It’s hard to hang your hat in Midtown Manhattan without letting go of some serious cash (in high season, rooms typically start at $400 per night). That said, you can find good value in Midtown, within steps of all the action. Here’s an eclectic group of reasonably priced boutique hotels that provide value and style. Remember to check out hotel web sites when looking for a good room rate — that’s where you’ll find the best deals.
A marble lobby that soars several floors marks the entrance to this 100-room, 100-suite full-service property that encompasses a small spa, full-size restaurant, and conference rooms. Getting a good night’s sleep is a big concern at the Benjamin, and to this end there are double-paned, soundproof windows, super-plush beds, and 12 — count ’em, 12 — types of pillows for you to choose from. To help you make your selection, a “sleep concierge” will soothingly explain the differences between “buckwheat,” “water,” or “magnetic therapy.” Internet rates from $249-$350 (rates vary depending on season). www.thebenjamin.com.
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Neighborhood: Midtown East, near Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Plaza, the United Nations.
Insider Tip: The Benjamin is a business hotel, so prices soar on weekdays; however, with the weekend come gentle prices and great packages that include parking — a real rarity in Manhattan.
On a busy stretch of 44th Street, the Iroquois is located across from the old hipster hangout The Royalton, but is a million miles away in attitude. The elegant touches in the 114 rooms — Frette linens, Molton Brown bath products, Belgian chocolates at turndown — will make you feel like you’re getting a real bargain here. To live it up right, you can upgrade from a regular to an exec room for around $50. Regardless of your room choice, you’ll feel cocooned in a quiet nest, even though Broadway is just steps away. If you’re reluctant to leave the lovely premises, check out petite and refined Triomphe restaurant. Internet rates from $259-$330 (rates vary depending on season). www.iroquoisny.com.
Neighborhood: Midtown East, near Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Plaza, Fifth Avenue Shopping, Bryant Park, Garment District.
Insider Tip: If you’re a James Dean fan, you might want to book his eponymous suite. He lived in this hotel from 1951-53.
Tres cute, without being cloying or silly, the Library Hotel is definitely the place for you if you’re way into reading. Located around the corner from the grand NY Public Library, each of the 60 rooms on the 10 floors is Dewey Decimal-themed, covering everything from Literature to Technology. Rooms can be claustrophobically small on the lower end of the price scale, but don’t despair: the cozy guests-only lounge, the Writer’s Den, offers breakfast in the morning and snacks, and there’s wine and cheese in the evenings — all free for guests. There’s also a private outdoor area, the Poetry Garden, where you can retire with a book from the hundreds lying around the hotel. Internet rates from $230-350 (rates vary depending on season). www.libraryhotel.com.
Neighborhood: Midtown East, near the New York Public Library, Grand Central Terminal, Empire State Building, Morgan Library, Herald Square.
Insider Tip: Looking for love? Check out the Romance or Erotica rooms.
Even if “Play it again, Sam” doesn’t have special meaning for you, there’s still plenty to appreciate in this Moroccan-themed retreat in the heart of Times Square. First, there’s Rick’s Café, a guest-only lounge that serves complimentary breakfast, coffee, and afternoon wine and cheese. The 48 bright rooms and suites have just the right mix of Casablanca charm — wicker furniture, ceiling fans, along with bright modern bathrooms. Can’t stay offline to save your life? You’ll be happy to know there’s free Wi-Fi and computer access.The staff is courteous and helpful. Internet rates from $250-$350 (rates vary depending on season). www.casablancahotel.com.
Neighborhood: Midtown West, near Times Square, Broadway theatres, Garment District.
Insider Tip: High prices in Times Square got you down? On Friday evenings, Rick’s Café has free live music in addition to gratis wine and cheese. A stay-fit freebie tip — the Casablanca offers free passes to New York Sports Club.