You can absolutely spend $500 a night on a New York hotel room, but unless you’re a Rockefeller you might be better suited at these cheap New York City hotels...that are actually good. From white table clothed fine dining restaurants to greasy one dollar pizza joints, dive bars and the best speakeasy bars and restaurants—New York is a city of dichotomies and offers something for everyone. The metropolis is home to some of the most luxurious, and equally, most expensive hotels in the world. But it isn’t solely for travelers that expect a stay at The Plaza or The Peninsula. From Manhattan to Brooklyn, there are a plethora of hidden, cheap gems spread throughout the city’s boroughs, and ones that are entirely worth staying in.
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Cheap New York City hotels that are actually good
With a prime Central Park location, modern rooms and a stunning well-appointed lobby, Hudson New York is a boutique gem in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The hotel boasts a whimsical aesthetic imagined by famed designer Philippe Starck. A greenhouse-inspired lobby outfitted with a living wall and a rooftop terrace with skyscraper views are just a few of the inspiring atmospheric elements at the property. For a minimal price point, patrons can expect cozy, yet well-appointed rooms with a trendy aesthetic. Regardless of the cramped quarters, guests have plenty of space to roam the expansive public areas, which include Hudson Bar—a trendy late-night spot for imbibing on cocktails—and the leather-and-wood-clad library bar.
With two convenient midtown locations, the hotel group, Pod, has re-imagined budget-conscious traveling with its hip approach to minimalistic living. Pod 51 is just a few blocks from bustling Time Square and offers well-appointed rooms that feature everything from desks to complimentary Wi-Fi and flat screen televisions. With six pod choices to pick from, the rooms can fit anywhere between one and four guests. The hotel features a lively café for casual fare and a stylish rooftop deck to enjoy an afternoon of sunbathing or an evening of imbibing. For a less congested option outside of the hustle and bustle of Times Square, Pod’s lower midtown location, Pod 39, is a viable option.
With a prime location a few blocks from the neon signage of Time’s Square, Row NYC is in the center of New York City’s bustling epicenter. The sleek hotel provides urban, stark white rooms with pops of bright color to echo the hotel’s iconic surrounds. Travelers may be tempted to never leave the hotel with Row NYC’s top-notch facilities. It features an eclectic New York City food hall, City Kitchen, which offers up some of New York City’s finest, such as Luke’s Lobster rolls and Kuro Obi ramen. At District M, travelers can revel in a hand-pulled Neapolitan-style pizza or La Colombe coffee and then check out a spin class at the hotel’s very own cycling studio.
Originally a home for sailors, the century-old landmark is one of New York City’s most iconic properties. The hipster haven has a storied past visible through its vintage aesthetic. The hotel was once a temporary abode for survivors of the Titanic and the rooms have been restored to look like ship cabins. The hotel lobby is a reminder of the building’s former glory with details such as green and white tile, an antique reception desk and taxidermy monkeys dressed as bellhops. The antique manually operated elevator run by classically uniformed bellhops adds to the hotel’s charm and the rooms exude a dreamy Wes Anderson quality. Choices include tiny vintage-inspired bunk bed rooms with shared bathrooms, larger rooms with peacock-feather patterned wallpaper and captain’s cabins with private terraces. The prime West Village location is on a residential tree-lined street across from the Hudson River. The light-filled Café Gitane is a must-visit for a leisurely breakfast and the lavish Jane Hotel Ballroom is ideal for a martini (or two).
The Bowery House’s prime location and history make it an excellent budget-friendly option for those that don’t mind a bit of communal living. The loft-style hostel was originally opened in 1927 as The Prince Hotel and was transformed by two real-estate developers into stylish accommodations for young travelers. The hotel’s history is part of its charm and remains intact through the preserved architecture and interesting details. The hotel was once temporary lodging for soldiers that were returning home from World War II and The Prince Hotel’s original single-room cabins with communal bathrooms remain part of the current-day aesthetic. Many of the rooms are small with no windows and other room choices include large queen rooms with windows. The hotel is decorated in a modern-vintage fashion with prints, mason jar lights and a communal third floor living room featuring custom furnishings. Inside the hotel, Bowery Bodega sells snacks, drinks and amenities and the 1,800-square-foot landscaped roof terrace offers panoramic views of downtown. The hotel’s prime location in the center of the hip Bowery area is around the corner from must visits like New Museum and iconic neighborhood outposts like Bowery Ballroom and Café Habana.
The Harlem Flophouse is an ode to the neighborhood’s history and homage to The Harlem Renaissance with its many poets, artists, musicians and writers who called the area their home during this influential era. The once single-family Victorian has the feel of a jazz speakeasy and offers eclectic rooms that echo a simpler time. Each room is named after a Harlem Renaissance great such as Thelonious Monk and Chester Himes and features period detailing like carved crown moldings and antique furnishings. Some rooms feature a sink and most share a claw-foot tub bathroom. The owner, Rene Calvo, renovated the property in 2000 with the idea in mind of creating a reasonably-priced European-style guest house. The iconic surrounds include numerous restaurants, cafes and bars and is a short distance to the landmark, Apollo Theatre, while a quick subway ride will get travelers to the heart of Manhattan.
Set in the edgy hipster neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn House Hotel offers up comfortable accommodations and a contemporary aesthetic, inspired by its artistic surrounds. Echoing the vibe of the many artists that reside in the neighborhood and the galleries that line its streets, the boutique hotel features a rotating display of work by local artists. Rooms are minimalistic and modern, with hardwood floors, wood furnishings and dark walls. Staying in Bushwick is ideal for patrons that are looking to be away from the chaos of Manhattan and appreciate the authentic, somewhat desolate, feel of the up-and-coming area—which is full of warehouses, spread-out bars, galleries and restaurants. Notable perks include a complimentary deluxe breakfast from the “food truck” outside the hotel entrance, which pays homage to its Brooklyn roots.