I stayed in a tiny house in New York City for a night — here’s how it compared to a regular hotel stay
When staying at a high-end hotel, you expect the usual amenities like room service and beauty products, but what do you get when you rent a tiny house for a night?
I stayed in a tiny house on Governors Island in New York City this summer. The Collective Retreats tiny house was 300 square feet and cost $1,000 per night. Despite the steep price — no doubt due to its proximity to the city, unbeatable views, and the unique experience — in some ways, the accommodation felt more comparable to a typical hotel stay. I got some normal hotel comforts, but there were added advantages, too.
From expert services to unbeatable views, here’s what I got during a one-night stay in the tiny house compared to a typical night in a hotel.
Turndown service is commonplace at luxury hotels, but I was surprised to learn that the service was also available at the tiny house.
The tiny house at Collective Retreats was able to fit a very comfy and luxurious king-size bed, which had 1,500 thread-count linens. Once the sun set, the maids knocked on my door and offered turndown service, which made me feel like I was at a five-star hotel.
I’ve had complimentary breakfasts at hotels around the world, but the free breakfast served at my tiny house was one of the best.
The breakfast was served in a giant wicker basket and included yogurt, croissants, Danishes, cheeses, and various drinks. Plus, my views during the meal were unbeatable.
In my tiny house, a card detailed the 24/7 concierge that is available via text.
Of course, concierges are a staple at hotels, but a concierge that I could text 24/7 was something I have never experienced before. I used the number a couple of times during my visit to reschedule my breakfast and to ask for help with the WiFi.
Like most luxury hotels, the tiny house also had a great bathtub, which was one of my favorite features.
The bathtub was large, clean, and modern. Although it lacked privacy as other visitors walked past during the day, you could easily take a bath and look out on the Manhattan skyline.
People pay top dollar for hotel rooms with unbeatable views, and this tiny house was no different.
Since Collective Retreats is perfectly located between Manhattan and Brooklyn, I was able to get sweeping views of the city. When standing on the back porch of the tiny house, I saw lower Manhattan, and on my left, the Statue of Liberty stood tall as the sun set around it.
This relative remoteness set the experience apart from city hotel stays.
Collective Retreats also had a massive tent that had a private restaurant, free s’mores, and morning yoga.
The main tent houses Fire and Water, the on-site restaurant that is open only to guests when the island is closed at night. The exclusivity is something I haven’t experienced at a hotel before. Although no meals at the restaurant are complimentary with the $1,000 per night fee, the restaurant does offer free s’mores throughout the evening.
In the morning, guests can head over to the big tent for a free yoga and meditation class looking out on the Manhattan skyline.
The resort also offered a complimentary water taxi service for all guests.
Whereas other hotels might offer a complimentary shuttle service, the tiny house came with a free water taxi. Although I didn’t take it, I was told I could book the taxi in advance and get a tour of the New York Harbor, which is unique to this tiny house stay.
“Our USCG-licensed Collective Captains have extensive local knowledge about the waters and ecosystem of NY Harbor,” Collective Retreats’ site reads.
My tiny house stay was more personalized than a hotel. For example, I found a handwritten letter that welcomed me to my home for the night.
“Welcome to Governors Island,” the letter reads. “We hope you have a wonderful time here at the retreat.”
Overall, the tiny house accommodation is a unique one but, in many ways, not all that different from a typical hotel stay.
While the prices between both accommodations are potentially very different, this atypical tiny house stay felt like I was in a traditional hotel with unique amenities.
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