The 12 Best Cheap Hotels in Manhattan

Explore Manhattan from any of these stylish hotels that won't break the bank
Explore Manhattan from any of these stylish hotels that won't break the bank | © Francois Roux / Alamy Stock Photo
Between the Broadway shows, museum fees, and pricey bus tours, vacationing in New York City isn’t cheap. However, what many people don’t realize is that you can easily save money by booking a room at one of NYC’s many budget-friendly hotels.

Cheap hotels can be found in the heart of Manhattan, so don’t worry about having to commute far to the city’s main attractions if you are on a budget. The following Manhattan hotels are located in the city’s most famous neighborhoods. Just make sure to book your rooms far in advance, because budget-friendly hotels fill up fast.

Pod 51, Midtown

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel
Pod 51
Courtesy of Pod 51 / Expedia

Sitting snugly in the heart of Midtown, Pod 51 is within walking distance of numerous New York staples including Grand Central Terminal and Rockefeller Center. The hotel keeps things simple with elementary rooms that are stripped down to allow for a more affordable stay. White walls are livened up with geometric patterns and bold pops of blue and red, while standard amenities including flat-screen TVs and wifi offer evening entertainment. Kick off a memorable night out with happy hour at Clinton Hall, a magnet for retro board game virtuosos with their oversized Jenga and Connect 4.

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The Harlem Flophouse, Harlem

Budget Hotel, Independent Hotel, Inn
The Harlem Flophouse
Courtesy of The Harlem Flophouse /

Originally built as a single-family home, The Harlem Flophouse is a Victorian townhouse that was converted into a lodging house in the early 1900s. Each of the hotel’s rooms is furnished in the style of the Jazz Age, and the shared bathrooms have antique clawfoot tubs. To keep prices low, the hotel offers limited services, so don’t expect to have your room cleaned or be given fresh towels every day.

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The Jane Hotel, Meatpacking District

Boutique Hotel, Budget Hotel, Hotel
The Jane Hotel
Courtesy of The Jane Hotel /

Since its inception in 1908, The Jane has morphed from a no-frills sailors’ lodging into a rock’n’roll venue, and finally an intriguing Agatha-Christie-reminiscent hotel. Wander down narrow hallways to find intimate cabins straight from the hull of a luxury ship – you can double up in a bunk bed room or choose a standard; both come with TVs and plenty of clever storage space. If your budget can stretch to it, go for the distinguished captain’s cabin with an en-suite bathroom, a picturesque private terrace and an old-worldly collection of vintage furniture. In the evening, tuck into lamb radiatore pasta on the marble tables of restaurant Old Rose, and gaze out onto views of the Hudson River.

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EVEN Hotel Times Square, Midtown

Even Hotel Times Square South
Courtesy of EVEN Hotel Times Square South / Expedia

Just a few blocks from Times Square, EVEN Hotel takes a practical approach to wellness with its in-room fitness areas and gentle palette of colors that will help your mind relax. Distinctive elements such as all-natural eucalyptus sheets and adjustable LED lights feature in rooms, while a state-of-the-art gym includes on-trend Peloton bikes with online streaming classes to properly get you pumped up. The green mentality extends to the selection of eco-friendly EO toiletries found in the bathroom’s rainfall showers – and even the food lives up to the hotel’s health-focused ideology, with made-to-order smoothies available at on-site cafe Cork and Kale.

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Seton Hotel, Murray Hill

Budget Hotel
The Seton Hotel
Courtesy of Seton Hotel /

Try though you might, it’s no easy feat prying your eyes away from Seton Hotel’s elegant interior – complete with elevated details such as silver silk curtains, marble walls, and atmospheric lighting. Despite its fancy facade and central location in the Big Apple, rooms are affordable spaces that combine antique furnishings with harlequin walls and flat-screen TVs. They can range from intimate double rooms with shared bathrooms, to the candy-apple-red executive suite that comes with an extra sitting space and sofa. When the time comes to explore, it’s only a short stroll to the cinematic Grand Central Station and giant neon screens of Times Square.

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The Sohotel, Lower Manhattan

Budget Hotel
Courtesy of The Sohotel / Expedia

One of the oldest operating hotels in NYC, The Sohotel is nestled in the heart of the Bowery neighborhood and is a great starting point for your adventures in the Big Apple. SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown are all within walking distance of the hotel, and the Bowery subway station lies at the end of the block. Even better, each of The Sohotel’s rooms have CO Bigelow bath products, therapeutic mattresses, and sound-reducing windows.

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Arthouse Hotel New York City, Upper West Side

Budget Hotel
Arthouse Hotel New York City
Courtesy of Arthouse Hotel New York City /

Just minutes from the Museum of Natural History and Central Park, the Arthouse Hotel is a great budget-friendly option for families and solo travelers alike. The century-old hotel building boasts a 1920s French elevator system and Chesterfield-style sofas in the lobby. It also has three on-site restaurants and bars.

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Mela Times Square, Midtown

Independent Hotel
Courtesy of Mela Times Square / Expedia

A concoction of marble walls, clean lines, and soothing neutral tones, Mela Times Square juxtaposes the heady buzz of its neon-lit location. Rooms range from stripped-back standard lodgings to the deluxe penthouse suite – a sprawling space flooded with natural light from a row of picture windows. Thoughtful details such as PURE toiletries, ergonomic chairs, and splashes of eucalyptus green add to its spa-like ambience, while a well-equipped fitness center lets you keep in shape on a daily basis. Food wise, there’s authentic French cuisine on offer in the restaurant, Saju Bistro – try the escargots à la bourguignonne (baked snails in butter) for a meal you won’t forget in a hurry.

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Row NYC, Midtown

Budget Hotel
The Row, NYC
Courtesy of Row NYC Hotel /

Row NYC exudes the same flashy energy as the pulsing and technicolored Times Square, not two blocks away. Its sleek lobby sets the scene with vivid neon graphics, immersive city photography, and a three-dimensional ceiling blanketed by a jigsaw of wooden strips. The 24/7 modern fitness studio is crammed full of high-tech equipment to burn off those holiday calories – and you can top them back up again in the aromatic wonderland of City Kitchen – a market brimming with sushi, Meditteranean cuisine, tacos, and more. With your appetite satiated, head to your minimalist room that maximizes on comfort with ergonomic chairs and pillowy Euro Top platform beds.

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YOTEL New York, Hell's Kitchen

Capsule Hotel
YOTEL New York
Courtesy of YOTEL New York /

Set on the edge of Hell’s Kitchen, YOTEL New York adopts a clean, futuristic design you might expect to find on a sci-fi film set. Curved lines, immaculate whites, and vibrant pops of electric violet are found in the cabin-style rooms – compact but practical spaces full of clever amenities including an adjustable SmartBed, atmospheric mood lighting, and gel memory-foam mattresses. Upgrade your stay and book a king suite for Instagram-worthy views of Manhattan and a personal Peloton bike – perfect for those who prefer to work out alone. In addition to all that, film lovers can satisfy their cinematic craving at one of the Rooftop Cinema Club screenings that takes place on The Terrace.

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Staypineapple, Midtown

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel
Courtesy of Staypineapple / Expedia

Featuring zesty colors, mosaic floor art, silver velvet furnishings, and diamanté chandeliers, Staypineapple oozes a peppy and vibrant character designed to enamor any admirer of all things boho. Fake zebra-skin rugs and multicolored butterfly blinds are found in brightly youthful rooms – elevated by luxurious amenities including flat-screen HDTVs, Keurig coffee makers, and signature lemon-yellow bath robes. With Hudson Yards only a stone’s throw away, you’ll be perfectly poised to climb the spiral staircase of the vessel: a stunning, copper-made and honeycomb-shaped structure that’s perfect for taking some unique snapshots of the city.

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Aloft Manhattan Downtown, Financial District

Guest room at Aloft Manhattan Downtown
Courtesy of Aloft Manhattan Downtown-Financial District / Expedia

Behind its colorswatch-style canopy of lights, Aloft pairs city sophistication with gamer-pleasing decor. Pixelated patterns are a thematic feature of the rooms, and teak furnishings add a sleek edge. Set in the heart of the Financial District, the hotel caters for the business crowd with practical amenities such as the stress-relieving gym and ergonomic workstations. Professionals can pinch a morning bagel from the 24-hour grab-and-go café, while those after a more leisurely stay can take their time over a game of snooker in the ReMix Lounge.

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This article is an updated version of a story created by Claire Waggoner.

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These recommendations were updated on May 5, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.