A clean, well-located New York hotel room for under $100 a night is not only possible, but enjoyable. Anna David checked out five surprising budget options to report on the extra amenities (free Wi-Fi, upgraded linens, etc) and perks of New York’s best and most affordable hotel rooms.
A functional, affordable hotel room in Manhattan may sound like an impossibility but the fact is, these miracles do exist. And some of them are even downright wonderful. If you’re in the market for one of these gems, consider the following:
The Jane is, arguably, the hippest of the bunch. An Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson-owned, cool club-containing hot spot in the West Village, The Jane is made up of one-room cabins that each contain a TV, an iPod clock radio and not much else. And yet this tiny-ness has been accounted for and somehow, no matter how much you have to unpack, you will find a place for it to hang. And the room contains a slew of other necessities—whether you define that as a carafe of water, AC or free Wi-Fi. Have you noticed I haven’t mentioned the bathrooms? That’s because they’re shared—and yet, somehow, absolutely fine. They’re all spotless and each contain two showers and two bathroom stalls apiece (each with locks), as well as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and hair dryers. There are two lively joints in the lobby—The Jane ballroom and an outpost of Café Gitane—and the hotel recently opened a members-only rooftop space that’s open to guests at select times. Popular with Europeans, The Jane also offers complimentary bicycles for hotel guests to tool around town on and heavy, old school keys (which the front desk holds onto when you go out) instead of those omnipresent key cards. (Rooms range from $99-$135 for a standard cabin)
The Ace is the one you hear a lot about. And that’s because the Ace Hotel Group (which also has outposts in Palm Springs, Portland, Seattle and, in 2013, Los Angeles) knows exactly what their clientele wants—essentially, everything that’s cool without any of the hassle. The Ace lobby, which is the official/unofficial office for both locals and visitors, offers a selection of couches and desks for guests to take advantage of their free-for-everybody Wi-Fi and plentiful outlets. The Breslin Bar Dining Room and Stumptown coffee, both attached to the lobby, are top notch and consistently mobbed. The rooms are basic but charming, with footed bathtub/showers, plumbing pipes as towel bars and comfy sweatshirt robes. If you’re into socializing where you sleep, the hotel also has regular music and comedy nights. Though the official rates start at $329, I’ve stayed here for as low as $125 off-season. (Rooms range from $329-$1999)
The Gershwin, on the other hand, is for the young, desperate or just not all that picky. While the art-filled lobby on 27th and Fifth—attached to ever-popular Birch Coffee—may lead you to believe the rooms will be funky and cool like the ones at The Ace, the main thing to remember about The Gershwin is that it’s described as a hostel as often as it’s called a hotel. As far as hostels go, it’s not bad at all (full disclosure: it’s been quite a while since I’ve stayed at a hostel): there’s a bed, a bathroom and many of the rooms are enormous. But the Gershwin lacks the cleanliness of the other hotels on this list and may leave you feeling less like you’re getting a deal or more like you’re getting exactly what you paid for: a big room in the most expensive city in America. (Rooms range from $89-$349)
The MAve is New York’s undiscovered gem. A modern boutique hotel on the corner of 27th and Madison, this lovely venue is a clean, calm oasis in the middle of a crowded, busy city. A bright space filled with the most cheerful staff you’ll find anywhere on the isle of Manhattan (if you’re a returning visitor, you may well be greeted by name when you check in), The MAve feels less like a hotel and more like your own elegant townhouse. Enormous rooms with plush mattresses, bathroom products you’ll definitely want to take home with you and a list of local restaurants and delivery places, the MAve is close to the 2, 4 and N trains as well as to the hub that is Union Square. Though they don’t have a restaurant, the hotel serves complimentary coffee, tea and pastries every morning. There’s also free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, earplugs in case you’re sensitive to street noise, a flat-screen TV, the somewhat requisite IPod clock and a cozy velour robe to wrap yourself in and relish in your surroundings. (Rooms range from $149-$389)
The Night Hotel in the best midtown option you’re going to find. Cozy and comfy, with Frette linens on the beds, cushioned benches at the bed’s ends, dim lighting and plenty of photos of models decorating the walls, The Night was rewarded for all these mood and luxury choices with a Sexiest Hotel award by TripAdvisor. Recently purchased by Wyndham from Vikram Chatwal Hotels and boasting the newly opened Asian fusion restaurant, Red Moon, The Night is the sister hotel to the Dream, Stay and The Time. Though the techno music that blares from the Grace Hotel across the street can bring unwelcome club-like ambience to the room of a traveler trying to sleep, the hotel itself is quiet and peaceful. (Rooms range from $150-$650)
For more New York activities and hotel options, check out:
- Manhattan Vacations: Complete New York City Guide
- Ask the Locals Travel Guide: Midtown, Manhattan
- Putting the Concierge to the Test: Loews Regency Hotel in New York City
By Anna David for PeterGreenberg.com. Anna David is the author of the novels Party Girl (HarperCollins, 2007) and Bought (HarperCollins, 2009), and the editor of the anthology Reality Matters (HarperCollins, 2010); her memoir, Falling for Me—which covers her attempt to re-fashion her life around the recommendations Helen Gurley Brown made in 1962′s Sex and the Single Girl—was released October, 2011. She’s appeared on NBC’s Today, Hannity, Red Eye, Showbiz Tonight, and various other programs on Fox News, NBC, MSNBC, CTV, MTV News, VH1 and E, written for The New York Times, The L.A. Times, Playboy, and Details, among others, and is the Executive Editor of The Fix, a website dedicated to addiction and recovery.
Feature Image Credit Wikimedia, user: Beyond My Ken