Thursday, July 28, 2011

There's 'room' for all of us. An investigation into accommodation choices in NYC

Country Inn the City was founded in 1991 by live-in owners Fergus O'Brien and Larry Turk. We have since been featured in most major travel publications around the world, including The New York Times, Frommers, National Geographic Traveler, USA Today, Virgin Travel Guides, 50 to 100 best Wonderful Little Hotels in New York, Lonely Planet, Time Out NY, and Louis Vuitton to name a few.  We are also proud to have been featured on 'Jane's New York' on NBC, a hotel special on New York City, 2005.

Our goal is to provide the best of both worlds: that is to say reasonably priced high quality accommodations in a neighborhood that feels more native than tourist, and yet not so far away as to render your stay inconvenient for all that New York City has to offer. Your privacy and peace of mind is assured.

Each of our four spacious bed and breakfast suites is individually decorated with an inviting combination of antiques and contemporary details: all featuring a queen bed with a generously-sized living area, a private galley kitchenette, and bathroom.

Some might say because of our relatively low price point and spacious accommodations that we are competing with hotels when in fact we would rather consider ourselves another option for travelers coming to New York City. As travelers ourselves we believe in options. Sometimes one wants to enjoy the full service of a typical similar level hotel, including concierge, front desk, housekeeping etc. They may want an on site gym or a restaurant, or a fancy big lobby where they might meet other guests. These high service options can be particularly useful to first time visitors who might otherwise be overwhelmed by the unfamiliarity of a major city like New York. And other times, one might want to spend less at the cost of a reduction in services which is where bed and breakfast-like establishments such as ourselves come in.

Each establishment has its own stake in the marketplace. In our case we are located in a neighborhood (specifically in the heart of the Upper West Side) that is not your typical tourist haven such as Times Square. We aim to provide our travelers with a sense of what it might be like to exist in a part of the city in an environment that feels more like home.

Of course one of the problems we face is marketing. How does a small sized establishment like ours attract travelers who are more likely to go with a hotel? One of the ways we do this is to capitalize on our existing clientele, believing that like tends to attract like. As a result we have a huge word of mouth business and we are very grateful for it. As far as attracting large numbers of new visitors we cannot hope to compete with the huge marketing campaigns of a hotel. If an unsuspecting potential guest/s should happen to stumble upon us, following an internet search or an article, and expect us to behave as a full service hotel we would rather direct them to a hotel than have them stay with us, or if we should be full we would rather support our small segment of the industry by directing them to other like properties throughout the city.

However if a potential guest should contact us after having thoroughly investigated the myriad options out there and we deem one another to be a good match we will do everything we can to sell them on our wonderful property and from here on in assure their comfort and good graces.

In summary we are not a hotel and a hotel is not Country Inn the City, rather we are the kind of establishment that seeks to focus on the quality of the accommodation itself at relatively low cost while making what we consider, as fellow travelers, minor sacrifices to make this possible, principally by way of a reduction in services. We strongly believe that Country Inn the City is the perfect choice for those who want a little bit of everything, that is to say a high quality private accommodation that offers basic services at an attractive price.  Ultimately, the traveler has three categories to choose from, a hotel, an apartment rental, or a bed and breakfast, and what we did is take a little from each. 

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