New York, USA: Five unusual hotel experiences you'll never forget

On any visit to New York City, you're guaranteed to see something you've never seen before. Especially if you stay in one of these quirky accommodations, which somehow manage to make sleeping in a car sound like a fun vacation. Only in New York, right?

Yellow Cab Camper

This former working taxi is now parked permanently in Queens, near a waterside park with views of the Manhattan skyline. Inside the modified vehicle you'll find a fully made up double(ish) bed along with some cheerful touches from owner Jonathan, like a battery-powered fan, a clock and complimentary water. That's about as far as the amenities stretch; to use the bathroom or charge your phone you'll have to visit the restaurants and cafes nearby (where Jonathan will shout you coffee in the morning). According to the reviews it's actually pretty comfortable, and definitely better than that time you drunkenly passed out during a taxi ride home. $39 per night, www.airbnb.com/rooms/7035403

Truck-A-Float

Located on the water in Queens, these four "eco pods" are like sustainable houseboats made of wood, roofing panels and recycled truck caps. One guest described it as camping on the water, only better because you get wifi and complimentary coffee. Each pod comes with a double bed, linens, an esky and basic kitchen utensils, plus a shared common deck with hammocks. Everything else you need is on the marina where they're docked (like bathrooms), in the supermarket next door (like beer) or in nearby Rockaway Beach (like tacos). $80-$120 per night, www.truckafloat.com

Outdoor Glamping Suite at the W Hotel

This year the W Hotel has transformed the terrace of their penthouse suite into a boho-chic hangout for the summer. The 65-square-metre terrace has been carpeted with artificial grass and pimped out like a VIP tent at Coachella: couches, pillows, rugs, a fire pit and a 12-foot yurt where guests can sleep surrounded by Manhattan skyscrapers—that is, if they decide the indoor bed isn't to their liking. It's the kind of place you can imagine models and rock stars hanging out, in part because they're the only ones who could afford it. $2000-$3000 per night, www.wnewyork.com/glamping

 

Why go camping when you can go #glamping? 😍💚 #ewow #glampatwny #laurelandwolf #nyc

A photo posted by Erika (@vivalaerikaa) on

Shipping Container Home

The owners battled for years to get council approval for this three-storey home, which they describe as New York's first private residence built out of shipping containers. Since then at least one other shipping-container house has gone up in trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but this is the original—and the only one that has a self-contained apartment for rent. The 12-metre metal container holds a double bedroom, bathroom, lounge, kitchenette, breakfast nook, AC and underfloor heating. Guests consistently rave about two things in their reviews: the amazing architecture and the owners' huge, friendly dog. $220 per night, www.airbnb.com/rooms/699472

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The Carlton Arms Hotel

Less of a hotel than a live-in gallery, all five floors of this century-old building are covered in art. Or more accurately, they have become art—every room, bathroom, hallway and stairwell has been painted, sculpted or drawn on. The Manhattan hotel has been an evolving canvas since the 1980s when it began offering artists free accommodation in exchange for decorating a room. More than 150 creatives have left their mark, including some guy named Banksy who stayed there in 1999. The actual rooms themselves are fairly basic, but who needs cable television when there's so much to look at? From $60 per night, http://carltonarms.com

See also: The ultimate guide to New York for first timers

See also: Who said New York accommodation doesn't come cheap? Five of its best budget hotels

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