The holiday season is a wonderful time to visit New York City. The city shines even brighter, and despite chilly temperatures, a festive atmosphere takes hold across Manhattan. Go ice skating in Central Park, pick up unique gifts at the many holiday markets, and view the dazzling window displays along Fifth Avenue. You can feel the excitement in the days leading up to Christmas.
There’s just one catch — it’s also one of the most expensive times when it comes to booking hotels. And although there are ways to save on your New York hotel, with so many sparkling attractions, millions of other travelers want to experience this special holiday joy as well. Rates soar and rooms fill up fast. 2019 might bring a little relief because the holiday falls on a Wednesday making it harder for travelers to plan a long weekend getaway.
However, there are a handful of hotels that keep prices down, even during one of the busiest times of the year. Here are four hotels that put you in the heart of the holiday action for less. All of our picks offer double rooms for under $160 on Christmas Eve.
New York is full of surprises, even holiday hotel rates sometimes!
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120 East 31st St (between Lexington & Park Ave)
Doubles with shared bathroom on Christmas Eve from: $134
Nestled between two major Manhattan streets, this two-star hotel puts you in a lovely New York neighborhood. There’s nothing trendy about the hotel’s location or style (think “grandmotherly”), but the rooms are cozy, very clean and come with free Wi-Fi. When you want to see New York decked out for the season, you can stroll over to Madison Square Park or the Union Square Holiday Market in about 15 minutes.
On Christmas Eve, you can walk a few blocks south to Gramercy Park to see the beautiful tree and sing carols. It’s the only time of the year when the park is open to the public!
242 West 49th St (at 8th Ave)
Doubles on Christmas Eve from: $135
If you don’t mind a little old-fashioned style, the 78 rooms at this hotel near Times Square are an excellent deal. They come with a flat-screen TV, safe and complimentary Wi-Fi. Catch a holiday performance on Broadway — you will be staying a few steps from some of the most famous playhouses in the Theater District. You’ll also be right around the corner from Restaurant Row on 46th Street.
Pod 51 Hotel
230 East 51st (at Second Ave)
Doubles with a private bathroom on Christmas Eve from: $122
Sure the rooms are tiny, but so are the prices for Christmastime in NYC! You can walk to Central Park in about 15 minutes or head south to Grand Central Terminal to see the Holiday Train Show. In the morning, you can go around the corner to Ess-a-Bagel for the perfect way to start your holiday adventure!
Get into the holiday spirit with a stroll over to Fifth Avenue for the sparkling window displays, then hit up Rockefeller Center which is only 10 minutes from Pod 51.
The Hotel @ Times Square
59 West 46th St (at 6th Ave)
Doubles on Christmas Eve from: $152
With a location, just a five-minute stroll to the famous tree and ice rink at Rockefeller Center in one direction and Bryant Park Winter Village the other way, this three-star hotel places you in the middle of the holiday festivities. And did we mention they have spacious rooms (at least by Manhattan standards), coffee makers, Wi-Fi and free breakfast? It will be hard to find a better (or cheaper for what you get) base for exploring New York during the holidays.
Want to see more affordable hotel options in the center of Manhattan? Check out our guide to recommended budget hotels in New York.