King, queen, or two twins, $199-$299; two twins with two bunks, $250-$495; large king or queen, $275-$550; king with twin bunk bed, $295-$550; penthouse, $450-$650
1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S at Times Sq.-42nd St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Housed in a narrow, converted office building on a gritty side street off Times Square, this hotel offers an unceremonious arrival. The check-in desk doubles as a kiosk stocking magazines, maps, guidebooks, and the hotel's only mini-bar. Past the sparse lobby, however, is Grace's crown jewel: a 22-foot, heated shallow pool with a swim-up bar. There's a live DJ five nights a week, who entertains guests lounging in stadium seating lined with throw pillows. Local architect Lindy Roy has cleverly maximized the hotel's 139 mid-to closet-sized guest rooms by using built-in furnishings. Platform beds allow for luggage storage below; wheeled tables can be pushed against walls; and narrow, brown- or cream-colored leather banquettes save precious floor space. There are even rooms stacked with four bunk beds or with a twin suspended over a queen-sized bed, perfect for packing in gangs of friends. Unadorned bathrooms have jarring, door-less showers. A smattering of frills like flat-screen TVs, WiFi internet, Egyptian cotton linens, and binders stocked with delivery menus make up for the skimped amenities.Pros
Complimentary breakfast daily in the mezzanine level overlooking the pool. For a glimpse of Times Square, request one of the west-facing rooms on the 10th floor and up.
Many traditional amenities, like a concierge or room service, have been cut (or made available only on request) to keep costs down. And the gym only holds two bikes and a rowing machine.