Owners Can't Overstay Welcome at Trendy Condo Hotels


    Ted Landphair

    You know what a hotel is, of course. And perhaps, a condominium - a residential building divided into separate units that are owned by different people.

    The Plaza Hotel in New York sells trendy condo units, but owners can stay there no more than 120 days a year.
    The Plaza Hotel in New York sells trendy condo units, but owners can stay there no more than 120 days a year.

    What you may not know is that in some U.S. cities, the two have come together into something called a "condo hotel."

    Several can now be found in beach and mountain resort towns and a few modest-sized cities.

    However, none is more famous than the legendary, 105-year-old Plaza Hotel in New York, on glitzy Fifth Avenue across from Central Park.

    The Plaza closed for renovation in 2005. When it reopened two years later, more than half of it had been transformed into one of these trendy condo hotels. The posh and historic Hotel Del Coronado, on the Pacific Ocean near San Diego, California, did much the same thing.

    Here's how it works: You buy - not rent - what amounts to an apartment or suite. If it's at The Plaza, it will cost you between $1.5 million and $9 million.  

    But hey, New York's expensive, right?

    So you own a piece of a landmark. But there's a catch. You may stay there no more than 120 days a year.

    The rest of the time, the hotel's reservation folks can book guests into your place, just as they would in the regular hotel’s rooms. They lock anything of yours that’s priceless or personal in a closet when others are staying there.

    The famous Hotel Del Coronado near San Diego has picked up on the condo hotel idea.
    The famous Hotel Del Coronado near San Diego has picked up on the condo hotel idea.

    The good news for you is that whatever Mr. Conklin from Cleveland and Ms. Dow from Denver pay to stay in your suite - and presumably it would be a top rate for such nice accommodations - goes to you, minus housekeeping charges and a management fee.  

    So if you're lucky - and rich -you can now live in really special quarters up to one-third of the year, while others pay off your mortgage the rest of the year.

    You cannot furnish it with your grandfather’s rocking chair, iridescent paintings of elephants, or your beer-can collection, though - or anything else that might turn off paying guests.

    The hotel picks the furnishings and the bath towels.

    So far, according to the USA Today newspaper, a great many of the nation’s condo-hotel units have been purchased not by rich individuals but by richer corporations, including foreign ones, that want a nice place for their executives to stay when they’re in town or working late at the office.

    This forum has been closed.
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.