With real estate values continually spiraling upward, cheap sleeps are not readily available in New York City. An “inexpensive” room costs $100–150 per night, while a moderately priced one, with “nothing special” rooms, costs $150–250. The average hotel room now runs over $300 per night.
Areas in which to look for relatively inexpensive rooms include: lower Midtown between 23rd and 34th Streets near 5th Avenue, the Theater District in Midtown, and the Upper West Side. B&Bs and hostels can also be a good option.
At the other end of the economic scale, New York is a glittering wonderland, home to some of the world’s grandest hotels. The Plaza, Pierre, Four Seasons, and St. Regis are among the reigning monarchs. Even if you can’t afford to stay in these elegant hostelries—and at $400–700 a night, who can?—they’re well worth stepping into for afternoon tea, a drink, or just a look-see.
NYC & Company (800/NYC-VISIT, www.nycgo.com), the city’s official convention and visitors’ bureau, publishes free booklets listing about 150 hotels. NYC & Co. also sponsors a Visitors Hotel Hotline (212/582-3352), which matches visitors with hotels of all price ranges during the summer and Christmas seasons.
Another option is to use a booking service. These companies buy large blocks of rooms at a discount and pass on the savings to consumers. Among the best of these companies are Quikbook (800/789-9887), Express Hotel Reservations (800/407-3351), Accommodations Express (800/444-7666), and Central Reservation Service (800/555-7555).
The hostelries below are split into lower, mid, and upper Manhattan, listed with the less expensive places first. Prices quoted are generally for the high season. Keep in mind that in addition to the room rate, you’ll also have to pay a hefty hotel tax of 13.25 percent.
Though not necessarily cheaper than an inexpensive or moderately priced hotel, a B&B can be a good, friendly alternative. Some New York City B&Bs are the traditional kind—a room or two in a host’s home. Others are entire apartments that you’ll have completely to yourself. Rooms usually run $110–175/night, apartments $160–300/night, and minimum stays of two or three nights are often required. Among the B&B registries operating in New York City are:
- Bed and Breakfast Network of New York
- City Lights Bed & Breakfast
For longer stays, check out New York Habitat (212/352-8018, www.nyhabitat.com), which offers furnished apartment sublets in all prices and locations throughout the city.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition