The Pod Hotel
Taking its cue from the Ikea school of cheap chic, this youth-oriented urban hotel isn't for everyone. But its 347 tiny, clean, cleverly designed rooms—very mod, with stainless-steel sinks and Eames-inspired desk chairs—are a blessing for anyone visiting New York on a budget. Rooms with private baths start at $139, but even the shared bathrooms have rain showers. Coverlets allow beds to double as daybeds, and tucked-away drawers under the bed allow guests to make the most of their space. But this isn't the kind of place where people hang out in their rooms. The maple-paneled lobby (with Coke machine!) is a lively hangout, where guests can use free Wi-Fi to access the hotel's own blog; plans for an outdoor café were being developed at press time.
Tip: Hit up concierge Bryan Raughton for tips on how to have fun in New York on a budget—it's his specialty.
Room to Book: The $89-a-night bunk rooms may be the best bargain in town, at least for those who don't mind the train-cabin feel—and each bed has its own fold-out flat-panel TV.