4 surprisingly affordable New York hotels for Christmas

Sleeping near Rockefeller Center during Christmas is cheaper than you think. Photo: Allan Harris

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. 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. 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 $200 on Christmas Eve. New York is full of surprises, even holiday hotel rates sometimes!

Related: 5 Super cheap and central hotels in New York City

The classic Hotel 17 makes an affordable home base during the holidays.

The classic Hotel 17 makes an affordable home base during the holidays.

Hotel 17

224 East 17th St (between 2nd & 3rd Ave)
Doubles on Christmas Eve from: $125

Nestled on a block filled with lovely townhouses, this two-star hotel puts you in a nice New York neighborhood. There’s nothing trendy about the hotel’s 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 the Union Square Holiday Market in about five minutes.

On Christmas Eve, you can walk a few blocks north 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!

Mayfair Hotel

Rooms are cheap and charming at the Mayfair Hotel in the Theater District.

Mayfair Hotel

242 West 49th St (at 8th Ave)
Doubles on Christmas Eve from: $145

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.

Wellington Hotel

The grand lobby is just one of the old-world touches at Wellington Hotel.

Wellington Hotel

871 7th Avenue (at W 55th St)
Doubles on Christmas Night from: $143

Charm abounds at this towering old beauty. The neighborhood might be fancy, but the rooms at this three-star hotel are simple, and more importantly, surprisingly affordable. You can walk to Central Park in a few steps (it’s only three blocks away!) stopping in at the festive Columbus Circle Holiday Market along the way. Catch a holiday concert at Carnegie Hall around the corner or stroll over to Fifth Avenue for the sparkling window displays.

Hotel at Times Square

The Hotel @ Times Square has a comfy sitting area, perfect for reading your guidebook (or iPhone!) before heading out.

The Hotel @ Times Square

59 West 46th St (at 6th Ave)
Doubles on Christmas Eve from: $195

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.

More options

Want to see more affordable hotel options in the center of Manhattan? Check out our guide to recommended budget hotels in New York.