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a good/cheap/central hotel in NYC?

You know the drill: pick 2.

Some days I try to remember there _is_ life outside IT. So in order to act on that insight, I thought of bringing my SO early June to visit NYC for the 1st time.

But as we would be coming from the Land Of the Cold (tm) aka Canada, and our bucks is significantly weaker than yours, I was wondering if you could recommend me some hotels/bed and breakfast around the city where you would send friends or relatives (the ones you like, mind you).

I was thinking around $80-90(US) bucks a night or something in that ball park. Any suggestions? Or Should I provision a bit more?


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The only way to get good, cheap, and central is to go with TINY rooms (and I mean tiny -- think ship cabins) which you can get at the Hudson Hotel. But I expect you're still going to pay more than $100. Another similar hotel to the Hudson is the Paramount - tiny rooms, very cool ambiance.

If you're willing to forego "good", there are some giant hotels around Penn Station -- the Hotel Pennsylvania, the Edison, the New Yorker, which have not been renovated as recently as they should have been, and prices reflect this. These hotels are popular with international airlines from banana republics that have to dump a 747 full of humans into hotel rooms when their one plane has a broken fan belt.

If you punch $130 - $150 into Priceline you'll probably get something decent like a Hilton.

I send my relatives to On The Ave because it's in the neighborhood where I live, very stylish, and not too expensive. They also like to stay at the Milburn which is always nice because it has kitchenettes so you can save a lot of money on eating out.

For a splurge stay at one of the (five) Ws. I like W hotels so much it's always my first choice in the few cities that have them.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The Hotel Wolcott is great. I took my fiance there a while back -- rooms are reasonable ($100 for two people in June), it's right near the Empire State Building (5th and 31st), and beautiful inside.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I have to book accomodations for our company's consultants when they visit us here in New York City.  I generally judge hotels based on price, cleanliness, safety, neighborhood, and "cool-factor", in that order. 

With the above in mind, you might want to check out the Roger Williams Hotel and the Gramercy Park Hotel.  They are a bit beyond your optimal price range, but most NYC hotels are, quite simply, very expensive.

A less expensive alternative in my neighborhood (East Village / Lower East Side) is the Howard Johnson on Houston Street (pronounced How-stun).  The nightlife in that area is hopping, but if you're a New York newbie, it may seem a bit sketchy...

Hope this helps - good luck!

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

try going to and seeing what some of the 3-star hotels in NYC are going for.  I was in the Marriott East Side last August after bidding around $90 on priceline, if i recall correctly.

good luck.

just sooper
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Reminds me of the time that some friend and I came over from the UK on a kind of last minute "I know, lets go to New York" thing. We figured that Harlem would be a cool place to stay and just a few subway stops from Midtown. So we found a B&B on 5th (around 125th) that was nice and cheep. It was a little bit scarying when the cab driver pulled over and said "here it is".

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

> around Penn Station...

Heh, The Howard Johnson at 34th is not around Penn,
it's AT the station.

I've been there for 10 days and it can be one of the worse
hotels in the area, but it's very cheap, and if all you want
from a hotel is a place to sleep and keep your stuff
somwhere, it is acceptable.

And a big plus compared to any big hotel with huge lobby
and elevators is that you can go out, see that is raining,
then go up, take umbrella, go down, notice that you forgot
yor camera, go back to your room and be back down, all in
less than one minute.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I stayed at the Hotel Pennsylvania when I was in New York with my partner in 2002.

The rates were pretty cheap and yes the lobby was packed with Air Banana Republic crew.

I think we must have really enjoyed New York as I am still inclined to recommend the Penn even though we had to put up with...

* the first room we were checked into hadn't been cleaned

* Staff gave the distinct impression that they saw a million people a day and you were wasting their time

* And, oh yes, on our final night there we woke to find cockroach in our bathroom. We went after it with a shoe but it escaped. Long story short, I found the cockroach again when I awoke to the sensation of it crawling ACROSS MY FACE!

Just typing this I can feel it on my face again.

But still we loved New York and the Penn was a great location. is great for discounted accomodation and they actually pass the booking on the hotel, unlike some web booking services I've used.

Boy from Aus
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

A cockroach crawling across my face wouldn't be my concern.  What is had done prior to me waking up would disturb me greatly!

Special Ed
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The Cartlon Hotel is my favorite hotel in the city (at any price), and it's pretty reasonable by NY standards ($169/night).  It's at 29th & Madison.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Recently, for a solution that my company has launched (I'm tech lead) for a department of NYC Buildings, I have been in NYC.  A lot.

It's a small company, so I do my own hotel bookings.  I have been in many different hotels (I've been experimenting).  If you have questions about a particular hotel, I might have stayed at it and might be able to answer questions about it.  Just post questions here in this thread (I browse JOS every day)

I discovered one hotel (using that I really like a lot.  In fact, since I've discovered it, I've pretty much stopped my experimenting.  The name of the hotel is "Skyline Hotel".  It's at 725 10th Ave (not sure if you should call directly, or go through expedia - if you are interested)

Here's the details of why I really like this hotel:

1) Cheap

They have two types of rooms.  The Standard Room and The Deluxe Room.  Standard is $99.  Deluxe is $120.  This is a 3 star hotel (it's rated that, but I'd be willing to give it 4!).  Those are pretty good prices.

2) Room size is HUGE (for Deluxe anyway)!

I've stayed in a lot of hotels, as I mentioned, and out of all the hotels I've stayed at this one has the biggest room I've ever been in.  With a nice big bathroom too.

This place is on 10th Ave between 49th and 50th.  I've stayed in both the Sheraton's (1 is on 8th ave between 51st and 52nd, the other is on 8th ave between 52nd and 53rd) -- and these are classified as 4 star -- and the room and especially the bathroom at the Skyline are much, much bigger.  I'm telling you, this is an unbelievably big room and bathroom.

My aunt from Florida was here, last week, and she was staying at a Marriot on Lexington ave (5 blocks up from Grand Central) and the room/bathroom at the Skyline was much bigger.

I've never stayed in the Standard room, because the Deluxe is only $20 more.  So, I'm not sure about the size of those rooms.  But, for $120.  This is quite a bargain.

The Deluxe has a big King size bed (I like big beds!) and it even has this big couch (which pulls out to a sofa bed).  You can sleep 4 in this place.

3) Quiet

Trust me, sometimes you can stuck in some noisy places.  For example, you would think that being in NYC you would want to be right in Times Square where all the action is.  But, that's not necessarily the case.  That's because this is where all the noise is!!

For example, I had to book a wed (the 17th) and thurs night (the 18th) just recently.  Well, the 17th is St. Patrick's day, so most of the hotels were booked.  I couldn't get the Skyline on wed night, only thurs night.  I just ended up going with the cheapest I could find for Wed night -- which was $199 (they bumped their rates for the night).  It was the Milford Plaza.  Walk.  No run.  From this place.

There was a time that I was in NYC for personal reasons, and my sister and husband stayed here.  The room they stayed in was tiny and uncomfortable with paper-thin walls.  I say that because I was in their room talking, as they were preparing themselves so that we could all go out, and there was a banging at the door.  Someone knocked to tell us to be quiet.  It was 3, 4 pm?  Maybe I talk loud.  But jeesh!

When I walked in to the hotel the night of the 17th, I remembered that THIS was the hotel my sister stayed at.  I was nervous.  I said to the person at the desk, "I'm not here for St. Patty's day, I'm here to sleep.  What can you give me?".  She said she didn't want to put me in one of the tiny rooms, instead she could put me on the 26th floor in this room that had just a sofa that was a pull-out bed.  I'm imagining that this must have been part of some suite that they broke up so that they could have extra rooms.  I take it.

It was a big room (tiny bathroom), and it did have only the pull out bed from the sofa (which, was ok - I was tired).  But, I think they don't believe in sound-proof windows.  The noise from the street (being that I was right there in times square) was ridiculous.  Every honking of a car-horn, or every fire truck, etc.  I heard it.  Miserable night.

That's kind-of what I like about the Skyline.  It's kinda close to the action, but not too close (It's a 2 block walk to a subway stop so you are close enough).

4) They've got discount parking

I always take the train in, so this isn't a concern for me.  But, if you have a car, parking is expensive.  Apparently, this place has on-site parking garage which is pretty cheap.

5) Food

They have a really nice breakfast buffet (eggs, panckaes, french toast, muffins, bacon, sausages, etc).  Cheap too! ($11.89 after taxes for one person).  Of course, there's a Mickey D's one block from this place...if you want to go cheaper.


Anyhow, I think in my rambling, there was enough info for you to go on.  Maybe you don't choose skyline, but I probably said some things that might make you think about what you do want.

If you find another place, that's cheap, that has a good size room, but small bathroom.  I'd go for that too.  I don't think the bathroom sizes are that much of a concern (I try not to spend too much time in there than necessary), but a nice room size can go a long way.

William Campbell
Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I am staying at Hotel Pennsylvania now and man it really stinks. Dirty room, dysfunctional shower, very crowded lobby, impolite customer services reps, etc. etc.

Go to Club Quarters in lower Manhattan.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Hotel Pennsylvania: $89 per night
Club Quarters: $85 to $95 per night.

Friday, March 26, 2004

if you are a bit creaky and elderly and are a member of AARP, try the Waldorf Astoria. My aunt stayed there a few years ago in a very nice suite for $130/night, pulling out every possible discount.

In the under $20 category, there's the hostels, but you'll sleep in bunkbeds and not be able to  safely leave your luggage in the room.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Here's a personal experience, from me, in regards to the Carlton Hotel that Brian mentioned (yep, the same one right there on 29th).

This week, and I don't know what the reason, there weren't a lot of rooms available for Thursday night.  Early in the week I tried booking Skyline but could only get it for Wednesday night.  Also, trying to get Wednesday and Thursday nights, consecutively, at any hotel in Manhattan was practically impossible (unless I wanted to start at a minimum of $250/night).

I ended up booking Skyline for Wednesday night ($120 + taxes/fees) and the Carlton ($179 + taxes/fees).

Wednesday morning, I got in to where I'm working and spent the day there.  I left at 5:30pm to go to Joel's Open House (with all my bags, I hadn't checked in yet! - yes, I was the geek with the backpack on -- sorry, there was $5K worth of computer equipment in it and I just didn't want to leave it lying around).  I left Joel's Open House to go eat at a restaurant with my friend Dave (who also attended Joel's Open House with me).  I got to the Skyline at around 11ish (pm) and checked in.

I do that often, on my first night in the city.  I won't check in until 11pm or so, because I'll get off the train in the morning and go straight to the place that I've been working at.  I usually put in long hours when I'm in NYC (because I'm not here all 5 business days), and won't leave until late.  I've never had a problem, at any hotel, checking in that late.  The rooms are paid for.  It's my room! :)  I don't care if I don't show up!  I paid for it!

Last night I show up at the Carlton, approx. 11pm, and I go to check in.  They gave my room to someone else!!!  On top of that, they had no other rooms available.  On top of THAT, there was nothing in Manhattan that they could give me (all comparable hotels were booked).  On top of THAT!!!!, the guy at the front desk was telling me that for some reason I had booked two rooms - so I was getting charged for two (which definitely was not the case and a call to expedia backed that up)

That's all quite annoying (you'd think!?)

They ended up sending me to the Clarion near LaGuardia (Queens!!!).  They're not going to charge me for the booking I made with them (or the "phantom double booking").  Plus, they paid for the night at the Clarion and gave me $50 for taxi money (It cost $25 (with tip) by metered taxi to get there, and I could only get a flat rate -- costing $40 (with tip) -- to get back to Manhattan.  They were a little bit short on their transportaion money).

Sure, I made out financially (no cost to me for staying overnight), but it's still annoying.  On top of that, I didn't really like the Clarion -- it was much too noisy.

Here's my four pet peeves from my stay at the Clarion:

1) If it's 2am, don't shreek and laugh loud and play games with your friend in the hallway outside of my door (and everyone else's door).

2) If it's 2:30am, front desk...please don't call my room.

3) If it's 7:45am, use your library voice.  The guy in the next room to me was talking so loud that I could hear every word of his conversation.  And he wasn't even funny!!  Keep me entertained, at least! (Seriously, not!)

4) When I leave my room, I am courteous and I guide the door closed.  Most people just walk right out and let it close by itself.  Which, even though it's not swinging wildly shut, always ends with a loud SLAM!  I'd say from 6am until I finally got up because of loud-talker guy, every 5 minutes or so there was a SLAM!  SLAM!  SLAM!  SLAM!

I know at other hotels people do these things, but the better hotels somehow, someway just aren't as noisy.  Better walls?  Better windows?  Placement of the bed relative to the door?  I don't know.  But, I appreciate the ones that are.

William Campbell
Friday, March 26, 2004

I'm also staying in NYC with my SO in August.  My parents, who've been a couple of times before, recommended the Washington Square Hotel.  It's not all that cheap ($188/night incl. tax), but it seems pretty good from their website -

My parents mentioned that it has the advantage of being in Greenwich Village, meaning that there's some life in the neighbourhood after office hours.  Since my parents' tastes don't always match mine, though, I figured I'd ask here if anyone has any experiences with the hotel...

Jon Bright
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Greenwich village area is THE place to be. I met lots of super cool people there. Your parents have a good taste buddy. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

go to we got the hyatt grand central for $80 last july and the doral park avenue also for $80 in aug both 4* rooms very nice

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Just stay in Newark, NJ...if you go to Frontage Rd.  They have a Sheraton, a Howard Johnson, and a Holiday Inn.  You can get any of the above for btwn. $50-$90 a night if you check any discount hotel website.  All are great hotels.  You can take the bus in (free) from the hotels to Newark airport, and there are trains that bring you into NYC for about $1.50 each way from there.  It's cheap, and pretty convenient.

Matt Nunya
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

That last guy hit the nail on the head!  You can drive in from there in only about 10 mins, and you're right on the NJ Turnpike (which will bring you to the Holland Tunnel.  You exit the tunnel a few blocks from Battery Park (lower Manhattan).  Great place to stay if you want a cheap trip in NYC.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

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