No, not because of a bad experience. Because of a really, really good one in a non-hotel environment.
This past weekend was Brideslady M’s bachelorette party in good ol’ NYC, which I helped organize and plan. After getting thoroughly annoyed at the amount of money we’d have to spend on two decent hotel rooms for seven or eight girls for two nights, I turned to some alternative sources.
Have you guys ever heard of Vacation Rentals by Owner or Home Away? It’s where Brideslady Bunny Love (formally known as Brideslady G…she requested a name change) found that amazing penthouse that we’ll be staying at in Mexico for our friendymoon, and it seemed like the perfect solution for our little NYC hotel dilemma. If you are unfamiliar with the sites or the concept…it’s just a place where house/apartment owners put their properties up for rent for a day, week, month, whatever. Nine times out of ten, it’s about 10000000% cheaper than getting a hotel room, and it makes it feel like a home away from home because, well, you’re in someone’s home. Not as weird as it sounds.
Anyway, without getting too nasty, not one of the eight properties I contacted via Vacation Rentals by Owner got back to me about possibly renting their space this past weekend. Lame. (And terrible business practices.) At this point, M’s bachelorette was two weeks away, and we still didn’t have a place to stay. Yes, I was freaking out like you wouldn’t believe.
Luckily, M came across a similar site called AirBnB, and within hours of contacting three different properties, she heard back from one located in a perfect little spot in Midtown. (She also heard back from the others after only a day or two.) It was a two bedroom, 1.5 bath with a wraparound terrace on the 20th floor that could sleep up to seven people comfortably. It sounded amazing, the pictures made it look amazing, and the owners had several positively glowing reviews. Needless to say, we had the place booked within days!
It was wonderful because we were able to cook breakfast Saturday morning…
…hang out on the terrace to pregame in the afternoon…
Of course we didn’t do that and we went out quite a bit. A few highlights and recommendations in case you are in search of things to do in NYC for a ladies’ weekend:
We got our nails done here on Friday night—they have several locations throughout the city, and give you free cosmos on Thursdays and Fridays between 6 PM and 9 PM! Nails and drinks? Yes. My nail polish was even ever so appropriately called “I Need a Cocktail.” Delicious.
This was a freaking blast. We hopped on a tour bus Saturday morning and got taken around to a bunch of different locations and sites used in the SATC series and movies. If you are a fan of the series and are in NYC, do this. We made stops at The Pleasure Chest (where Charlotte got her rabbit), Buddakan (used many a time in the series, importantly where Big and Carrie had their rehearsal dinner), Onieals (called Scout in the series, AKA Aiden’s bar…more cosmos were enjoyed here!), and Bleeker Street, where we enjoyed a Magnolia cupcake and ventured over to Fresh, the makeup store/company that worked with the stars on the show.
Delicious, sorta upscale Mexican place on Park Ave. Get their guacamole and stick around for the free frozen prickly pear margarita shooter after the meal!
This was our drinking/dancing spot Saturday night. It was good…not great…but if you’re in Midtown and are looking for decent place with good music and a rooftop deck, this is your spot!
All in all, an awesome weekend with awesome ladies. And I can’t rave enough about AirBnB and the people we rented from. It will definitely be my go-to place for any trips I take in the future!
Have you done a vacation rental before? How’d you like it?