Hotels & Condos in Manhattan, New York

by Lisa Mercer Google

Manhattan's hotel options are as diverse as the city they inhabit. Some boast every amenity you could imagine, and a few that you didn't think existed, while others appeal to visitors on a tight budget. Many of New York City's older hotels are steeped in history and inspire the curiosity to learn about its past residents. Condo hotels are the equivalent of a temporary apartment rental.

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Cheap Chic Hotel

Aspiring artists, dancers, actors and musicians once flocked to Manhattan, with hopes of getting their big break. They found rent-controlled apartments in buildings with bathrooms in the hallways, bathtubs in the kitchens and bathroom sinks that doubled as kitchen sinks. Gentrification made these dwellings obsolete, but hotels like the East Village Bed and Coffee pay homage to Manhattan's early artistic residents. This hotel is located on Avenue C, a formerly dangerous neighborhood referred to as "Alphabet Soup." Art galleries and renovated building now line its streets. The owners of the East Village Bed and Coffee keep their rates low by offering breakfast, but not coffee. Guests share one bathroom on each floor, and each floor has a seven-person maximum occupancy. The rates, which range from $120 to $175 as of 2010, as well as the artistic decor, makes up for the hotel's scare amenities. Each room has an original design. The Tree House has an animal theme. Full-size maps line the walls of the Flight Room, and the Zen Room inspires peace and harmony.

Writers' Haunts

Many major publishing houses have offices in Manhattan, so it's not surprising that aspiring and published authors often visit the city. The Chelsea Hotel, located on West 23rd Street, opened in 1883 as a private apartment building, and reopened in 1905 as a hotel. Its rooms inspired writers such as Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote "2001: A Space Odyssey" while staying at the hotel. The hotel entrance has plaques commemorating the writers who once graced its rooms, including Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas and Arthur Miller, who wrote "Death of a Salesman" while staying at the hotel. The Chelsea Hotel has floor to ceiling windows, providing lots of light for aspiring writers. A mix of Victorian and modern furnishings embellish its rooms. The Algonquin Hotel, located on West 44th Street, is an iconic writer's hotel. Dorothy Parker, and her entourage known as the "Vicious Circle," once conducted literary discourses at the legendary Round Table, located in the hotel's Rose Room. the Rose Room and the Round Table still exist. Marriott recently purchased and renovated the hotel rooms, which now feature modern decor and amenities.

Film Set Hotels

"The Way We Were," "Plaza Suite," "Sex in the City" and "Eloise at the Plaza" have one thing in common. These movies and TV shows all featured scenes at the Plaza Hotel, located on Central Park South. Built in 1907, the Plaza Hotel has served celebrities, dignitaries and socialites for over a century. Its rooms, which feature Louis XV-inspired decor, 24-carat gold plated faucets and hand-crafted marble vanities are literally designed for royalty. The Plaza hotel management recently decided to capitalize on the "Eloise at the Plaza" book, and commissioned dress designer Betsey Johnson to create an Eloise at the Plaza Suite. Johnson adorned the suite with pink floral fabrics and added pink striped wallpaper. The Plaza has a full-service spa and fitness center. Some scenes in "The Godfather" were filmed at the art deco Edison Hotel, located on West 47th Street. the hotel has a fitness center, an Italian restaurant and a cafe.

Condo Hotels

Condo hotels, also called "condotels," are condominium suites or apartments housed in traditional hotels. The Plaza Hotel Residences, located in the Plaza Hotel, and the St. Regis Residences, located on the eighth and ninth floor of the St. Regis Hotel. These units are privately-owned, and rented to guests who prefer an apartment setting during their stay. Condotels do well in ski and beach resorts, but the 2008 credit crunch, according to a September, 2009 "New York Times" article, has limited condo hotel development in New York. The existing condotels offer upscale accommodations. Suites at the Trump Soho have king-size sofa beds in the living room and leather and wood furnishings. Suites at the St. Regis Hotel combine classic with modern furnishings. Some rooms at both hotels have powder rooms, which are separate from the regular bathrooms.

About the Author

My articles have appeared in Aspen Magazine, HerSports, The Professional Skier and other print and online publications. When I'm not teaching fitness or writing, I work at Copper Mountain and at the Breckenridge History Society.