IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

New York City continues to thrive with hotel deals galore

Cheap, charming accommodations all around Manhattan
Image: Super 8 Hotel Times Square
Super 8 Hotel Times Square Courtesy of Apple Core Hotels

After a long slump, the rumor is that New York City is on the rise again. More and more people seem to be in the bars, eating out, spending money, and booking hotel rooms. As activity rises, prices may once again too. But don’t let that dissuade you from checking out one of the most vibrant, vital cities on earth. Hotels are still offering a bevy of deals and packages that can make The Big Apple reasonable enough for any tourist, whether rich or poor.

Although a lot of people think you need to spend $200 or more for a hotel room in Manhattan, there are a handful of hotels with rooms for $100 or under – and don’t worry, they aren’t fleabags! For instance, the relatively new Thirty Thirty Hotel (at 30 East 30th Street between Park and Madison Avenue) is a real showstopper. It’s a newly renovated premier Midtown property, perfectly located near most major business and leisure attractions. The hotel offers the comfort and convenience of a European style hotel at an affordable price – we’re talking W Hotel-style motifs like fancy modern furniture, a chic evening cocktail bar, and cool colors everywhere (as well as a signature gorgeous staff). It’s located in the neighborhoods of Grammercy Park, Murray Hill, and Union Square, offering the sights and sounds of the Empire State Building, Macy's, Madison Square Garden, School of Visual Arts, Fashion Institute of Technology, and the Garment Fashion District. There’s fine dining at Zana's , the hotel’s eatery, where Chef Antonio serves Mediterranean cuisine and a high-speed Internet Kiosk graces the cool modern lobby. Best of all, until Feb 29, rates start at just $99.95 for a double room, if you book it online through and not directly through the hotel (which will charge you from $10 to $50 more). But as with many hotels in Manhattan, parking cost $35, so don’t bring a car (you won’t need one anyway).

Another great, if more down to earth, hotel for around the same price is the roomy, historic Hotel Pennsylvania. With over 1,700 rooms (it's one of the five largest hotels in New York City), winter rates start at only $99 a double, and the location directly across from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden couldn't be more convenient. There's also a four-nights-for-the-price-of-three special on their web site, cutting your bill by 25 percent. On top of that, if you bring in a ticket stub from Continental, Amtrak, or Greyhound, you get $10 off each night at the hotel.

For lodgings in the heart of the Times Square area, a good choice is the Apple Core group of hotels () which are offering special discounts on accommodations in January and February, and beyond. To give you taste of what we’re talking about we plugged in the dates of Friday, Jan. 23 to Monday, Jan. 26, 2004, and got the following average nightly rate results:

  • $85—Quality Hotel Hempstead
  • $89—Super-8 Hotel Times Square
  • $89—La Quinta Manhattan
  • $89—Ramada Inn Eastside
  • $112--Comfort Inn Midtown

We have reviews of some of these properties in our online guide to New York City, simply to see it. Another quick secret: The Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers (on 7th Ave. and 53rd Street, walking distance to Times Square) has rooms that start at $199 a night, but if you book through , there’s a special 21-day advance purchase price for AAA card holders that will give you 50 percent off! Which brings the price down to $100 for those who know their travel plans in advance.

Not too many hotel deals in New York come with airfare, so here’s a package that is a real winner: You can stay at the spacious 14-story Embassy Suites (built in 2000 and adjacent to the Financial District) for two nights, including daily breakfasts and daily cocktails and with airfare from Boston or Washington DC (other cities can be quoted) for just $359 per person based on double occupancy. That deal is good until March 31, and you can find it through Leisure Link International (888/801-8808, So sure, the weather might have a nice chill to it this time of year, but you don’t have to let that stop you from spending time in the most exciting Big Apple on earth.

{Editor's note: Have you ever vacationed in the Big Apple? Do you have a useful tip or interesting anecdote you'd like to share? Simply to send a message to our editors for possible inclusion in our daily Letters column.}