Advice on finding a not-tiny, affordable hotel room in NYC
May 5, 2009 8:27 PM   Subscribe

Advice on finding a not-tiny, affordable hotel room in NYC

Hi. I wonder if the anyone can help with advice on finding a hotel room.

Here’s what I’m hoping to get

1) I’ll be doing some work around the financial district (a block from the NYSE). So I don’t want to be too far uptown. I guess I’m happy anywhere up to 42nd street or so… (And I guess, near a subway that’ll get me to the office quickly. But my sense is, there are subways all over that’ll do that…)

2) A given, I assume: High speed internet in the room. (Wifi is best. Free is best. But I can deal w. paid/wired if I have to).

3) Max price of $200/night

4) I’m traveling with a friend (who’s stowing away on my business trip), and since we’ll be sharing the room, I’m hoping for something not-too-tiny. A small suite would be awesome, though possibly unrealistic at our price range.

Item #4 is the question that leads me to post to the green. I haven’t been able to find any internet resources that provide much information on room sizes. I tried putting “suites” into various hotel search engines, w. mixed results. One place (Murray Hill East Suites) has an affordable price for “studio suites”, which sounds like an oxymoron to me. (What the hell is that?) Mostly, after some searching, I’m just baffled.

So…. I wonder if anyone has either:

a) ideas for strategies for finding a room that meets these criteria
b) specific suggestions for hotels to try.

Any help much appreciated!!
posted by ManInSuit to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (23 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
i went with a friend back in 2003 and found a really nice suite for about $120 a night in August (probably during the week though)... I actually think it was the Ritz Carlton or something named similar, but I just checked RC's website & they're $695 ?!?!? per night now. Ouch.

Use travelocity,,,, etc. Shouldn't take too long for you to find something moderately fancy in the $200 a night range.

Good luck.
posted by eli_d at 9:01 PM on May 5, 2009

sorry... i should've read a little more clearly towards the end. anyways -- about the sizes... Even the nice ones are going to be small in NYC... but I guess the green's experience will come into play here.
posted by eli_d at 9:03 PM on May 5, 2009

I actually think it was the Ritz Carlton or something named similar

I bet it was the Carlton Hotel, which is very nice and not quite that expensive. I stayed there in 2002 and it was a little cheaper than it is now, but it was in the middle of a remodel at the time, plus it was just post 9/11 when people weren't traveling to NY as much.

I stayed at the Belvedere a couple of years ago which meets most of the criteria except price, but a better deal might be found that what their website shows.

The Chelsea Lodge Suites may also fit your needs. I stayed at the nearby Chelsea Lodge, which is European style (toilets down the hall) and ultra-inexpensive, but my boss stayed at the Suites and they were really nice. I tried to book it for our last trip but since there are only a few suites, I failed.
posted by padraigin at 9:38 PM on May 5, 2009

Although it would be nice to be closer to where you're working, you may want to try the outer boroughs. There are a bunch of hotels in Long Island City (Queens), which is off of the 7 train, which would get you to 42nd, and it's just a quick transfer to the 4/5 to get downtown. Or you could try in downtown Brooklyn, which is the 2/3/4/5/N/R/Q, just on the other side.
posted by gchucky at 9:47 PM on May 5, 2009

My experience has been that chain hotels maintain a semblance of nationally-on-par room sizes, even in New York. I recently stayed at a huge room at the midtown Radisson for only $120/night.

Check to find cheap prices and to refine by neighbourhood, and then check for reviews that mention room size.
posted by Kololo at 9:49 PM on May 5, 2009

How long? If it's almost a week, a sublet on craigslist might be cheaper and better...
posted by Freen at 10:09 PM on May 5, 2009

Thanks for those tips!!

Freen - I'm just there for 3-4 nights. Sublet on Craiglist sounds like a good idea for a future, longer trip.
posted by ManInSuit at 10:13 PM on May 5, 2009

I'd recommend anything from Apple Core Hotels.

I stayed at their La Quinta two years ago, and The Hotel @ Times Square two months ago. Both were ~$120 for two beds, in what I thought were fairly spacious and clean rooms.
posted by davidme at 10:17 PM on May 5, 2009

Yeah... The Carlton was it. & I remember the remodel going on when I was there too around that same time. On the website rooms are closer to $300 / night now... but they've got all the square footage info there.

If I remember right... it was parking that was the killer. Prepare to add an extra $30-50 a day (even if you use the hotels parking garage), if you're driving up there.
posted by eli_d at 10:18 PM on May 5, 2009

I've never done it myself, but when friends come to town they often use Priceline, and can get serious deals (well under $200/night) for *really* nice hotels.
posted by crickets at 11:45 PM on May 5, 2009

A couple of years ago I and a group of friends had a few nights at the Broadway Plaza Hotel, in a suite. It was fine, relatively spacious (we crammed five of us in the suite, which had two queen beds and a sofa bed), fairly basic rooms, very clean, free breakfast, and they're running at around $215 a night for a suite (Wi-Fi is another $10 a day). It's very close to the subway and is in lower Midtown (27th St).
posted by essexjan at 11:54 PM on May 5, 2009

> Sublet on Craiglist sounds like a good idea for a future, longer trip.

Not necessarily. Check out the vacation rentals board. 3-4 nights is plenty.
posted by limon at 12:04 AM on May 6, 2009

You might have some luck with the Gershwin Hotel. I can't tell you what all the room sizes are like, but when I stayed there I didn't find my room particularly small.
posted by mirepoix at 1:38 AM on May 6, 2009

stayed at the Gershwin last May and the room was small. It better be a very good friend! The bathroom was about 2 feet from the second bed, the toilet about 3 ft away so getting up during the night woke everyone up. Perfect location though.
posted by kairab at 2:27 AM on May 6, 2009

I always try to stay in the Financial District when I'm in NYC, because it's my favorite neighborhood architecturally and it has excellent subway hookups for every other part of town within a 4-block radius. The hotel I like there is actually a business traveler's hotel that normally requires a company subscription, called Club Quarters. I don't have a subscription, but they occasionally put surplus rooms on the hotel consolidator websites or Expedia. The first time I stayed there I was genuinely surprised at the value-for-money of the hotel, and I've stayed in a range of hotels in NY and have a pretty good sense of the average. So, I would give a search for your dates and "club quarters" on your site of preference and see what turns up. They have some studio suites.
posted by Halle at 3:08 AM on May 6, 2009

Halle - What is a "studio suite"? I've seen this now a few times. To me, Studio means "one room", while suite means "more than one room". So what's a "studio suite"?
posted by ManInSuit at 6:51 AM on May 6, 2009

One room with kitchenette?
posted by rikschell at 7:37 AM on May 6, 2009

One room with more than the usual amount of furniture -- like a distinct seating area with a couch kind of thing, I think.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:38 AM on May 6, 2009

ask around to see if any new york friends or coworkers belong to clubs. the university club, athletic club, or any of the collegiate clubs. rooms are very reasonable there, if you can find a member who will coordinate obtaining a room for you.
posted by slateyness at 8:26 AM on May 6, 2009

The Pod Hotel might be worth a look. Even thought it's on 51st, it's affordable and you can take the 4,5 from Grand Central 3 stops to Fulton St. Or the 6 many more stops than that directly from 51st itself. I live on the block with the hotel, it has a hidden privately-owned open-to-the-public park and a very cool restaurant/bar scene. The in hotel restaurant is my favorite place for a late night snack. Sadly the rooms might be too small.
posted by teabag at 8:50 AM on May 6, 2009

Thanks for all this super-good advice. My $600 cap is firm (a client is paying)- a lot of the suggestions were a little over that, so no good. I took Kololo's advice, and did broad searches on Kayak (and and priceline), and then looked on tripadvisor to see what people said.

The tricky part, of course, is that most hotels have lots of kinds of rooms, and lots of the search engines focus on giving you the Cheapest Possible Room at a given hotel.

Some things I learned:

- *Lots* of rooms in hotels in NYC have only one bed, and getting a room with two beds (even a small room with two beds) costs more just about everywhere. (This has not been my experience in other cities).

- Rooms with two beds for under $200 are not so easy to find.

In the end, I booked at Hotel 91. It's pretty no-frills I think, but the location (Chinatown/LES) works really well for me. And I got their two-queen-bed "Superior Room" for $159/night plus taxes....
posted by ManInSuit at 8:09 PM on May 7, 2009

Halle - What is a "studio suite"? I've seen this now a few times. To me, Studio means "one room", while suite means "more than one room". So what's a "studio suite"?

Oh, I'm sorry I didn't see this when you wrote it. In my experience, a studio suite is usually just a particularly large and somewhat more livable room, sometimes with apartment-like amenities (like a microwave or food-prep area, or alcove-like areas that give a sense of space or separation from the main area). They could just call it a large room, but the hotel industry is that wonderful overlap of the travel and real estate industry so jargon is always preferable. Think of it this way: a studio apartment is often very small, but if a NYC hotel room were that same size it would be an unusually big hotel room.
posted by Halle at 6:29 AM on May 11, 2009

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