Finding a budget hotel in New York City isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. Here are five comfortable ones, centrally located and chock full of personality.
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Hotel 41. Bamboo in the window beckons guests to the warmly lit lobby of the Hotel 41. This stylish hotel is not meant for family visits; rooms are tiny. Most standard rooms face a brick wall, but if you can get past the size and not-so-thrilling views, it’s a cozy place to stay, with a bed showing off crisp linens and a TV hanging above the closet. Bathrooms are elegant, with half-glass showers, original tile on the floor, and Aveda amenties. Downstairs, Bar 41 is a dark sports bar-like hangout with rock music loudly playing. Find serenity in the intimate back room wine cellar. Pros: DVD player in rooms; some rooms have refrigerators. Cons: Lack of queen-size beds; small rooms. 206 W. 41st St. 212/703-8600 (ph.). 212/302-0895 (fax). www.hotel41nyc.com. 47 rooms. In-room facilities: safe, refrigerator (some), DVD, ethernet. In-hotel facilities: restaurant, room service, bar, concierge, laundry, parking (fee) no-smoking rooms. AE, MC, V. Rates start at $249.
Millennium UN Plaza Hotel New York. For those who relish the idea of rubbing elbows with diplomats, you can’t get much closer to the United Nations than the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel New York. Ask to stay in the newer East Tower, where you’ll find modern earth-toned rooms (some with flat-screen TVs) and bathrooms stocked with Gilchrist & Soames amenities. West Tower rooms, while laden with tired furnishings, are good for extended visits because of their full kitchens. Squeezing in time to play at this hotel is easy. Guests can take a dip in the indoor pool and test their backhand on the indoor tennis court. Pros: rooms on the 28th floor offer terrific views; massage and sauna facilities available. Cons: no free Internet; no complimentary breakfast. One United Nations Plaza. 212/758-1234 (ph.). 212/702-5051 (fax). www.millenniumhotels.com. 87 rooms. In-room facilities: safe, kitchen (some), ethernet. In-hotel facilities: bar, no-smoking rooms, room service, tennis court, concierge, restaurant, pool, parking (fee), laundry service, gym. minibars. Rooms start at $229.
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La Quinta Inn. Smack in the middle of Koreatown and close to Penn Station, this friendly hotel in a beautiful old Beaux Arts building may be one of the best deals in town. Never mind the drab green and burgundy décor when your room features treats like free Wi-Fi, an iPod plug-in, and a bathtub. In the mornings, the free continental breakfast goes beyond the usual fare, with granola and oatmeal. Perhaps the best part about staying here is access to Mé Bar. In the evenings, both guests and locals head up to this year-round mellow rooftop bar for a cocktail in the shadow of the Empire State Building. Pros: self check-in machines; gift shop on the premises for necessities. Cons: no room service; no frills. 17 W. 32nd St. 212/736-1600 (ph.). 212/563-4007 (fax). www.lq.com. 182 rooms. In-room facilities: safe, Wi-Fi (no fee). In-hotel facilities: bar, gym, laundry, public Wi-Fi, parking (fee), no-smoking rooms. AE, D, DC, MC, V. Rooms start at $109.
Casablanca Hotel. When entering the hushed Casablanca, it’s hard to believe you’re a stone’s throw from all the Times Square hoopla. Like something out of its namesake film, a sultry Mediterranean feel permeates the Casablanca, from the mirrors in public spaces to the rooms’ ceiling fans, wooden blinds, and dainty little bistro tables. Huge tiled bathrooms, many with windows, feature Baronessa Cali amenities. On the second floor, classical music plays while guests linger in the spacious, library-like Rick’s Café for the complimentary breakfast buffet and wine and cheese evenings. Pros: access to the Theater District; all rooms are smoke-free. Cons: no gym (but hotel is near a New York Sports Club); heavy tourist foot traffic. 147 W. 43rd St. 212/869-1212 (ph.). 212/391-7585 (fax). www.lq.com. 48 rooms. In-room facilities: safe, refrigerator, VCR, dial-up. In-hotel facilities: bar, no-smoking rooms, room service, restaurant, parking (fee), laundry service, minibars. AE, DC, MC, V. Rooms start at $249.
Hotel Metro. With its mirrored columns and elegant black-and-white photos in the lobby, the Hotel Metro, housed in an early-20th-century building, has a distinctive retro feel. Guests tend to hang out in the lounge, where coffee and tea are served all day, or in the adjacent library, a quiet nook with sofas and a desk. Upstairs, muted rooms with leather headboards and cushioned Art Deco chairs flaunt tall-ceiling bathrooms with Gilchrist & Soames products. In summer, the Metro Grill rooftop bar promises outstanding Empire State Building views. Pros: renovated exercise room has flat-screen TVs; iHome in rooms. Cons: no DVD players; no spa services. 45 W. 35th St. 212/947-2500 (ph.). 212/279-1310 (fax). www.hotelmetronyc.com. 179 rooms. In-room facilities: safe, Wi-Fi (no fee). In-hotel facilities: restaurant, room service, bar, business center, public Wi-Fi, no-smoking rooms. AE, DC, MC, V. Rooms start at $225.
Recommendations from the Travel Talk Forums
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“For the intrepid rough and tumble very budget traveler, I would recommend the Hotel Marrakesh on the upper west side near Columbia University at 103rd and Broadway. It is a basic hostel but only $32!!! per night. It makes a great arrival base if you get in at midnight and don’t feel like spending $300 for a few hours of sleep.” – recommended by ncounty
“I stayed at Quality Inn in Long Island City (Queens). It was cheap, pretty new and it is only 2 stops on the subway to Manhattan.” – recommended by gard
“Another Apple Core property, La Quinta’s neighbor, the Red Roof Inn, should be on any list of NYC hotels for budget-minded travelers; it’s newly refurbished, with about the same amenities and prices as La Quinta.” – recommended by Anonymous
“My husband and daughter stayed the Bedford Hotel last March and got a good room, excellent service and a great rate. My husband and I stayed at the La Quinta about 5 years ago and it was a great choice for us. Small room, but quiet and they had a nice breakfast buffet. Plus it was in a great location for easy sightseeing.” – recommended by longhorn55
To learn more about hotels in New York, check out the lodging section of Fodor’s New York City 2008.