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Photograph: Courtesy The Plum Guide / Airbnb

The 12 most unique Airbnbs in NYC

These surprisingly cute houseboats, luxe apartments, and charming cottages are perfect for an extraordinary New York City stay

Written by
Keith Flanagan
Shaye Weaver
Rhys Thomas
Ella Doyle
Alex Floyd-Douglass

When it comes to staying in a super-fancy Airbnb, who says you have to be a tourist? Even New Yorkers can indulge in a change of scenery every once in a while. And Airbnb is the perfect place to explore your own city. The site is full of rentals that are whacky and glorious, that give you a chance to live an entirely different life for a day or a few.

But where are these fallowed unique Airbnbs? Well, they’re on the following list, that’s where. Below we’ve picked out some of NYC’s most fascinating and brilliant rentals.

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Unique NYC Airbnbs

The funky treetop terrace in Brooklyn
Photograph: Airbnb

1. The funky treetop terrace in Brooklyn

This treetop terrace will make all your NYC main character dreams come true. With pop art lining the walls, funky plants and some seriously cool decor, you’ll feel right at home straightaway. But the highlight is the rooftop terrace, lit up by fairy lights, with a huge dining table to eat at. Oh, and the best part? The whole thing is solar powered. 

The beautifully restored houseboat in Queens
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

2. The beautifully restored houseboat in Queens

This unique houseboat, called Ziggy Stardust Surf House, has undoubtedly undergone a very loving restoration with quirky and fun interiors. Located in the Jamaica Bay area of Rockaway Beach, the boat overlooks Marina 59 from the land and is close to the surf break. The host will gladly recommend local surf schools, making this a great summer break. Keep in mind there's no toilet on board, but the marina bathroom is located nearby. Inside, you'll find a super Instagrammable and well-designed space. There's also a hammock with huge sweeping views, which looks like an ideal place to spend time. 

A design-led treehouse in Brooklyn
Photograph: Courtesy The Plum Guide / Airbnb

3. A design-led treehouse in Brooklyn

Design-minded folks can enjoy a stay at this beautiful, bright, and creatively designed Williamsburg loft. Making the most out of just 350 square feet, the hosts describe the apartment as a homey, tucked-away cabin that's ideal for escaping the city's bustling streets. Aside from all the pretty furniture and eclectic decor, this little beauty has one secret showstopper: a pull-down screen complete with a projector offers guests the perfect excuse to stay inside for movie night.

The ultra-luxurious loft in Soho
Photograph: Airbnb

4. The ultra-luxurious loft in Soho

Live the high life at this really, properly special corner loft space in Soho. Not only is this obviously a classic, supremely nice old-school NYC apartment but it even comes with its own sauna and soaking tub, plus space for six guests. Sure, most of us can’t afford to live like this all the time – but every once in a while it’s nice to pretend.

The beachy bungalow in Queens
Photograph: Airbnb

5. The beachy bungalow in Queens

This may shock you: we found an Airbnb that's five blocks from the beach. Located in The Rockaways, a long peninsula in Queens where New Yorkers flock to get some sun and sand, this cozy number is perfect for spending a night right near the water. Inside the bungalow, you’ll find a full kitchen, a pullout futon, and a lofted area with two twin beds. There’s even an outdoor shower to rinse off your sandy toes before you step back inside after a whole day at the beach.

The charming carriage house in Brooklyn
Photograph: Airbnb

6. The charming carriage house in Brooklyn

It doesn’t get much cuter than a carriage house (and we mean that literally—they’re often quite small). These squat abodes once housed things like buggies and horses centuries ago but have mostly been reimagined as charming apartments throughout the city. And that’s certainly the case for this precious rental tucked in leafy Boerum Hill—the carriage house is now an itty-bitty studio with 20-foot-high wood-beamed ceilings, a surprisingly equipped kitchenette, and even a renovated bathroom and shower. Not too big and not too small, we'd call this Airbnb just right

The penthouse suite with a hot tub in Brooklyn
Photograph: Airbnb

7. The penthouse suite with a hot tub in Brooklyn

Channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and stay at this fantastic penthouse in the central DUMBO, where you can relax into a hot tub with spectacular views of the Manhattan Bridge skyline. And we mean serious views - these are floor to ceiling windows for optimal city-viewing. 

The sweet pea cottage on Staten Island
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

8. The sweet pea cottage on Staten Island

It's not often you find a cottage in NYC. This little space has its own "mystical" garden with privacy for guests and a basket with continental breakfast provided daily for "a true bed and breakfast experience," the host says. It may be a quaint stay, but it has all the modern amenities, including wifi, access to streaming services, a fully-equipped kitchenette, and more. There's a bedroom with a queen-size bed and a loft with its own queen bed, too. It's splendidly decorated, so it'll feel just like home.

The European-style apartment in the East Village
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

9. The European-style apartment in the East Village

Missing your trip to Paris and feeling down about it? We'd venture to guess that staying in this East Village home, aptly named the Louvre Apartment, might help a bit—it's decorated and furnished to "represent the charming and historical lifestyle of European culture," and you’ll find paintings and classic touches in every room. The one-bedroom apartment can comfortably fit four, and it's south-facing so you'll have loads of natural light. It's also right in the heart of East Village, yet is nicely tucked away from all the noise of New York's city streets. 

The waterfront cottage in Queens
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

10. The waterfront cottage in Queens

A romantic cottage in Howard Beach awaits you with a sundrenched dining room by the water. Surrounded by large windows and skylights, it'll almost feel more like a cruise than a two-bedroom cottage. While you're there, be sure to keep an eye out for curious neighbors—the host says ducks and swans have a habit of dropping by to say hello.

The sumptuously decorated apartment in Manhattan
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

11. The sumptuously decorated apartment in Manhattan

If you've always dreamed of staying in a gorgeously decorated historic brownstone, then this one-bedroom apartment is the one for you. It has a private entrance and is one flight upstairs, and features some seriously luxurious interiors; we're talking an extra-deep clawfoot tub, wood-burning fireplace, ample antiques, and a grand four-poster bed. The home has Wi-Fi, AC, heating, and a prime location that's just a short walk to Gramercy Park.  

The small English manor in the East Village
Photograph: Courtesy Airbnb

12. The small English manor in the East Village

England is a little bit far away, isn’t it? You know where’s closer to home? This place in East Village, which is billed as ‘The Louvre Meets East Village’ but really gives us Downton Abbey vibes. Looking out over a lush courtyard is a studio flat teeming with classy fittings and décor, from the paintings on the walls down to the light fittings and curtains. Properly posh, innit?

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