25 Affordable Hotels and Inns in New York City

(Please note - The article below dates from 2010, and the information/prices are outdated. Walking Off the Big Apple is working on an updated list.)

 In the search for an affordable hotel, the adventurous traveler often ends up selecting a hotel on blind faith, praying that the inevitably small room is clean, the staff adequately attentive, the location proximate to nearby city attractions, and nothing uninvited is crawling around the floor. The room may be a little dark, and the view out the window underwhelming, but often the accommodations, upon checking in, will exceed expectations and become an important part of the travel experience. 

The word "affordable" is a subjective term, because $300 a night may seem reasonable to some people but not to others. Staying in New York is more expensive than in most cities. According to a study cited in the Telegraph.co.uk (story from Feb. 4, 2010), the average hotel room rate in New York in 2009 was $318.98. That's high, the third most expensive hotel city after Moscow and Abu Dhabi. Yet, the number represents a 23 per cent drop from the $414.52 average in 2008. Many of the hotels listed here fall slightly or considerably below the recent 2009 average. Based on reader reviews and personal experience, the consensus is that any of these hotels, inns, or hostels would be a very good choice for the price.

Listed below are several New York hotels, inns, and alternative lodgings offering rooms in the $99-$250 a night range. The prices cited are based on a check of available rooms in mid-April 2010. In general, the prices can vary widely, changing by month, season, weekday or weekend. Check the hotel's website for current prices and special packages or a popular travel site for possible deals. Also, if you're quite sure about your choice, look for the often-lower non-refundable rate. The selection of hotels in this list tends to shy away from the high-density visitor traffic in Times Square and the Theatre District in favor of established or intriguing walkable neighborhoods. (Times Square accommodations will be the subject of a future post.)


Ace Hotel (NoMad/Murray Hill)
20 W. 29th St. (212) 679-2222
What's nearby: Macy's, Korea Way, Madison Square Park, Empire State Building, Morgan Library.
A chic new boutique hotel with a wide range of rooms and prices, including the Starving Artist special. This will get you a bunk bed room with a private bathroom, free high speed wireless access, and amenities such as mini refrigerators and a mini bar. Plus the special includes free ramen noodles on the first night. For more on the Ace Hotel and The Breslin, its restaurant, plus what's nearby, read the post Breakfast at the Breslin, Then a Walk.

The Cosmopolitan Hotel (Tribeca)
95 West Broadway, near Chambers St. (212) 566-1900
What's nearby: Tribeca Cinemas, World Financial Center, courthouses.
An old hotel with modernized rooms in the $169-$199 range.

Hotel Chandler (NoMad/Murray Hill)
12 E. 31st St. (212) 889-6363
What's nearby: Macy's, Koreatown, Madison Square Park, Empire State Building, Morgan Library.
Good reviews for this hotel make their Spring Fling special (around $237) attractive. In the luxury boutique hotel category. Several hotels in this list are centered in this diverse neighborhood.

Hotel Chelsea (Chelsea)
222 W. 23rd St. (212) 243-3700
What's nearby: Chelsea art galleries, Chelsea Market.
The first of several recommended choices in the Chelsea neighborhood. With the opening of the High Line, good restaurants, and the Chelsea gallery district, the neighborhood is an excellent choice for the cultural traveler. The Hotel Chelsea itself comes with a lot of extra cultural and literary baggage. Studio with shared baths at $139 and then priced more for standard rooms and suites.

Chelsea Savoy Hotel (Chelsea)
204 W. 23rd St. (866) 929-9353
What's nearby: Chelsea art galleries, Chelsea Market, The High Line.
Single room rate from $99-$125, with higher rates for bigger rooms. Popular hotel.

Chelsea Lodge (Chelsea)
318 West 20th St. (212) 243-4499
What's nearby: Chelsea art galleries, Chelsea Market, Atlantic Theater Company.
Very comfortable Euro-style hotel.

Colonial House Inn (Chelsea)
318 W. 22nd St. (212) 243-9669
What's nearby: Chelsea art galleries, Chelsea Market, The High Line.
Pretty bed and breakfast on a quiet street just south of W. 23rd.
Gem Hotel - Chelsea (Chelsea)
300 W. 22nd St. (212) 675-1911
What's nearby: Chelsea art galleries, Chelsea Market, The High Line.
Recently renovated hotel with prices generally in the range of $209-$229 per night. 

Hotel 31 (Murray Hill)
120 E. 31 St. (212) 685-3060
What's nearby: Madison Square Park, New York Design Center.
European-style hotel, many rooms with shared baths. 

Hotel 17 (Irving Place, Gramercy)
225 E. 17 St. (212) 475-2845
What's nearby:Stuyvesant Square, Union Square, Irving Place
Sister hotel to Hotel 31, in a good location near Union Square.

Gershwin Hotel (Midtown East)
7 E. 27 St. 212-545-8000
What's nearby: Madison Square Park, Empire State Building, Morgan Library.
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 (212) 924-6700
What's nearby: Hudson River Park, the High Line.
Tiny 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.

The Larchmont Hotel (Greenwich Village, 5th Ave.)
27 W. 11th St. (212) 989-9333
What's nearby: Washington Square Park
Perfect Village location, off of Fifth Avenue north of Washington Square Park, with continental breakfast. Small charming rooms, many with shared baths, on a tranquil street. $130 for small bedroom and shared bath.

Nu Hotel
85 Smith St., Brooklyn (718) 852-8585
What's nearby:New York Transit Museum, Borough Hall
According to the hotel website, rates start at $199 but typically run a little higher. A good choice to see the sights of Brooklyn.

nyma, The New York Manhattan Hotel (Garment District)
6 W. 32nd St. (800) 567-7720
Newly renovated lobby; free wi-fi; well-equipped rooms.

Off SoHo Suites Hotel (Lower East Side)
11 Rivington Street (212) 353-0860
What's nearby: New Museum, The Bowery, SoHo
One and two-room suites with an excellent location on the Lower East Side.

OTA On the Avenue (Upper West Side)
2178 Broadway at W. 77th St. (800) 509-7598
What's nearby: Riverside Park, American Museum of Natural History
Rates vary with room selection, day of week, and many special packages. The Standard Room is comfortably large.

The Pod Hotel (Midtown East)
230 E 51st St. (212) 355-0300
What's nearby: Greenacre Park, United Nations.
Likable, high-tech and small modern rooms for those who sleep with iPods.

Hotel Reserve (Financial District/Wall Street)
51 Nassau St. (866) 539-0036
What's nearby: Federal Reserve Bank, Federal Hall, Wall Street.
A good choice for friends of finance. Small rooms in the $229-$350 range.  

SoHotel (SoHo area, on the Bowery)
341 Broome St. (800) 737-0701
What's nearby: Soho, Nolita, New Museum.
Great SoHo/Bowery location for walks, restaurants, shopping, contemporary art galleries.

The Wall Street Inn (Financial District)
9 South William Street (212) 747-1500
What's nearby: Wall Street, Bowling Green, The Battery
While a weekend morning downtown may seem too quiet at times, the area is rich in history and near the waterfront. Rates $199-$249

Hotel Wolcott (Midtown; NoMad)
4 W. 31st Street (212) 268-2900
What's nearby: Macy's, Korea Way, Madison Square Park, Empire State Building, Morgan Library.
This ornate hotel gives off the vibe that it's more expensive than it is. $150-$200 range for many of the rooms.

Alternative Lodgings: Hostels and Retreats

Urban Oasis (Midtown; NoMad)
5 W 31st St. (404) 667-5694
What's nearby: Macy's, Korea Way, Madison Square Park, Empire State Building, Morgan Library.
High user rating on hostelworld.com. Required minimum of 2 nights. Choose from spacious double or twin rooms, or even take a dark, small room with no windows for a bargain price. Up-to-date shared common spaces. Fun neighborhood near the Ace Hotel (see above).

Leo House (Chelsea)
332 W 23rd St. No website or email. Info at Retreat Finder.
What's nearby: Cheslea galleries, restaurants.
Catholic retreat provides general accommodations. Friends of WOTBA have stayed here and like it.

Lutheran Seafarers & International House (Union Square)
123 E. 15th St., (cor. Irving Pl.) (212) 677-4800
What's nearby: Union Square, Irving Place
Not a hotel, but those on a civic or charitable mission may want to look into these simple affordable rooms.

Also worth checking:

Bed & Breakfast Website, Manhattan Listings.

Reader comments and suggestions are welcome.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple.

Check out these other 25 Things in New York City:

25 Things to Do in Chelsea
25 Radical Things to Do in Greenwich Village
25 Great Things To Do in New York City
25 Things To Do Near the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)


Anton Deque said...

We have stayed twice in one of the hotels you list (I think it describes [described] itself as 'boutique'). It was very convenient for us, situated roughly between Union and Washington Squares. Recently redecorated, we had a comfortable room and well, everythiing worked. Prices are bound to have changed but deals can be had if you are patient and plan ahead.

Tinky said...

This is a terrific idea for a post, Teri. New York is so daunting to people with smaller pocketbooks. As you say, affordability is relative, but at least we're not talking $400 a night plus!

Kara said...

Another good one, that I checked out recently when a few visiting colleagues were staying, is the Chelsea Inn (46 W 17th St between 5th / 6th Ave). No frills, but great location and unbeatable prices (starting at $89/night)! http://www.chelseainn.com/index.php?id=3

solosolo said...

Have stayed in Hotel on the Ave twice.Nice rooms and bathrooms and feels very safe for a solo traveller. I love the Upper West Side location. Close to parks but a short subway ride downtown and near some great food markets such as Zabars. I always go for breakfast in the Margot Cafe in the ground floor of the Ansonia at 74th Street. It's like a little corner of Paris.

Rick said...

I'm saving this post for when I have family to come visit. Thanks!


Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

Great post, Teri! Lots of helpful advice. We're staying at the Ace Hotel next month. Very excited. We got a great deal and the person on the phone was wonderful.

Teri Tynes said...

Great news, Terry! You will love it. With your interest in cooking and cuisine, you found the perfect spot.