Manhattan is NOT CHEAP! Travelling the world has given me insight into hotels costs in different cities, and let me tell you, downtown NYC is one of the most expensive I’ve ever encountered!
If you want to stay in a hotel with a really good location, plus a decent guest rating (meaning no cockroaches and claustrophobic rooms) then you’ll have to open your wallet. However, I was determined to find a hotel in Manhattan that was not only a good price, but was still comfortable to stay in. You know, a place that doesn’t make you cringe when you go to lay down.
So, can you really get a GOOD hotel in NYC under $100?
Check out those ratings. OUCH! From personal experience, I won’t stay in ANYTHING under a 7.5/10. I know anything below that rating is going to have major cleanliness, safety or service issues. I can’t even imagine what a 3.6/10 gets you.
I looked up the New World Hotel in TripAdvisor and here is a recent review from a guest:
“WORST HOTEL EVER!!!!
The room was so dirty (bedbugs, cockroaches, blood on the sheets, water in the bathroom ground). We also found some pills on the room ground … The bed was old and broken (making a lot of noise). Our nights were disturbed by strange people (a woman yelling ALL NIGHT LONG, people fighting, etc.). You cannot close the doors with the keys, so it's not secure at all, thin walls between rooms so you can hear EVERYTHING!!!!”
There you have it. I guess THAT is what 3.6/10 gets you. Scary stuff, right?
Now, I consider myself the 007 of finding fantastic hotel deals, so I began my search to find something decent hotel in NYC under $100.
Here was my criteria:
- A fantastic location. At least a 8/10 rating for location
- A great overall rating. At least 8/10 rating overall (or a 4/5 on TripAdvisor)
- A room with a view so I knew I was in NYC!
- ~ $100 budget
For anyone who has stayed in Manhattan before, you’ll know my criteria is pretty dang tight and perhaps a bit unrealistic, but that’s how I roll.
The Best Hotel in NYC Under $100
Here it is! The hotel I was able to hunt down that matched or exceeded ALL of my criteria. The only hotel in Manhattan under $100 I could find that was actually nice:
The Best Western Premier Herald Square.
I will give you an HONEST review of this place, the good parts and the bad, so that you can decide if it’s right for your trip to NYC.
By the way – this post is not sponsored, the hotel didn’t know I was coming, which might explain the mishap I had when I first arrived.
That is ALL I paid for a hotel in the centre of Manhattan. Such a good deal!
Now here is something you should know about the price of hotels: They will change a ton depending on the dates you are looking at. If there is a conference in the area, or if the hotel is almost sold out, prices will be high! They are all based on supply/demand. I did look into some dates for the rest of 2019 and into 2020 and I was able to find the SAME DEAL I got, so hopefully your dates will give you the same low price as well.
The location is unbeatable! You can easily walk to the Rockefeller, Empire State Building, Times Square, or Central Park. Most of the top NYC attractions are within walking distance or a super short Uber or subway ride. You're literally steps from 5th Ave.
I had tickets to be in the audience of Seth Meyers Late Night Show at the Rockefeller Center and I walked there from the hotel instead of taking a taxi. It was super easy and allowed me to check out the area while I walked.
I get wanting to stay in an iconic and luxurious hotel, but the location of the Best Western Premier Herald Square is just as good as some of these $900/night hotels. You get the same ‘middle of the action’ experience for a fraction of the price.
Attractions Near The Best Western Premier Herald Square:
- Herald Square – 170m
- Empire State Building – 225m
- Macy’s – 300m
- Manhattan Shopping Mall – 350m
- New York Public Library – 370m
- Bryant Park – 400m
- Madison Square – 600m
- Grand Central Station – 950m
‘The King Room’ – Higher Floor
The room was small, but not in a “let me out of here!” way. On Booking.com it says the room is 20m, which is just over 200 sq ft. I can make that work. It had enough room for me to open up my hard-case luggage on the floor and still walk around it, so that’s really all I need.
Most importantly, the room was clean. I always check the sheets, pillow cases, bathroom countertops, etc and everything passed inspection. They actually did an impressive job for the price. 100% satisfied.
One of the things I was really hoping for in a cheap NYC hotel was having a unique or cool view out of the window. I wanted to see some old buildings, city lights, or if possible a view of an attraction. While this hotel didn’t offer any attraction views, the view out of the window was pretty fantastic. It looked over some old office buildings with really cool facades and details and it provided a cool Manhattan vibe. I really couldn’t ask for more, especially since I only paid $100.
The Hotel's Amenities:
Truth be told, I didn’t spend much time in my room, nor did I take advantage of everything the hotel has to offer. In the lobby they had free coffee and tea you can serve yourself with around the clock. They do have breakfast available for about $13 (or included in the room rate in some cases) that is buffet style and has bagels, yogurt, fruit, cereal, juice… all that jazz.
In the evenings they also host a happy hour that I saw lots of guests taking part in. They have reasonably priced drinks that you can enjoy on their small patio out front, allowing you to take in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. They also have a small but effective gym!
I had actually booked an Executive King Room which are their nicest rooms on the top floor that have a different layout and are slightly bigger/nicer. I had specifically booked that room because I knew the amazing view out the windows from bed would be unbeatable and it would make for a great photo.
Upon arrival, they told me I would be checking into a room on the 5th floor. Knowing that King Executive Suites were only on the top floors (16 and 17) I was really confused! I showed them my booking confirmation for an Executive room and they proceeded to tell me they had oversold the rooms and could only put me in a ‘normal’ room on the 15th floor.
I was pissed!
I know that might make me sound like a dramatic diva, but when I specifically pick out and pre-pay for a certain room, I expect to get it. Especially when staying with a known chain.
At first, I was even hesitant to write this blog promoting the hotel. I was super sour that they had oversold the room I had booked and that they were sticking me into a lesser room with NO partial refund or even free breakfast. The only thing they offered me was a late check-out and the opportunity to photograph the room after the people had checked out the next morning.
The room I was supposed to get:
Even though in the moment I was pissed about the room, I decided to get over it and still take into account that the hotel was a great deal, despite the mishap. Plus I wanted to share this good deal with all of you!
Note to Best Western: Don’t oversell your rooms and tell guests, especially one who is a travel writer like me, that you’re “sorry for the inconvenience”. It’s not good business. If the hotel has not had such a good location and was actually very clean, I would have written a scathing review. Besides what I think, what if someone had planned something important like a honeymoon or anniversary at your hotel, only to find you won’t give them the room they booked. Not acceptable.
Yes, You Should Stay Here
Yes, the Best Western Premier Herald Square is a hotel I would recommend, even after getting partially ripped off from the type of room I booked and paid for.
The location is unbeatable, as is the cleanliness of the property, and who can say no to that view? My advice for any traveler considering this hotel: CALL them after booking and ensure you are getting the room you paid for.
How do you get the best deal on the BW Premier Herald Square?
I checked everywhere. On Trivago, Hotels Combined, Expedia, with the hotel directly, and at least 12 other hotel booking platforms.
I found the best deal on Booking.com
For this particular hotel, they always seem to come in with the lowest price.
I hope you enjoy your trip to New York City!
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