Overwhelmed.. NYC help! AirBnb thoughts too

May 7th, 2013, 10:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 46
Overwhelmed.. NYC help! AirBnb thoughts too

Hey everyone!

I thought I'd stir the pot and ask about your thoughts on Air Bnb to see if opinions have changed at all. I'm aware that the lines are blurry when it comes to these places operating illegally.. however I've been recommended to give it a go from a few fellow travellers.

I'm coming over from Australia starting in NYC from June 15 - June 22.

There's HEAPS on my list of things to see and do and they're scattered all over Manhattan.
I'm overwhelmed by the places to stay and even the areas.. Where do you recommend?

I love art, photography, food and culture. So at this point i'm leaning towards finding a place to stay in SoHo or Greenwich Village..? Are these places easy enough to get to a subway or walk to places of interest?

Put it this way, any attraction you'd find in Lonely Planet - its probably on my list. If I have enough time, I'd love to check out Brooklyn and its trendiness but i doubt I'll have enough time to really sink my teeth in. I'll just have to visit another day!

I'm probably not going to see a Broadway Show and not overly concerned with shopping.
I'd rather spend an afternoon on the High Line than in Macy's.

Any advice on;
- area to stay in
- how to best get around
- tips on cheapness (eg. Museum free days or combined passes)
- food spots (that dont need a month's in advance booking)
- photography advantage points
- Air bnb or priceline.com
- Not to miss attractions!

giggleguts is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 03:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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To start with it will depend largely on your budget. How much are you willing to pay per night for your hotel? Are you on your own or how many beds do you need? Any place in your budget that is near a subway stop will be ok. You will most likely go from place to place by subway or on foot. So what's your budget so people can suggest places and remember you need to pay approsimately 15% taxes on top of that.
Peteralan is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 03:46 AM
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If the Airbnb host is they're while you're staying, and you're just renting a room in a "hosted" apartment, you're probably OK. Otherwise, renting an apartment in NYC for less than 30 days is illegal.

We're used Priceline and been satisfied.
abram is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 03:57 AM
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Subletting apts in NYC Is NOT a blurry area. It is illegal - and the city is taking steps to crack down on it - unless you are renting a room in a house owned by and lived in by a single individual. This is possible - but rare.

Priceline is perfectly legitimate and will work as long as you are 2 people willing to share one double bed (which is hte way many NYC hotels are equipped).
nytraveler is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 06:47 AM
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You can stay almost anywhere in Manhattan and be convenient to most of the things you'll want to see and do. There are some parts of the city that are more inconvenient (anything east of 3rd Avenue, for instance, or anything west of 9th Avenue). Downtown in the Financial District is pretty quiet at night. There are some hotels down there, but it's far from almost everything you'll want to do after dark, and there aren't many good restaurant choices.

I don't think our views of AirBnB have changed; if anything, they have hardened. Apartment rentals for less than 30 days are illegal in NYC. That's very clear, and it's now clarified in the law. There's no longer any wiggle room. If someone takes MONEY in exchange for renting you an apartment for less than 30 days, then they are breaking the law. If they allow you to stay for free, then it's legal. My main concern, however, is that there are a lot of scams out there with substandard, dangerous, or nonexistent apartments that make AirBnB not a safe enough choice for me. But lots of people have used the site without incident, so you need to make up your own mind. If you are on a tight budget, then there are some decent inexpensive hotels in Long Island City, Queens, 1 to 3 stops from Midtown Manhattan on a variety of subway lines. One, the Country Inn & Suites Long Island City, is just a block from the subway.
doug_stallings is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 08:31 AM
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The city has been cracking down on illegal rentals and more and more legal tenants have started to make complaints about people who are renting out apartments illegally.

You may not be caught. You may be caught.

You may arrive the find that the apartment doesn't exist (as 2 young women from Italy arrived at my building a couple of months ago). They lost the couple of thousand $ they had paid - and had to find a hotel at walk-up costs (luckily in winter - so not SO crowded or expensive).

How risk averse are you?

If this doesn't work out can you pay for a hotel on top of what you have already spent?
nytraveler is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 09:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 333
If you are willing to venture airbnb then you might want to start researching hostels. There are alot of them in NYC. Their websites usually list the distance to the subway, which is most important.You also want to read the reviews. The front desk will be helpful with transit/direction questions and local maps.

My students and I really liked Broadway Hotel and Hostel for its convenience and cleanliness.

You'll want to get a week's Metro pass. You can use a credit card and get it at the airport from a machine. It'll cost $32 and you can use it on both buses and subways.
Have a great time!!
eileenleft is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 04:47 PM
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I think you'll spend a lot of time and energy trying to find an apt. That may or may not be nice, legal, legitimate. Its only a week! Do yourself a favor and forget an apt. Book a legal hotel and concnetrate yourtime and effrot on planning the visit, notthe accommodation. If you can't find a hotel n Manhattan that sust your budget (June si pricey) staying just outside Manhattan in Long Island City is a good option. The Verve can be booked for as little as $150/night plus tax if you prepay and it includes breakfast. The Vetiver is another hood one for aputthe same price (look pn kayak.com)

There is no one "best" location. As long as you're near a a subway, you're fine. Plot any hotel you're cosidering on google maps and look for the blue "m's" which are subway stations. In Manhattan, Candlewood Suites is like having a studio apt. Ith full kitchen and is$238 plus tax on a few websites.
mclaurie is offline  
May 8th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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Sorry for the typos but I think you get the message.
mclaurie is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 07:32 AM
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Thanks for all your replies - I really appreciate it as I've only just been made aware I'll be travelling to the States; I'm usually far more organised! So thanks again.

Budget - up to $200 if possible.

While it'd be nice to live all cosmopolitan, I'm not a complete diva. I've slept on the floors throughout Mexico and Central America.

Air Bnb - its really disappointing that such a large database can still function under the premise that it's illegal. I'll definitely be watching for a crack down on the US cities featured.

Type of accom - I'd happily couchsurf or get a cheap hotel. Hostels; I'd go for my own room rather than a communal one.
I'll be alone but I may be catching up with a friend traveling at the same time. I'd be nice to be able to offer her somewhere to sleep, so a hotel is looking the way to go at this stage.
Appreciate all your thoughts thus far!

Doug - thank you for giving me some parameters!! NYC is just so damn big..

Eileen & McLaurie - appreciate your subway tips also; google maps is sometimes hard to judge when looking at such a dense city. ie, dodgy areas, 'pretty' areas, food hubs.. yes you can research these and dont worry - I plan to! I really just feel short of time

As usual, thanks everyone for your input

giggleguts is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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Sorry if this is confusing. Short term sublets are illegal in NEW YORK. Am not aware if this is true anywhere else in the country (since the US is actually a federation of states most of our laws/regulations are either state or local - not federal). Air BnB is legal most places. Just not here.
nytraveler is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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We went to New York at almost the exact same dates last summer. Our family had 5 people, so I could not use a room for 1-2 ppl, but I saw all the rates. A room for $200/less did exist last year in Manhattan, but you're behind the curve in making a reservation. So whatever you decide, don't dawdle.

You could save a lot of money if you went with a private room and shared bath, ie The Jane (well known quirky hotel, they feature it in magazines and travel guides a lot). If you had gone with air B&B, you would be sharing a bath, so that might be a really good option for you.


Otherwise, I would suggest you make a CANCELLEABLE reservation today, just so that you have something for now. Then, start hunting on priceline for better deals. Examples are the Long Island City hotels Doug mentioned, or the Hotel Newton, a budget hotel I have seen recommended frequently here. If I recall, with tax, the Newton will just squeak in for you.


After that, visit Betterbidding.com for an hour or two to learn how to use Priceline to your best advantage. There are some simple tricks to it. Then start bidding on Priceline. Since you are not hooked on just one zone in Manhattan, that is to your advantage.

Also try Hotwire's "secret" hotel sales. Betterbidding.com will also explain these.
5alive is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 11:08 AM
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I meant to say that if you were comfortable with airB&B, you would likely be comfortable with the Jane, and you get a legitimate hotel with the Jane. I am NOT a fan of airB&B.

I wish this board had an edit function.
5alive is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 04:27 PM
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Thanks NYtraveler - all understood now! And seems like too much of a hassle for what its worth.

Lovely 5Alive!!! I've been making a shortlist and those feature; so thats great!

Here's what I've got so far, the type of places I'd like to stay.
It might help others.. who knows!
*all prices exclude taxes and are for 7 consecutive nights in Mid to Late June. All in USD.

$1101 - The Jane
$1210 - NY Loft Hostel (Brooklyn)
$1575 - The pod 39
$1724 - SoHotel (looks like the best location for what im interested in??)
$1762 - Distrikt
$1808 - Hotel Newton

$2023 - Paramount Hotel
$2066 - Casa hotel
$2066 - Gershwin
$2178 - The City Club
$2043 - The Mave
$2326 - King and Grove Hotel
$2497 - Hotel Indigo

$2545 - 60 Thompson
$2987 - The Bowery
$3023 - Ace Hotel

I'll plot them all on a map and see where they all fit. The last three, I just like - probably too expensive for me!

giggleguts is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 04:49 PM
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All over the map - both in terms of location and hotel/amenities.

You need to decide what you want and how much you will give up -the room at the Jane are minute - but the price is right.

Hotel Newton is reliable for a budget hotel in a good residential neighborhood and near the subway - plus Central Park and a lot of museums.

Downtown is more trendy through if that's what you want.
nytraveler is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,155
Keep in mind: If you have booked a hotel room for yourself alone, you can't just invite your friend to stay over with you. You must inform the hotel (and possibly get charged a different rate). Many hotels will charge the same rate for one person in a room as for two, but some would not.
ellenem is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 314
For da bestest photo store in NYC, go to B&H. Closed on Jewish holidays and Saturdays though.
J&R is also good.

Also, Fleet Week is cancelled.
POMAH is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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Thanks everyone.

NYtraveler - Absolutely fair point.
I guess my way of narrowing things down is different. I tend to make a list of places I'd actually like to stay within a price range (even if thats vast). Then narrow down based on value for money; weighing up location and amenities.
Downtown is looking like what I'm after and I can somewhat save on taxis at night if I stay in the area.

Just found out 60 Thompson have a cheaper rate when you have an extended stay (like many places obviously) but this puts it back into the mid range of the above list at; $2120

Ellenem - I'm well aware of this, thankyou!

POMAH - thanks for the info! I'll be bringing all my own equipment but good to know! I might pick up a bargain.
giggleguts is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 06:36 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Glad you understand. Just wanted to make sure because there were some recent posts from families traveling with a few small children thinking that the children didn't count. "They'll just sleep in the same bed with us." That's not the way it works, especially in the smaller-than-usual Mahattan hotel rooms.
ellenem is offline  
May 9th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Manhattan . . . I know how to spell, but i am a horrible typist.
ellenem is offline  

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