Home, sweet home: The Tribal Room at Second Home on Second Avenue. Below 14th Street
Second Home on Second Avenue
Pick your theme: Peruvian, Tribal, Caribbean, 20th-century Modern… Each of the seven cozy rooms ($80-$195) has decorative touches that are intended to evoke a cultural motif — thankfully most are too subtle to detect. Staying in five of the quarters does require sharing a bathroom, but the charm of this 19th-century townhouse (and its owner, Carlos) makes that trip across the hall in the middle of the night worth it.
• 221 Second Ave., between 13th and 14th Sts., 212-677-3161, secondhome.citysearch.com Howard Johnson Express Inn
Despite the hip address, the accommodations are fairly run-of-the-mill (you can take the HoJo out of suburbia but, well, you know). As a result, this East Village over-nighter is perfect for those who would rather spend their time hitting the streets than hitting the hay. Rates start at $109 for a single and include a continental breakfast.
• 135 E. Houston St., between First and Second Aves.; 212-358-8844, hojo.com.
TriBeCa’s latest bargain hotel, the Cosmo offers 122 small, clean rooms, ideal for business types looking to stay downtown. If you do want a bit more space, however, they can accommodate — book one of their eleven 2-level mini-lofts with a lower-level sitting area and upper-level bedroom area ($129 per night). Other features include newly renovated rooms, all of which have color televisions and private bathrooms. Rates for a single room start at $145.
• 95 W. Broadway, at Chambers St.; 212-566-1900, cosmohotel.comEast Village Bed and Coffee
Let you inner child out at this funky nine-room B&C (sorry, no breakfast here), where room options include the first-floor Treehouse room (which was used as Jennifer Tilly’s bedroom in the French film, Happy End), the relaxing top-floor Zen room, and the top-floor Children’s room, which is meant for “grown up kids” and decorated with the proprietor’s childhood artwork, a chalkboard wall, and a desk from the intermediate school down the street. And it won’t take too long to save up your allowance to stay here, as rooms start at just $80, with all taxes included.
• 110 Ave. C, between 7th and 8th Sts.; 212-533-4175; bedandcoffee.comUnion Square Inn
Artists of all kinds flock to this East Village inn, which is patterned after a European pensione and just steps away from lively Union Square, itself reminiscent of an open European plaza. Its 46 rooms are clean, simply furnished, and come with the expected basic amenities, but are also slightly larger than many comparable rooms in the city. Rates start at $109 for a single, or $119 on Friday and Saturday nights.
• 209 E. 14th St., between Second and Third Aves.; 212-614-0500; unionsquareinn.comSoHotel
This Broome Street hotel claims to be the oldest in the city, and sometimes it shows—the rooms are small and amenities are sparse. But SoHotel has three things going for it: location, location, location. Just steps from Little Italy, Chinatown, and (of course) SoHo, its central downtown position is ideal. Actually, it has a fourth thing going for it, too—rooms that start at just $93.07, tax included.
• 341 Broome St., at Bowery; 212-226-1482; sohotel-ny.com
Saviour-faire: European-style charm at the Chelsea Inn. Midtown/Chelsea
With its muraled art-deco bathrooms and flea market furniture, the Chelsea Inn has all the bohemian charm of a Montmartre flat. They offer a choice of private or shared singles and suites, ranging from $99 to $259. Check often for seasonal specials where you can snag one of their quaint singles for as little as $79.
• 46 W. 17th St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves.; 212-645-8989, chelseainn.comChelsea Lodge
If you’re a country mouse visiting the big city, you’ll feel right at home in this European-style, Chelsea brownstone. It’s quiet and private, and with 26 rooms in an Americana style — complete with showers, televisions, and air conditioners — you’ll be one rested, comfy tourist. Rates start at $95 for single occupancy.
•318 W. 20th St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves.; 212-243-4499, chelsealodge.com
Chelsea Savoy Hotel
Not to be confused with its famous neighbor the Hotel Chelsea, amenities in this 89-roomer are pretty spare and the overall experience is not nearly as enchanting. But what it lacks in allure, it more than makes up in location and price (singles begin at $99, doubles at $135).
• 204 W. 23rd St., at Seventh Ave.; 212-929-9353, chelseasavoynyc.com.
Colonial House Inn
You wouldn’t know it from the outside, but this charming Chelsea inn doubles as an art gallery. The lobby is home to The 24 Hours for Life Gallery, which has featured art by Keith Haring and proprietor Mel Cheren. Some rooms have mini-fridges and fireplaces, with all rooms boasting free satellite TV. There’s a roof deck and the first floor lounge has Internet access. Rates start at $85 and include a continental breakfast.
• 318 W. 22nd St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves.; 212-243-9669, colonialhouseinn.com.
Apple Core Hotels
Apple Core’s quintet of Midtown hotels lack flair but the rooms are clean, supply the basics, and come with complimentary breakfast. All locations have fitness and business centers, and the La Quinta has a great view of the Empire State Building from its year-round rooftop bar. Not a bad deal considering that doubles start at only $89.99.
• La Quinta, 17 W. 32nd St., between Broadway and Fifth Ave.; 212-736-1600
• Comfort Inn, 129 W. 46th St, between Sixth and Seventh Aves.; 212-221-2600
• Red Roof Inn, 6 W. 32nd St., between Broadway and Fifth Ave.; 212-643-7100
• Super 8, 59 W. 46th St., between Fifth and Sixth Aves.; 212-719-2300
• Ramada Inn, 161 Lexington Ave., at 30th St.; 212-545-1800
The Gershwin Hotel
A veritable arts epicenter unto itself, the quirky Gershwin boasts a pop art- festooned lobby with an actual Campbell’s Soup can signed by Andy Warhol; rooms with an array of wall murals and art pieces. In addition to an eyeful of art, a stay here will get you Internet access, babysitting and dry cleaning services, and discounted parking upon request. Also, don’t forget to ask about their specials and packages to get an even better deal. Rates start at $99.
• 7 E. 27th St., between Madison and Fifth Aves.; 212-545-8000, gershwinhotel.comMurray Hill Inn
There may be a few things a pricier hotel offers that this east side inn does not (for instance, an elevator). However, there aren’t as many as you might think, as amenities here include air conditioned rooms, a 24-hour concierge, and daily maid service. Rooms start at only $89—just be sure to request one with a private bathroom.
• 143 E. 30th St., between Lexington and Third Aves.; 212-683-6900; murrayhillinn.com
Room with a view: Scenic style at the Bentley. Uptown
We didn’t think it was possible, but you can find uber-chic rooms with stunning river views on the Upper East Side for less than $150. Seasonal rates vary, but most of the year a standard overlooking the glittering Queensboro Bridge can be yours for the bargain price of $135. Oh, and be sure to save some time in your busy itinerary for a drink at the spectacular rooftop bar.
• 500 E. 62nd St., at York Ave.; 212-644-6000, nychotels.com.
Clean, beautifully-restored and historically-engaging, playwright and artist René Calvo’s B&B celebrates its neighborhood’s Renaissance. The good-sized rooms bear names like The Corky Hale, The Chester Himes and The Cozy Cole and décor such as an original pressed tin ceiling, beautiful claw-foot tub and large walnut dresser dotted with ancient cigarette holes. Singles go for $100 and doubles for $125, with discounts available for artistic brethern.
• 242 W. 123rd St., between Frederick Douglass Blvd. and Seventh Ave., 212-662-0678, harlemflophouse.com
This Upper West Sider makes a smart choice for travelers willing to lose some frills while still maintaining their dignity. The hotel’s clean, kitsch-free rooms come with large bathrooms, basic amenities, and refined touches like cherry wood desks and headboards. Doubles start at $105 while suites—which can comfortably house four—will set you back at least $175.
• 2528 Broadway, between 94th and 95th Sts., 212-678-6500, thehotelnewton.com
This charming, modestly-priced 19th-century bed and breakfast is arrayed with owner Harry Paul’s collection of Victoriana, with a meticulously assembled English rose garden to boot. Two doubles ($156.50 or $186.50) and one single ($128.50) are furnished completely with antiques and decorated with ecclesiastical art, although secular amenities like a TV, VCR and, thankfully, an air conditioner, offer 21st century comforts. Less modern is the communal bathroom, shared by all occupants on the second floor.
• 294 Hoyt St., between Sackett and Union Sts., 718-935-1959, brooklynx.org/tourism/baisleyhouse
Bed & Breakfast Marisa
Hidden on an unassuming, leafy street a few blocks north of Prospect Park, Marisa offers the choice of the garden-level apartment (a two-bedroom space with a living room, kitchen, private bathroom and a separate entrance) or one of the two guest rooms that share a common bathroom on the upper level. Décor is simple, understated and soothingly homey, heavily favoring wooden furniture stained in rich, earthy hues. Rates are equally lax, ranging from $95 to $130, plus discounts for extended stays.
• 288 Park Pl., between Vanderbilt and Underhill Aves., 718-399-9535, brooklynbedandbreakfast.net
Union Street Bed & Breakfast
At this Carroll Gardens brownstone, less than a block from Smith St.’s restaurant row, each of the six guest rooms is identified by its dominating color scheme. There are two rooms with queen beds and two large rooms with two beds each, that begin at $150 per night and decrease based on the length of stay, as well as two significantly smaller rooms at $100.
• 405 Union Street, between Smith and Hoyt Sts., 718-852-8406, unionstbrooklynbandb.com
Better Rates Online
Before you call hotel reservations directly, check the
web. You can often find better rates for the same room online.
You won’t have as much control over the room you get if
you choose the online route, but you’ll save money. Here
are a few favorites places to find better rates:
• Best New York City Hotels
• New York City Hotel Deals
• New York Travel Book: Hotels Under $100