Unique “taxi hotel” offering mobile rooms in New York

NYC taxi cab

There is no shortage of hotel rooms in New York City, but an entrepreneur has started a new business that offers visitors a slightly more unique – and mobile – solution for their accommodation.

For those that want to forgo electricity, running water and space to move about, a fleet of adapted vans are available for an overnight stay. Once a converted NYC taxi, the “rooms” can be booked for as little as £23 a night. The vans are the brainchild of stand-up comedian and ex-hotel concierge Jonathan Powley. The vehicles were debuted earlier this year, and Powley says they’ve each been solidly booked and he has received largely positive feedback.

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Parked in and around Queens’ much gentrified Long Island City, Powley offers five furnished vehicles, including conversion vans with views of the Empire State Building, the retired NYC cab, and two 4-person camper vans. In the vehicles, the seats have been swapped for beds, fittings and furnishings.

The vehicles are stationary – as they are bound to by law – and they come with mattresses, fans, blankets, blinds and lights. There is no true electricity or running water. The vehicles are parked near public toilets and a YMCA where guests can use free passes to use the showers and facilities.

"If you want a New York adventure, this is it. Great location, great view," Rapha Schaele, a 23-year-old student from Freiburg, Germany, recently told The Telegraph. She recently stayed in the van with two friends for four days.

Most occupants have said there is no problem with safety or noise. Being parked in a wealthy, rebuilt, mostly residential area of the city, most guests are happy with their unique accommodation. In catering for his guests, Powley says he tried to add little extras to the experience. He puts out flowers for guests and has arranged deals with local cafes.

These types of four-wheel hotels are just in New York. Airbnb also offers an artist-converted VW truck, complete with a kitchenette, Wi-Fi, heating and roof in Dalston, East London.

Image Credit: Pascal Subtil (flickr.com)