Budget Hotels, Expensive Cities: New York City

by Justin Ocean

Nothing comes cheap in New York City. But when it comes to the holy grail of travel—experiencing life as a local—travelers will be pleasantly surprised by some of the generous opportunities the Big Apple presents. Like ferreting out choice apartments that won't break the bank, finding an affordable hotel room in Manhattan is a task that can feel downright Sisyphean. Even the skankiest corporate clone can reach hundreds of dollars a night before taxes. Sure, you could leave the island—the just opened Z Hotel in Long Island City, Queens, and Brooklyn's Nu Hotel and 3B B&B deserve a shout. But if you come to New York City determined to be in Manhattan, take our lead on the following seven hotels. From two riffs on the Japanese-style capsule hotel to a tony former tenement, each property offers rooms that frequently fall under $250 per night. Like airfares, room rates fluctuate widely, and the trick to scoring the best deal is in the timing: Two to six weeks in advance is usually the sweet spot; booking far ahead will rarely do your wallet any favors. But then again, there's always the exception that proves the rule.

Published September 2011. Pictured: Yotel New York.

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