By Mark Chesnut
Visiting New York City for business or pleasure doesn’t have to be a wallet-busting experience. These five great New York hotels will allow you to stay in style and comfort, for well under $250.
Among the most interesting properties in Manhattan is the Yotel, where rooms (creatively called “cabins”) start as low as $149 a night. The automated, ATM-style check-in kiosks and gigantic robotic arm that stores luggage add to the sleek, futuristic feel of this property, which is conveniently close to Times Square. The compact rooms are enhanced by extremely good use of space (beds partially fold away during the day, and there is storage underneath each bed). The hotel also has an attractive rooftop deck on the fourth floor, complete with restaurant, bar and meeting space with lots of natural light. It’s a centrally located venue not just for sleeping, but for meeting and entertaining.
On the West Side Highway — just across the street from the Hudson River in the West Village, not far from the lower entrance to the famed High Line park — is the Jane Hotel, a Bohemian venue that was built more than a century ago for the American Seaman’s Friend Society. The property hosted survivors of the Titanic in 1912, but in the 21st century, the freshly redubbed Jane has been recast as a creative haven, with rooms ranging from 50-square-foot Bunk Bed Cabins (which share hall bathrooms) to the 250-square-foot Captain’s Cabins, which have private bathrooms, DVD players, iPod docks, free WiFi and 300-count cotton sheets.
Located in the popular Flatiron district is the Gershwin Hotel, where rates start at $159 and a decidedly style-conscious vibe, with original artwork and spaces that work well for memorable private events. Travelers on a super-tight budget can choose the “Bunker” accommodations — bunk beds in shared dormitory rooms with shared bathrooms — while those craving a bit more privacy can opt for accommodations ranging from 225-square-foot “Essential” rooms to 450-square-foot “Entourage” and “Suite” quarters.
Nearby is the Ace Hotel New York, a boutique propertywith rates as low as $159. The retro-chic decor includes vintage furnishings, hardwood floors and clawfoot tubs. Free WiFi, a lobby bar that’s hip enough to attract the locals, a 600-square-foot Board Room and 3,000-square-foot Liberty Hall are additional draws for business types.
If you’re looking for additional amenities — like a kitchen, for example — consider the Residence Inn by Marriott New York Manhattan/Times Square, which starts at $219 per night, where you’ll get daily free hot breakfast and free WiFi, plus rooms with kitchen facilities. Although with rates that are this low in New York City, you may not even have to cook for yourself.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. He lives in New York City, but sometimes treats himself to hotel stays there.