There are more hotel rooms than ever in New York City, as exciting new properties continue to open their doors not only in Manhattan but in Brooklyn and the outer boroughs as well. But does that mean that New York is cheap? Well, we wouldn’t say cheap, but you can still find some deals, especially if you’re not set on a specific property or neighborhood, and if you don’t mind a few
extra minutes of commuting time.
Hotels continue to slash rates based on market sensitivity—especially if you and all of those other Internet-savvy shoppers are willing to wait until the last minute. That said, if you want to stay in a specific place and the rate seems reasonable, book it—it's just as likely to go up, especially during peak seasons (spring and fall).
How to choose? The first thing to consider is location. Many New York City visitors insist on staying in the hectic Midtown area—and options are improving there—but other neighborhoods are often just as convenient. Less touristy areas, such as Gramercy, the Lower East Side, the Upper West Side—even Brooklyn—provide a far more realistic sense of New York life.
Also consider timing: the least expensive months to book rooms in the city are January and February. If you're flexible on dates, ask the reservationist if there's a cheaper time to stay during your preferred traveling month—that way you can avoid peak dates, like Fashion Week and the New York City Marathon. Be sure to ask about possible weekend packages that could include a third night free. (The Financial District in particular can be a discount gold mine on weekends.)
Another source of bargains? Chain hotels. Many have moved into the city and charge reasonable room rates. In addition to favorites like the Sheraton, Hilton, and Hyatt brands, there are Best Westerns, Days Inns, and Comfort Inns. These rates aren't as low as you find outside Manhattan, but they're certainly getting closer.