This Hotel Will Give You Your Money Back If It Rains on Your Trip to NYC

Don't let the weather dampen your day.

Interior room at The Renwick on a sunny day

Courtesy of The Renwick

You can plan every detail of your trip, but you can't guarantee clear skies and sunshine. Now, a hotel in New York City is trying to do exactly that: promise great weather, or your money back.

The Renwick Hotel in Midtown Manhattan is offering guests a "weather guarantee" courtesy of a partnership with tech company Sensible Weather. If it rains during your stay, the hotel will reimburse you for your room when you have lousy weather. The protection, which guests pay for and book in advance, is akin to insurance for rainy weather. (On average, New York City receives 46.3 inches of rain per year. As the climate crisis persists, extreme rainfall is expected to increase.)

"Before [a guest's] bad day actually happens, we want to put money back in their pocket," says Nick Cavanaugh, the founder and CEO of Sensible Weather, in an interview with Travel + Leisure.

Here's how it works: travelers opt in for the guarantee when booking their stay, and if it is projected to rain for two hours or more between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., then their daily hotel rate is reimbursed. Even if it rains for a bit and things clear up for the rest of the day, you get your money back. Guests can't cancel their trip ahead of time because of the forecast, though. This is for those who have actually traveled to the hotel, only to get a day of their vacation ruined by the rain.

A series of screenshots showing how the Sensible Weather Guarantee works with The Renwick

Courtesy of The Renwick

Guests will receive a text message notifying them of both the bad weather and their reimbursement. This is generally before the weather event occurs since it's based on the day-of forecasts. (Cavanaugh tells T+L the forecast data comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, and NASA.)

Then, guests receive 100 percent of their nightly rate back in real-time. The payout is automatic (no paperwork or claims involved!) and guests can pick how to receive the money — PayPal, Venmo, or a statement credit to their card of choice.

A series of screenshots showing how the Sensible Weather Guarantee Refund works with The Renwick

Courtesy of The Renwick

“We're mitigating a bad day,” Cavanaugh says. "[It] changes [a guest's] attitude around what they were going to do that day. Maybe they continue on and do it with the knowledge that it's free, or maybe they change their plans and go do something else. Either way, we want to change that moment of pain."

The weather guarantee is offered year-round at The Renwick, as of March 2023. It's also available at other hotels, including several AutoCamp properties and Utah's Yonder Escalante.

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