With around 46 million annual visitors to NYC, Times Square and its surroundings have become one big fat tourist trap, focused on squeezing every last dollar out of naive tourists. Hotel rates, especially, are way out of control, with average nightly rates zooming up to over $300 (it was around $250 last year). What are Joe and Jane Six-pack supposed to do to find some decent and cheap hotels for New York trips? For starters, continue reading…
In addition to listing out the most desirable cheap hotels for the Big Apple, I’ll also be listing out some New Jersey hotels which are making a real and sustained effort to reach out to NYC visitors and tourists. Plus, NYCvisit.com -the City’s official tourism portal – has come up with an innovative deal offering 1 night free at major hotels. But first, let’s get started on the cheapskate NYC hotels.
The Pod Hotel – From bunk beds to single and double ‘pods’ and a swanky Townhouse Studio, the Pod Hotel in Turtle Bay, on the eastern edge of midtown, is a good example of how space challenged hotels in NYC can make up for it with cheap rates and a funky sense of style. They have a summer special going on now for $139. Standard rate for a Double Pod is around $200. More details here. All said and done, the rooms are small, even by NYC standards, but if all you’re looking for is a place to sleep, then the Pod is an excellent midtown base for an extended stay in New York City.
Two decent hotels near the Empire State Building are the Herald Square Hotel with rates from $89, and the Wolcott Hotel which comes highly recommended as one of the best budget hotels in New York City. Then there’s the New Yorker with rates from $129 and the Chelsea Savoy (its a bit far from the usual tourist haunts) with rates from $99. And the Park Savoy, just off Central Park, with rates from $145.
Now these were all decent enough and quite cheap, by NYC standards. But if you want something more out of a hotel, without having to pay through the nose, then check out the NYCVisit.com Sunday Stays program, which offers 20–30% off at participating hotels, along with free room upgrades, discounts on room service and restaurant dining, complimentary breakfast and other freebies.
Lastly, you can go one step further and entirely avoid the hassle and high prices in NYC by opting for a hotel in New Jersey, most of which are way cheaper and more spacious and luxurious. Here’s a full list (pdf file) of NJ hotels within 14 miles of New York City. This list might come in especially handy if you’re driving to New York City, where you’ll likely have to sell your car to get hold of parking space for a couple of days.