Business Traveller

New York's hippest hotel may be a parked van

Katia Hetter, CNNUpdated 24th July 2015
(CNN) — A New York hotel starting at $22 per night?
In a city where a chain hotel room can cost hundreds of dollars per night, that sounds like an old-fashioned New York scam.
That's because the $22 buys you a night in a van, parked in strategic spots across the city.
"Jonathan" is using the home rentals company Airbnb to rent out his fleet of more than 50 vehicles -- there's even a sleeper taxi -- to adventurous travelers, according to the New York Daily News.
Toilet and shower facilities are not included -- how could they be? But Jonathan tries to park his vehicles near public facilities and includes options at nearby gyms and other venues.
"This is a unique experience -- sort of like being off the grid yet just blocks from a subway stop that will take you to Times Square in 10 minutes!" one reviewer wrote. "The view is spectacular and Jonathan does his best to make your stay as comfortable and smooth as possible."
A note of caution from the reviewer: "Probably not for everyone since you are essentially without electricity or direct running water (public restrooms nearby and host lets you use his apartment to shower) but for the price and location you can't beat it."
Rent-my-car-as-a-room deals for adventurous travelers may be the latest response to New York state's limits on Airbnb rentals.
New York state residents wanting to rent their homes via Airbnb face a tough fight. State law generally prohibits residents from renting out their homes (though not their cars) for less than 30 days, except in certain narrow circumstances.
The state attorney general reported last year that most Airbnb listings in New York City violate that law and remove affordable housing from the market, according to CBS New York, because many building owners can make more money renting apartments to visitors rather than full-time residents.