Despite the uber-expensive hotel rooms that proliferate New York City, there are some very affordable, AND clean hotels that are easy on the wallet. You just need to know where to look. Some of these hotels aren’t on the travel planning websites, but some are. I found one I would revisit on Expedia.
When I was in New York last week, hotel rooms were booked solid due to the United Nations meetings.
The Franklin Hotel
And I am glad, because I discovered the lovely Franklin Hotel on ….THE UPPER EAST SIDE. I know you’re thinking – say what? An affordable hotel in that zip code?
The Franklin Hotel, NY
Yes my friends – The Franklin is around $240 a night for a single room with king or queen bed. ( The price may vary a little bit depending on supply and demand.) For that amount, you could dip into the rest of your hotel budget and eat at Balthazar every night. It is located on 87th and Lexington – near subways and cute shops.
Let me tell you about the Franklin – I do admit I was a little let down at first. The photos on it’s website make it look super splashy. Real life? Not so sexy, but European charming. So when I walked in the small lobby, I was worried to see the room. European charming can sometimes turn dowdy.
First, though, I was told, I should grab some wine and cheese in the complimentary happy hour in the sitting room. Huh. I grew more pleasantly surprised by the minute.
The room didn’t disappoint – I was relieved. Nothing fancy, but modern, simple, and like I said, clean and quiet.
Let me just say though – calling it small is kind. The room left no excess space – only one person could definitely brush his or her teeth at the sink at a time, as it wasn’t part of the bathroom, and practically butted up against the bed.
The room is perfect for one person, could be crowded but doable for two… but if you are spending a lot of time in your room while in New York City, something is seriously wrong. This room is for people who need a clean, quiet place to sleep in an awesome, tree-lined, top-notch neighborhood.
The hotel has charm, and was immaculate- even down to the shower grout (Oh yeah, I notice.) and had nice shampoos. The beds are comfortable, and there’s – FREE WiFi. Uh-huh. You know how I feel about that.
The staff was incredibly helpful and nice… and the next morning? Complimentary European style, self-serve breakfast with a New York Times. Classy.
It really did remind me of some of the quaint smaller hotels in which I have stayed in on budget trips to Europe. It has more personality than a generic chain.
Look at the doorknobs on the old elevator – inlaid with what looked like mother of pearl.
My one complaint, besides the room sizes, with which I can TOTALLY live, is that the hotel charges a “resort fee.” This is clearly no resort, no pool, or gym access – items to which the typical resort fee go.
So – basically, those free happy hours and breakfasts aren’t free, but cloaked in a “resort fee.” Just be honest, and charge me for the breakfast and don’t charge me a resort fee. (Resort fee is $12 a night)
To make things worse – and this isn’t the hotel’s fault – Expedia doesn’t tell you there will be a resort fee. Not cool.
But do check out the Franklin. If you aren’t spending much time in your room, want a safe location, and want to put more of your trip budget into things to do in New York, rather than where you spend your sleeping hours, the Franklin is where dreams are made of….