Non-traditional urban accommodation providers are appealing to travellers in Austria and New York.

In New York, guests at luxury hotels are paying top dollar to sleep outdoors.

And in Vienna, tourists can pay to become locals.

Three Austrian architects are making their mark on the hotel industry by giving travellers the opportunity to "reside" in studio rooms scattered about the 4th District.

Urbanauts is a cross between couchsurfing and a hotel stay, without small talk between strangers and dealings with reception staff.


Co-founder Theresia Kohlmayr says: "We want to transport the feeling that our guests are travelling with friends."

The studios are inconspicuous, as they are former galleries, artists' spaces and tailor shops, and therefore the facades blend into the cityscape. They have trendy bathrooms, free-standing clothes racks, laptop desks with internet and Wi-Fi, free minibars, and king-size beds.

Guests are also given bicycles for their stay if they wish to explore the city on two wheels, and a map that highlights great cafes, and a nearby day spa is provided.

In New York, wealthy visitors are getting a high-end urban glamping experience as hotels give guests an outdoor bed with the added luxuries of five-star service during summer.

At AKA Central Park, guests can cosy up on a queen-size bed in front of a wood-burning fire on the private terrace of a penthouse suite.

At 17 storeys up, the wraparound terrace gives 360-degree views of the city. There's even an e-reader loaded with campfire stories.

In Midtown Manhattan, the Hyatt 48 Lex has outfitted its studio and penthouse suites with top-of-the-line airbeds, with quality linens, pillows, extra blankets, and a canvas backpack of picnic essentials, including wine and antipasti.

And at Affinia Gardens, in the Upper East Side, families looking to introduce their children to the concept of camping can book an a la carte terrace menu when staying in a first-floor private garden terrace suite, which includes tents and flashlights, a s'more-making kit, and picnic lunch or breakfast.

Now that's roughing it.