Here are FTF’s recommendations for accommodations in New York, New York with rates under $160/N for a family of four; all small, but clean hotels and hostels that won’t take too big a bite out of your family’s budget. Consider one of these and you can save money for shows, sightseeing, and the cupcakes (a New York specialty) that will fuel your New York City family vacation! Because while most inexpensive hotels and hostels have a reputation for bare basic amenities, sub-par beds, and a crowded environment, the following ones are breaking the mold in travel trends. Keep in mind that prices may rise during busy times, such as summer and the Christmas shopping season.
891 Amsterdam Avenue
New York NY 10025
Housed in a fully-restored landmark Victorian building, this location is Hostelling International’s largest facility in the United States, with 667 beds in various dormitory style rooms (4, 6-8, and 10-12 bed rooms, with communal bathrooms), along with a selection of family rooms containing a queen bed, bunk beds, refrigerator, television, and a private bathroom. Linens, blankets, and pillows are provided free of charge. Clean, convenient, and very friendly, this American Youth Hostel welcomes travelers from around the world and offers a program of walking tours and an information desk staffed by neighborhood volunteers. A cafe is available, as is a guest laundry, gameroom and a communal kitchen, as well as a large, landscaped outdoor courtyard garden for relaxing or running around. Guests must live 75 miles or more from Manhattan in order to book a bed; rates are $49-69/N per bed. private rooms start at around $240 with a complimentary continental breakfast.
Jazz on the Park Hostel
36 West 106th Street
New York NY 10025
This renovated five-story walk-up offers 200 beds in dormitory and private rooms in a clean, comfortable and affordable facility. Jazz on the Park features newly renovated bathrooms on all floors, basement lounge, laundry, staff organized outings and nightly events, free linens and towels. Located within walking distance of Columbia University and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, this neighborhood has come up, as can be seen by the beautifully restored luxury apartment building next door. Rates range around $34 per bed in rooms with 8 beds; a double private rooms costs around $155/N with private bath. This hostel welcomes anyone residing outside of New York State.
Times Square & Midtown Hotels
The Pod Hotel
230 East 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
Formerly the Pickwick Arms Hotel, the new, mod and hip Pod Hotel offers budget prices with high tech perks. Based on the concept of Japanese Pod hotels, this stylish midtown location puts guests up in small, private pod-like rooms. A family looking to splurge a little should inquire about the more spacious Studio Pod and Full x2 Pod. All of these rooms can sleep a family of four and have an en-suite, private bathroom. For the more budget-minded family, there are Single and Bunk Pods. Keep in mind, however, that these rooms come with a shared restroom so it’s perfect, say, for a single parent with two teens. If you’re a family of three, you can stay in these accommodations for $295/N depending on the season All pods come equipped with a personal iPod docking station, individual plasma TVs, free WiFi and climate control. Beyond your pod, the hotel offers a stylish lobby, trendy restaurant and a helpful, multilingual concierge that can help you and your family explore NYC on the cheap.
The Apple Core Group promotes an affordable line of hotels (see below) in central Manhattan. In December of 2007, the chain finished a long renovation project which has transformed more than 500 hotel rooms in three of their five hotels from old, turn-of-the-19th-century accommodations to modern, comfortable and tech-capable guestrooms with free WiFi and free long distance phone calls. Apple Core properties also offer access to on-site business facilities, and fitness centers featuring the low impact PowerVibe resistance training system. Guests enjoy a free continental breakfast and in-room coffeemakers, cable broadcasting on a 32″ LCD flat screen television, refrigerators, microwaves and ironing boards. In addition, all of the furniture, soft goods and hallways were updated in the renovation, making for a friendly and cozy hotel experience. This group of hotels is located within walking distance of the city’s greatest attractions, so you can see it all without getting stuck in traffic. All of their hotels, some of which are mentioned below, are midtown.
La Quinta Manhattabnn
17 West 32nd Street
New York NY 10001
The hotel is conveniently located near Madison Square Garden and steps away from the Empire State Building and Macy’s. All rooms have cable TV and free wireless internet, and guests get a complimentary continental breakfast with their room stay. There is also a bar on the roof of the hotel offering drinks and snacks.
The Broadway @ Midtown
129 West 46th Street
New York NY 10036
This hotel is right near Times Square, making it easy to get to the many attractions in that area. Offering free wireless internet and continental breakfast, it is the only totally smoke-free hotel of the Apple Core properties. This property also offers reduced rate parking, useful for those driving in to the city, where parking can be expensive.
The Hotel at Times Square
59 W. 46th Street
New York NY 10036
Also located in close proximity to Times Square, the Super 8 is slightly further removed from the busy hub of the city, and is closer to Fifth Avenue and Rockefeller Center. It shares many of the amenities of the other Apple Core hotels listed above, like wireless internet and free continental breakfast.
251 W 20th Street
New York NY 10011
From this hostel, located in the historic Chelsea district, just south of Midtown and north of Greenwich Village, you’ll have access to great NY activities like the High Line and Chelsea Market. There’s a 24-hour receptionist, WiFi in common areas, access to kitchen facilities, lockers, free breakfast and linens. You can also book city tours through the hostel. Beds start as low as $37/N in shared rooms, but prices rise during peak seasons and groups of 3 or more aren’t guaranteed to be in the same room. Passports are required at check-in, even for US citizens.
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