In this special Hotels Week edition of Splurge/Steal we look at five pricey lodgings throughout the city and seek to find five more affordable options that offer up competitive amenitiesfrom theme to location to aura. While hotel prices are subject to change depending on the time of week a guest is looking to stay and even the season, we sought to level the playing field by "booking" a one-night stay on Thursday, October 16. The prices shown reflect the least expensive offerings in both the "splurge" and "steal" hotels, unless noted otherwise. After a little digging, we're feeling pretty confident that if a sojourner is so inclined, a good deal can be found! And, hey, this is all relative. Have a nomination for our next go around? Send it to the tipline.
↑ 1) Wythe Hotel at $450 / Hotel BPM at $215
Similarities: Both of these hip hotels have 70-some rooms and are musically themed, or at least inclined. While the Wythe offers an audio jack built into the wall in every room that allows you to play your music of choice, Hotel BPMyes, that stands for beats per minutehas a constantly streaming soundtrack with volume knob in every room. Just for the record, that soundtrack is compiled by Hotel BPM's DJ founder, BIJAL. Both hotels are styled with minimalist and sleek interiors. And oh, we splurged at the Wythe in choosing a corner room with a view to the outside world rather than an airshaft.
Differences: The main difference here is the location. While the Wythe Hotel is in the endlessly hot Williamsburg, affording guests who pay extra gracious views of Manhattan, Hotel BPM is in Southern Brooklyn's Sunset Park, which just might be a better neighborhood for actually getting sleep. BPM is quick to note the hotel is situated just one stop from Barclays Center and two express stops from Manhattan.
2) The Bowery Hotel at $505 / The Jane at $135
Similarities: Both The Bowery Hotel and The Jane are the turf of the hipster elite, who relish The Jane's popular ballroom bar and sleep it off in the reputable Bowery Hotel's rooms. Both hotels have an old fashioned flair whose common spaces revel in rich velvet textiles and old-timey wood paneling. And to say it more plainly, they draw similar crowds who are attracted to Bowery Hotel's East Village and The Jane's West Village locations.
Differences: For lack of a better description, The Jane's least costly rooms are nothing short of closets, or, boat "cabins", which the hotel playfully refers to their smaller rooms as, perhaps riffing off their history housing Titanic survivors in 1912. And by small, we mean smallslim twin beds, or bunk beds, where an arms width can likely touch both walls. All rooms in the Bowery Hotel come with at least a Queen-sized bed, with room to walk on either side.
3) Hyatt Union Square at $479 / Yotel at $279
Similarities:These two hip hotels are both quite high-tech. The Hyatt Union Square, while more classic in outward appearance (at least at-grade: thanks Gene Kaufman), offers hi-tech amenities like iPad check-in, in-lobby flight check-in, and in-room flat screen TV's that connect to an online concierge. We're still a little bummed that the Hyatt's proposed hydroponic bamboo garden never materialized, but at least the hotel has a pretty neat looking rooftop terrace. Similarly, Yotel in Midtown West features the world's only robotic luggage concierge, and this video proves that it's pretty amazing. Rooms in the space-planning smart Yotel feature beds that electronically retract into the walls (with organic mattresses, of course), free lobby work-stations, hydraulic tables that turn into performance platforms, and New York's largest outdoor hotel terrace (on which the hotel serves a $40 bottomless brunch throughout the summer, a noteworthy occasion for visitors and locals alike.)
Differences: These two hotels are in quite different neighborhoods, with Yotel's Midtown West location approximate to the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, and the Hyatt's location approximate to the hustle and bustle of Union Square, which could affect a visitors experience despite the relative convenience of the city's subway system. While all of the less-costly rooms at the Hyatt come with a king-sized bed, Yotel's offer up queen-sized accommodations. But to reiterate, Yotel features the world's only robotic luggage concierge. So at the very least there's that going for it.
4) Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC at $545 / Hotel Indigo Chelsea at $244
Similarities: Both of these hotels radiate a hip and fashionable air and are situated in hip and fashionable neighborhoods. Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District and Hotel Indigo in Chelsea both offer fitness centers, complimentary WiFi, and colorful and fresh interiors. Both The Gansevoort Meatpacking and Hotel Indigo offer the amenity of a rooftop entertainment space.
Differences: The Gansevoort Meatpacking has a reputation, and a lot of that stems from its raucous nightlife and rooftop pool. While Hotel Indigo doesn't offer the same prestige, it could provide you the pocket cash, as opposed to a stay at the Gansevoort, that may perhaps be spent on a night out and about. And if you don't plan on spending the nights sleeping, anyway ... Hotel Indigo also features interactive neighborhood guides in all of their hotels, which is a particularly helpful inclusion for those new to New York.
5) Inn New York City at $745 / Harlem Flophouse at $128
Similarities: Both of these townhouse hotels are on the West Side, with the Inn at West 71th Street and West End Avenue and the Flophouse at 123rd Street between Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard and Frederick Douglas Boulevard. Similarly, both buildings herald from the late 1800's, early 1900's. Both hotels are close to notable New York attractions. The Inn, Trip Advisor's top-voted romantic hotel in the city, is a walk from Central Park and the American Museum of Natural History, while the Apollo Theater, as well as Marcus Samuelsson's new red-hot restaurant, Red Rooster, are just two blocks from the Flophouse.
Differences: The Flophouse maintains much of the single-family brownstone's original charm. That's right, that means no private bathrooms. But the share ain't too badonly two rooms share each bathroom throughout the house. To balance out the bathroom inequality, each room in the Flophouse has its own sink. The Inn is composed of four fully-appointed, individualized rooms that not only have bathrooms, but also kitchens, and other varying amenities like a terraces, jacuzzi and spiral staircase.