New York, USA
There are plenty hotels in New York that charge each night about what I pay in rent each month, but cheap places are often cheap for a reason. Here's a list of hotels that won't leave you broke or wishing you had paid more to stay somewhere else.
Hotels: Hotel 17 would have to be my favorite – located in a 100 year-old building and nicely maintained. It's not far off the beaten track and offers a nice bit of comfort for a very reasonable $85 for a double. It's in a beautiful area and a short walk to the subways and on the edge of one of the more cloistered and beautiful neighborhoods in Manhattan, Gramercy, and walking distance to Union Square and the East Village.
Hotel 17 also owns the Hotel 31, but I think the 17 is a bit nicer.
A few blocks away from Hotel 17 is the Carlton Arms, which has the unusual distinction of individually decorated rooms, featuring tropical, jungle, and farm themes, among many others. Guaranteed to be a unique stay, as each room is different. I've always wanted to go around knocking on doors to see what the other rooms look like. The Carlton Arms is also located in Gramercy and can be as little as $80 a night for a double with a shared bath.
In the East Village is the St. Mark's Hotel for about $75 a night for a small room for two. It's right in the heart of the neighborhood, St. Mark's Place. A great place to be if you want to explore the East Village or cool Lower East Side (the hip neighborhood these days) bars and clubs.
Always remember that taxes are the hidden cost with NYC hotels, and add about 17% to your final bill.
Hostels under $50
There are a few of these in the city, but only a few seem to be clean, safe or nice places to stay.
My favorite is the Chelsea International, which can be as little as $28 a night for a dorm. For private rooms, better to look into one of the hotel listed above as it's about $70 a night. Chelsea is a great neighborhood full of great food and small galleries and it's walking distance to the West Village.
The Jazz on the Park hostel on 106th Street in Morningside Heights is nice and close to Central Park, Riverside Park, the campus of Columbia University, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and a the diner from Seinfeld (Broadway at 112th St ï¿½ just the façade. It doesn't look like it inside). They have another location, Jazz on the Town, in the East Village on 14th Street, but I don't know how it is.
The YMCA on West 63rd St. is also a good deal and is close to Central Park and Lincoln Center, and walking distance to the Theatre District, Times Square and Hell's Kitchen.
Short Term Apartments
Another unusual option is to make arrangements to stay in someone's apartment. Most of these can be pretty pricey if arranged through a service, but can be as little as a few hundred a week if arranged from an individual. Friends of mine recently stayed in someone's brownstone apartment in Brooklyn and really enjoyed staying in a home and feeling what it was like to live in New York. Try and get as much information (and photos) as you can in advance and make back-up reservations, just in case. Go to Craigslist NYC and look under housing for sublets and vacation rentals.