It may seem impossible to find budget-friendly lodgings in New York City, known for its high rents and expensive attractions. However, finding stylish and affordable accommodations is easier than you think: options are available, whether you’re looking to stay in the heart of Manhattan or in a neighboring borough. Here are the best cheap hotels in NYC.
The idea of booking a hotel in New York can be head-in-hands inducing… but not impossible. Among the swathes of swanky hotels lie a variety of affordable alternatives that place you slap bang in the middle of the action without breaking the bank. This is Culture Trip’s pick of the best.
Built in 1908 and restored in 2008, The Jane Hotel draws inspiration from luxury train and ship cabins. Travelers staying in bunk-bed and standard cabins share communal bathrooms, but there is ample storage space above and below the beds. The cozy wood furnishings, seasonal rooftop and unbeatable West Village location make it easy to forget you’re staying in a budget-friendly hotel.
Located in Times Square, the Row is a convenient home base during your stay in NYC. Guests have access to a fitness studio equipped with treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights and recumbent bicycles. Just next door is City Kitchen, a gourmet food market with options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Another perk is the multiple subway stops (the A, C, E and 7 trains) within walking distance.
Located along the historic stretch known as the Bowery, this hotel originally served as temporary lodgings for soldiers returning from World War II. Decor pays homage with brass wall lights and earthy palettes of sage greens and muddy browns, and dog tag keys let you into cabin-style rooms with lattice work ceilings – plus, when the building was restored, they took care to keep many of the original 1940s elements. En suites are forgone for the sake of affordability, but the communal bathrooms are a cut above the average, thanks to the heated floors, Italian marble sinks and showers, with high-pressure rain shower heads and Red Flower bath products.
YOTEL’s compact rooms have been designed with functionality and aesthetics in mind. Each cabin has gel memory foam mattresses, heated bathroom towel racks, a safe to store valuables and rain showers. And to offset the smaller rooms, guests have access to one of the largest outdoor hotel terraces in New York.
Behind the slate-grey brickwork and marble arched facade of the Seton Hotel lies a lesson in sophisticated elegance. Burnished metals, marble walls and checkerboard tiling welcome you to the lobby, while rooms are a homey combination of vintage wood furniture and botanical artwork, elevated by twinkling chandeliers. Premium suites offer a more gilded setting in the shape of gold-framed mirrors and pillowy king-size beds. It’s a short stroll to the well-connected Grand Central Terminal, so you’re enviably placed to explore the city. Hunger can also be satiated in minutes at nearby food spots like Italian restaurant Norma and the classic New York deli Bagels and Schmear.
This Netherlands-based hotel chain has two locations in NYC, one in the Bowery and one near Times Square. CitizenM’s rooms are outfitted with extra-large king-size beds, wall-to-wall windows, high-pressure rain showers and an international plug system. The lobby was designed to feel like a living room, which makes it an easy place to work or relax, no matter the time of day.
Hotel RL is a stone’s throw from the vintage stores and jogger-laden streets of Williamsburg,keeping things stripped back with exposed brick, matte black piping and rustic hanging rope lighting. Rooms take a slightly more svelte approach – walls feature classic black-and-white photography, hardwood floors, dark-teak furniture and crimson accents. Kick off your mornings with a rejuvenating shower using complimentary handcrafted Cascadia Soapery products, before heading down for ethically sourced Victrola coffee. You’ll also have the opportunity to give back during your stay by donating to the hotel’s charity, Project Wake Up Call, which supports homeless LGBTQ youth services.
Refurbished materials, exposed brick and vintage furniture create an intriguing decorative patchwork at The Collective Paper Factory (named after its manufacturing past) – a fresh and bright take on the urban hotel. The plant-filled lounge-slash-conservatory exudes calm with sun-enticing floor-to-ceiling windows and woven pouffes, while a more lively buzz can be found with a game of shuffleboard or Ping Pong in the concrete-walled playroom. Retreat to rooms filled with trendily distressed wooden furniture and Pixar-style lamps to catch a film on the flat-screen TV. The 24-hour gym will keep the fitness-focused happy, while those after a space to work should head to the den where you can admire the mechanical jigsaw of a classic metal printing press.
In the heart of Midtown Manhattan, Pod 39 is a fusion of contemporary curved furnishings and natural materials. Rooms range from compact two-bed bunk pods to family-friendly rooms with queen-size and mini bunk beds – all offer practical amenities like flat-screen TVs, work desks and en-suite bathrooms with rainfall showers. Downstairs, the playroom lounge (complete with air hockey tables) injects a bohemian edge with raw wood shelves, tangles of potted plants and Persian rugs. Wrap up your day with a ginger beer and tequila at open-air restaurant Empellón Al Pastor, which sits on the hotel’s striking red-brick, pillared rooftop.