WHERE TO STAY
In the city that never sleeps, you might want to—and there are pillows aplenty.
In New York, resting your head in a place that previously housed a meat locker is hip, not horrifying. Yep, it’s official: The Meatpacking District is the new hotel hot spot. In the past year alone, three new superstylish hostelries have opened—Hotel Gansevoort, the Maritime Hotel and Soho House. Restaurateurs and nightclub promoters are quickly reaping the promised profits from the area’s new inhabitants; high-design eateries like Vento and 5 Ninth, as well as sleek clubs and hangouts like PM and Pop Burger, have sprouted up along the once-grimy cobblestone streets.
On the flip side, more places are offering style on the cheap (see “High style, low budget). New York has more small-chain and independent hotels than any other city in the country, with nearly half of its properties unaffiliated with a national or international chain. Many of these stylish smaller hotels are geared toward the discerning budget traveler, taking the minimalism made posh by boutique hoteliers like Ian Schrager and turning it into a cheap-chic design scheme.
Begin your hotel search by choosing the price range and area that interest you. The listed prices are not guaranteed, but they should give you a good idea of the hotel’s average rates. And if you follow the tips, you’ll often be able to find slashed room rates, package deals and special promotions.
If you plan to travel on a weekend, be warned: Many smaller hotels adhere to a strict three-night-minimum booking policy. Beware New York’s 13.25 percent room tax—it may cause sticker shock for the uninitiated. There’s also a $2-per-night occupancy tax. Ask in advance about unadvertised costs—phone charges, minibars, faxes—or you might not find out about them until checkout.
Booking blocks of rooms in advance allows reservation companies to offer reduced rates. Discounts cover most price ranges, including economy; some agencies claim savings of up to 65 percent, though 20 percent is more likely. If you simply want the best deal, mention the part of town you prefer and the rate you’re willing to pay, and see what’s available. The following agencies work with select New York hotels and are free of charge, though a few require you to pay for your rooms in advance.
Hotel Reservations Network
8140 Walnut Hill Ln, Suite 800, Dallas, TX 75231 (214-369-1264, 800-715-7666; www.hoteldiscount.com).
381 Park Ave South, third floor, New York, NY 10016 (212-779-7666, 800-789-9887; www.quikbook.com).
This website offers online reservations at more than 200 hotels. You can search by date of arrival or by name of hotel. Full disclosure: TONY receives a commission from sales made through our partner hotel-reservation sites.
Bed & Breakfast services/ short-term apartment rentals
There are thousands of B&B rooms available in New York, but since there isn’t a central B&B organization, some may be hard to find. Many B&Bs are unhosted, and breakfast is usually Continental (if it’s served at all), but the ambience is likely to be more personal than that of a hotel. A sales tax of 8.625 percent is added on hosted rooms—though not on unhosted apartments—if you stay for more than seven days. For a longer stay, it can be cheaper and more convenient to rent a place of your own; several of the agencies listed below specialize in short-term rentals of furnished apartments. One caveat: Last-minute changes can be costly; some agencies charge a fee for cancellations less than ten days in advance.
Village Station, P.O. Box 347, New York, NY 10014 (212-614-3034; www.citysonnet.com). Rates $80–$165 bed-and-breakfast room; $135–$175 artist’s loft; $135–$375 private apartment. Credit AmEx, Disc, MC, V.
This friendly artist-run agency specializes in downtown locations, but has properties all over Manhattan. The B&B rooms and short-term apartment rentals are priced according to room size, number of guests and whether the bathroom is private or shared.
New York Habitat
307 Seventh Ave between 27th and 28th Sts, suite 306 (212-255-8018; www.nyhabitat.com). Subway 1, 9 to 28th St. Rates $85–$165 unhosted studio; $135–$225 unhosted 1-bedroom apartment; $200–$375 unhosted 2-bedroom apartment. Credit AmEx, Disc, MC, V.
A variety of services are offered, from hosted B&Bs to short-term furnished apartment rentals, which can be charged by the day, week or month.
Standard Hotel Services
All hotels have air-conditioning—a relief in summer—unless otherwise noted. In the accommodation categories (arranged by price) Deluxe, Expensive and Moderate, all hotels have the following amenities and services (unless stated otherwise): alarm clock, cable TV, concierge, conference facility, currency exchange, dry cleaning, fax (in business center or in room), hair dryer, in-room safe, laundry, minibar, modem line, radio, one or more restaurants, one or more bars, room service and voice mail. Additional services are noted at the end of each listing.
Most hotels in all categories have access for the disabled, nonsmoking rooms and an iron and ironing board in the room, or on request. Call to confirm. “Breakfast included” may mean cornflakes and tea bags, or a more generous spread of croissants, orange juice and coffee. While many hotels boast a “multilingual” staff, that term may be used loosely.