Some argue that there’s no such thing as a good value when it comes to New York City hotels. Indeed, even if you compare hotels with comparable levels of service, amenities, and luxury, Big Apple properties are more expensive than their counterparts in virtually every other American city. But, of course, New York isn’t every other American city. What follows is our list — compiled after sleeping in more than 400 properties throughout the five boroughs — of the New York City hotels that offer the most for the money.
The Wyndham Garden Chinatown is a modern mid-range chain hotel in the heart of bustling Chinatown. Though the hotel is a trek from traditional sights in midtown, it's within easy walking distance of trendy bars and restaurants in Chinatown and on the Lower East Side. Its 106 guest rooms are small but contemporary, and some come with outdoor terraces that look out onto the city. Room rates include free continental breakfast and free Wi-Fi.
The 124-room Aloft Harlem offers a stylish stay for a good value -- a trademark of its brand. Modern, streamlined design throughout the property merges with playful, music-oriented details that give the spaces character. Rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and luxurious Bliss toiletries, as well as cool design features. The hip on-site bar has a billiards table, and the fitness center is large and modern (though shared with apartment residents). Though the Harlem location is some distance from New York City’s main tourist sights, this part of the neighborhood offers many excellent restaurants, galleries, and performance spaces, including the iconic Apollo Theater just one block away.
This Holiday Inn on the border between SoHo and Little Italy offers excellent value for this hip downtown location. It delivers on all of the expected staples of the brand, and rooms feature flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. Business and fitness centers, while small, are open 24 hours daily. There is free coffee and tea in the lobby, as well as free newspapers delivered daily to rooms. There is a large meeting and event space available, which may appeal to business travelers, and the on-site restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner. This is a solid mid-range option for the area.
Located in the bustling heart of Midtown East, the mid-range Hotel 32 32 offers a solid rate for its excellent location -- one block from the subway, and walking distance to numerous landmarks including the Empire State Building. But there are no common areas, and aside from free Wi-Fi, in-house features are lacking. Guests must trek off-site to take advantage of a free daily breakfast and free fitness center access at affiliated establishments. Its 102 apartment-like rooms are stylish, contemporary, clean, and well-equipped with flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, minibars, and marble bathrooms with free toiletries. Many rooms offer cityscape outlooks, balconies (one has a deck), and kitchenettes. Overall, Hotel 32 32 is hard to beat on price and location.
This Holiday Inn on Manhattan’s Lower East Side delivers all of the brand staples, as well as streamlined, contemporary -- and even stylish -- design. Spacious rooms feature free Wi-Fi and modern bathrooms; some have excellent views of the Downtown Manhattan and the Freedom Tower. The location is within walking distance of trendy restaurants, the famous Katz's Deli, and five subway lines. On-site features include a business center, meeting space, small fitness center, and an outdoor courtyard. The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner, but not lunch, and serves burgers and brews in a kitschy, 50s-inspired atmosphere (kids eat free). Overall, the Holiday Inn is one of the best deals on the Lower East Side -- just know that the location on Delancey Street is busy and noisy.
The Nyma is located in Koreatown, within walking distance of the Empire State Building and near nine subway lines. Mid-range rooms aren't particularly stylish, but they are spacious for New York and equipped with modern amenities, including flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. Other perks, such as free continental breakfast; free coffee, tea, hot chocolate and cappuccino all day; discounted parking at nearby garage; a 24-hour fitness center; and a petite business center help make this a solid value stay in Manhattan.
This mid-range Hampton Inn near Madison Square Park is a credit to the chain, with modern, stylish common spaces and fresh, clean rooms. It's a great affordable option in pricey New York City, and the free Wi-Fi, free coffee and tea in the lobby, free evening cookies and free hot continental breakfast (there are even to-go breakfast bags for those who can't sit down) add to the value. Some tourists may prefer a location closer to the attractions in Midtown, but nearby subway lines make it easy to get around the city.
This urban, 23-room bed-and-breakfast has an understated entrance located at the crossroads of three distinct and cool NYC neighborhoods -- Chelsea, the Meatpacking District, and the West Village. It opened in the mid-80s, and it has become well-known for its genuine hospitality, thanks to owner Jay and his hand-picked staff. A film theme pervades, and guests will find original movie posters -- some perhaps strategically designed to distract guests from the five-floor walk-up (there's no elevator) -- in both the common spaces and classic movie-star-themed rooms. Free Wi-Fi, and an impressive breakfast spread with Jay’s homemade bread, and baked goodies in the afternoon add to value -- and to the homey, personal vibe.
This modern Hilton Garden Inn delivers on all the brand hallmarks (free morning coffee and tea and free afternoon baked goods in the lobby, free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour Pavilion Pantry) - and then some. There's an on-site restaurant, AOA Bar & Grill, serving breakfast and dinner, and the A, C, E subway line, offering easy access to Times Square, Wall Street, and other popular sights, is literally right out the front door. Rooms are clean and functional, though some face an unappealing interior courtyard.
Set in a historic home bordering Tribeca and SoHo, The Canal Park Inn is a lower-middle-range, family-run bed-and-breakfast that’s pleasantly rustic, with plenty of nostalgic flair. It’s two blocks from the subway, and a 10- to 20-minute walk to iconic museums and cool neighborhood haunts. Of its four rooms, three are suites, and they’re all bright, spacious, and well-equipped with kitchenettes or a kitchen, flat-screen TVs, and clawfoot bathtubs. One suite has an outdoor deck. Free hot breakfast (except on Sundays) and Wi-Fi are provided. The Canal Park Inn will appeal more to fans of quirky flaws than luxury, as the building and decor are tidy, but show some wear.
Located in the quiet, classy Upper East Side -- close to Central Park, but far from NYC's best dining and nightlife -- the 1930s-era Franklin brings old Gotham romance into a modern boutique. Rooms are small but stylish and come with free Wi-Fi and excellent Bulgari toiletries. High-quality free breakfasts make it a great pick outside the tourist zone.
The 226 rooms here are particularly small, but they have flat-screen TVs (with HBO), free Wi-Fi, and comfy beds, making the hotel a solid value. The on-site gym, restaurant and bar, and 24-hour business center are big pluses for the price. And the location is well-positioned between popular tourist draws like Times Square (to the north) and SoHo (to the south).
Lower Manhattan's Sohotel is a historic-yet-trendy, mid-range boutique property with a convenient location bordering SoHo and Chinatown. The hotel's tiny, functional, and slightly aged rooms feature exposed brick, colorful and contemporary decor, Therapedic mattresses, flatscreen TVs, and iPod docks. Hotel features include 24-hour reception, free tea and coffee in the lobby, and an affiliation with an adjacent gastropub and nearby cocktail bar. The hotel's easy walking distance to trendy downtown neighborhoods, restaurants, shops, and public transportation make it ideal for guests wanting to explore on foot.
Located on a bleak side street, a bit cut off from most major attractions (though they are all accessible by subway), this 228-room Holiday Inn Express is significantly cheaper than its sisters, and just about every other hotel in New York. Given its free Wi-Fi, breakfast, and 24 hour gym, plus a nice outdoor courtyard, it's an incredible value.
Situated in the bustling heart of midtown Manhattan just a five-minute walk from the Empire State Building, the mid-range Best Western Premier Herald Square hotel is ideally located near Penn Station and city hotspots, like Bryant Park. The property’s 94 rooms are tiny but tastefully decorated in a palette of green and purple and have flat-screen TVs, coffee/tea service, and comfortable beds. There’s a cozy on-site bar and lounge, plus a small fitness center, free hot daily breakfast, and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
The idea of the 366-room Pod 39 hotel is to offer very small rooms (even by New York City standards, a city notorious for small hotels rooms) for low prices (again, by New York City standards). Rooms range from 55 to 140 square feet, and prices start at $119 per night. The smallest rooms, or pods, only fit one person, but all have private bathrooms and smart design touches, like storage under the bed, train-inspired coat hooks, double flat-screen TVs for guests in bunk beds, and both outlets and a "cell phone" close to the pillows. There are three seriously cool -- and colorful -- public spaces: an upscale Mexican restaurant, a rooftop bar with unique architecture, and a hangout space called the Playroom. The hotel keeps prices low by cutting back on amenities and services, but it's a great option for anyone who wants a low price tag without sacrificing cleanliness, comfort, and style.
Opened in 2014, the Hilton Garden Inn is a mid-range, 282-room chain hotel with spiffy modern decor and dead-on views of Times Square from the public spaces and some of the rooms. Tourists and business travelers (especially those with Hilton Honors points) are attracted to the hotel for its location and budget-friendly rates. Rooms are on the small size with somewhat bland decor but they are brightened by floor-to-ceiling windows that let in the light and the city views.
Those looking for a clean mid-range chain hotel right around the corner from the Empire State building can't do much better than this Hilton Garden Inn. Rates are affordable (for New York, at least) and the location is extremely convenient for seeing the sights -- the flagship Macy's store, Madison Square Garden, and multiple subway lines are also within easy walking distance. Just note that rooms ending in "02" are the smallest, so steer clear if you want a bit more space. Some of the city-view rooms have great views of the Empire State building, and all rooms have the microwaves and mini-fridges that are standard for the chain (and particularly helpful for saving money on food in pricey New York City). Freebies include Wi-Fi, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and afternoon cookies.
Hotel Le Jolie in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a simple, 52-room value hotel, just across the East River from Manhattan. Location and value are the biggest draws for this somewhat bland property. A free continental breakfast and rooms with city views are among its high points. The rooms are clean and comfortable with rainfall showers and DirecTV. On-site parking is free, however it's very limited. The hotel’s location yields plenty of trendy dining and nightlife, but it's right by the gritty Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and Manhattan's major tourist attractions are a drive or subway ride away
Part hotel, part hostel (with shared bathrooms), the Pod is pretty basic for business-focused Midtown East. But it's still not the cheapest hotel. Rooms -- those with their own bathroom -- also have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and iHome iPod docks. But they're tiny -- maybe the smallest in New York.