Tips for getting a good hotel in NYC

Hey, I have a cousin who is coming to NYC from abroad with a couple of her friends, and they’re looking to get a hotel for 5 days in the city. Having only been there a couple of times, and always staying at friends’ houses, I don’t really have a concept of what hotels cost. So, as always, I look to Dopers for help.
They’ll be coming in mid-late Octcober for 5 days (Sunday to Thursday).
They’d like to be near touristy things, so Midtownish, Sohoish, that area.
They want to spend about $300-350 a night (3 in one room).

What are some nice hotels in this range? A nice hotel is rather important to them. If I call the hotel, is it possible to negotiate a discount or will that only work at cheaper places? I’m aware of sites like, expedia, orbitz, etc - if I call a hotel will they quote me the same price as what comes up on those?
Any other tips and trickery would be welcome.

They should have no trouble in that price range. The last time we went to NY, we stayed in the Holiday Inn on W. 57th street (or around there) which was nice, and just two blocks from the subway. That was about $150 a night, and their website was as cheap as Orbitz etc.

When we lived in NJ, we looked for special deals and stayed in a number of places, all pretty good, but that was 10 years ago.

That sounds pretty good, but I think they’re hoping for even nicer (which may be pretty fruitless). I think they’re hoping for not the top level, but just below. Like on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, they’re hoping for 4 or so. Doable?

Well… I’m not going to say its impossible, but the Howard Johnson in Soho is $350/night (and over a 4 night stay, taxes are another $200! eep!).

Someplace more iconic, like the Marriot Marquis in Times Square, runs $550/night (and I’ve stayed there on business – its nothing special).

I walk by this place all the time – it looks so cute and is VERY well located. No idea of the prices but worth a try!

Inn on 23rd, A Chelsea Bed and Breakfast
131 West 23rd Street
Manhattan, New York 10011
United States
FAX: 212-463-0302

I’ve had great luck with I’ve only used them once in NYC, and this was back in 2000, but I got a room at the Millennium Times Square for something like $80/night. When you bid you can specify a neighborhood and hotel class/number of stars. You gotta be okay with the terms, though, its 100% non-refundable, and I assume you wouldn’t want to try it until a week or two before your stay.

Priceline looks good, but like you said, I think that will be more of a last-resort type thing. Does anybody know who determines what is 3 star vs. 4 star vs 5 star?

It looks great… I’ll call tomorrow to find out prices.
Thanks for the good ideas! Keep them coming!

They give you a little description of each star level when you bid, I don’t believe its the same system that you see in the AAA books and such. Last time my 2.5 star hotel turned out to be a Residence Inn.

If you want some more info on Priceline’s hotel selection, bidding tips, and recent successful bids, try this website:

The moderator is a nazi when it comes giving advice, and they stopped posting reviews that don’t reveal bidding details. However, the “free re-bid” concept explained in the Hotel FAQ is required reading for Priceline newbies.