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The Jane Hotel

The 5 best cheap hotels in New York City

A New York vacation doesn’t have to break the bank, especially with these lovely and affordable city stays

Written by
Danielle Goldstein
Lena Hanano
Rhys Thomas
Alex Floyd-Douglass

You can easily spend $500 a night on a New York hotel room, but unless you’re a Rockefeller you might be better suited to these cheap NYC hotels. And by the way, that’s not meant as an insult either, because each and every one of these hotels have been tried and tested by Time Out’s editorial team, and each and every one has been given the Time Out seal of approval.

From the crisp white tablecloths of the finest restaurants to greasy one-dollar pizza joints and dive bars, New York is a city of dichotomies, offering something for everyone. And alongside the most luxurious and, equally, most expensive hotels in the world are some of the best cheap stays. Whether you're in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or further afield, there’s a host of hidden, affordable gems throughout NYC. And just because these won’t make you weep when you pay the bill, that doesn't mean they're not great. Don’t believe us? Well, one includes a massive food hall and beauty bar; another is right on Times Square, and others are decked out like old-school European guesthouses. Who says a hotel stay in NYC has to break the bank? Not us, that’s for sure... Welcome to the best cheap hotels New York has to offer!

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Cheap New York City hotels that are actually good

Pod 51
  • Hotels
  • Chain hotels
  • Midtown East
  • price 1 of 4

Not one bargain, but two, the Pod hotel group has two midtown locations for you. Both of which are in its signature style: hip yet inexpensive. If you want to be right in among it all, Pod 51 is the place to book. Just a couple blocks from the booming bright Times Square. The rooms themselves have everything you need (including desks, free wifi, TVs and a rain shower.) With six pod choices to pick from, the rooms can fit anywhere between one and four guests, so bring the mates if you want. In the hotel you'll also find a lively café for good slow coffee mornings, and a rooftop deck suited for sunbathing and shmoozing. The other spot is Pod 39, and that's very much the same, except it's in the less congested lower midtown. 

HI NYC Hostel

HI NYC Hostel

This Upper West Side hostel has an awesome location: you’re right by Broadway Street and a short ten-minute wander all the way to Central Park. So the positioning is excellent: what about the hostel itself? Well, you’re in a good place there, too. It’s a hostel in the truest sense of the word, so that means domitory-style rooms with shared bathrooms, but it’s got a reputation for cleanliness and top-notch services throughout. And if you’re looking for some orchestrated fun? HI NYC puts on activities for its guests, including pub crawls and quiz nights. Oh, and there’s free wifi throughout.

  • Hotels
  • Hostels
  • Upper West Side

This is another cheap NYC hotel with an excellent location. It’s right on the south-western tip of Central Park, so you’ve got the whole park right on your doorstep, with Hell’s Kitchen and Midtown within very easy reach. You can share to keep the costs down (a four-bed room works out to around $60 a night) or you can have one to yourself for just a little more. There’s also a massive fitness center if you want to look after yourself, or pay a bit of physical penance after really enjoying the New York nightlife. 

The Jane Hotel
  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • West Village
  • price 1 of 4

Opened in 1907 as the American Seaman’s Friend Society Sailors Home, this 14-story landmark was a residential hotel when Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson took it over and renovated it. The wood-paneled rooms were inspired by vintage train sleeper compartments—there’s a bed (or bunk bed) with built-in storage and brass hooks for hanging up your clothes. No en suite, however, which is reserved for the Captain’s Cabins, along with iHome docks and wall-mounted TVs. Very much the vibe you'd expect in prime trendy Metpacking District accomodation. There's also the Old Rose, which you can grab good local produce cooked Italian style bite at across breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night dining, alongside local craft beers on tap, and natural wines. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk too, so you can really experience the city that doesn't sleep. 

  • Hotels
  • B&Bs
  • Harlem
  • price 1 of 4

With a name so heavily imbued with history and character, you won't be surprised to discover that The Harlem Flophouse is a darkly atmospheric Victorian townhouse. Much of the decor has been kept as such too, so stepping through the door at the top of the stone stairs is a little like stepping back in time (the website looks old-school too!). You're in good company too, as each of the rooms is named after artistic greats of Harlem past, such as Thelonious Monk and Chester Himes, jazzy. While the location is fairly north of central NYC, the lights and the music is just a short subway ride away, and there are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. The idea was to make this a European-style guesthouse but also an inexpensive alternative to typical NYC hotels, they suceeded. While the heart of NYC is a short subway away, you are right by Colombia University and the world-famous Paris Blues jazz club. 

Looking for more NYC on a budget tips? NYC Map Widget
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