Updated January 30, 2024
The last time I wrote a feature on cheap hotels in New York, I was able to call it The Best Cheap Hotels in New York City. Alas, hotel prices are now so crazy in New York City (read this article to learn why), and so many budget hotels have closed, that although some of the cheap hotels I recommend are still within the five boroughs of New York, I’ve had to expand my coverage to include hotels located just across the Hudson River in New Jersey, too. So now, while prices remain high, this is a list of the best cheap hotels for New York City.
But I don’t recommend just any hotels in New Jersey. I picked only the hotels that are significantly cheaper than NYC lodgings in high season and shoulder season. As well, every property on this list is close to inexpensive and speedy public transportation options for getting into the heart of the city within minutes. In fact, because of New York City’s lopsided geography, some of these hotels take less time to reach from Manhattan than other hotels that are actually located in other boroughs of the city.
That being said, in low season (January, February, and much of March), you can still find low prices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, too. If you’re planning to travel in those months, you don’t necessarily have to look for hotels within New Jersey. To find a room for less than $160 in those winter months (and sometimes much less) in the Big Apple proper, take a look at properties like Freehand New York City, Selina Chelsea, The Leon Hotel, or others that we review on Frommer’s.
It’s probably a good idea to say that by cheap, I don’t mean a fleabag a notch above a bench at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. I just mean these hotels are affordable.
And not relatively affordable compared to the $500-and-up per night you can spend even in New York’s standard hotels in high season. The hotels in this list are truly affordable by many budgets, and they have prices akin to what you’d find in other U.S. cities. 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.