Nice, inexpensive hotels in NYC?
July 9, 2006 9:50 AM   Subscribe

My beloved and I are headed to NYC for our honeymoon in early September, and we're looking for nice but inexpensive accomodation. Any pointers?

We're looking for a double room with its own bathroom (preferably near the Village, but that's not essential). The cheaper, the better... within reason. Can anyone suggest a hotel or a good accomodation site to visit?

If it matters, we're coming from London (the Boy is English and has been to NYC a half-dozen times; I'm Aussie and have never been before). Thanks!
posted by hot soup girl to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (31 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
i don't know much about hotels but you could try subleasing?
posted by ofthestrait at 10:04 AM on July 9, 2006

Wherever you go, make sure you tell the hotel you are on your honeymoon. It's usually good for a room with a view or other niceties.
posted by caddis at 10:13 AM on July 9, 2006

The rooms are pretty basic, but when I was there, we got a great rate at the Milford Plaza, quite close to Times Square.
posted by GaelFC at 10:13 AM on July 9, 2006

Try the Washington Square Hotel. It's in the Village, it's clean, and the rates include breakfast. During my stay last November, the staff was incredibly polite and helpful.

One caveat: My room's window looked out on an airshaft, so the view was an uninspiring brick wall and there was no natural light. If you're planning to spend a lot of time in the room, you may want to request a non-airshaft room.
posted by serialcomma at 10:33 AM on July 9, 2006

My wife and I just had a great stay in the Lucerne, at W 79th and Amsterdam. Inexpensive by NYC Standards, but nice. Best thing about it: the great Upper West Side neighborhood right out the front door--great shops, restaurants, delis. Great place to stroll. Easy subway, Central Park access.
posted by capcuervo at 10:35 AM on July 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Beware of the bedbug problem.
posted by bim at 10:50 AM on July 9, 2006

Best answer: I haven't tried any of these yet, but bookmarked this resource that looks interesting: a grouping of smallish hotels that range from about $115 to 135 per night. The site also features some additional economy hotels that look even cheaper.

I've had great luck using Trip Advisor to source hotels in various cities because they have user ratings. I scan the listings for hotels in my price range, and then read user comments. Here is NYC's listing - you can use this to get more information on any specific hotels. They also have listings for B&Bs.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:54 AM on July 9, 2006 [2 favorites]

Not sure what's considered expensive, but it's a good time of year to come to NYC and find deals. I work in New York, used to have an apartment in Soho, but have since moved just outside the city for the significant other. However, depending upon work, I have to sometimes say in Manhattan and here's my - and friends top picks...

I'm particular to the Avalon, they're not huge rooms, but clean and nice. There's not alot immediately around (read: in the surrounding two blocks - which is the definition of New York) but very central for tourism on 32nd street, smack between Soho and Rockefeller. I use it for business, so I don't need any guidance from the staff, but the only thing that would keep me from 100% recommendation is the staff is sometimes a bit... snippy. You can find great deals at Usually less than $150.00 US. I have friends who swear by the Paramount on 46th street - again, small rooms, but pretty and well situated. You can also book through I also like the Soho Grand, have coworkers who swear by the Millennium, Of course the W is always popular, and while it's uptown, I've heard great things about the Franklin hotel as well. Oh, and I've heard good things about the Warwick Hotel too... oh, and I've heard some really great things about the Kitano Hotel in Bryant Park. And of course the Marcel Hotel on 24th street was a pretty good stay too - good price, good location, good hotel. I can't find they're website, but check them out.

I've always wanted to stay at the Bryant Hotel, because this hotel just looks like... awesome New York. If you're on a honeymoon and in 20-30 something, I'd scour the internet for deals here.

There's tons of great stuff here, and I'm sure you can find something in your $$ range just by continual looking. Even the budget hotels in Times Square has their flare being right in the heart of the location. Do yourself a favor like any good New Yorker does, paradoxically, we're all about complimentary amenities here with the service industry... once you've settled on a hotel, call the hotel to confirm and just 'mention' you're on your honeymoon... also do it off-hand when you check in... you just might find a free upgrade or bottle of champagne waiting in your room.
posted by eatdonuts at 10:57 AM on July 9, 2006

Oh, just as an aside, I think you'll be hard pressed to find hotels here that don't have their own bathroom. It's not customary for American hotels to sport communal facilities. I only know of one such hotel in China Town and it's booked only by a business contract - and it wasn't even popular with our European business guests.

I love the village, everyone does. But don't let the romantic image of it limit your search. Similar neighborhoods exist in pockets everywhere here. Everything in New York is close to everything else, just a subway ride or cab ride away. It's not sprawled out in the same manner as London, and you'll benefit from opening up your search from Soho to 59th street.
posted by eatdonuts at 11:11 AM on July 9, 2006

Best answer: hot soup girl, I did a quick scan of Trip Advisor in NYC because I have a friend looking for NYC digs too. Here are a few interesting options I found: Chelsea Lodge at an average per night price of $114 is rated by users as the 12th favorite hotel out of more than 300. Radio City Apartments at $164, rated as #44; The Cosmopolitan Hotel, Tribeca has doubles for $145, and is rated at #62; Under B&Bs, East Village Bed & Coffee has rooms from $100 to $140, and looks very popular by the ratings and press - it looks quite funky and cool.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:12 AM on July 9, 2006

Oh! And buy yourself a Zagat's guide... it's the restaurant bible for New Yorkers. Time Out New York is helpful to know what's going on in the city, and I've always like the Eyewitness Travel Gudes, and flip through the New York one when I'm looking for stuff to do too.
posted by eatdonuts at 11:16 AM on July 9, 2006

Hm, I think I wouldn't mind the above suggested Chelsea Lodge - although I would check reviews - same with the Radio City Apartments, but I think I'd stay away from the East Village Bed and Coffee - it's in 'alphabet city' which is in the last few years becoming hip, but it's still on Avenue C and 'cutting edge' isn't always a recommendation for first timers in NYC - hey, I'm only just hit 30 and am not that old and dottering... I can't find anything on the Cosmopolitan Hotel - which makes me a bit nervous. I think I'd avoid this one.

I still think you can find a great deal under $150 in one of the choice hotels I've mentioned above by booking through a discount service online.
posted by eatdonuts at 11:27 AM on July 9, 2006

Check out the Gershwin. It's pretty cheap and located fairly well at 27th and 5th.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:16 PM on July 9, 2006

Avenue C isn't bad. (I live on A.)

As a bonus, looks like that place is right next to Zum Schneider, where you can enjoy a Litre of Aventinus or other fine German beer.

However, that particular location is pretty inaccessible by subway, unless there's a convenient bus to the subway you need, which I wouldn't know about since I avoid buses.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:16 PM on July 9, 2006

Eh, eatdonuts, TheOnlyCoolTim, and others know the neighborhoods far better than I so their input is great. My point isn't so much to recommend those specific hotels I cited as to demonstrate what a valuable research tool Trip Advisor can be. I don't use it for booking, but I do use it to get a reality check by reading guest comments for any hotel I am considering - user reviews can be very detailed and paint a good picture of the hotel and its location. I've found some unbelievably nice lodging at great rates by using the guest reviews as a research tool to help steer my choices.

Good links and suggestions from many in this thread, which I will definitely be keeping for future reference.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:35 PM on July 9, 2006

The Gershwin is well situated, sure, but sometimes has issues. The staff is really young, stylish and nice, but it's more of a hostel then a hotel. Having stayed there when it first opened, I was pleasantly surprised because my tastes run modern/contemporary, but it's one of those places that now suffers from a tragically hip syndrome of the 70s... and not in a good way. Basically, this has become the home base for an onslaught of actor-wannabes and low-grade models who are incredibly loud and obnoxious at all hours, banging doors, and constant hallway noise. A coworker who recently stayed there complained of dirty bathrooms. You don't have to take my word for it, read the online reviews and it only gets a one-star from Frommers. It's a basic setup and it's just not my idea of a honeymoon, although the high art content does put a mark in it's favor for me.

If you like that area, I'd rather stay at the Mercer Hotel.

Gads, sorry guys. Don't mean to be a know-it-all, I promise. I just have a soft-spot for the whole idea of 'honeymoon in New York' kind of thing and my first job in my industry was helping our traveling coworkers locate places to stay in Manhattan.
posted by eatdonuts at 12:43 PM on July 9, 2006

No worries madamjujujive, honestly, I think the TripAdvisor service you mentioned is pretty fabulous and have used it myself. I think with AskMefi the more that chime in, the better. It's all about querying the hive, right?

And I hadn't ever heard of that Chelsea Lodge before, but I might take a turn when I've free time to check it out... so you definitely gave me a possible tip there for the future.
posted by eatdonuts at 12:52 PM on July 9, 2006

The question is, what do you want the room ~for~. If you're mainly looking for a clean, comfortable room to sleep in, in between doing other things, you'll want one type of hotel (such as the Arlington, where we usually stay). If, on the other hand, you want to spend lots of time ~in~ the room, you'll want a totally different type.

I would suggest going to one of the hotel booking sites (such as And really looking through them. Most of the hotels have pictures of the rooms, as well as things such as amenities and their proximity to particular landmarks, etc. You don't have to book through the site, of course, but being able to get an idea of what the hotel is like has always been helpful to me.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 1:34 PM on July 9, 2006

My wife and I had our honeymoon in New York (from London) in 2000. We stayed at the Incentra Village House which is in the village, and the rates still seem quite reasonable.

We had the garden room, which was really nice for a honeymoon, as it has a little garden which is yours exclusively, but the whole place had a nice atmosphere, and the neighbourhood was great - lots of good restaurants etc.
posted by crocomancer at 1:40 PM on July 9, 2006

If "inexpensive" is more important to you than anything else, then the Carlton Arms might work for you. It's not expensive; I believe we paid $100/night. It's at 160 East 25th St.

It's full of art - whole rooms are painted - and is definitely memorable and special. That's their selling point. You can see pictures of their rooms at their website.

On the other hand, it's lacking some of the amenities you expect in a hotel. When I stayed there, my bathroom door didn't latch so you had to put some luggage in front of it to keep it closed. Some of our friends' rooms didn't have bathroom doors at all. I am pretty sure we had to bring an alarm clock. They don't do breakfast. Stuff like that.
posted by joannemerriam at 2:26 PM on July 9, 2006

I would recommend Abingdon Guest House. It's in the Village, affordable, and it's awesome.
posted by mattbucher at 2:57 PM on July 9, 2006

I have no idea what you consider "affordable" (I had the recent impression that less than ~$250/night in NYC was a pretty decent deal), but my parents stayed at The Maritime when they last visited and it was a pretty cool place (small but very nice room). It is convenient to both the Village and the Chelsea gallery scene as well as subways, etc.
posted by ch1x0r at 3:07 PM on July 9, 2006

I stayed at East Village Bed & Coffee last year for a couple of nights, and it was fine, but the owner says somewhere on her site specifically that it isn't the sort of place for a romantic getaway, and she is right. It doesn't have private bathrooms and it's got a kind of funky guesthouse vibe.
posted by zadcat at 9:32 PM on July 9, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all; some excellent suggestions here! For us, affordable means about $90 - $120 per night (we really are doing this trip on the cheap) and the room need only be a cheap and cheerful, vermin-free, base from which to explore the city.

Public transport conundrums aside, the East Village Bed & Breakfast is exactly the sort of place that appeals; on our budget we're unlikely to find luxury, so character is a next best. Unfortunately it's booked up already - as are a number of places. I guess I'll just keep looking. Those resources you posted, madamjujujive, are really helpful.

And further sugeestions are welcome! If there's more to come, bring it on.
posted by hot soup girl at 10:06 PM on July 9, 2006

I'd certainly recommend any of the charming hotels mentioned above, but if they're all booked you're back to trying to find something reasonable and decent. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Priceline. I recently booked my mother-in-law into the Murray Hill East Suites hotel for $100 per night (plus taxes, etc). The room was spacious and had a kitchenette, plus a spotless, newly renovated bathroom. I'd definitely call it a perfect place for sleeping but not for hanging out in the room all day.

If you do a little research on Bidding for Travel, you can get a good sense of what other people have found for deals on Priceline. You'll also have a really good sense of what hotels you're likely to get if you bid successfully. Some of the most affordable hotels are independents; you're unlikely to get booked into a pokey little place, as "the hotels [they] work with are some of the most recognized national brands and quality independent hotels." (from the FAQ)
posted by hsoltz at 8:03 AM on July 10, 2006

I've always done priceline for hotels in Manhattan, and I usually get the Hilton for around $100-- that was two years ago, but it can't have gone up much more than that. You might give it a shot.
posted by orangemiles at 9:37 AM on July 10, 2006

Best answer: The update: after hours of searching and sifting, we're booking a room at the Harlem Flophouse.

It's a restored, 4-bedroom, 1890s brownstone with polished floorboards, clawfoot bath tubs, two friendly resident cats, and vintage furniture. The rooms look charmingly bohemian and are named for Jazz musicians (we're going with the Corky Hale room). It has almost universally glowing reviews on the Trip Advisor site (thanks so much for that link, madamjujujive; it's indispensable!) and, most importantly, it seems like one of the very few places in that price range that's suitable for a romantic holiday. I have a good feeling about it.

The other place that really appealed to us was the Chelsea Lodge; it looks great, is relatively cheap, and has been given some fantastic reviews. But it was booked up already, alas.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:17 AM on July 12, 2006

Response by poster: Oh, and I should have said: the Harlem Flophouse is $150 per night for a double room. Which seems pretty good, considering what's around at that price.

Thanks again, everybody! There's so much gold in this thread; I just can't tell you how helpful it was. Seriously.
posted by hot soup girl at 8:23 AM on July 12, 2006

You do know that Harlem is perhaps not the safest neighborhood in NYC? It's not nearly as bad as some outside of NYC might perceive but it is a place of concern, especially at night.
posted by caddis at 8:45 AM on July 12, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for the concern. Yeah, I guessed that might be the case, but the Boy and I are both used to living in tough, working class suburbs... and I sort of assumed the whole Oh No! Harlem! thing was a bit outdated. The wikipedia entry says "the crime rate in Harlem in 2005 was comparable to that in wealthy neighborhoods in other American cities". Sounds like it's going through a renaissance these days, with a lot of gentrification and extra policing. I could be horribly naive, I'll concede, but I think we'll be okay.
posted by hot soup girl at 10:11 AM on July 12, 2006

$150/night for Harlem sounds high to me. The place I recommended to you (in the heart of the Village) has a double room for $164/night (Perrin). I have nothing against Harlem, but it's a vastly different experience than staying in midtown or the village where more is walkable. You are going to spend a lot of time on the subway. Haarlem, awesome!
posted by mattbucher at 10:58 AM on July 12, 2006

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