Hotels in New York and Austin?
January 18, 2005 2:59 PM   Subscribe

I'm coming over to the US for a week in early April. I'm looking for cheap, good quality & reasonably accessible hotels in both New York and Austin, Texas. How much should I be looking to spend? Any recommendations?

By hotel, I mean anywhere that has a clean bed, a cockroach free shower and (hopefully) a kettle. And nearer the time I'll be trying to do that whole "lets have a meetup" thing, but one thing at a time.
posted by seanyboy to Travel & Transportation (19 answers total)
For New York - try the Gershwin. It's clean and even has a bit of funky charm. There isn't much right around there - but you are closish to a lot. I've never been to Austin so I can't help you there - but I wouldn't get your hopes up for a kettle in either city. Tea/a kettle is just not part of American culture. In a cheap hotel - you'll be lucky to find a coffee pot in your room.
posted by Wolfie at 3:10 PM on January 18, 2005

I suggest you use Priceline, using Bidding for Travel to help you pick bid amounts. Looking at the Austin Hotel List, most of the 2* hotels they have listed that I know of seem good enough, except that some of them are in dodgy areas (but not THAT dodgy). Of course there are other 2* hotels there I've never heard of, and who knows how good those are.

It seems like people have been getting 3* and 4* hotels downtown in Austin for $50 or so. Being downtown would be really nice because you can actually walk interesting places. Everywhere else you would need a car, really. I stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown through Hotwire. Just an ordinary Holiday Inn but it backs up to the Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail. It sure impressed my girlfriend at the time.

I have used Priceline twice and have been very happy. Be aware, however, that they stick to their terms and conditions, which means your room is not refundable for any reason.
posted by grouse at 3:23 PM on January 18, 2005

expedia's having a nyc hotel sale from $79 (the Hayden is well-place, and 79 is like nothing in pounds), and let me know when--we'll go out, and have a meetup : >
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on January 18, 2005

expedia's having a nyc hotel sale from $79 (the Hayden is well-placed, and 79 is like nothing in pounds), and let me know when--we'll go out, and have a meetup : >
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on January 18, 2005

posted by amberglow at 3:36 PM on January 18, 2005

In Austin, there are several good places. I was going to give you specific links, but if you go to SXSW Baby you can find a ton of information about hotels in Austin. Since you're going to be there after SXSW you will get a much better rate.

Personally, I like the Omni downtown. Good bar, nice rooms, a little more spendy than some of the places but quite reliable. The Austin Hotel on S. Congress ave is also kinda cool. Some call it the Penis Hotel. If you see the sign, you'll know why.
posted by TeamBilly at 3:48 PM on January 18, 2005

"We love New York! Enjoy rates from $79 per night for stays between January 3 and March 1. Book today and save!"

Sounds like you'll miss the sale if you come in early April. Check out Craigslist, you may be able to rent someone's apt. for a week, which'll probably be cheaper and nicer. Post in the housing wanted section or look around the temporary housing post.
posted by Edible Energy at 3:51 PM on January 18, 2005

well, you could try any of these too
posted by amberglow at 4:00 PM on January 18, 2005

For Austin, do you prefer staying near a party and lots of music type of atmosphere, a quiet and with nature type of atmosphere, or a mixture? grouse's suggestion is a good mixture of the two. The Omni is more like the first... close to 6th street, though a far walk to the Warehouse District. And so is Hotel San Jose on South Congress next to the Continental Club. There are also some hotels on the lakes and in the hills.
posted by quam at 5:04 PM on January 18, 2005

Will you have a car? When we want a cheaper stay near downtown Austin, we stay at the Extended Stay America (formerly Wellesley Inn) Town Lake. It's usually $59-69 (more expensive to get lake view rooms), and has a kitchenette. It's a 5 minute drive to downtown, but as a walk it's fairly long (though it is a walk along the lake).
posted by Lyn Never at 5:20 PM on January 18, 2005

For location and Austin "weirdness", the Austin Motel mentioned above is a good choice. It's close to downtown, on South Congress which itself is a destination now. If you feel like spending more for a nicer room in the same area the San Jose (also mentioned above) is very nice if you can afford it.

I like the suggestion of the Holiday Inn on Town Lake (again mentioned above) - great localtion.

For cheaper digs there is the Studio 6 Midtown. It's in a boring part of town, but it's a 5 minute cab ride to downtown. It comes with a kitchenette, and is only 5 bucks more than a regular Motel 6 (about 40 bucks a night).
posted by kongg at 5:23 PM on January 18, 2005

I live in an apartment in NYC in which we frequently have out of town guests. With enough notice, you could probably stay here for free, depending on how long your sojourn was. Email me if you want.
posted by bingo at 6:32 PM on January 18, 2005

I can vouch for Hotel San Jose. I recommend marrying a beautiful woman and spending the first night of your honeymoon there, then going back once a year, with champagne and the beautiful woman.
posted by WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot at 8:44 PM on January 18, 2005

For cheaper stuff near downtown Austin, also consider:

Days Inn University ("Free High Speed Internet" + a pretty swinging 24 hour cafe)

Super 8 Central
posted by kongg at 9:26 PM on January 18, 2005

You didn't ask, but....

When you go to Austin, make sure to go to Curra's and have the Kahlua Flan for dessert.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:27 PM on January 18, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks all. Actually Austin doesn't need to be as cheap. The guy I'm coming over with (who has a smaller budget than me) has digs arranged in Austin. It's unlikely I'll get a car as I haven't driven in over a year, I fear the automatic gearbox & you put your steering wheels on the wrong side of the goddamn car. Somewhere downtown with prices less than $80 would be perfect.

Bingo... I'l probably take you up on that offer. Otherwise, I'm looking for personal recommendations. I don't rally have a good price-point to start with in New York, so ideas of what I should be paying would be nice. Is $99 cheap for hotels in New York?

I will, of course, be asking for cool places to drink, eat and play nearer the time.
posted by seanyboy at 12:45 AM on January 19, 2005

The Gershwin is good on price and you're not going to spend too much time in your room are you ;-) [I shared an 8-person dorm for $22/night in '87], but $79 for a hotel is very good for NYC.

I'd stay with bing tho'. He wears a suit to the pub so you know he's a class act ;-)
posted by i_cola at 3:16 AM on January 19, 2005

Despite it's Town Lake locale, avoid the Wellesley Inn in Austin at all costs. I refer to it as a crackwhore dive; I was moved twice and all three rooms they gave me had an infestation of tiny tiny ants in the bathrooms, and everything seemed slightly sticky. It's supposedly a 2.5 star hotel according to Priceline (and the fact that I used Priceline was the only reason why I stayed, I hadn't budgeted paying for another hotel room on that trip) but it's just sleazy.
posted by Dreama at 10:25 AM on January 19, 2005

Priceline assigns star ratings based on the amenities a hotel has. It has zip to do with their quality. (Except that in my experience a hotel that has a concierge, a pool, exercise facilities, laundry service, etc. will be run better usually.)
posted by grouse at 3:03 AM on January 22, 2005

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