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Woman Finds Window of Hotel Room Opens Directly Into Operating Restaurant

Tourist Desiree Baker shared her bizarre experience at Cassa Times Square on TikTok

A diptych: On the left a screenshot from a TikTok video of a woman’s hand opening a window into a restaurant decorated with Christmas lights; on the right, the other side of the window, open with a person in a baseball cap waving from a hotel room. TikTok | @desireerosebaker
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

One of the best parts of eating in a restaurant is eavesdropping on dates. You may like to think you’re better than that, but you’re not, because the second you sense the tension in the voice of someone two tables away, it’s next to impossible to ignore. Now, what if you had a one-way mirror and could watch random people chat over dinner for hours, them none the wiser? And what if the mirror opened and you could take something directly off their table and eat it for yourself? One TikTok user experienced that exactly when she discovered the window of her Airbnb rental at a Manhattan hotel opened directly into a fully operating restaurant.

Desiree Baker (@desireerosebaker) posted on December 20 about arriving at Cassa Times Square, where she was expecting a room with skyline views of Manhattan, as advertised in the listing’s photos. Instead, she says, “I pull up the shades, there’s no buildings. We’re in a restaurant.” Showing and not just telling, she pulls up the room’s blackout curtains, revealing a couple enjoying a dinner directly in front of her window, though they seemingly have no idea she’s there because the windows were set up like one-way mirrors.

In follow up videos, Baker is contacted by one of the diners she filmed dining directly outside her room, and went to visit the restaurant, Tempura NYC, to tap on her room’s window, which her friend then opened. The restaurant’s staff even gave her shots of tequila — in glasses she was able to return by passing them back through the window and placing them directly on the table.


Now back to my side and rating peoples conversations

♬ original sound - Desiree Baker

Baker attempted to contact her hosts via Airbnb and allegedly received the following message:

Hi Desiree, apologies for taken [sic] some time to replay [sic] you, actually we were going to cancel your reservation as we had some room issues, however we managed to be able to host you.

I believe everything went and is going well during your stay and glad to know we were able to host you this time of year.

best wishes

After seeing the TikTok, Airbnb contacted Baker and gave her a credit.

Looking at photos of Cassa Times Square and Tempura NY, it appears that the hotel built out the restaurant on an outdoor patio space. Looking at interiors of the restaurant, the window to Baker’s room appears to be right in the corner of the dining room.

While I understand what the issue is, I also don’t, because this room sounds amazing. Posting up in my hotel room with some wine and listening to strangers trying to relate to each other over midtown tuna rolls? What else could you possibly want out of a vacation to New York?