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Would you spend $1,999 a night to camp out in New York City?

June 04, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • This is camping? The outdoor experience at AKA Central Park goes for $1,999 a night this summer.
This is camping? The outdoor experience at AKA Central Park goes for $1,999… (AKA )

Camping is supposed to involve tents, sleeping bags and lots of dirt, but not so at one Manhattan luxury hotel.

For the second year, AKA Central Park [(888) 381-4488] offers what it calls a "five-star camping experience" on the wraparound terrace of its 17th-floor penthouse suite at 42 W. 58th St.

This uber-urbanized campout comes with a queen-sized bed, vodka cocktails, gourmet s'mores at midnight, flashlight and camping lantern (how quaint!), a telescope for stargazing and a Nook e-reader loaded with campfire stories. The truly bored can click on a 42-inch plasma screen TV.

Last year there were three bookings for the outdoor penthouse experience at the higher price of $3,000 a night. This year's offer is good now through Labor Day.

So where can you really rough it in the Big Apple?

Former airport-turned-parkland Floyd Bennett Field [(718) 338-3799] in Brooklyn is part of 26,000-acre Gateway National Recreation Area that stretches over three boroughs and into New Jersey. It's close to Manhattan and charges $20 a night for tent or RV campers (Make reservations at Recreation.gov.)

And Urban Park Rangers sponsors free overnight camping in some of the city's most public parks during the summer. Spaces are available lottery style 24-hours before the event.

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