Homes Away From Home

Where to stay to make your business trip a pleasure trip.

By Ryan Terry

Rental-by-owner websites like Airbnb and VRBO have exploded onto the hospitality market, offering wow-worthy alternatives to the typical hotel experience.

These properties in some of the country’s frequently traveled cities boast impressive luxury and an experience that’s worlds away from your usual hotel stay.

New York City

Central Park West Penthouse
airbnb.com, from $1,500/night
Listing number: 20773181

Located near the corner of West 61st Street and Central Park West, this five-bedroom, 5 1/2-bath penthouse offers views of the world-famous Central Park and the skyline of the Upper East Side. Among the amenities are a library with built-in bookshelves, a fully stocked chef’s kitchen, dual spa baths and a sauna. A winding staircase leads to the second level of the penthouse, where the master bedroom boasts its own view of the park through floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Carriage House
airbnb.com, from $1,100/night
Listing number: 16465236

This carriage house, built in 1826, is located in Greenwich Village, just blocks away from Washington Square Park. The 1,800-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath home still has its original brick walls and working fireplace, but its amenities are very much 21st century, from heated floors to a kitchen decked out with modern appliances. A custom hardwood staircase leads to the second-story mezzanine, while a second staircase leads from the great room to a private garden, adorned with eclectic greenery. The bedroom is outfitted with a California King bed, a luxurious tub, and a large steam shower.

Los Angeles

Sunset Strip View Property
airbnb.com, from $1,000/night
Listing number: 13168316

Perched atop West Hollywood Hills, this three-story mansion features panoramic views of Sunset Strip on each floor. The three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath home is decidedly modern from the decor to the architecture. Its master suite hosts a king bed overlooking the city. The kitchen sports mostly high-end appliances by Miele and Gaggenau, along with an espresso machine.

Steve McQueen Hollywood Home
airbnb.com, from $1,295/night
Listing number: 14613430

This sprawling estate, designed for actor Steve McQueen, features contemporary decor and an elegant post and beam design. The house is flooded with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows that give visitors a 360-degree view of downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood Hills. There is also a sleek swimming pool, an outdoor dining area, and plenty of comfortable seating where you can soak up the SoCal weather. Four bedrooms share a part of the spectacular view — three of them have their own en suite bathroom, and one has its own private patio. The master suite features a king-sized bed and a gas fireplace, and in the spa-style master bathroom, you’ll find an open shower area and a luxurious tub with its own panoramic window.

Chicago

Gold Coast Mansion
airbnb.com, from $1,900/night
Listing number: 21041689

No need to take the stairs in this three-story mansion; take the glass elevator that runs through the home. The area surrounding the elevator on each floor is outfitted with turf on the ground and ivy along the walls, giving it an outdoorsy feel. With five bedrooms and three living areas, this spacious estate can host up to 10 guests. The top floor is home to the master bedroom, which boasts a king-sized bed and views of the city. The home also includes a four-car garage, a sauna room, and a wine cellar.

Sunlit Loft
vrbo.com, from $1,171/night
Listing number: 603477

This Chicago loft boasts 26-foot timber ceilings and a massive main room, which holds the kitchen, dining area, living area, a bar, and even some extra open space. A giant decorative disco ball hangs from the ceiling near the fully stocked kitchen, and between the kitchen and living area is a full-sized bar. An old brick smokestack serves as the spiraling staircase that leads to the master suite, which features a king-sized bed and a sofa. Finish a hectic day with a drink on the private rooftop patio.

Houston Montrose Home
airnbnb.com, from $1,400/night
Listing number: 16924877

The iconic Houston skyline can be seen from the third-floor terrace of this Texas home. Inside, you’ll still get plenty of sunshine through the abundance of windows that line the ample living areas of the house. The ground floor is home to a contemporary kitchen that makes way to an elegant dining room on one side and a comfortable living room on the other. The second floor has two outdoor balconies (yes, two), and the third floor features a game room.

Home near NRG Stadium
vrbo.com, from $6,000/night
Listing number: 997924

Built just over a year ago, this two-story home is just 2.8 miles from NRG Stadium, in case you make it to town during rodeo or football season. The five bedrooms of this home each have a private bathroom — the master has a standalone bathtub and large walk-in shower. The living room looks out into the backyard and patio, with both an outdoor lounge area and dining space. And, adjacent to the entrance is a grand piano.

Denver

Cherry Creek Home
vrbo.com, from $800/night
Listing number: 4457924

Art is everywhere in this four-bedroom, six-bath Denver home, from the sculpture of a deer’s head in the living room to decorative masks in the master bedroom. There’s also plenty of outdoor space — the front patio and interior courtyard both feature fire pits. Indoors, a beautiful sitting room features a baby grand piano and sectional sofa around a fireplace. The large kitchen is sleek and modern, fully equipped with two ovens, a microwave and stoves.

Downtown Luxury Loft
airbnb.com, from $850/night
Listing number: 7228382

Just blocks away from Coors Field, this ballpark district loft in downtown Denver feels like a luxurious bachelor pad, loaded with billiards, foosball, and an XBOX in the main room. A large cabinet holds two foldaway beds that conveniently retract when not being used. Exposed brick lines the walls of the loft, and visible ductwork adorns the ceiling. Both an outdoor balcony and rooftop deck offer views of downtown.