Cheapest NYC hotels
New York hotels under $200
Yes, it's true, the cheapest NYC hotels are hostels. And, no, it's not true that hostels, by definition, are dumps meant for poor backpackers. A reporter for The Washington Post checked out four hostels in the Big Apple and lived to tell the tale. But for those who aren't sold on the idea of sleeping in a bunk bed, we found some honest-to-goodness cheap New York hotels that garner praise from travelers and media outlets alike. New York tacks on hefty state and local taxes totaling almost 15%, so we tried to keep our picks well under $200.
One tip is to take a look at what the locals have to say. After all, they know their city better than any visitor posting an online review. New York magazine critics' picks for cheap NYC hotels include Hotel Belleclaire (starting at $109), Union Square Inn (starting at $119), and Chelsea Pines Inn (starting at $159). Chelsea Pines is also TripAdvisor's top-rated New York hotel under $200 and No. 6 overall.
Users on TripAdvisor also like Chinatown's brand-new Hotel Mulberry (starting at $169) and Comfort Inn Manhattan Bridge (starting at $135); Hotel 41 at Times Square (starting at $179); Hotel 373 near the Empire State Building (starting at $174); and sister properties Hotel 17 (starting at $108) and Hotel 31 (starting at $120). (An apparent formula for finding a New York budget hotel: Just take the word 'Hotel' and append your favorite number.)
Keep in mind that $200 doesn't go quite as far in New York City as it does elsewhere. Many of the cheapest New York hotels don't have amenities such as room service or a fitness center. If you're looking to get a little more for your money, consider checking out a few hotels across the river in Jersey City. (Look for cheap fares to Newark airport.) TripAdvisor lists the Westin (starting at $191), Doubletree Hotel (starting at $171), and Candlewood Suites (starting at $149). Book the latter at least two weeks early to save 20% through Nov. 30. All three are within walking distance of the PATH train, which will take you to Manhattan in 5 minutes for $1.75.
If you insist on a spot in the middle of the action, take a cue from the hostel-goers and consider a shared bathroom. Rooms at Chelsea Lodge (starting at $134 for double occupancy) have sinks and shower stalls, but guests share communal toilets. At Chelsea Star Hotel you can choose between a shared bathroom (starting at $119) and a private bathroom (starting at $199). East Village Bed & Coffee's themed rooms (starting at $130 including taxes) share bathrooms but also fully equipped kitchens, so you don't have to have all your meals at pricey New York eateries. But make a reservation early; the next three months are almost fully booked.
In some cases it might be worth the extra money to upgrade to a private bathroom. At Hotel Newton a room with a shared bathroom typically starts at around $150, but a private bathroom is only $10 more. We found last-minute rates where the difference was just $3: $100 for a shared bathroom and $103 for a private bathroom.
Lists of the cheapest New York hotels often include the unique Pod Hotel. But while we found a midweek rate of $139 for a double, the same room will set you back $299 on a weekend. A final option is The Jane (starting at $99), which is noteworthy not just for its low rates but also for its West Village location. Then again, with a shared bathroom and a twin bed, maybe you might as well check out some of those hostels.
New York City hotels on TripAdvisor (use the sliding scale to set your price ceiling)
Jersey City hotels on TripAdvisor
New York magazine hotel search
9 Great New York City Cheap Hotels from About.com