the horrid exchange rate with the Oz$)

Hotels in Manhattan are expensive, period. It might be worse due to the exchange rate, but believe me, even us Americans think the hotels are VERY expensive.
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Jan 29th, 2009, 08:26 AM
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We stayed at Carnegie Suites one summer and had a big room for a good price, also good location ( close to the Park). I have a cousin in CT who has offered her house if we come east to visit NYC. Might have to take her up on that...
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