By Jenna DeAngelis

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A woman visiting New York City had a bizarre experience when she looked out her hotel room window.

As CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported Thursday, the tourist’s viral video showed she didn’t get what she paid for.

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Desiree Baker started her TikTok video with photos of the room she booked on Airbnb. Then she went to check the “city view.”

“That’s a restaurant. That’s two people eating dinner,” Baker says in the clip.

“I rolled up the shades and I’m like, ‘That’s a table,’ and then I’m like, ‘That’s a restaurant! Wait, what’s going on?'” Baker told CBS2. “I shut it super quick because I’m like, ‘Can they see into us?'”

The Massachusetts resident was visiting New York with her boyfriend last weekend.

After looking out the window, she left her room at Cassa Times Square Hotel and Residences and went to the restaurant Tempura to see the view from the other side. But it was just a mirror.

Baker said the restaurant didn’t seem surprised and offered them drinks.

When Baker reached out to the Airbnb listing’s host, she said the response was delayed and unhelpful.

“I really didn’t know where to go with it. The Airbnb was in a hotel sort of thing, but there was no receptionist, there was no, it was a weird situation,” said Baker.

Baker said Airbnb reached out after seeing the viral video with a refund.

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“The hotel is under investigation,” Airbnb said in a statement to CBS2.

The hotel’s general manager sent us video of the room showing the view of city skyscrapers over the restaurant, which he said is enclosed in inclement weather. He would not answer our questions on the phone.

Baker said there needs to be transparency.

“I think it could be fair to have the rooms still be up to be rented and have the restaurant obviously keep seating that table or whatever, but you need to know what’s going on,” Baker said. “It doesn’t make you feel safe on either side.”

Consumer expert Jordan Goodman said customers need to pay attention to pricing and reviews on Airbnb.

“The other thing would be super hosts,” said Goodman. “The way you get to become a super host is by having loads of positive reviews.”

Baker said she never expected her video review to go viral. She just wanted to share the shocking experience.

“As crazy as the situation was like, what was I going to do about it? It was so bizarre we just had fun with it,” said Baker. “This would only happen in New York City.”

The video made its way to the couple that was sitting at the table outside the hotel room. They also reached out to Baker and had a good laugh.

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This story first appeared on Dec. 23, 2021. 

Jenna DeAngelis