Where to Stay in New York
First things first. Unless you're going for that homeless look so chic in some parts of Manhattan, we suggest a hotel. Like everything else that's expensive, it is all about location, location and the location.
If you are ready to pay the premium costs, you can't do better than staying right in the city. Expect to pay for the privilege, and expect your money to buy you less space and fewer amenities than it would elsewhere. The trade off of course is convenience, convenience and the convenience. Unless you really enjoy taxis, look for a place near a subway stop. Personally I think if you're going to come to New York, suck it up and pay more than you should for a tiny room in the heart of the City.
Otherwise, consider options just outside the city. We found that staying nearby in New Jersey was a decent balance of cost, what we got for our money and convenience. In places like Secaucus or Jersey City, you will pay 20-30 percent less for a room than in the city and get more space, probably a pool and a more suburban hotel experience. The key to all this is the location of the hotel to public transportation into the city.
For example, in Secaucus, the hotels you want all are steps away from NJ Transit bus stops. For about US$3 a person, a bus that runs 24/7 takes you right into the heart of New York in about 20 minutes. At the wrong hotels, you wait for a hotel shuttle to drag you to the bus stop whenever the hotel gets around to it. Yech. In places like Jersey City, look for easy access to the PATH trains into the city.
In looking for hotels we found many did not include this info online, or blew it off with phrases like “close to public transportation.” We found it best to call the hotel directly, not to call the 800 number call center in Sri Lanka, and speak directly to the desk staff. While you can't park realistically in the city, you might need to park for a week at the hotel. Check- not all we contacted offered free parking, which was we felt a tad rude.