May 30, 2008
Affordable Accommodations in New York City
Click here for the 2010 updated and expanded post and list of hotels.
After describing so many attractive self-guided walks on this website, it occurs to me that some readers outside the city may want to visit New York at some point and walk the streets and see the sights, too. In addition, I've recently met some wayfaring strangers who've come to the city to partake of its many attractions, and I've quizzed them on places they recommend to stay. I take notes.
New Yorkers make up the largest audience for Walking Off the Big Apple. Like me, these readers are probably shocked when they hear about the high prices of many NYC hotels, but they are not too surprised when their far-flung friends ask if they could stay on their futons. In some situations (for example, it's a friend of a friend), it's nice to be able to suggest affordable alternatives, especially if you just don't feel like it and find yourself inventing weird excuses like "My cat is sick," especially if there is no cat.
Several of these places involve sharing bathrooms down the hall, a condition that doesn't bother me that much. Many of the rooms are closet-size, another condition that doesn't bother me, especially if they're clean. I personally require a TV, free Wifi, fluffy bathrobe, some sort of comfortable bed, and breakfast. I also don't believe in spending too much on hotel rooms, especially in an economic downturn, because I prefer to spend my money in gift shops in museums and drinking Red Snappers at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis.
The prices range widely, and they change by month, season, weekday or weekend, but several of these places offer nice rooms for less than $100 a night.
BIG APPLE HOSTEL (Midtown West)
119 W. 45th St., (212) 302-2603.
Note: While walking in Central Park, I met a woman from Ottawa who asked me to take a picture of her. She recommends the Big Apple Hostel. She said she enjoyed spending Canadian dollars on other things.
LEO HOUSE (Chelsea)
Catholic retreat provides general accommodations with 3 night minimum stays.
No website or email. Info at Retreat Finder.
332 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10011
Note: We've had friends stay here, especially for long stays, and they like it.
LUTHERAN SEAFARERS & INTERNATIONAL HOUSE (Union Square)
123 E. 15th St., (cor. Irving Pl.),
Note: Not a hotel, but those on a civic or charitable mission may want to look into these simple affordable rooms. I met a choreographer from Montreal who stayed here all summer while on sabbatical.
CHELSEA LODGE (Chelsea)
318 West 20th Street, New York, New York 10011
Note: Very comfortable Euro-style hotel.
THE LARCHMONT HOTEL (Greenwich Village, 5th Ave,)
27 W. 11th St. NY 10011
Note: My personal favorite. I stayed here before I moved to New York. Perfect Village location, off of Fifth Avenue.
SOHOTEL (SoHo area, on the Bowery)
341 Broome St. NEW YORK, NY 10013
Note: Terrific location for Soho, Nolita, New Museum.
HOTEL 31 (Midtown East)
120 East 31 St. NEW YORK, NY 10016
(212) 685 3060
Note: I've also stayed here and the sister hotel below, and I like them both.
HOTEL 17 (Gramercy)
225 E. 17 ST. NEW YORK, NY 10003
(212) 475 2845
THE POD (Midtown East)
230 E 51st St.
Likable, high-tech and small modern rooms for those who sleep with IPods.
GERSHWIN HOTEL (Midtown East)
7 E. 27 ST. NEW YORK, NY 10016
Note: Prices vary from dormitory to types of private rooms. Comes highly recommended by art historians, especially those who specialize in contemporary art.
THE JANE HOTEL (West Village)
113 Jane Street New York, NY
Small rooms, but chic small rooms called Standard Cabins, and larger ones, the Captain's Cabins. Nautical because this great building originally housed sailors. Shared baths, but who cares, if you're sharing the West Village? Adorable website, excellent prices.
Also worth checking:
New York Hotel Group
Bed & Breakfast Website, Manhattan Listings.
For affordable shopping, please note the post, Shopping in SoHo Without Euros, a perennial favorite post I wrote in December. Additional popular posts are listed on the website's sidebar.
Reader comments and suggestions are welcome. I would like to add other recommended affordable places to this list.
Image: Turtle Pond, Central Park, May 2008. A nice place to visit during the day, but I wouldn't try to stay there overnight.