New York on the cheap

By Jo Fernandez, Evening Standard

Last updated at 16:31 04 October 2002

Contrary to popular opinion, New York has plenty of accommodation you can actually afford.

We've scoured uptown and midtown for stylish hotels under $200-a-night.

Whether you're over to stock up on designer clothes, see a show or just see the sights, there's one for you.

We've even included the 13.25 per cent room tax and $2 occupancy tax. Snap up one of the current cheap flights on offer (BA has returns from £271.60) and off you go.

The Bentley (212 644 6000;, 500 E 62nd Street at York Avenue

The businesslike Bentley - 21 storeys of glass and steel - gets top marks for location. Its uptown address gives quick access to Bloomingdales, as well as the Terence Conran Shop, just around the corner under the Queensborough Bridge and his Gothic-arched brasserie Guastavino's. Best of all, top-floor rooms afford fantastic views over the bridge and the East River. Creamy, textured walls make rooms light and stylish with queen-sized beds, crisp white sheets and Gilchrist and Soames toiletries in the marble bathrooms. A slightly shabby bar on the top floor has 360-degree views across Manhattan; cappuccino is served 24 hours a day in the mahogany-panelled library.

Price: doubles with breakfast, from $160 (£103).

Hotel 17 (212 475 2845;, 225 E 17th Street between Second and Third Avenues

Hotel 17's leafy location belies its boho clientele. Madonna posed here for a magazine shoot and Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery was shot within its walls. Rooms are clean, with mismatching furnishings and heavy on the florals. Shared bathrooms (two per floor). The dingy lobby has a broken elevator and the deep red carpet and silverpanelled walls don't quite muster Deco splendour. If it was in London, Hotel 17 would be in Hoxton. The Chelsea Hotel is just eight blocks away; Greenwich Village is a 15-minute walk, for CBGB's, Niketown alternatives Phat Farm and Active Wearhouse and the Kiehl's store on 3rd Avenue for stocking up on Silk Groom. Price: doubles from $98 (£65).

Thirty Thirty New York City (212 689 1900;, 30 E 30th between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South

This midtown hotel was originally a residence for single women known as the Martha Washington. The building was also home to Danceteria, the Seventies nightclub where Madonna first strutted her stuff. Now, perhaps in tribute, her music blares out from the lobby of this smart, good-value hotel. Rooms ain't roomy, but they are in restful shades of olive green with Thirties black-and-white photographs of New York. Walk-in showers are made for two. The restored Grand Central Station is nearby - don't miss the ceiling, which lights up at night in constellations, nor the famous Oyster Bar, with its extensive wine list, a favourite lunch spot with New Yorkers. Also walking distance is The Flatiron Building which houses Mac and Jo Malone stores.

Price: doubles from $164 (£110).

The Herald Square Hotel (212 279 4017;, 19 W 31st between Fifth Avenue and Broadway

This Beaux-Arts building was the original home of Life magazine, until about 30 years ago. The hotel is said to possess every Life cover ever printed - they are all framed and displayed in the rooms and hallways. The location is fantastic - as you approach the ornate golden sculptured cherub, the Statue of Winged Life, positioned over the doorway, the hotel appears to be right at the foot of the Empire State Building (in fact, it is two blocks away). Lacklustre decor in the rooms is compensated for - the hotel claims its mattresses are the same make as those in the Four Seasons. A special pre-Christmas offer at the nearby Juvenex Spa will be available to female guests. Enquire on checking in. Shiseido's boutique is just on the corner of the same street, and Macy's is just a couple of blocks away. Price: doubles from $136 (£90).

The Hudson (212 554 6000;, 356 West 58th Street

Ian Schrager's fourth New York hotel is a place to see and be seen. Despite that, it is surprisingly affordable. The interior playfully mixes exposed brick with a glass creeper-hung ceiling, refectorystyle oak in the Cafeteria restaurant, and a bar that's totally over the top: Louis XV-meetsmodernist mayhem. Despite all that, the restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere and serves a mean NY breakfast (perfect eggs Benedict and coffee served by cheerful staff). Everyone hangs at the bar - from twentysomething preppy types to poseurs dressed in black, crowding on to its illuminated glass floor (a nod to Studio 54). Like the Royalton, rooms err on the small and dark side. They're smart though, with Makor panelled walls and floors, and studded white leatherette. The tiny, gleaming-white tiled bathroom (no bath) has Philippe Starck's unmistakeable high-legged silver shelf. Central Park is round the corner (grab a bagel or slice of pizza from the Scala on 9th Avenue if you fancy a picnic in the park), as are Carnegie Hall, Trump Tower and Niketown. Price: doubles from $200 (£132).

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