Manhattan Alternatives
November 6, 2007 7:36 AM   Subscribe

I have to be in Manhattan Dec 6th - Dec 9th. My flight is booked and my appointments are scheduled. I am flying solo. My plan was to stay in Manhattan, and goof off after my appointments. Unfortunately, every hotel in Manhattan for those days is $600+ a night. Ordinarily I can Priceline $150 and get bites, but even after a $250 bid, I got nothing on a 3 / 4 *. So......where should I stay and still be able to explore Manhattan without freezing my ass off?? I can be a bit of a snob and would prefer not to stay in something lower than 3*. Any secret Manhattan hotels that I can get into that are not sh*t holes? Brooklyn? New Jersey? Connecticut?
posted by jasondigitized to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (21 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
i have not stayed there yet, but i have reservations for the end of december at the Carlton Arms. it was recommended in some of the NYC threads by other MeFites.

my brother stayed at the Chelsea Lodge and said he would stay there again. affordable, comfortable, clean, and in a decent location.
posted by gursky at 7:46 AM on November 6, 2007

It looks like you've chosen a weekend where there's some massive event happening--either a convention, a trade show or something. This happens now and again. Unfortunately, from a quick look, it seems that the airport hotels are outrageously expensive as well (for what they are...looks like around $200 to stay at the JFK Clarion).

If you must stay out by JFK, it's not the end of the world. You're a twenty minute LIRR ride into the city, or a forty minute straight shot on the E train (this as an alternative to at least a $40 taxi). It will actually be easier to stay out there by JFK from a transportation standpoint than to stay out by LaGuardia, which is closer, but which will require you to take the bus to the subway or just the bus to get into Manhattan.

Here are some hotels in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, I have no experience with any of them. The Marriott by the Brooklyn Bridge looks okay, and the park slope hotel is reasonably well located, as is the B&B in Carroll Gardens.
posted by kosem at 7:59 AM on November 6, 2007

It looks like you've chosen a weekend where there's some massive event happening

Yes, it's called New York City between Thanksgiving and Christmas. With the dollar as weak as it is against foreign currencies, NYC is *the* place to come and spend US money like it ain't even real.

And I disagree that staying out by JFK would be the end of the world- it really, really would be. LaGuardia is far closer to Manhattan, transportation wise.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:04 AM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Consider staying in NJ and travel into the city by train or bus both of which can be quite convenient.
posted by Jahaza at 8:08 AM on November 6, 2007

Go on Craigslist and get a sublet, you should easily be able to find a place with a budget of $150 to $250.
posted by lia at 8:22 AM on November 6, 2007

Carlstadt and East Rutherford, NJ are less than 10 miles from Manhattan and there's a ton of hotels all right on the 163/164 Nj Transit Bus line to Port Authority. Its a 20 minute ride I do almost daily. Very easy!
posted by blaneyphoto at 8:23 AM on November 6, 2007

I've mentioned it before and I'll do it again. Go to craigslist and click on the sublets/temporary category and find an apartment (a studio like this would work well for you, I'd think) to sublet. People who live here rent out their spaces like this quite often.
posted by minervous at 8:23 AM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Heh. Or, what Lia said.
posted by minervous at 8:24 AM on November 6, 2007

Radio City Apartments or Skyline Hotel.
posted by mattbucher at 8:29 AM on November 6, 2007

Try the Pod Hotel.
posted by nicwolff at 8:33 AM on November 6, 2007

I've helped friends get rooms using
posted by spec80 at 8:34 AM on November 6, 2007

Jersey City PATH options: (there's a Marriott above the Pavonia Newport PATH station in one stop from W. Village on weekdays, two stops on weekend) and a Hyatt next to the Exchange Place station (one stop from lower Manhattan). Both tend to be not cheap but somewhat better than Manhattan prices. There's also a Doubletree that's a few blocks walk to each of those stations.
posted by yarrow at 9:42 AM on November 6, 2007

Seconding either the Pod Hotel or staying in Jersey City by the Pavonia / Newport station - can't beat the 15 minute ride to midtown for a buck fitty.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:00 AM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

NYC is *the* place to come and spend US money like it ain't even real.

Yes. It starts with Thanksgiving and doesn't end until the Rockefeller Center tree goes down (Jan 8th or so). By mid-January, Times Square has about 200% fewer people walking around; it's quite noticeable.

I second what lia said about finding a short-term sublet.

See also: Affordable lodging in New York City, Stay in NJ to see NYC?, New York Magazine's Best Budget Hotels, Manhattan User's Guide to hotels.

The average hotel room in Manhattan hit $300 last year. Average, mind you!
posted by kathryn at 10:22 AM on November 6, 2007

yarrow hit it with the Hoboken Hyatt (right off of the PATH). Another good option is the Weehawken Sheraton, which has ferry service to Manhattan (~10$ round trip), plus a complementary bus service that covers midtown, Lincoln center, theater district, Wall street provided by "NY Waterways."
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 10:49 AM on November 6, 2007

I've stayed at Murray Hill Suites East about 20 times. Nothing fancy, but not dirty, close to grand central and under $200.
posted by jefftang at 12:57 PM on November 6, 2007

I may be exposing my biases, but why not Queens? Just be sure to be on a subway line.

I'm a little leery about the NJ locations, again perhaps because of bias. I would be sure to check the PATH schedule, in case you're staying out late, etc.

Regarding the hotels near LGA: you may need to take a bus to get to the subway, which is an extra leg and perhaps more complication later in the night. Of course, you can always cab it.
posted by chengjih at 3:03 PM on November 6, 2007

You need to be flexible on either your '3 star' requirement OR your price requirement. (Flexibility on quality might be easier.)

I've stayed in the Carlton Arms (mentioned above) and it's cheap and cheerful, but probably closer to a cool hostel than to even a one or two star hotel. My last visit, I stayed at Hotel 31. It was inexpensive (for NYC) as well as clean, well-kept, well-located and safe. I did an extensive search and it seemed to have to have the best value of anyplace less than $150 bucks.
posted by Kololo at 4:08 PM on November 6, 2007

The best you are going to get in Manhattan that weekend is probably down in the financial district. The Hilton is under $500 and the Marriott is around $400. Both are fine hotels.
posted by dzot at 7:30 PM on November 6, 2007

Is there a Hoboken Hyatt? I was talking about the Hyatt in Jersey City, at the Exchange Place PATH station.

PATH does get infrequent late at night (every half hour), but it runs all night and the timetable is pretty reliable. So yes, check the schedule.

Queens vs NJ is partly about where you want to be in Manhattan; if you are interested in Lower Manhattan or the West Village/Chelsea/west midtown, Jersey City is good; if you're more interested in the East Side, I guess Queens would be better.

(Oh, and we encourage the anti-NJ bias; it keeps the rent down.)
posted by yarrow at 8:12 PM on November 6, 2007

Sorry, yarrow is right. The Jersey City Hyatt was the one I was thinking about, which is not in Hoboken.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 5:46 AM on November 7, 2007

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