Finding a cheap hostel or cheap hotel in New York can be considered an art. Accommodation in New York City is among the most expensive in the USA, and one often has to venture beyond Manhattan to find cheaper places to sleep. Here are some tips for accommodation in Manhattan – options that are cheap, luxurious, and provide good value for money.
What to Know about Accommodation in New York
📅 Book Your Hotel in Advance
Hotel prices in New York City vary significantly, with the highest rates during the summer months and around New Year’s Eve. Therefore, it’s advisable to book your accommodation several months in advance. Booking offers hotels with free cancellations. Hence, you can secure a booking and continue searching for a more affordable option.
🗺️ A Good Location Saves Time
To conveniently commute to the sights, consider choosing a hotel within two blocks of a metro station. Staying in New Jersey or far outside Manhattan might result in losing up to two hours daily. The location rating on Booking provides an idea of the quality of the location.
💰 How to Save on Accommodation
Lower prices often come with less comfort. You can save money by opting for a room with a shared bathroom, and avoid accommodation options that include breakfast in the price, as this can make it unnecessarily expensive.
If you’re travelling with four people, it may be more economical to book one room for four rather than two rooms for two.
🧾 Some Offers do not Include Tax
Some accommodation providers quote a price excluding taxes and city fees of around 14.75% + $3.50 per room per night. On Booking, all prices include taxes and fees. However, for advance payments, the amount charged might exclude taxes and these will be payable at the hotel.
Cheap Hotels in New York City
To find the cheapest accommodation in New York, you’ll need to explore beyond the expensive confines of Manhattan. The highest prices are typically in the Midtown area. When choosing a hotel, place great emphasis on subway accessibility and commuting distance to Manhattan. In the neighboring Jersey City, for example, prices are significantly lower, but you’ll spend an additional hour reaching Times Square.
The cheapest hotels in New York typically have ratings on Booking up to 7.0. Expect lesser cleanliness and amenities, only adequate for a cheap place to stay. Choose establishments with at least 100 reviews, as fewer reviews may indicate subpar quality.
If you’re travelling with another person, it’s usually more cost-effective to rent an entire room. For solo travelers, hostels tend to be a better option.
1️⃣ Nap York Central Park Sleep Station
This hostel is a 5-minute walk from Central Park, with the subway entrance just a minute away. Despite being one of the cheapest accommodations, it holds an impressive rating of 8.3/10. The rooms are recently refurbished, the staff is friendly, and the beds offer considerable privacy. View photos / More information about the hotel
2️⃣ Belnord Hotel
This three-star hotel is conveniently located on the Upper West Side, a short walk from the subway. Highlights include good housekeeping standards, a plethora of nearby refreshments, and a pleasant rooftop terrace. Its rating of 8.1/10 is above average for this price range. Show photos / More hotel info
3️⃣ The Harlem Cascades
This apartment, my third pick, holds a solid 8.2/10 rating. It’s situated in the heart of Harlem, just a short walk from a subway station, supermarket, and several restaurants. One minor drawback is the poorly functioning wifi. View photos / More hotel info
Best Hotels in New York by Value for Money
If you’re not simply searching for the cheapest hotels, I’ve selected a few accommodations that provide excellent value for money. All three are situated in the heart of Manhattan, near the most popular attractions, and maintain above-average ratings.
1️⃣ TownePlace Suites by Marriott New York Manhattan/Times Square
These clean and recently renovated suites are located just a three-minute walk from Times Square. All rooms offer a continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and lovely views of the skyscrapers from the rooftop terrace. The rating on Booking is 8.3/10, with some criticism regarding the slow elevator. View photos / More hotel info
2️⃣ The Wall Street Inn
This three-star hotel is situated in a historic building in the southernmost part of Manhattan. If you’re seeking an experience and wish to feel like you’re in an American movie, this hotel with its fabric wallpaper and traditional elevator is a good choice. It holds an 8.3/10 rating and some rooms include breakfast. View photos / More hotel info
3️⃣ Club Quarters Hotel World Trade Center, New York
This four-star hotel, rated 8.4/10, is located in the financial district of southern Manhattan. The hotel is 100 meters from the former World Trade Center. The subway is just a few minutes away, and if you enjoy rooftop terraces, you’ll love it. View photos / More information about the hotel
Luxury Hotels in New York
Five-star and boutique hotels with impeccable service and outstanding reviews from previous guests are mostly located around Central Park. New York City is home to renowned chains such as Sofitel, Park Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, and Mandarin Oriental. The following selection is worth viewing, if only in photos.
1️⃣ The Plaza Hotel
“The Plaza Hotel, the most elegant hotel in New York. Guests of the biggest celebrities stay at the world-famous Plaza Hotel…” You too can stay at the hotel made famous by Home Alone 2. It’s on the edge of Central Park and 5th Avenue. Room amenities include 24K gold-plated lamps and rain showers, as well as the hotel’s renowned Palm Court restaurant. View photos / More hotel information
2️⃣ The Wallace Hotel
This five-star hotel, rated 9.2/10, is surprisingly affordable. It is situated in the Upper West Side in a building with city views and within walking distance of Central Park. The rooms are newly renovated and spacious. View photos / More hotel information
3️⃣ Crosby Street Hotel
The highest-rated hotel in New York City (9.5) on Booking, it’s located in SoHo, a short walk from the Museum of Modern Art, on a relatively quiet cobblestone street. Every room is a work of art. View photos / More information about the hotel
Airbnb in New York
Short-term private rentals are prohibited in New York City. This includes Airbnb, where a significant portion of the listings are regular hostels.
If you wish to stay in private accommodations, I recommend seeking options outside of New York City (in New Jersey, for instance).
Do you have your own tip for accommodations in New York City? Have you come across a unique hotel that provided you with a wonderful New York experience? We would love to hear from you in the discussion.