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Alternative Ways Around Hotel prices in NY/SF- Suggestion for Members


tristanbaldwin
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Hey y'all!

 

Hopefully the Holidays are treating you all well. Was just in San Francisco during a tech-week conference, to find that hotels were even MORE outrageously priced than usual. I'm talking 300+ a night for the Holiday Inn, by the Wharf, or even 250 for the Whitcomb, above the UN Civic Center stop...places you usually could get for $80 a night. With the economy being the way it is...super expensive cities like this can almost be prohibitive to escorts due to the cost involved travelling there. Local guys with local playpens, flourish.

 

Just used AIRBNB.com, almost like CyberRentals.com, to rent a condo while I was there, instead. Total price out the door was $140 a night for a great location, with kitchen..and no exorbitant sales taxes, hotel fees, etc. This TOTALLY changed my mindset on San Fran and NYC, which I usually avoid for overpriced hotel reasons.

 

However, I have some fears about doing this...using private locations. In San Fran this most recent time..it was well insulated so the neighbors wouldn't be able to hear anything...and the setup of the condo allowed coming/going without alot of notice/attention..so no fears there. Butttttt....you never see these places ahead of time..just their pictures...so what if you draw a place in a city sometime that isn't very well sound-proofed? And you have a 'screamer' in the bedroom? LOL. It's true, it happens!

 

Also...I TORE this place apart, looking for hidden cameras...I'm not paranoid...but more and more homeowners have them nowadays...you can get wireless ones that literally transmit to your cellphone...streaming images. Was nothing here in this location- but what are your thoughts as forum members, on rental condos? Any experience with these?

 

TB

New England / NY / NJ / PA until Further Notice!

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I never would have thought of the hidden camera thing. Are people concerned that the owners would use the footage to blackmail the renter? If that's the case, even masturbation would be a problem.

 

Using it as porn site content is pointless given how much amateur footage is out there. Realistically, you'd probably just get a bunch of people having sex in missionary position and maybe giving bad blowjobs, and who wants to watch that?

I've looked at life from both sides now

From win and lose and still somehow

It's life's illusions I recall

I really don't know life at all

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I'll admit my bias against rentals like this, but that's because former neighbors of mine turned the apartment over mine into a short term rental and ended up renting their small 1-bedroom apartment to four young people at a time, most of whom thought nothing about creating a lot of noise at all hours of the day and night. Beyond the noise it certainly wasn't a good feeling to know that there were new people, not screened by anyone, moving in and out of the building once or twice per week. I was happy when my former landlord evicted the people who thought it was reasonable to not only turn a residential property into a business but also to rent someone's property for $1,600 per month -- a cost lower than market rate due to rent control -- and then collect over $3,000 per month from short term renters.

 

Guess you can tell I'm not a fan of the Airbnb model.

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To me, it sounds like a terrific idea. I guess there are risks in renting ANY type of room, but this seems like a good way of getting more value for money--same principle as Lyft vs. medallion-ed taxis. I did see an escort once this way--had a wonderful time in a fantastic location (yes, and "position" too).

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The problem of course is how reputable is the owner. There was a local consumer report in my area a few months ago. The family took a once in a lifetime family vacation to Hawaii. They rented a condo to stay. They got there. It had obviously not been cleaned since the prior renter had moved out. It was filthy per report- food left out, no clean towels, dirty bathrooms. They called the owner. He told the manager of the apartment to let the family into another rental in the same building - but it was the same story in that one too. The manager of the apartment building then started calling around to people he knew had rental apartments there and found the family a place to stay in that building. The owner of the original rental blamed it on the housekeeper not showing up when she reportedly had done so.

 

For anyone who wants a place to stay in NYC- these hotels are not fancy. But I've stayed in two of their properties before - and they've been decent places to stay for a good price.

 

 

http://applecorehotels.com/

 

 

Gman

Gman

 

In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, Beware my power, The Great Gazoo is always right!!!!

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I used Airbnb for this first time this summer, to rent a small house in Portland, because we needed a place where we could stay with our dog. I found their system for vetting both owner and renter cumbersome, but we found a good place with a wonderful owner, for a price that was unbeatable. Airbnb holds the money, and doesn't release it until after both parties have met and accepted the deal. That said, photos can't tell you whether the bed is comfortable, the a/c or wi-fi work well, or there are enough reading lights. I never even though about hidden cameras, but then, only a real pervert would want to watch us.

 

NYC is trying to prevent Airbnb from operating there, because they worry about unregulated rentals and the loss of bed tax for the city, so it may be harder to work through Airbnb there.

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Airbnb holds the money, and doesn't release it until after both parties have met and accepted the deal.

 

 

Not quite so simple, Charlie. AirBnb charges you, the renter, the instant you sign the rental agreement, not after both parties meet. Some owners have completely inflexible refund policies, and once you sign the agreement your money is theirs...there's no changing your mind. Others are more flexible, and to be fair to Arbnb, the refund/change rules are clearly stated before you sign on the dotted line. So renters beware.

 

Which brings me to my Airbnb nightmare in San Francisco this past October. Great price, good location and when I arrived I though I'd made a real find. The place was fairly recently decorated, IKEA style throughout, quiet and with a private entrance.

 

BUT...my escort arrived (we'd met many times before, but never at this location) and we had a big old hug and kiss and sat down on the end of the bed. The bed immediately broke! I weigh 180 or so , he weighs 190, hardly a tough assignment for a queen size bed. But break it did. Whatever; we propped it up and had a very enjoyable overnight and didn't think too much about that crappy bed. When leaving the next morning I left a note for the landlord explaining exactly what had happened. We just sat on the bed.

 

On arriving home there was an email from the owner saying that I would be responsible for replacing the bed...total cost $900. This had already been charged to the card that I had given Airben as payment for my overnight. Airbnb rules do state that if anything breaks then it is the renter's responsibility, but surely if you rent out a bed that bed should be able to withstand reasonable wear and tear?? Not so, according to Airbnb.

 

So gentlemen, it will be a cold day in hell before I use another Airbnb property! A hidden camera might have actually saved me a bunch of cash in this case! The cheapest of hotels will have beds designed to be used as beds.

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My experience was better than yours. At the end of our stay, the host wanted to add an extra fee, because we had a third person come to stay with us for a couple of days. Airbnb asked if we would agree to the additional fee, and didn't add the charge to my card until we accepted it.

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The concern about hidden cameras isn't paranoid, rather, quite smart in this era of omnipresent technology. Think about it, the owner is renting out his home to a total stranger. Maybe the renter is a decent, responsible adult. Or maybe the renter is a total nightmare -- e.g., inviting over his entire college fraternity, rummaging through personal items, stealing, who knows what else. Especially if the owner is relatively new to the world of Airbnb, he might have installed hidden cameras just for his protection and peace of mind. Or he might be a big ol' perv who installed them to watch bedroom/bathroom activities. I've never rented from Airbnb, but if I ever did, I'd probably do a quick check for hidden cameras as well.

 

That said, the exorbitant hotel rates in some cities make Airbnb a tempting alternative. I've checked out Airbnb rentals in San Francisco and NYC because even 3-star hotels can be eye-poppingly expensive in those cities. But I've always sucked it up and just paid for a hotel room, sometimes through Priceline, sometimes a direct booking. Just haven't gotten comfortable with the Airbnb concept yet. Then again, I thought I'd never buy anything from eBay either, and I've since bought scores of items, some over $1000. The other concern with Airbnb specific to NYC is that it's illegal to rent out an apartment via Airbnb or any other site if the owner is not staying in the apartment at the same time. Do I really want to be staying in a place illegally?

My ignore list:  marylander1940, MiamiLooker, stevenkesslar

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Woah. Thank you ALL for the great feedback. I am genuinely concerned about the video technology...more than 10% of homeowners I know, have hidden cameras or the 'burst' record system from ADT in their homes, to watch comings and going...we had alot of break-ins in my area, and the big $ homeowners(hey, it's Connecticut...they alllll have money it seems), all installed some sort of cameras. After all...if you're renting to a total stranger...why WOULDN'T you?

 

I wonder how it's illegal for AIRBNB to operate...but yet cyber-rentals.com can get away with it? or homeaway?

 

As far as the gentleman who got whacked $900 for the bed- that SUCKS...and I totally agree with what you're saying...because I play ROUGH with alot of guys who are into the wrestling stuff...and the bed in San Fran was like an IKEA type that would fall apart if I sneezed on it...

 

Probably not going the AIRBNB route again. At least not for escorting..maybe just vacation rentals...or, if spending time with just a FEW clients, and not having a ton of faces coming/going.

 

TB

New England / NY / NJ / PA until Further Notice!

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Woah. Thank you ALL for the great feedback. I am genuinely concerned about the video technology...more than 10% of homeowners I know, have hidden cameras or the 'burst' record system from ADT in their homes, to watch comings and going...we had alot of break-ins in my area, and the big $ homeowners(hey, it's Connecticut...they alllll have money it seems), all installed some sort of cameras. After all...if you're renting to a total stranger...why WOULDN'T you?

 

Speaking of security cameras... not exactly what we're talking about here but amusing nonetheless:

 

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Lawsuit-New-Jersey-Realtors-Sexual-Escapades-236989771.html

 

I've done a couple of vacation rentals in NYC through vrbo. One was a cool apartment in SOHO, the other was also in SOHO but was butt ugly. At least it had a good location. Both were full-time rentals and pretty sparsely furnished so I can't imagine where they'd put cameras, but anything is possible. And yeah, technically illegal since the rental was less than one month. Upside is you feel sort of like you're living as part of the city, but downside is none of the services that come with a hotel. I think for conducting business, a hotel is a safer bet.

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I found that story of the sleazy realtors and their love nest just rip-snorting HIGH-larious! Just when you thought human beings couldn't possibly get any sleazier, a couple of real estate agents sink to an all new low!! It's one of those things that's either laugh or cry, and as disgusting as their behavior was, I just had to laugh. My first thought was that the homeowners should have been suspicious from the get-go. If you haven't clicked on the link, a couple of realtors (married but not to each other) purposely overpriced a listing to give themselves a love nest where they could carry on their affair. They were eventually caught when the sellers using hidden cameras captured footage of the couple doing all sorts of stuff in that house, except showing it to prospective buyers. If this is your home, one of the biggest if not the biggest investment you own, shouldn't you do just an eensy bit of research on your own to see if it's priced right compared to similar homes in the area?? But then I realized that a lot of people lead very busy lives, and that's why they pay a real estate agent. God forbid you trust a professional in this day and age. And since the sellers installed hidden cameras, they weren't duped for very long. Wow, how I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the naughty realtors were confronted with the video, LOL!!

My ignore list:  marylander1940, MiamiLooker, stevenkesslar

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< Rant >

 

While I do not condone the gouging and excessive fees that some of the SF Hotels impose (and there are some politically

conservative forum participants who think that unbridled capitalism is what made America great), as a direct beneficiary

of the SF Hotel Tax, I'm going to argue that the money goes to good use and largely support organizations that attract

tourists and locals enjoy.

 

And am I also going to argue that the folks who rent out their bedrooms should be required to assess the tax also,

in the interest of fairness.

 

You can read the full report at http://www.sfgfta.org/etc/annual%20report%2012_13.pdf.

 

Some of the money goes to gay organizations:

 

Golden Gate Performing arts (AKA SF Gay Men's Chorus) $47,800

Lesbian/Gay Chorus of SF $9,700

San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band $9,400

Castro Street Fair $7,600

Folsom Street Fair, $16,600

 

And in the interest of full disclosure

$70,000 of the money that goes to the SF Parks and Recreation department fund the Old-fashion band concerts in

golden gate park (which have been going on since 1883), from which I collect $2,500

$6,050 goes to a chamber music series which hires me to record their concerts (although I do donate that back)

 

Of course that money is small compared to the big ticket groups:

 

San Francisco Symphony $616,000

San Francisco Opera $643,5000

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra $105,700

San Francisco Girls Chorus $84,950

 

So please, I hope you *willingly and eagerly* pay the tax on your hotel room when you visit San Francisco

 

< / rant >

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Hey y'all!

 

Hopefully the Holidays are treating you all well. Was just in San Francisco during a tech-week conference, to find that hotels were even MORE outrageously priced than usual. I'm talking 300+ a night for the Holiday Inn, by the Wharf, or even 250 for the Whitcomb, above the UN Civic Center stop...places you usually could get for $80 a night. With the economy being the way it is...super expensive cities like this can almost be prohibitive to escorts due to the cost involved travelling there. Local guys with local playpens, flourish.

 

I went to SF last year around this time, and the hotels weren't 'cheap', but they were relatively reasonable. But, every since about last Summer I can recall...SF and Boston hotels were well above what I paid when I went there. I happened to get lucky in both places.

 

During my entire stay in the Bay Area, I stayed across the bridge and was paying about $39 a night for a decent hotel overlooking the Marina. I switched to a different hotel when the rates suddenly went up during the week, but it was only like $42 for 1 night. However, since then...that same hotel has floated upwards to 90 even $120/night.

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  • 2 months later...

I've had success with airbnb several times, but am pulling out my hair over trying to book one in NYC. I'm like my 8th or 9th try - their calendar says the place is available, I inquire (learning that in NY a simple booking request won't work, you need to "present yourself" first). Everyone has fallen apart, either the people don't respond at all, or they ask a million questions before stopping to respond, or they just say "sorry, not available". Then change your calendar!!! I'm a perfectly sane person with a decent profile and a history of great reviews (yes, guests are reviewed). One said upfront "I'm very selective and only take less than 10% of those who ask". I apparently didn't make the cut since he never responded again.

 

Every other area I've booked has been - 1. I request. 2. They respond with the booking. DONE. Not NYC!!

 

I'm just booking a hotel for NYC, this is just too much work for no result.

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Nobody ever said NYC was easy to do Business in! That's why alot of "Working Guys" over the year's have stopped visiting.

 

The Overhead will kill ya! IF your not based here..not alot of $$ to be made unless you latch on to a certain amount of "Regular" Clients.

 

But unfortunately since it is a "Big Candy Store" a Fickle Crowd we are!

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Nightly stays in San Francisco are reasonable during the off season, but, of course, during the summer and for conventions and special events, they can be 'over the top.' I go to San Francisco often, for I only live fewer than two hours from this great city. Usually I've used http:http://www.booking.com or http://hotwire.com; I've gotten reasonable rates from both places. I found the hotel rates to be "off the chart" in NYC, but that is to be expected except for the off season or during the winter. Now, if I were to stay more than two days while in SF, I'd go with staying in an apartment. I'd use http://www.airbnb.com which I used last September/October while I was in Berlin and Barcelona. Both apartments were lovely; the one in Berlin was much cheaper than the one in Barcelona, but I was pleased with how I booked them and my overall experience in both as an occupant. I didn't mind the manner in which I had to book either one, too! I just know my renting these apartments was much cheaper than my renting rooms in hotels in both cities during that time.

 

If any of you plan to visit Buenos Aires soon or later, I'd highly recommend your using the services of http://www.ba4uapartments.com.ar. This agency is owned and operated by a gay man; the apartments are stellar, and their customer service just as. Rates are indeed cheaper than staying in a hotel as well. I've rented twice through them. Also used two other agencies during my other stays while in BsAs, my last being in 2011.

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Hope this is not too late to chime in, but...

 

I have used Airb'nb many times all over the USA and all over the world. My experiences have varied from good to outstanding. Just read the postings carefully, feel free to contact the hosts directly to probe further if necessary, follow your gut instinct/reactions, and take the plunge.

 

I do not like hotels so perhaps I am "easy"... I love the privacy of using my own apartment, the convenience of my own kitchen, and the ability to sample neighborhood living in various destinations. One of my best experiences was a three month stay in Bangkok via the site - As I prepare for a Los Angeles visit (returning to the Airbnb property I have alredy stayed in three times), could not be more satisfied!

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows....

Che Guevara: "If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine."

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I've had success with airbnb several times, but am pulling out my hair over trying to book one in NYC. I'm like my 8th or 9th try - their calendar says the place is available, I inquire (learning that in NY a simple booking request won't work, you need to "present yourself" first). Everyone has fallen apart, either the people don't respond at all, or they ask a million questions before stopping to respond, or they just say "sorry, not available". Then change your calendar!!! I'm a perfectly sane person with a decent profile and a history of great reviews (yes, guests are reviewed). One said upfront "I'm very selective and only take less than 10% of those who ask". I apparently didn't make the cut since he never responded again.

 

Every other area I've booked has been - 1. I request. 2. They respond with the booking. DONE. Not NYC!!

 

I'm just booking a hotel for NYC, this is just too much work for no result.

 

The NYC tourist/hospitality industry is huge and the tax revenue it create is quite significant. The local poobahs have determined that airbnb hosts are evading any number of licensing and tax regulations. It's no wonder that those airbnb hosts in NYC are wary of being nailed by plain clothed pseudo tourists and are thus being very very cautious to whom they lease.

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NYCers, please correct me if I'm wrong, but I think if a tenant of a rent-controlled or rent-stabilized apartment rents it out via AirBnB (or any similar service), they are in violation of their lease and can be evicted. With building lots selling for a king's ransom, if not several kings' ransoms, in New York City, owners of buildings with rent-controlled or -stabilized units have enormous financial motivation to get rid of the tenants in those units. Landlords have even gone so far as to hire a private detective to go undercover as an AirBnB tourist to obtain the proof necessary to legally evict sub-market tenants. Owners of co-op units also risk eviction since I can't imagine there's a co-op in all of NYC that allows AirBnB hosting. For those unfamiliar with NYC real estate law, it is possible for a co-op board to evict the owner of a unit (who technically doesn't own the unit, s/he is a shareholder of ... blah blah blah). Even condo owners face possible fines for AirBnB hosting (it's extremely difficult to evict a condo owner since s/he does actually own the unit).

 

With these ultra-selective NYC listings, I'm guessing that the tenants/owners of the units have a small circle of trusted clients. Although they post their unit's availability on AirBnB, it's not really available to the general public.

My ignore list:  marylander1940, MiamiLooker, stevenkesslar

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