Budget Hotels, Expensive Cities: New York City

by Justin Ocean

Room Mate Grace, Times Square, New York City

Before André Balazs turned heads at the Standard, his Hotel QT tackled Times Square with a fun approach to frugality. Renovated and redubbed the Grace in 2008 by quirky Spanish chain Room Mate Hotels, the 139-room property still flaunts visual fierceness and attracts fashion-forward twentysomethings and hip Europeans who are happy to forgo room service, a concierge, and reliable Wi-Fi if it means hitting the town with more money in their pockets. Rates dip into the low $200s, including continental breakfast till noon; triple or quadruple bunk options for groups go for just a bit more. Interiors are a paean to the 1970s, with trippy geometric wallpaper and white ostrich-skin platform beds that have storage underneath and some of the plushest bedding at this price point. And then there's the pool: a dimly lit, clubby affair just off the lobby with a swim-up bar, stepped seating, and PYTs splashing to DJs five nights a week and glistening in the sauna and steam room (available 24/7). Drinks may break the bank ($12–$15 for specialty cocktails), but bottle self-service in your room is just an elevator ride away.

Room Mate Grace
125 W. 45th Street
Times Square
New York City, New York
Tel: 212 354 2323

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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