It’s easy to pay big money for a hovel-sized room in many of New York City’s hotels. But if you’re looking to put up parents or friends on the left side of $200, or even $100 a night, there are, in fact, some options. Search under guest houses, bed and breakfasts, and inns, and you’re likely to find an array of extremely affordable choices. Here’s a starter.
One-hundred-year-old cigarette burns, tin ceilings, large cats: If this is your thing, you simply can’t beat the HARLEM FLOPHOUSE (242 West 123rd Street, 212-662-0678, email@example.com). With its turn-of-the-century furniture, this refurbished house, under the careful eye of artist René Calvo, is aging into elegance. Located just a few blocks away from the A,C, and E subway lines and close to many famous jazz clubs, it offers an overnight for one person at $65, a couple $90.
If you’re searching for a snug little room in the West Village, look no further than ROOMS TO LET (83 Horatio Street, 212-675-5481). This is the personal residence of artist Marjorie Colt, who has several small rooms for singles starting at $100 a night and larger two-person rooms for $150. (Cats, quilts, and lots of exposed brick are included in the price.) Marjorie also rents out the entire attic—which is perfect if you are five foot five or shorter—for $180.
A newly refurbished townhouse in the fashionable West Twenties, CHELSEA LODGE (318 West 20th Street, 800-373-1116) offers free local phone calls and cable TV, as well as private showers (but shared bathrooms)—and the Europeans love it. Wainscoting, quilts, globes, and carvings of Native Americans above the doorways decorate the premises; rooms are $90 to $105.
The CHELSEA HOTEL (222 West 23rd Street, 212-243-3700) reeks with history; if you’ve never stayed there, you probably should at least once. Then you can join the pantheon of great and not-so-great artists—everyone from Johnny Rotten to Dylan Thomas—who have done it all behind the very thick walls. Call ahead of time to make a reservation for under $200, and don’t be pushed into something more expensive once you get there.
Run by the former editor in chief of Essence magazine, the stylish AKWAABA MANSION BED & BREAKFAST, located in Brooklyn’s historic Stuyvesant Heights neighborhood (347 MacDonough Street, 866-466-3855, firstname.lastname@example.org), boasts parlors, ballrooms, chandeliers, fireplaces, and Jacuzzis; rooms start at $150.
If you’re coming into the city with a group of three or more, you might consider renting an apartment from SUBLET IN THE CITY (212-941-1918, email@example.com). Quality can vary in these furnished, lived-in apartments, but for large groups they are often ideal. For a group of four to six people, you’ll get a living room and kitchen and pay roughly $50 a person.