New York City Hotel Basics
Where you stay while visiting New York City is obviously dependent on many factors, ranging from your budget to what your goals are while visiting New York. Our comprehensive Hotel Section
should be able to assist you in finding appropriate accommodations. You can also rest easy in knowing you are getting the lowest rate available, as we guarantee all of our rates!
What is it really like staying in a hotel in Manhattan, which has the greatest population density of any city in the entire Western Hemisphere? While we provide fantastic rates on thousands of different hotel rooms here in New York, this guide is intended to offer some guidance in how to choose and what you can expect.
For our foreign and domestic visitors who have never visited here, the first experience of New York can be fascinating, enjoyable, overwhelming and confusing--usually all these things at once. You might be tired after a long flight and trip from the airport, and therefore doing some advanced research makes a big difference towards your stay here in the big city.
Where to stay?
Although Manhattan has many neighborhoods, it's no surprise that most of its hotels are concentrated in Midtown from 34th to 59th Streets. With Broadway
and the theatre district, major attractions, many restaurants, bars and many businesses located in Midtown, you'll encounter a busy area humming with activity. If you prefer a more off the beaten track location, the Upper West Side and Upper East Side surround Central Park and offer a bit more tranquility—although at a much higher price on the luxurious Upper East Side. South of Midtown, you'll encounter Chelsea, Greenwich Village, the West Village and East Village, each of which offers far fewer hotels but has a neighborhood feel amidst less taller buildings. With trendy restaurants and bars, parks, and proximity to the waterfront, some tourists prefer the boutique hotels, wild nightlife and generally younger crowds in these areas. Below the villages are trendy SoHo and Tribeca, which also offer luxury accommodations mixed with chic boutiques, hot restaurants and sizzling nightlife. Finally, the Financial District—also known as Lower Manhattan—has made a remarkable recovery since 9/11 and now boasts an increasing number of hotels. Despite some new restaurants and residential apartments, nightlife is limited in this area and you won't find many people on the streets here after dark.
What to spend?
Above all, do keep in mind that a budget hotel in mid-America does not compare in price to a budget hotel in New York. $250 (US Dollars) per night represents a great value in Manhattan, whereas $250 might get you four or five nights at a budget hotel in the Midwest! So for the first-time traveler, do accept that you will pay substantially higher rates here than elsewhere. Moreover, room sizes (like apartments) tend to be much smaller here than elsewhere in the United States. In short, you pretty much get what you pay for.
If you happen to find a room for under $100 per night, do expect the place is probably a dorm room at best or just above flophouse status at worse. Anything between $100 to $200 per night will likely be of average quality, but not the quality you would expect for that price elsewhere in the United States. The real test comes in choosing a hotel that costs between $200 and $300 per night. While you will find numerous possibilities, you might want your search criteria to consider location, special needs, amenities and room size. For example, if you are attending a show at the Javits Convention Center, the Upper East Side likely will not be your first choice of location. If you use a wheelchair, or have several small children, or perhaps travel with a large dog, obviously those criteria are very important in choosing a room. Moreover, for the road warrior or frequent traveller, knowing that warp-speed Internet and other high-tech amenities are available and functioning can be critical in choosing a room.
If you come from a quiet, bucolic place, the street noise in Manhattan can initially be alarming, and we find that user reviews of hotels sometimes do not take this into account. While most hotels do have thick window panes that block out street noise, obviously a room on the 30th floor will have less interference from street noise (and substantially better views!) than a third-floor room. Obviously if your room is next to the elevator bank, you will hear more people in the hallway than if you stay at the end of the hall. In other words, individual preferences are a big factor in user reviews, and often when a hotel has mixed reviews it very much stems from the fact that the individuals who stayed in those rooms had vastly different needs and expectations. Some visitors do not mind any street noise, while others find they cannot sleep at all; some visitors choose location over all other criteria, especially when they plan to be out in the city all day and only use the room for sleeping. Still others plan a romantic visit and want to ensure they have the finest amenities, most comfortable beds, and flat-screen TVs in the room. So do please take note of these features when booking.
In the $300+ per night category, you will largely find that all the amenities and extras you would expect, along with stellar service. Should you find some detail overlooked or not to your standards, you would expect in this room class that management would respond to your needs right away. We too have stayed in New York's finest hotels, and from time to time even the finest rooms do actually need maintenance and to be restocked with various amenities.
Finally in the $500+ per night category, you will expect (and receive) world-class service in this magnificent city that never sleeps. And you can absolutely expect to sleep, and sleep soundly, because all your needs will be met.