[Photo of nasty "hotel room" courtesy of WooGoSucks]
You know boutique hotels, but how about illegal hotels? Seems some tourists are pissed that they're booking rooms and ending up in barely habitable, roach infested apartments. (Welcome to New York, dudes.) Crain's reports dozens of tourists are getting scammed. There's even a website called WooGone (also known as WooGoSucks) dedicated to outing one of the alleged offending hotel bookers.
With hotel occupany rates at 90% and the average room price at $250 a night, there are apparently a lot of apartments being rented as "hotel rooms." There are, in fact, complaints about illegal hotels being run at dozens of apartment buildings in Manhattan and dozens of ongoing investigations of bogus hotels, including one at Herald Towers. Rent-controlled buildings and ones undergoing condo conversions are popular spots for illegal hotels. WooGoSucks, which is dedicated to stopping its namesake's "Ongoing, Illegal & Fraudulent Hotel Activities" and the "Facilitation of Fraud by the World's Largest Travel Agents" has this story posted by a British family of booking a "three-star" queen room at the WooGo Lincoln Center Apartments through Expedia for nearly $1,000 for four nights. Quoting the ensuing hillarity:
To start with, there is NO separate living area. In a space of what seems less than 100sf is a coffee table w/ TV, refrigerator on which sat a microwave oven, on which sat a toaster, a mini-stove, kitchen sink and fold-out sofa...The first thing we noticed about the bedroom was that it was too small for the door to be able to close because the bed was in the way.Hey, at least they didn't report a roach infestation or big NYC rats.
· Tourists Get Taken in Fake Hotel Scam [Crain's]
· WooGoSucks [woogone.com]