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How would you like a downtown San Francisco apartment for $54/night? Or maybe a chic studio in the Marais in Paris for $128/night? With Roomorama, you can book apartment rentals online in 319 destinations around the world, often for far less than what you’d pay for a hotel.
The site, founded in 2009, offers a range of for-rent-by-owner properties that sleep up to 10 people. Currently there are 4,500 listings in North America, 8,000 in Europe, 3,000 in Asia (where Roomorama is rapidly expanding), and 2,500 elsewhere; the company expects to double its worldwide inventory by the end of 2011. Most apartments include the same amenities as a hotel, like Internet connection and cable TV, while also providing kitchen access or even a washer and dryer. The site certainly caters to high-end travelers, too – you can find a one bedroom in New York City’s trendy Soho neighborhood for $1,500/night – but most rentals fall in a very wallet-friendly range.
Some places require a three-night minimum stay. Although anyone can post a listing, Roomorama designates certain renters as “certified hosts” if they get a positive review from at least three stays. Roomorama charges a 12 percent fee on each booking, mainly to pay for credit card processing
The big difference between Roomorama and other vacation rental sites like VRBO or HomeAway is that Roomorama offers primarily urban-based apartments. The site also has no annual membership fee for renting out your pad, and so attracts those who only want to use the service on an occasional basis, as well as property managers with many apartments in the same city.
Roomorama’s perks program also stands out, providing benefits like day passes to a local gym, car rental memberships, and discounts on grocery delivery from Fresh Direct. www.roomorama.com
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