RadioBDC Logo
Sometime Around Midnight | The Airborne Toxic Event Listen Live
 
 
< Back to front page Text size +

New lower-cost hotel alternative

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  September 8, 2008 06:22 AM

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

So you’re headed to New York for a weekend or even a week and you need a lower-cost alternative to hotels -- and a less annoying alternative to some hostels.
One possibility is to try to suss out something on Craigslist, but that can be difficult, particularly if you’re looking for just a day or two.
Another option is try AirBed & Breakfast or the just-launched Roomorama, both of which pair people with space to rent with those looking to rent a place. The quality of the offerings varies with the price. One day last week I noticed you could snag a bed in a spare room or space on a couch in Boston or New York for as little as $20-$40. If you’re willing to spend a little more you can score a whole studio, a one- or two-bedroom apartment, or even a house. (And, of course, location counts -- steps from Times Square will probably be more expensive than, say, Queens.)
After looking around on the sites, though, it’s apparent there are some pretty good deals in every price range. Roomorama claims that the average price of a hotel room in Midtown East is $305 and that its listings average $102 and $173, for shared and not-shared accommodations, respectively.
The sites work basically the same way. You fill out an online form, noting which dates you need, in which city, and for how many people, then you get a list of possibilities. Once you decide on a place, you’ll need to create a profile and launch a booking inquiry. If accepted, you make a payment using a credit card or PayPal. Both sites will assess a service fee -- 5-to-12 percent in the case of AirBed and 8 percent for Roomorama -- on top of the rental.
While they largely work the same way, there are some differences. AirBed offers listings in a number of cities and sometimes your deal comes with breakfast. Roomorama currently is just in New York but plans to be in Boston, Chicago, and Toronto soon (actually there are some Boston listings on the site already, but they haven’t staged an official launch). And Roomorama allows you to filter your search by price and according to amenities (WiFi, TV, air conditioning, kitchen, parking, etc); it also has a “Shoutout” feature for prospective renters to post specific requests.
Worth checking out.

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

5 comments so far...
  1. what an uber cool site! i've already made plans to use roomorama when i head to nyc.

    Posted by jonathan September 9, 08 04:50 PM
  1. Roomorama is the better of the 2 I find. More added value. Check it out for yourself..

    Posted by Chris September 19, 08 06:04 PM
  1. I would never stay a stranger's house - too risky. However, Airbed looks more established, and safer of the two.

    Posted by Meghan Dire September 20, 08 04:03 PM
  1. I met the founders of Roomorama and they are very cool. It's such a great idea. I'm planning on renting out my NYC studio when I am away on a week's vacation.

    Posted by Jim H October 6, 08 10:24 PM
  1. Another great alternative I've found is iStopOver. It has a really nice looking site and seems really reputable. Here's the link: www.istopover.com

    Posted by Peter Richards March 9, 09 02:18 PM
 
About globe-trotting Travel news, tips, deals and dispatches.
contributors
  • Anne Fitzgerald, Globe Travel Editor
  • Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor
  • Eric Wilbur, Boston.com staff
  • Kari Bodnarchuk writes about outdoor adventures, offbeat places, and New England.
  • Patricia Borns, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs travel, maritime, and historical narratives as well as blogs and books.
  • Patricia Harris, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Paul E. Kandarian, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs New England and Caribbean stories.
  • Chris Klein is a regular contributor to Globe Travel. His latest book is "The Die-Hard Sports Fan's Guide to Boston."
  • David Lyon, a regular contributor to Globe Travel, is author or co-author of more than 20 books on travel, food, and popular culture.
  • Hilary Nangle, author of Moon Maine, Moon Coastal Maine, and Moon Acadia National Park, writes about soft adventure, skiing, cultural travel, and food.
  • Joe Ray, a frequent contributor to Globe Travel, writes and photographs food and travel stories from Europe.
  • Necee Regis is a regular contributor to Globe Travel.
archives