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New York City is a magical place to visit any time of the year. While the weather does get a bit extreme during the summer and winter, that doesn’t stop this major metropolitan area. We love vibing out in Central Park on a hot summer day or heading to the Rockefeller Center to see the magical glow during the holidays.

It’s no secret that New York City is known to be an expensive travel destination. It’s a great experience staying in a 5 star hotel when you can afford it (or when your boss is footing the bill), but for some of us that’s not always the case. Fortunately, there are ways to stay and play in the city without maxing out your credit cards. Affordable places to stay around the city might be few and far in between, but there are many alternative options to consider that might fit your budget. Whether you are looking for a glamorous hotel near Times Square or a relaxed spot in Brooklyn, VacationRenter has you covered. Let’s dive into some of New York’s best hotels as well as some great alternatives that won’t break the bank.

The Top 4 New York City Hotels

Let’s start at the top. Listed below are four of the best hotels in NYC, based on location, bang for your buck, and customer ratings. These hotels are spectacular and pull out all the stops for their guests, but they’re not the cheapest options by a long shot. Keep reading below to find the perfect accommodations that suit your trip to the Big Apple.

The Beekman

The Beekman is located on Nassau Street in Manhattan, and its location puts it in close proximity to some of the city’s popular sights. The 51-story hotel is well known for its stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s only a few blocks away from the site of the historic World Trade Center, where the National September 11 Memorial and Museum stands in its place today. The hotel’s restaurant Temple Court, offers phenomenal food just steps away from your room. Stunning detail and art is built into every inch of this historic hotel. With six standard room options and seven suite options, this place truly has it all.

The penthouse suites feature a massive 1200 sq feet space with a private entrance, terrace, marble bathrooms and curated art. Enjoy in room dining by Top Chef’s Tom Collichio, while you sit at the top of the busiest city in the United States.

The Lowell Hotel

The Lowell Hotel is located just off of New York’s famous 5th Avenue. Built in 1927 it’s known for its diminutive size and the afternoon tea served there. With only 74 rooms, this 5 star Lowell is smaller than some of the city’s other hotels. Don’t shy away from the cozy feeling and touches of luxury that this fine establishment offers.

Even for New York standards, it’s considered a bit pricey. With rooms costing over $2,000 per night, this hotel is rated number two in NYC and Number 10 in the entire world. The hotel’s restaurant, Majorelle, is as luxurious as it is comfortable, and offers a carefully crafted menu of french cuisine with mediterranean influences.

Though expensive, this luxurious hotel is constantly booked out. If you are looking to stay here, plan to book early.

The Towers at Lotte

The Towers at Lotte is located in the Midtown east area offers high quality accommodations within walking distance of both Rockefeller Center and Times Square. This hotel is known for its views of the city and of course, its luxury accommodations. With a spa onsite for guests who want some extra pampering, and a fitness center for a good workout, many would agree that this hotel is definitely upscale. What sets this place apart from the rest is the service. Boasting over 2500 fantastic reviews, The Towers can safely brag about the fine establishment they have built.

The Villard Restaurant, known for its tradition of excellence, serves up new-American fare at this architecturally extravagant dining establishment. Pomme Palais, the hotel’s pâtisserie serves house-made pastries and whimsical treats that in our opinion, are worth the stay alone.

Renaissance Times Square Hotel

The Renaissance is a Times Square hotel, known as a standard New York. Guests can stand on the hotel’s balconies and look out over the Theater District and Times Square. Offering a chic style for an affordable price, this hotel makes a high end New York experience attainable to everyone.

Many of NYC’s hottest attractions are within close walking distance of the Renaissance. The hotel’s restaurant, R Lounge, serves up small plates in a casual atmosphere where guests can relax and enjoy the New York nightlife.

Hotels in Affordable Neighborhoods

If the four hotels listed above don’t fit your budget, that’s totally okay. Spending this much on a hotel room is certainly not for everyone. While finding economical hotels in Times Square can be a bit of a challenge, we’ve got some tips for you. Times Square is right in the center of the action, making it a hot spot for travelers to stay. As such, hotel rates in that area are often higher than other parts of the city.

While discounts and coupons are available, consider looking in other neighborhoods for lower overall rates. Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn are all just 20 to 35 minutes away from Manhattan via public transport and offer reliable and affordable accommodations for your NYC trip. Though in the neighboring state, New Jersey also offers affordable options. Riding the Path Train from Jersey City is as easy as taking the local MTA subway!

What to Expect?

In order to keep the prices low, affordable hotels in NYC don’t offer many of the amenities you’re used to in hotels of the same price range in different locations. Expect smaller rooms in an independent hotel that’s not part of a national chain. A pool, exercise room and free breakfast might not be available either. While less expensive hotels might not be right in time square, you’ll be within walking distance of hundreds of attractions and eateries.

If you chose to stay in less expensive Brooklyn, you shouldn’t miss the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, a 52-acre estate with over 14,00 taxa of plants that almost one million people visit annually. This is one of many incredible free attractions Brooklyn has to offer.

Hostels and Bed & Breakfasts in NYC

Hostels or bed and breakfasts are other options in NYC. Hostels are becoming increasingly popular because of their affordability. Private rooms and dorms are available depending on if you’re just looking for a place to crash or want a private place to hang out after a long day of sightseeing. Jazz on The Park Hostel offers a coffee bar with outdoor terraces, and has pool tables in their lounge. Alternatively, find bed and breakfasts all over the city near many major attractions. These guest houses are cozier, offering a quieter and more personalized experience.

Vacation Homes Are a Great Alternative

For a money-saving alternative to one of NYC’s hotels, consider creating a home away from home with a vacation rental that delivers all the amenities you want the most. New York City vacation home rentals would probably be your best bet in finding affordable accommodations right in the heart of the city.

You choose the area you want to stay (including Times Square), what type of accommodations you need and amenities you want, such as free Wi-Fi, access to a kitchen and pet-friendly facilities. You’ll be able to find all of the things you need for your trip, and select an option that falls within your budget. Additionally, private rentals are all over the city, allowing you to stay near the destination or attraction you plan to frequent.