Joe Sharkey’s column today is on mid-market hotels and the absurd prices they go for in Manhattan. This subject is simply a gold mine that keeps on giving to journalists. Most of the country is shocked at what a hotel night goes for in New York, after all. But what to do?
- People from out of town sometimes ask me in tones of desperation where they can find a hotel for less than $150 a night.
“You could try the Jersey side of the Holland Tunnel,” I joke. Please don’t actually follow this advice, because the cheap motels on that bank of the river are not particularly known for restful activities such as sleep.
I dropped Joe a note about the Jersey City Hyatt which frequently goes for $179 at Hyatt.com and can be had less expensively with a little sleuthing. I’ve even gotten it on Priceline for as low as $55 and on Hotwire for under $90. It’s literally right next to the Path train, so it’s just 10 minutes into the financial district. A good backup idea to have in your back pocket.
Speaking of Priceline, the days of $75 room nights at the Grand Hyatt next to Grand Central Station are over. But I still see the Hilton New York come up ~ $110 though sometimes it’ll even take $160. Once I had to go as high as $200 and wound up with the ever-mediocre W New York. But there are at least ways to avoid paying $299 for the Ramada or the HoJo’s by Penn Station even when things are booked fairly solid.
And if you’re traveling on your own dime, that’s a great time to use Starwood points (or Hilton points but you’re only a shoe-in for availablility if you’d a Diamon).
Joe did email back to clarify that he wasn’t denigrating the idea of Jersey City lodging, “just the motels on the highway by the tunnel.” Joe’s right, of course, but with a little creativity it should never come down to that!