|New York's Sanctuary Hotel|
The Big Apple is experiencing a hotel room boom. More than 30 New York City properties opened their doors in 2010, and so far in 2011, 18 new hotels have opened. “As of August, our inventory count was 88,144 rooms and we have approximately 2,000 rooms in the pipeline for the remainder of 2011,” said Chris Heywood of NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing and tourism organization. “We expect to reach 90,000 rooms by year end.”
The Sanctuary Hotel, where rooms include crystal chandeliers, leather headboards and leather-printed wall tiles, opened in September and the high-tech YOTEL New York, featuring 669 small-even-by-New York-standard sleeping pods or “cabins,” opened in June.
Several of the newly opened properties — including W New York Downtown, Andaz Wall Street, the Doubletree Financial Center and the World Center Hotel, are in Lower Manhattan — the revitalized area now home to the 9/11 Memorial.
Half of the NYC hotels that have opened this year are in Manhattan, with the others in the neighboring boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens.
“Intrepid travelers willing to go a few stops on the subway now have the option to save 30 percent to 40 percent on their hotel room rates and still get a unique New York City experience,” said Heywood.
For example, the Aloft Brooklyn, part of Starwood’s chain of hip, lower-priced hotels, opened in June and has been sold out almost every night. The 64-room Hotel Williamsburg, also in Brooklyn, will open Oct. 17 and features an onsite restaurant, swim club, cocktail lounge, rooftop bar and lending library of vinyl records. Vintage-style record players will be standard in every room.
If you do head to the Big Apple, be sure to bring your checkbook.
According to NYC & Company, the average daily rate for a hotel in New York City hovers around $250, but that doesn’t include sales, occupancy and use taxes of about 15 percent.
Special events such as Fashion Week, major conventions or the recent meeting of the UN General Assembly can fill the best rooms and cause hotel prices to spike significantly citywide. None of that seems to deter business or leisure travelers, who kept New York City hotel rooms filled to a healthy 85 percent occupancy rate during 2010 and are doing the same in 2011.
"The good news is that prices are not as high as the market peak in 2008," said Melissa Klurman, contributing editor for Travelocity.com. "And since many of the new properties added this year are mid- to lower tier, there are deals to be found."