I just rented this South Philadelphia rooftop tent on Airbnb



A sneak peek at one of the city’s most unique Airbnbs.

The Airbnb tent on a rooftop in South Philadelphia (photo by Victor Fiorillo)

I’m a huge Airbnbs and VRBO fan, and have stayed in everything from a chic penthouse with private pool in the Middle East to a tiny cottage on a blazing beach in Malaysia to an eco-friendly suite with a compost toilets in the Andes. So when I heard about an Airbnb rooftop tent in South Philly, naturally I must have visited it.

The South Philly Airbnb rooftop tent debuted this summer near 20th and Mifflin streets in Point Breeze. I rented it on Friday for one night. The original price of $ 49 listed on Airbnb literally doubled (well, “literally” minus 46 cents, so $ 97.54) once they added the $ 25 cleaning fee, $ 10.45 service charge, and $ 13.09 in these “taxes and occupancy charges”. But it’s still one of the cheapest Philadelphia Airbnbs.

The process that takes place after Airbnb confirms the reservation is as unique as the property itself.

Once you’ve received that Airbnb confirmation email, the real estate company behind Airbnb (they also have tentless Airbnbs in the area) will send you an external registration form that you need to fill out before letting you in. I have never seen this in any of the other places I have stayed.

The registration form requires you to upload a state photo ID. They also require photo ID for all daytime guests, who are allowed in until 10 p.m., and all overnight guests (a maximum, for an additional $ 25.) Then there’s fingerprints. Yes, fingerprints. The host scans your fingerprints once you are there because they have chosen to use the fingerprints on their smart lock as opposed to a standard door code. (I actually sidestepped this requirement because the host was unexpectedly unavailable and sent me a one-time door code.) Hella strict.

You can also request additional services on the registration form. For example, there is a washable and folded laundry service for $ 3.99 a pound. They will also rent you an official residential parking permit for the neighborhood (the price varies from $ 10 to $ 15 per day, depending on the number of days), which does not guarantee you a parking spot in the densely populated area but you allows bypassing the two hour parking limit.

But enough about the unusual foreplay. Let’s go to the tent.

Once you arrive at the address given, you go through the front door and go up a flight of stairs. Through another door you will find the roof and the tent. If you think this is a tent on a three story roof, it is not at all. The tent sits on a one-story section of the roof. But even though it’s low, you still have a view of some of the tallest buildings in the city center, as seen here:

a view of the Philadelphia rooftops from the tent

The Philadelphia skyline, view (zoom in) from the Airbnb rooftop tent in South Philly (photo by Victor Fiorillo)

And here’s a view of the street below:

a view of the street below from the Airbnb tent on a rooftop in South Philly

(photo by Victor Fiorillo)

The tent is not a pop-up that you will get at Walmart. This is a sturdy canvas tent made by White duck. Inside you will find a fairly comfortable double bed, a bath towel (there is a shared bathroom with a marble shower inside the house), an upholstered armchair, two camping chairs, a lighter, a power strip (this phone must be recharged) and a lamp heater. And yes, there is wifi.

inside the tent

Outside the tent walls there are very not much room on the astroturf covered roof to relax but, then, you can only have one guest so it’s not like you’re having a rooftop party.

This drone video will give you an aerial view:

Nice note: the host left a bag of Angie’s Boomchickapop on my pillow. Once you’ve checked in, you can also have items delivered to your “suite,” as they call it, using a QR code. Deliverables include a toothbrush and toothpaste ($ 5.99), Cracker Jacks ($ 2.99), and Vietnamese coffee ($ 5.99).

If you need food beyond Boomchickapop and Cracker Jacks, you can find Philadelphia’s best roast beef sandwiches a few blocks away at Old Original Nick’s, drinks and snacks at Second District Brewing, pizzas at Stina and breakfast sandwiches at Brunic’s Luncheonette.

When it’s time to leave in the morning, the real estate company will send you another external link to a payment form. On this form, you should verify that you have completed all of the necessary checkout tasks, including stripping the bed, using a cleaning spray, and emptying the trash. Then they ask you to tip the housekeeping staff on your credit card.

Is that a lot of roadblocks to go through just to sleep in a rooftop tent in South Philly? May be. But where else can you spend the night and say you’ve slept in a rooftop tent in South Philly?

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