Feb 172013
Photo of New York City at Night

New York City at Night

New York City is always a great family spring break vacation option.  Families making college tours can visit NYU, Columbia, Pace, Fordham, Barnard and many others while taking in a show, checking out major attractions like the Empire State Building or the Metropolitan Museum of Art,  or simply enjoying the spring flowers and fresh air in Central Park.

New York City is a great family spring break destination for teens and tweens with so many things to do.  But, finding affordable family friendly hotels can definitely be a challenge for a family on a budget.  Add to that the fact that the words “affordable” and “New York City” are rarely found in the same sentence and the search for New York City accomodations that will work well for families and won’t break the bank can become overwhelming — as we found when we started researching family oriented hotel options for a visit to New York City in April.   A quick check online shows hundreds of hotels with an almost unlimited price range.

To narrow the search, we decided to focus on the Time Square/Theater District  with access to the subway and walking distance to Broadway shows, teen friendly shopping and Rockefeller Center.  If we are lucky we’ll hit town during the last few days of the Rockerfeller Center ice skating season!  Depending on your plans, other areas of the City might be more affordable but we aimed for clean, safe, comfortable lodging  in the range of $300 a night for a family of 4.  We prefer suites to doubling up in a standard hotel room with two queen beds.

Prometheus oversees Rockerfeller Center

Prometheus oversees Rockerfeller Center

We spent hours talking to friends, reading reviews, staring a pictures, surfing Groupon and other discount sites and finally found five hotels that we think fit the bill.  We are sharing our list in the hopes we can save our readers a little time and money in planning their family spring break vacation to New York City.

  • DoubleTree by Hilton in Times Square at 1568 Broadway has two room suites with sofa beds.  Some feature king beds and other have two queens with prices starting at just under $300 nightly.  This is a full service hotel with on site dining but no pool.  It has pet friendly options as well.
  • Skyline Hotel 49th and 10th Ave.  is older but clean with something unusual for New York City – rooms that can fit two queen beds and still have room for a rollaway for $250-$300 a night.  Family Suites that can sleep 5 are available in the $400+ range.   It also has a pool, something that is not always available at affordable New York City hotels.   It is walking distance to Time Square
  • Radio City Apartments on West 49th Street  is a modest hotel that rents out small suites and studios that include micro-kitchens.  This is the one place on this list that we have stayed previously.  The place is a little worn and has no services but the location and price are hard to beat.  A one bedroom apartment with two doubles and a sofa bed can be had in April for under $300 a night.
  • Best Western Plus President Hotel at Times Square on West 48th Street offers hard to find family size suites with two double beds and a sleeper sofa in the mid-$300s a night in April.  Reviews have been a little mixed but the location and price are hard to pass up.  This one was recently featured on Groupon so may be hard to book in the short term.
  • The AppleCore The Hotel@ Times Square on West 46th Street near 6th Avenue offers 2-room  suites (1 king and 1 queen) that can accommodate families.  The building is older and serves budget conscious travelers from around the world.  Rates include free WiFi and continental breakfast.  The Hotel @ Times Square gets decent marks from most online reviewers although a fair number think management could be a little more customer friendly.  We found April availability at just under $300 a night for a suite.

None of the hotels on the list compensated us in any way and we have not actually stayed at most of them yet so this list is based on online searching and word of mouth referrals.  Also remember, the rates found in most search engines are BEFORE the standard New York City lodging tax of 14.5% of the room charges AND an extra fee of $3.50 per room, per day.   In some cases, advance payment or AAA can help bring down the rates and always be on the lookout for promotions and deals.   Also be warned that most standard New York City hotel rooms are very small and it is unlikely you can squeeze in a roll-away cot or even fit an air mattress on the floor.

Enjoy your time in New York City and let us know if you find an affordable gem we should share with our readers!

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