Best value places to stay in New York City: Six of the most affordable hotels

MOXY TIMES SQUARE

Aimed squarely at Millennials, this Marriott offshoot is fun, funky and oh-so-Insta-friendly. Located seven blocks south of Times Square, the hotel has young, enthusiastic staff; stylish communal spaces and cute touches such as on-demand bedtime stories. Rooms are small but come in a variety of configurations (including quad bunks) and use foldable furniture to maximise space. Choose from five different restaurants and bars – the highlights being the upscale Legasea seafood brasserie and a carnival-themed rooftop bar with a carousel and mini golf. Rooms from $US140. See moxytimessquare.com

PUBLIC

This is legendary hotelier Ian Schrager's first foray into affordable luxury – a property that eschews the traditional five star bells and whistles, such as bellboys and opulent suites, in favour of self-service check-in and inviting communal spaces. Located in Manhattan's edgy Lower East Side, the hotel offers stunning views from its rooftop bar, a restaurant from celebrated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten plus a basement screening room and event space. Rooms are compact but chic with floor-to-ceiling windows, Bose speakers and Apple TV. For more space splash out on one of the capacious lofts. Rates from $US225. See publichotels.com

POD TIMES SQUARE

This is the third Pod property in Manhattan – a 28-storey, 665-room flagship that's a convenient 10-minute walk west of Times Square. Rooms are functional rather than flash but feature all the necessities and have private bathrooms with rainfall showers. There are also 45 Pod Pads – spacious one and two-bedroom apartments with kitchen facilities for longer stays. Throw in complimentary walking tours, free Wi-Fi and a funky Polynesian-themed Tiki bar and it's a compelling option for those on a budget. Rooms from $US115. See thepodhotel.com

FREEHAND

After successful openings in Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles, Freehand debuted its upmarket hostel concept in New York in January. Located in the Flatiron District, three blocks north of Gramercy Park, the 395-room property offers flexible accommodation, from three and four-person bunk rooms to spacious penthouses. Rooms and public spaces are decorated with original artwork from students at Bard College and there's a range of dining options, including a neighbourhood seafood restaurant by Gabriel Stulman and a rooftop outpost of Freehand's award-winning cocktail bar, Broken Shaker. Rooms from $US160. See freehandhotels.com

ARLO NOMAD

This is Arlo's second Manhattan property and it has all the same hallmarks as the original in Soho: small, stylish, well-designed rooms with inviting public spaces and upscale but affordable dining options. Located five blocks north of Madison Square Park, it features an all-day library lounge, a 24-hour cafe and an Italian-Asian fusion restaurant by Top Chef competitor Dale Talde. Rooms are cosy at 14 square metres but maximise space through under-bed storage and open closets. A recently opened rooftop bar offers captivating views of the Empire State Building. Rooms from $US160. See arlohotels.com

CITIZENM BOWERY

We're going out on a limb here because this hotel doesn't open until September, but given it's a carbon copy of the brand's existing Times Square property, we're confident it'll be similarly impressive. Located a bagel toss from nightlife-packed Nolita and Chinatown, the property will have 300 compact but functional rooms with king-size beds and high quality linens. The art-filled communal lobby lounge will feature high-speed Wi-Fi and a 24/7 "canteen" that morphs from casual cafe to late-night drinking den. Best of all – there will be a rooftop bar with glittering views of Manhattan. Rooms from $US190. See citizenm.com

Rob McFarland was a guest of Moxy Times Square.

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