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Well, hotels obviously. But then I’m biased. Thing is what do you do if you need to stay away for a longer period, with the whole family when you’re going to New York? A house swap can be one answer – and the best thing about our recent spell in Brooklyn was that it meant we could splash out on a few nights at some really gorgeous new hotels in Manhattan while we were away. Also we got to enjoy a couple of dirty weekends away within a trip, so it was the perfect combo.

Here’s my piece on our house swap experience in the Observer newspaper: it flags up that doing a trade isn’t headache-free necessarily. Limited mod cons in our case, someone else’s clutter and a bedroom where people on the sidewalk can see you, plus ineffective aircon meant we were always clammy and eternally ravaged by bug bites. But hey – it was one for the anecdote bank. And the people who lent us their home were super-nice.

We were just thrilled that we started our stay with a couple of days at the Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa and then halfway through escaped to the soothing luxury and fantastic Lower East Side setting of the Bowery. I don’t think we’d have survived the whole five weeks without a hit of sharp what-you-want-when-you-want service, daily housekeeping and perfect-temperature bedroom in That Heat. There’s a reason hotels charge – and sometimes you kind of wish you’d paid.

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  • It’s interesting that you mention home swap, particularly for cities like NYC as I have recently moved into renting apartments there through sites like, and Like you, I way prefer a hotel but the skyrocketing prices in NYC make it difficult for the average person to afford them, especially for long periods of time. These site’s are easy to use and offer an interesting alternative. Trust me, I wish I could spend five weeks at The Bowery but sadly, it is not in the cards! Love that place….

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  • I think it really depends on how much time you are going to be spending on vacation. If it is going to be more than a few days I think staying at a house might be an option to consider. It is just something to factor in and decide what you feel is going to be the best for you and your family. It is great that there are so many options.