The Best Cheap Hotels in New York City for 2022
By "cheap," I don't mean some fleabag only a notch above a bench at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I simply mean these hotels are affordable.
And not relatively affordable compared to the $400-and-up a night you can spend even in New York's standard hotels in high season. The hotels below have prices akin to what you'd find in other U.S. cities, ones that get fewer tourists.
These clean, safe, respectable lodgings are all located within an easy subway ride of the attractions you go to New York City to see. You may not spot any design awards on display in the lobby, and you may see some signs of normal wear in your room. But so what? With what you save on accommodations, you'll have more money to spend on Broadway shows, tours, shopping, museums, and meals in one of the greatest cities in the world.
Belnord Hotel (pictured above)
On the Upper West Side, this longstanding budget choice temporarily became a shelter at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. When the last of those residents were moved out in early 2021, the hotel closed for half a year to undertake a top-to-bottom renovation (using funds the owners got from the city for serving as emergency housing). Today, all of the furnishings and bathroom fixtures are brand new. Rooms are still closet-sized, and the furnishings aren't high end, but Covid renewed this place and made it far spiffier than it once was. To read our full review, click here.
If you think of a standard motel, you'll get the vibe of the Newton, another Upper West Side pick. This one is on busy Broadway, not a tree-lined side street like the Belnord. On every floor, along with standard rooms, the Newton has one or two very inexpensive rooms that share bathrooms—with some of these ultra-cheap rooms, guests have the bathroom to themselves, but it may be down the hall. To read our full review, click here.
The Harlem Flophouse
Even farther uptown, this charmer is much nicer than its funny name implies. Set in a classic brownstone with just two units per floor, the place is very well kept—though here again prices are low because guests share bathrooms. To read our full review, click here.
Henn na Hotel New York
A softly roaring animatronic dinosaur greets guests inside this offshoot of a tech-obsessed Japanese chain. Each room has a futuristic toilet and, in suites, closets that steam your clothes. Despite those whiz-bang touches, prices are reasonable, perhaps because rooms are very, um, zen (or minimalist to the point of plainness, depending on your point of view; see below). To read our full review, click here.
Washington Jefferson Hotel
Back in the day, vaudevillians and Broadway performers made this old timer their home base. Today, rooms are small and simple, but the price is right, and if you're in town to see shows, the location within walking distance of all the Broadway theatres can't be beat. To read our full review, click here.
The Hotel St. James is another stalwart that spent its pandemic downtime productively, renovating all guest rooms. I'm happy to say a rise in rates didn't accompany the upgrades. Still, you'll sleep on stiff mattresses in rooms decorated with the type of mass-produced furnishings that can be a bit depressing. Fortunately, the front desk staff members are all super-friendly and the location, one block off Times Square, is a good one for avid theatergoers. To read our full review, click here.
The Carlton Arms Hotel may be the scruffiest place on this list. But because the owners bring in artists to create unique environments in each room (these creations are pictured above and below), most guests don't care that the furnishings are old and the beds can be saggy. Prices are very appealing here, even during seasons when the city is extremely busy. To read our full review, click here.
I rarely see Americans at the Americana Inn (pictured above). That may be because all rooms share bathroom facilities, an inconvenience that's more accepted by Europeans than by Americans. That, and the institutional look of the place, may turn off potential guests, but the Americana has a surprising advantage working in its favor: high-quality mattresses. In fact, I'd say the mattresses here are more comfy than at hotels that charge twice as much. To read our full review, click here.
The Jane Hotel
Downtown Manhattan's top budget choice (pictured above) is the almost impossible-to-photograph Jane Hotel in Greenwich Village. Rooms (such as the one pictured above) have a definite élan, with quality bedding and mattresses, lustrous wood paneling, and evocative brass fixtures. But they are so itty-bitty—really no bigger than most train compartments—it's hard to get a good camera angle. Rooms are too small, in most cases, for private bathrooms, but that keeps prices reasonable, especially for a hotel that has a downright glamorous lobby and collection of eateries and bars on site. To read our full review, click here.
The Leon Hotel
Heading lower in Manhattan, this Chinatown hotel offers a surprising amount of comfort for reasonable rates. There are high ceilings, very well-kept digs, and nice beds. The hotel is situated right at the busy mouth of one of the city's major bridges, but soundproofed windows keep things quiet. To read our full review, click here.
A number of the chain motels in the city's outer boroughs offer good value. But I like two indies best.
First there's this Bushwick property, which has oversized, light-flooded rooms (like the one pictured above) that are quite comfortable. In a very New Yawk perk, guests get a discount on meals at the food truck that's permanently parked out front (see below). To read our full review, click here.
New York City Vista
In Long Island City, a part of Queens that's just one or two subway stops from Manhattan, this hotel (formerly known as the Nesva) is far enough from the elevated subway tracks to be nice and quiet, but close enough to make getting to the train an easy stroll. The staff is friendly, rooms are well-maintained, and, for some mysterious reason, the prices are always about $20 lower than at neighboring properties. To read our full review, click here.
New York's hotel rates are seasonally driven, so if you want a swankier hotel than the ones listed here, plan your visit for when it's cold. Prices plunge with the temperatures in January, February, and early March. Don't worry: There's plenty to do indoors.
For more budget-friendly strategies, see our tips for saving on your hotel room in New York City.