(Photo Source: Pod 39)
While New York is known for its plethora of experiential hotels, most come at a very high cost. Luckily for visitors, not all great New York hotels are financially out of reach. To help you plan a budget-friendly trip to the Big Apple, here is a guide to memorable NYC hotels that won't break the bank.
Part of the pod hotel trend, offering small yet plugged in rooms - they have 366 of them - with exciting property-wide amenities, Pod 39 is a favorite of both visitors and locals alike. Start on the ground floor, where a giant Playroom decked out in colorful Chinese lanterns and Moroccan rugs acts as a game room, library, bar, art gallery, and fireplace-touting lounge all in one. Connected to this is Salvation Taco, where Michelin star-chef April Bloomfield whips up Mexican dishes with international twists (Korean BBQ tacos, anyone?). The highlight of the property is their 17th-story rooftop, where from ivy-laced brick walls and terra cotta columns you can see One World Trade Center, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the East River. The property offers free walking tours around Manhattan and Brooklyn to guests in partnership with Streetwise, with comedians moonlighting as guides. Moreover, the Murray Hill location means attractions like Grand Central Station, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and The Museum of Tolerance are within walking distance. Rates start at $119 per night.
Under the same parent company as Pod 39, Pod 51 offers 345 cozy rooms with all the essentials - free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, outlets and flat screen televisions - in Midtown East. Have a bite in their Pod 51 Cafe, serving up locally-sourced bites like Murrays Cheese charcuterie and cheese boards and Pickle Guys pickle bowls in an indoor space and seasonal outdoor garden, or head up to their 14-story BYOB rooftop adorned with colorful lounge and Adirondack chairs. Like Pod 39, they offer humorous yet insightful walking tours, and are located near sites like Rockefeller Center, St. Patricks Cathedral, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Rates start at $89 per night.
This Hell's Kitchen hotel is inspired by luxury air travel, even calling the 669 rooms cabins, all complete with adjustable Serta Mattress-adorned Smartbeds, Wi-Fi, monsoon showers, and shelving units that do everything from charge your phone to blast music. There's also a futuristic twist, which you'll notice as soon as you walk through their glowing purple revolving doors, touchscreen Ground Control check-in to your left and a giant robot arm porter collecting bags to your right. The fourth floor, called FOUR, is where the fun happens, home to DIY tour booking, an eco-friendly shop with design-centric items, a lounge with pool table, a restaurant fusing eastern and western cuisines, and Manhattan's largest outdoor terrace overlooking Times Square. Their $3-per-day bike rentals are perfect for exploring the local neighborhood and beyond. Rates start at $149 per night.
Part hostel, part hotel, guests of this Upper West Side property can enjoy private rooms or a deeper dorm discount. While the Broadway Hotel & Hostel is no frills, a big multi-room lounge features televisions, couches, a kitchen, a library, and a 24-hour snack stand for socializing and relaxing. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the accommodation. Within walking distance, some attractions include Central Park, Columbia University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Natural History. Starting rates range from $40 for a 2-person bunkroom with shared outside bathroom to $120 for a private room with full bed and en suite bathroom.
Residing in Manhattan's Lower East Side - close to St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, the Tenement Museum, the New Museum, and the historic Katz's Deli - the Bowery House features a mix of shared and en suite bathroom rooms. Their most budget-friendly and historic type of room is the Original Cabin, which housed soldiers returning from WWII in the 1940's. Rooms feature posh amenities like 300-thread-count sheets, central air, and sumptuous linens and robes, while bathrooms are decked out in Italian marble with heated floors, rain showers, and Red Flower organic bath products. Social spaces include a Living Room with couches, artwork, a newsstand, and a TV, as well as a Roof Garden offering aerial NYC views and summer rooftop movies for guests. Rates range from $79 for an Original Cabin to $179 for the Prince Room.
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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