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When the sun sets in the Big Apple, the fun begins, but at some point, I’ll need a place to sleep in New York City. Oh, the magic of Broadway plays…the energy of Time Square…shopping..fabulous restaurants…all available just steps from your hotel. For long-term trips to NYC, I seek out unique overnight accommodations to help me connect with the locals and to add a twist to the experience. These may be boutique hotels in Manhattan or themed hotels in the boroughs. Here are a few of my favorites.

Vacation Rentals

The first step in finding a unique accommodation is to use the internet and research your options. My first search when vacationing is TripAdvisor.com. Vacation Rentals are abundant on the site. Individuals rent out their homes, and there are bargains available for the diligent researcher. Be sure to read the reviews and look at the photos carefully to have a good understanding of the room or home that you will be renting. Also be aware of New York City regulations regarding owners who are in the business of renting property. The rules are stringent and consumer friendly. The intent of recent rules is to ensure the physical and financial safety of city visitors.

TripAdvisor.com currently has vacation home rentals in Manhattan starting at $150 per night for a cozy apartment with sleeping arrangements for two people. When you rent from an individual homeowner, you may save a few dollars, but the best benefit is that you will likely meet the owner and have a contact person for guidance in planning your adventures. As I mentioned before, be aware of city regulations regarding individual rentals and hosted vs. unhosted accommodations in New York City.

Affiliation Accommodations


Soldier’s Sailor’s Marine’s Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club

I love historic hotels. My searches always include university inn and membership affiliations to help me find unique accommodations. For example, a verified military affiliation will provide access to Soldier’s Sailor’s Marine’s Coast Guard and Airmen’s Club with bargain rates starting at $65 per person based on service rank. My husband retired from the U.S Navy service, so he’s qualified to book a room at this beautiful hotel.

The dormitory-style structure was constructed in 1919 and has been well-maintained in its original design. Therefore, this accommodation does not offer private baths. The majority of the rooms have two beds while there are several with three beds, one with four and one with six. Located to the east of Park Avenue at 36th Street, this hotel is geographically convenient to transportation and tourist activities.

Seafarers and International House

Another affiliation hotel is the Seafarers and International House, with guesthouse accommodations for sea-bound travelers and sojourners. Are you a sojourner? Merriam-Webster defines the term as relating to someone with a temporary place to stay. Count me in! As sojourners, we can enjoy the room for two with a private bath for $195 per night as of this writing. A room for two with shared hallway bath is $105 per night. For those on a budget, this is an excellent choice for an overnight stay. This hotel at the corner of East 15th Street and Irving Place in Manhattan is a mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Always keep in mind that affiliations with churches, universities, and other civic organizations can sometimes reward you with access to unique housing or deep discounts.

Stay at a Museum in New York City

For a unique experience with children, consider a museum sleepover!  The American Museum of Natural History has sleepovers priced at $145 at full price. Discounts are available for museum members and larger groups.

Read what other travelers have to say about the American Museum of Natural History at TripAdvisor

The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum offers sleepover nights with educational programs. The USS Intrepid is one of the several features at the museum. The video presentations are entertaining and educational. There are many interactive displays and I’ve learned so much during my two visits to this museum. My first visit to this museum was for a corporate dinner with co-workers from all over the world.  As soon as I set foot, I knew that I would return someday with my husband, a US Navy retiree. We did return, and he had a blast looking at the equipment, similar to tools used during his time in service.


Even More Ways to Overnight in New York City

Finally, there are options available for more traditional hotel rooms, with en-suite bath facilities. Two long-standing hotels with positive reviews and historical significance are Chelsea Savoy Hotel and The Jane Hotel.

Chelsea Savoy Hotel

204 West 23rd St.

This hotel comes highly recommended for budget conscious travelers, with nightly weekday rates starting at $155. Conveniently located at 23rd Street, the hotel is near several subways lines. This hotel features rooms with private baths and provides a continental breakfast each morning.

The Jane Hotel

113 Jane Street

The Jane Hotel is a historical treasure. Her claim to fame is that the survivors of the Titanic stayed at this hotel in 1912. The hotel was relatively new at that time, completed in 1908 and formerly named the American Seaman’s Friend Society Sailors’ Home and Institute. The hotel, restored in 2008, features the style of the early 1900’s, with bellhops in period costume and stuffed monkeys donning fez hats. The Captain’s Cabin has private bath, but dormitory-style accommodations are also available at this location.

The rates quoted above do not include taxes and fees. Plan ahead for 14.75% in hotel, city & state taxes and $3.50 per room nightly occupancy fee.

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps.  When it is time for a few zzz’s to get you through the next day, plan ahead and sleep cheap in New York City with these budget-friendly options.

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