Budget Hotels, Expensive Cities: New York City

by Justin Ocean

Desmond Tutu Center, Chelsea, New York City

Although planning ahead rarely gets you the best room rates in NYC, there's always the exception that proves the rule: Advance rates at the Desmond Tutu Conference Center officially start at $169, but we've seen them dip even lower in recent online booking searches. (The best deals are typically available between January and March.) Just ignore the businesslike name. This property opened in 2007 amid the brownstones and leafy streets of West Chelsea, and an entrance to its new neighbor, the High Line, is just steps away. Sixty rooms, each uniquely restored within the brickwork and gables of a grand Episcopal seminary, feel more B&B than NYC, with crown molding, elegant no-nonsense decor (muted earth tones with shocks of orange and purple), free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs, and eco-friendly bath products. Some rooms have decorative fireplaces, and all come standard with homespun sincerity from the staff and buckets of calm on the grounds, a private garden that's bigger than most neighborhood parks. Suitably, guests range from solo professionals to older married couples and culture vultures hitting up the gallery district; Meatpacking clubbers might look elsewhere. If you prefer to be in the thick of things, the ten-minute walk to the subway may be tough, but for city living without the scrounge, this might be Manhattan's best-kept secret.

Desmond Tutu Conference Center
180 Tenth Avenue
New York City, New York
Tel: 212 929 3888

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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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