New York has a reputation for high hotel rates, which makes the notion of inexpensive lodgings relative. What one might spend for a night in a two-star interstate hotel in the South or Midwest is about the same as the rate for a bunk in a youth hostel dormitory in New York. Visitors to New York can still find budget accommodations in the city, but the hotel might not have as many amenities as they might expect for the price tag.
The first step in looking for an inexpensive hotel in New York is to avoid midtown Manhattan. Given how convenient public transportation in New York is, the locational advantage of midtown isn't worth the higher prices, so bargain hunters would do well to look at downtown, uptown or the other boroughs. The off-season in New York is limited to January and February, and during this time the downmarket chain hotels in particular might offer steep discounts. Visiting on weekends means not competing with business travelers, which might also help in finding a bargain. Finally, always inquire about membership discounts, such as for AAA or various rewards programs.
A small, 22-room hotel occupying a three-story brick house, the Chelsea Lodge was described by Frommer's as "charming and a terrific value." The guest rooms at the Chelsea are small and have only simple furnishings and a full-size bed, but they sport classic hardwood floors and en suite bathrooms. The amenities at the hotel are basic, but all rooms have a TV and Wi-Fi access. Overall, the hotel's location in the heart of Chelsea is hard to beat for the price.
Located in a stylish Beaux Arts building on the Upper West Side, the Hotel Belleclaire offers almost mid-range hotel room quality at reasonable prices. The Belleclaire is the sort of place where most of the 189 rooms have an individual character, despite the uniform furnishings. Some have big windows and a bright character, while others lack en suite bathrooms, so inquire ahead about details. However, all guest rooms come with wood floors and chic, contemporary furnishings and modern amenities like iPod docks, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi access.
The Jane sports an atmosphere so consciously drawn from a Conrad-style notion of a Victorian hotel in a distant colonial outpost that it borders on kitsch. The guest rooms of this West Village hotel are referred to as "cabins," with "The Captain's Cabins" serving as the Jane's hotel-style rooms, while standard cabins are essentially tastefully decorated, wood-paneled closets with a single bed and a shelf for luggage. Bunk-bed cabins are similar, but meant for two, and both the bunk-bed and standard cabins rely on shared bathrooms. However, the amenities are ample and modern, with touches like flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi access and iPod docks. Guests also receive the use of complimentary bicycles during their stay.
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