Best reasonable hotel in Manhattan?
May 6, 2019 3:59 PM   Subscribe

After decades of having family & friends slowly leave Manhattan, I find myself planning a trip to NYC and, for the first time ever, needing to find a hotel. Recommendations needed, please.

Will be there for a few days in the fall, hoping not to spend a complete fortune. Would prefer an actual hotel rather than an AirBnB (or convince me otherwise).

Looking for:
-- A reasonable distance or easy access to both Grand Central and Penn Station, since we have two day trips that will involve trains.
-- In Manhattan only.
-- Tiny room is totally fine.
-- Will gladly give up all sorts of amenities for some place that is clean, well-kept and reasonably priced. Don't care if there's a restaurant, spa, room service, etc.
posted by BlahLaLa to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (24 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Google Hotels and Kayak both have pretty nice map searches. If price is the most important, there's rarely one hotel that's the cheapest all the time, so I just sort by price and read the reviews. There's like 500 hotels in Manhattan, so there are a lot to choose from.
posted by wnissen at 4:30 PM on May 6, 2019

Best answer: I've had very good luck with Hotel Tonight for hotels in Manhattan. We liked the Freehand in the Flatiron and the Ace as well. I think we got both for about $150 a night -- and you don't have to wait until the day of to book, they let you book in advance now.
posted by fancypants at 4:31 PM on May 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: The Jewel near Rockefeller Center is one of my favorites, and some of the rooms have balconies.

Luma by Bryant Park is really nice, but it can be a little pricey depending on the season.

Have also had good stays at Avalon Hotel, Casa Hotel 45th St, and the Fairfield Inn that's close to Penn Station.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:45 PM on May 6, 2019

I'm super fond of the Jane. It's a pod hotel (aka shared bathrooms) that's got this decaying classic train station vibe in Chelsea. It's one train away from Penn, it's a bit more finicky with Grand Central but not terrible, like 25 min away.
posted by peppercorn at 4:47 PM on May 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Last year I got a room at the Hilton Garden Inn on 8th Ave (at 48th/49th) for $109 - I didn't question it, but doubt I will ever see a rate like that again in Midtown. In any case, it's a good location and was comfortable, clean and quiet, and the staff was very nice when I asked them to look for an item I thought I'd left behind.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:49 PM on May 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Love these recs so far. Shared bathrooms is probably one step too far for me, though. Minuscule ensuite is fine.
posted by BlahLaLa at 4:59 PM on May 6, 2019

Keep an eye out for deals with Travelocity or your other favorite travel site--I got a fantastic deal on a room at the Iroquois Hotel for about $150/night a couple of years ago. Hotel was great.
posted by TwoStride at 5:27 PM on May 6, 2019

Best answer: I've stayed at the Pod 39 and it was: tiny, clean, well-kept and reasonably priced (and kind of a genius use of space). I believe all rooms are en suite (mine was, and I would have booked the presumably cheaper shared bathroom if it existed). It's walking distance to both Penn Station and Grand Central (though considerably closer to Grand Central). You can probably get a bigger room for the same money if you look around, but if you just want to book something, that's a decent option.

There are a number of your standard chain hotels near Herald Square that I expect are all acceptable if you happen to find a good price.
posted by hoyland at 5:42 PM on May 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If your trip is on a weekend, I’ve paid $150 at the Doubletree at 51st and Lexington. (I think the trick here is that that’s more of a business part of town - I first found this hotel on a work trip, and it was considerably more expensive during the week.) A few blocks uptown from Grand Central, and a few stops on the E train to Penn Station. Actually has a small restaurant and room service, so you can surely do better if you don’t care about that.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:59 PM on May 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

A brief case for Airbnb: it's often possible to find a nicer (larger, more comfortable) space for less money. I usually stay in Brooklyn, but here's a random cozy studio for $175 in Chelsea. Here's a 1-bed for $158. I stayed in a really charming place in the West Village for less a few months ago.
posted by pinochiette at 6:17 PM on May 6, 2019

Best answer: My go to recommendations are The Roosevelt and Hilton Garden Inn on 35th. Roosevelt has a bit more personality but both do the job at a reasonable rate if you dont book last minute. I've stayed at both multiple times when covering NYFW, and no complaints at all.
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:23 PM on May 6, 2019

Please don’t rent an entire apartment on AirBnB in New York. It’s making housing affordability even worse, and it’s illegal.

That said, the Jane is pretty great and they do have non shared bathrooms for a bit more money. Worth a look.
posted by Automocar at 6:45 PM on May 6, 2019 [12 favorites]

Friends liked Hotel Mulberry in chinatown
posted by lalochezia at 6:56 PM on May 6, 2019

Yes, stayed at Hotel Mulberry once and it met my minimum standards for clean, safe and quiet. It is a bit far downtown in general and far from the subway (I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who has walking trouble), but otherwise nice.
posted by huimangm at 7:54 PM on May 6, 2019

Best answer: I loved Citizen M when I got a great deal on HotelTonight.
posted by honey-barbara at 8:41 PM on May 6, 2019

nb a Jane hotel employee was using a master key to sneak into rooms and rape women so I don't recommend that hotel to anyone anymore.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:51 PM on May 6, 2019

Best answer: The Lex on Lexington is clean, modern, friendly, well located, and reasonably priced:
posted by rumbles at 10:09 PM on May 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I always try to stay at Seafarers International guesthouse on E 15th if I have enough notice; spare and simple rooms (like, really spare, linoleum floors and a bare bulb over the sink/mirror) but amazingly well-priced for Manhattan, in a perfect location, and most important to me, sparkling clean with no pests.
posted by stellaluna at 11:08 PM on May 6, 2019

Best answer: I stayed at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Chelsea for a few nights in January and I would stay again. The room was small, but it was clean, quiet, and comfortable at a reasonable price. It's close to Penn Station and has free breakfast which wasn't half-bad. I booked on and there is usually some kind of coupon you can use for 5-10% off.
posted by sevenofspades at 11:16 PM on May 6, 2019

Check the price at the Aloft near the WTC site. It's fine and on the cheaper side. Also, just for comparison, the Westin in Jersey City, NJ is nice, cheap(er), and is immediately across the river and next to the PATH train into the city.
posted by Mid at 5:34 AM on May 7, 2019

I like Hotel 309 near the Whitney. They are mostly shared bathrooms but do have some en suite. Also, Bronx the kitty is always on call.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:39 AM on May 7, 2019

Best answer: CitizenM is my current favorite Manhattan place to stay, if you happen to be able to get a good rate. Just checked out this morning and I'm missing my cozy little nest pod already.
posted by Stacey at 6:49 AM on May 7, 2019

I came to second the Jane Hotel. Some rooms do have bathrooms en suite, but the really cheap rooms are like little ship cabins. I stay there whenever I'm in the city for work, and its location is pretty great (and near enough to the High Line to make it an easy excursion).
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 9:17 AM on May 7, 2019

Best answer: I got the Hampton Inn Manhattan-Chelsea (6th and W24th) for $119-$179/night for a few nights earlier this year. It's in the area you need. I mean, it's a Hampton Inn so there's nothing special, but it was clean, the price was right and it even included breakfast. I've stayed at the Jane too, and it was fine. The bathrooms are clean and they aren't far from the rooms. The location is great and the restaurant downstairs is ok.
posted by Cuke at 2:54 PM on May 7, 2019

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