Every business owner needs to be in Manhattan for work or pleasure at least once, if not many more times a year. But with Big Apple hotel bills frequently exceeding the cost of airfare, finding a decent room at a decent rate is increasingly difficult. Luckily, the hottest trend in the New York City hotel scene is midprice brands. Here's a rundown:
- Hampton Inn: Manhattan's newest Hampton Inn is located downtown between the Seaport and the financial district, at 320 Pearl Street. You'll also find new Hampton Inns in Midtown, at Herald Square (31st Street and Sixth Avenue), and in Chelsea (108 W. 24th St.). All offer a free hot breakfast and free high-speed internet. See www.hamptoninn.com.
- Marriott: The first Residence Inn by Marriott in Manhattan opened last November, just south of Times Square at 39th Street and Sixth Avenue. All rooms are suites, complete with kitchenettes and flat-panel TVs. You'll also enjoy a free hot breakfast and free high-speed internet. See www.residenceinn.com. And this spring, a brand-new Courtyard by Marriott opens on the Upper East Side at 410 E. 92nd St. There's no free breakfast, but high-speed internet is complimentary, and there's a 50-foot indoor lap pool, a whirlpool, a steam room, a sauna and massage facilities. See www.courtyard.com.
- Holiday Inn Express: Last fall, Holiday Inn Express opened a new 125-room hotel in a narrow, 22-story high-rise near Times Square, at 45th Street and Fifth Avenue. You'll get a free continental breakfast (including the chain's famous cinnamon rolls) and free high-speed wireless internet access in all rooms.
Another Holiday Inn Express is set to open this fall on W. 29th Street at Eighth Avenue. See www.holidayinnexpress.com.
- Wingate Inns: These are best known for their all-inclusive pricing policy, with high-speed internet, local calls, continental breakfast, faxes and copies included in your room rate. Later this spring, a new Wingate Inn will open at 235 W. 35th St. (near Madi-son Square Garden). See www.wingateinns.com.
- Sheraton: An all-new Four Points (Sheraton's budget brand) is located in trendy Chelsea at 160 W. 25th St. Described as "industrial chic," the hotel offers free high-speed internet and an in-room refrigerator, but alas, no free breakfast. See www.fourpoints.com.