Cheap but decent accommodation on Manhattan
April 28, 2022 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Heading over in October and would like to stay pretty centrally on Manhattan. The mrs is really into hotels, I am open to other alternatives. Own bathroom a must, walkup a no-go due to lack of fitness.

I've not really liked the prices I've seen on your standard comparison sites, but perhaps I need to adjust my expectations. Are there clever ways to book cheaper or good discount codes I don't know?
posted by Iteki to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
What are the prices you are seeing, what specific area(s) are you looking in Manhattan, and what is your (desired) budget? Also, is this your first time in New York?

New York -- and then Manhattan in particular -- is one of the most expensive hotel markets in the US, so I suspect you'll need to adjust your expectations, but it would be very helpful if you could let us know what those expectations are.
posted by andrewesque at 12:53 PM on April 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

What's your budget, and what do you want to see?

One trick I've found useful is to stay in business districts on the weekend. Several times I stayed at the Doubletree Metropolitan (51st and Lexington) for weekend trips, paying around $150 a night - it was a $300 hotel, at least, during the week, but since it's convenient to offices more than to fun stuff it was cheaper on the weekend. (I found it on a business trip, when I wasn't the one paying.) It's also right near multiple subway lines. Sadly that particular hotel appears to be out of business right now, but I suspect the general principle holds.
posted by madcaptenor at 12:55 PM on April 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yes, we need more information to know if your expectations are out of whack, you're looking in a goofy area, etc.

One thing that I learned working for a company in the travel industry is that better prices on hotel rooms are often to be found by booking direct rather than on or whatever. However, that's a fact that's only useful once you've found a couple of hotels you're interested in and the aggregators are good for that part.
posted by hoyland at 1:09 PM on April 28, 2022

Response by poster: Sorry, yeah been to NYC a few times, stayed at Hotel Pennsylvania, Edison Hotel and at an airbnb around W95th. Those hotels (in the 2000s and 2010s) are probably minimum quality for me.

We aren't particularly sightseeing, we're just gonna fart around, go to some concerts, eat some good stuff. We are happy enough using public transport, cabs and walking, will probably get as far as Jersey for some outlet shopping otherwise probably looking at Flushing as furthest away, but prefer to base somewhere on Manhattan.

I don't have a budget, but I'd like to get as much bang for my buck as possible. I suppose I'm hoping to land around $200 a night averaged over a week stay.
posted by Iteki at 1:10 PM on April 28, 2022

I stayed at the Moxy NYC Times Square and it was literally a bed, a sink, a toilet, and a (really nice honestly) shower. I would stay there again, especially if I didn't intend to be staying in my room a lot.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:20 PM on April 28, 2022 [1 favorite]

Aside from the usual sites where you can bid your desired rate and maybe get lucky, I wouldn't say there are any clever, under the radar ways to book decent NYC hotels at cheap rates if you're looking at the main hotel district in Midtown.

My suggestions would be to include hotels in the Financial District and to expand your search outside Manhattan to areas of Brooklyn, Queens, and Jersey City that are 1-2 stops from Manhattan on the subway or PATH.
posted by theory at 1:33 PM on April 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

Because it was next to Javits and was my conference hotel, I stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in Hell's Kitchen. It was ... fine, and will probably be close to your price range. Book early because, conventions.
posted by cyndigo at 1:38 PM on April 28, 2022

Your requirements are drawing a graph with no solution space. Central manhattan is generally expensive. Less-expensive places to stay usually involve stairs. You'll have to give on something. For what are you most sensitive? Will you stay outside of central Manhattan? As someone who has become slightly crippled in old age, I would guess you're not able to compromise on staircases.

For example, I can't take the subways anymore. They're not just cheaper than cabs but USUALLY more predictable and timely than cabs or buses. But the stairs!?!
posted by tmdonahue at 2:26 PM on April 28, 2022 [3 favorites]

We have stayed at the Chelsea Savoy and found it fine and well-located.
posted by expialidocious at 2:42 PM on April 28, 2022

Do check out The Jane on Jane street in the Village. Their "Captain" rooms have a private bathroom.
posted by Melismata at 2:47 PM on April 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

You should manage this (perfectly nice hotel in Manhattan) for under $200/night without too much trouble. I just booked three nights next week in what looks like a fine, boring, clean business hotel in the Financial District for $175.

I will say, you're unlikely to get both "nice" and "under $200" in Midtown. I would expand to downtown, especially the financial district, which has hotels and transit, but is not where most tourists start their search (and is particularly cheap at the weekend). People are going to tell you to look at Brooklyn. These people have not looked for nice hotels in Brooklyn on a $200/night budget. Don't bother.

The other thing to say is October is a long way away. Many hotels will not release inventory (or start cutting prices from the generally insane sticker prices) until 3-4 months out. Wait a couple of months if you have difficulty.

Here's a Kayak search for a random week in August for under $250/night, "four stars" (whatever that means) and (more usefully IMO) user ratings > 8. Looks like that gives you 19 options (out of the 7000 places Kayak knows about).

The other site (well, app) to try is Hotel Tonight, especially if you're willing to leave things last minute, and/or you'd rather deal with a less overwhelming selection.
posted by caek at 3:01 PM on April 28, 2022 [2 favorites]

Just want to add a note about Hotel Tonight - you can now search a few months out here, so you can try a similar experiment as the Kayak suggestion about by looking at the last weekend in July and playing with your requirements.
posted by earth by april at 4:38 PM on April 28, 2022

Stayed at the Chelsea Savoy over Christmas in 2019 and can confirm it was totally fine and centrally located (in Chelsea, which is a huge improvement over Midtown in my humble opinion). Much more spacious than other Manhattan hotel rooms I've experienced. Rooms start at $205/night so only slightly above your target.
posted by Jemstar at 6:14 PM on April 28, 2022

I would look on Airbnb. Maybe the wrong neighborhood for you, but here's a garden apartment (one short flight of stairs down) on the Upper East Side for $160 a night.
posted by pinochiette at 6:14 PM on April 28, 2022

I stayed at the Moxy NYC Times Square and it was literally a bed, a sink, a toilet, and a (really nice honestly) shower. I would stay there again, especially if I didn't intend to be staying in my room a lot.

Hey I did too! with another person! the bathroom door is translucent! it’s right in front of the toilet! it doesn’t go all the way to the ceiling. Consider that.
posted by Hypatia at 6:44 PM on April 28, 2022

Do you need to spend the night in Manhattan? What about Jersey City? Look hard at Harlem. I don't know if there's anything on Roosevelt Island, or nearby in CT, but you probably want to get out of city center, and look along the edges.
posted by Violet Blue at 7:45 PM on April 28, 2022

The HI-USA hostel on the Upper West Side (103rd and Amsterdam) is sweet and is my resting place of choice when I am there. Big comfy rooms, nice cafe on the main floor, lots of amenities. Private ensuite rooms in October are $220, and you’re supporting a not-for-profit. A block west is a subway stop and three or four blocks east is Central Park.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:45 AM on April 29, 2022

I've had pretty good luck in NYC with the various hotwire/priceline/etc tools where they obscure the name of the hotel until after you book. You can even use a tool like Room Revealer which uses the data that they do give you about the hotel and determines which hotel it actually is (it's always been right in my experience).
posted by mosst at 8:35 AM on April 29, 2022 [1 favorite]

Seconding Rock em Sock em’s recommendation of the Club Quarters (haven’t stayed at the ones in New York, but I have stayed at the one in Philadelphia)
posted by madcaptenor at 1:17 PM on April 29, 2022

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