Stay in NJ to see NYC?
June 21, 2007 11:15 AM   Subscribe

Take the family to NYC-filter. Can a couple and their three active children save money while enjoying the Big Apple by staying in a New Jersey hotel?

Where would you stay in New Jersey, within walking distance of a PATH station?

Ideally, we’d drive to the hotel, park there and enjoy a decent room or suite for under $150 a night. Hopefully less than 20 minutes out of Manhattan by train under normal traffic conditions.

Impossible? I understand the PATH stops running, but we'd be in bed by midnight anyway.

Sub-question: Anywhere else outside the city that offer reasonable hotel rooms and mass transit under 30 minutes into Manhattan?
posted by sacre_bleu to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We generally do exactly what you're describing (minus the kids) and stay in the Jersey City Doubletree. It's across the street and about a block up from the PATH. They charge you to park your car, but it's in a "secure" lot. We've done it in the past, and plan on doing it again.
posted by librarianamy at 11:22 AM on June 21, 2007

Not that it matters in your case, but PATH is 24 hours. NJ Transit stops at night.
posted by smackfu at 11:25 AM on June 21, 2007

While it does run 24 hours a day, between 12:15 and 4:45 you're liable to wait up to 30 minutes for a train. Which, I suppose, is no worse than waiting for an MTA train at that hour.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:29 AM on June 21, 2007

Here is a list of Best NYC hotels for under $150 from New York Magazine.
posted by spec80 at 11:33 AM on June 21, 2007 [2 favorites]

I was on the kid end of a stay-in-jersey NY trip. I was in high school at the time and later resented not being able to spend more time in the actual city. Breakfast and dinner at the hotel lots of travel time, hourly parking, etc. really didn't leave a sense that I had been anywhere interesting at all.

Looking back, though, it was a crappy idea to daytrip over and left too many missed opportunities.

If any of your children want some independence on the trip, don't stay in Jersey. If they're too young for that, stay in Jersey...they won't notice anything beyond the hotel pool anyway.
posted by cowbellemoo at 11:35 AM on June 21, 2007

can't remember the exact name, but on Bus RT 161 in the Meadowlands there is this hotel which is pretty much the last stop in Jersey besides Union City. On a good day the bus trip should be 15minutes to Times Square. I wish I remembered the name, but it is on Paterson Plank road. I see tourists getting on and off there all the time.
posted by spacefire at 11:49 AM on June 21, 2007

Bear in mind that you pay by the person on all those train trips to and from New Jersey, which offsets your savings some. If you drive in then you only pay per car but parking is expensive and even the tolls will add up.

I commuted between New Jersey and New York City for years, but if I was going for a visit to see things in New York in particular I'd want to stay in town.
posted by Songdog at 12:02 PM on June 21, 2007

Spacefire - Is that the Days Inn? They have a shuttle service (which I never used as I was there for work with a car). I like that hotel, and stayed there a long time. Their parking is free and plentiful, and the hotel is nice and clean. I'm not sure how much it costs, but less than $150 a night for sure.

You can't walk anywhere from the hotel at all though, and while there are lots of ok restaurants nearby, when I was there their own restaurant was being renovated and didn't look too promising anyway. They have a little cafe which serves breakfast, which is not included in the price, and which I didn't try.
posted by crabintheocean at 12:19 PM on June 21, 2007

If you want to stay in Manhattan for under $150, that is totally possible. I used Hotwire and got a 3.5 star hotel right by Columbus Circle for $159/ni for a weekend this coming August. It's the Hudson Hotel, and if you look it up you can see it's a pretty nice place.

I've also had great success with Priceline. You can probably find a place in Manhattan w/in your price range. Try for help bidding and examples of hotel bids that have been accepted. There are some nice hotels going for the $130-$140/night range.
posted by misswiss at 1:01 PM on June 21, 2007

Try Quikbook; this was recommended by an editor of mine in San Fran and it never fails me for lower rates. The only problem is that with two adults and three kids, it's harder to find a one-room lodging option.
posted by misha at 1:08 PM on June 21, 2007

Also, my spouse and I stayed in the Affinia New York, which was convenient to everything, and it was less than $150 a night at the time, but that was last year.
posted by misha at 1:09 PM on June 21, 2007

I stayed at the Candlewood Suites in Jersey City once. It was fairly inexpensive and had a kitchen area. Granted we spent ALL day in NYC and only took the train back at night, so we didn't spend a lot of time at the hotel. There wasn't really anywhere to walk except the PATH station, so I second cowbellemoo--if your kids want independence it may be easier in the city.
posted by jdl at 1:19 PM on June 21, 2007

Just my $.02 - with 5 people, a lot of the rooms are going to be cramped. The Hudson especially. It's designed to be reminiscent of an old ocean liner (at least that's their line), but the cheap rooms are a queen bed, about 3 feet on both sides of the bed, a desk and chair, and a bathroom that uses a glass between the shower and bed space for more light.

It's a cool hotel, and I stayed there quite a bit (worked nearby, it was the company's first choice to put us up in), ,but unless you're getting 2 rooms, I wouldn't try it with kids.

Most places in NYC (especially on the lower price end) are going to be this way. Space is tight, and for a bigger room you're going to pay. Finding a room with 2 beds isn't a given either.

I stayed at the Millennium UN Plaza for $150 a night in '05, it was a king sized bed and enough floor space for 3 kids, but they were undergoing a renovation, and the unrenovated rooms (mine) were on Hotwire. Not sure you're going to find that today.
posted by pupdog at 2:01 PM on June 21, 2007

I don't know about rates (gotta be cheaper than the city though) but there are several nice hotels on rt 120 in Carlstadt/East Rutherford, right by the Meadowlands/Giants Stadium. Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, etc. The Nj Transit 163/164 bus line stops at all of them and its about a 20 minute ride to Port Authority. I do this trip daily - its a piece of cake.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:46 PM on June 21, 2007

Definitely consider Brooklyn, because if you stay insde the NYC subway system, your transportation costs will be limited to the subway pass you would have bought anyway. I think several major hotel & budget-motel chains have Brooklyn locations; also Google for Brooklyn bed & breakfast places, which can be cheaper and nicer than a hotel for families.

(On another Brooklyn note, this is the last summer ever for Astroland amusement park at Coney Island -- a small park but worth experiencing before it starts turning into hotels/condos over the coming winter.)
posted by allterrainbrain at 7:58 PM on June 21, 2007

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