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Best budget hotels in New York for families: cheap places to stay with kids

Dreaming of taking the kids to the Big Apple? We’ve got the best affordable family hotels, as recommended by Mumsnetters.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Jul 30, 2023

new york skyline

Taking the family to New York is an adventure not to be missed — there’s so much to see, do and experience in this extraordinary city. Unfortunately this makes staying in the Big Apple an expensive business.

After a day of exploring New York’s myriad parks, playgrounds, iconic sights and museums, having a base to return to that’s conveniently located, comfortable and affordable makes a real difference. Because New York hotel room prices can be eye-watering, we’ve turned to well-travelled Mumsnetters who’ve been there, done that and bought the I Love NY t-shirts for the whole family.

Best budget family hotels in New York at a glance

  • Best overall: Radio City Apartments | Book now 

  • Best near Times Square: Yotel | Book now

  • Best in Queens: Hilton Garden Inn, Long Island City | Book now

  • Best near Grand Central Station: Pod 39 | Book now

  • Best Downtown hotel: Aloft Hotel | Book now

  • Best for large rooms: Home2 Suites | Book now 

  • Best near Central Park: Residence Inn | Book now

  • Best for suites: La Quinta Inn & Suites | Book now

1. Best overall: Radio City Apartments

radio city apartments, new york

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What Mumsnet users say

"We stayed in Radio City Apartments with our 3 children in August. They are fab and very central" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Lucylocket13

"I second Radio City Apartments, they have 2 bedroom apartments. Kitchenette with hob, oven, microwave, fridge freezer, toaster etc, dining table and chairs. Beside Times Square so close to Rockerfeller,Central Park etc. Very reasonable prices, old and a bit shabby but very clean and the staff all very nice and helpful" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Adelaide12

Our verdict

Mumsnet users often recommend aparthotels for travelling with kids - you get extra space, a kitchen and you usually end up paying a similar price to a hotel room rate. Radio City Apartments are highly rated by Mumsnetters, who can’t fault the apartments’ central location, practical facilities and friendly staff. Situated just off Times Square, with Central Park and many of the city’s theatres and museums just a short walk away, the apartments are a perfect hideaway for those wanting to stay right in the thick of it without breaking the bank.

Nearest subway station: 49 St

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2. Best near Times Square: Yotel, Times Square

yotel, new york

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What Mumsnet users say

"Yotel was brilliant! It's compact, cheap. A bit strange in some ways (bed turns into sofa - electronic, bathroom separated by glass walls and blinds, but honestly loved it. Worth looking into, it's so close to Times Square (walkable) and when we went, it was around the corner from a buffet style restaurant where it was fixed price for a plate or takeaway box and you fill as much as you can. Also a great Greek street vendor outside the hotel which I still dream about the food to this day" - recommended by Mumsnet user, outingpostnamechange

Our verdict

If you stay at the Yotel at Times Square, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to places to eat. From delis to street food to all-you-can-eat restaurants, you’ll get the best of American and international cuisine on your doorstep. The hotel rooms have bunk beds for the kids, which Mumsnetters agree makes for an easy bedtime. Luggage can be looked after by the Yobot, and check-in is via self-service machines - you can expect to find all sorts of high tech details at Yotel.

Nearest subway station: Times Square – 42nd Street / Port Authority Bus Terminal

3. Best in Queens: Hilton Garden Inn, Long Island City

hilton garden inn, new york

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What Mumsnet users say

"Hilton Garden Inn Long Island City. Not in Manhattan but only a couple of stops away on the subway. Great location - Really easy to get downtown. Within walking distance to different subway lines, safe neighbourhood and not too loud at night" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Einszwei

Our verdict

Garden Inn is Hilton’s budget brand, and rooms come with a handy microwave and fridge, as well as tea and coffee making facilities. Staying outside of Manhattan is one way to make big savings, and this hotel is location in Long Island City in Queens, with several subway stations nearby that will take you into Manhattan or any of the other districts of New York. There’s plenty to do on Long Island itself, so don’t miss Long Beach, Montauk Lighthouse and Long Island Children’s Museum if you’re staying in the area.

Nearest subway station: 41 Av/Queens Plz N

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4. Best near Grand Central Station: Pod 39

pod39, new york

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What Mumsnet users say

"Pod 39 was a great base for us. Small rooms but perfectly comfortable and the communal areas were great" - recommended by Mumsnet user, FogCutter

Our verdict

Making innovative use of space, rooms at Pod 39 are compact but comfortable. Go for a Queen room for the grown-ups with an adjoining mini bunk bedroom for the kids, and don’t miss the rooftop tacos, which come highly recommended.

Pod 39 is located on 39th St, near to the Empire State Building, Bryant Park and Grand Central Station. Cots are available free of charge on request, and the hotel can organise walking tours for a real taste of NYC.

Nearest subway station: 33rd St

5. Best Downtown hotel: Aloft Hotel

aloft hotel, new york

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What Mumsnet users say

"Aloft Hotels are great" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Dafspunk

Our verdict

Close to Wall Street and the 9/11 Memorial, Aloft Manhattan Downtown has a terrace lounge, a gym and a 24-hour snack bar. Family rooms have two queen beds, and mini-fridges and cots are available for free on request - you can also ask for adjoining rooms if you want extra space.

There’s no on-site restaurant, so you’ll need to venture out for a meal, or use the delivery service Butler, who will bring sandwiches and pasta to your room.

Nearest subway station: Fulton Street Station

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6. Best for large rooms: Home2 Suites

home2 suites, new york

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What Mumsnet users say

"We stayed in the Home2Suites by Hilton New York Long Island City. We had 4 of us in the room. This worked really well. Nice big room, breakfast included and a quick commute into New York" - recommended by Mumsnet user, nameychange

Our verdict

A short subway ride from central New York, Home2 Suites has everything you need for a stress-free family break. With a laundry service, on-site mini-market and a fully-equipped kitchen in every suite.

Suites are mainly studios with beds and sofa beds to sleep four or six, with one-bedroom apartments available if you want that a bit more privacy. There’s a roof terrace and parking is available on site, but it’s a whopping $40 per day, and Mumsnetters recommend using public transport or taxis while visiting NYC.

Nearest subway station: 39 Av-Dutch Kills

7. Best near Central Park: Residence Inn

residence inn, new york

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What Mumsnet users say

"The Residence Inn on Broadway is a really good option. It is reasonably priced but has amazing views and is really close to Hells Kitchen which has loads of good options for food. It also includes breakfast so you can fill up before heading out for the day" - recommended by Mumsnet user, DinkyBabe

Our verdict

Just a few blocks from Central Park and the Museum of Modern Art, Residence Inn rooms come equipped with a kitchenette and, if you’re lucky, a great river or park view. The on-site restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, and there’s a convenience store within the hotel too.

Babysitting services are available if you’re hankering for some child-free time during your holiday, and Mumsnetters recommend heading into Hell’s Kitchen for great food options. Bicycles are available to rent, which is a lovely way to explore Central Park. Having this amazing park on your doorstep is a real plus, as kids can let off steam for free in one of the many playgrounds.

Nearest subway station: 7th Ave

8. Best for suites: La Quinta Inn & Suites

la quinta, new york

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What Mumsnet users say

"Try anything that ends in Suites - so Embassy Suites, Springhill Suites, Homewood Suites, Fairfield Suites, La Quinta Suites. They often have rooms with two double beds plus a separate lounge area with a sofa bed. Ideal for 5" - recommended by Mumsnet user, budgiegirl

Our verdict

Another hotel near Central Park, La Quinta has cots and extra beds available on request, and a dedicated tour desk for advice and recommendations for visitors to the city. With Central Park just one block away, you won’t want to miss the Zoo and exploring the many playgrounds. Mumsnetters recommend downloading the handy playgrounds map from the Central Park website and planning ahead.

The hotel has free WiFi in its rooms, a continental breakfast and a free newspaper. The American Museum of Natural History is just 10 minutes’ walk away - a must for visiting dinosaur fans.

Nearest subway station: 72 St

How much is a family hotel in New York?

Like any big city, prices vary for family rooms in New York. You can easily pay £400 per night or £1,000+ for the highest end hotels.

The hotels we’ve featured in this roundup all come in at under £250 per night for a family of four. It’s still a lot of money, but in relation to New York prices in general, they’re a bargain. We’ve stuck to hotels recommended by Mumsnetters as being family-friendly, clean and in a good location, so while cheaper hotels may be available, these strike a great balance between quality, location and affordability.

For example, at the time of writing, family rooms at the Hilton Garden Inn, Long Island City are available from £134 on a weeknight in January.

What are the cheapest times of year to stay in New York?

New York is a popular destination all year round for families, but on average flights and hotels are cheaper between January and March, and in August, although expect high temperatures throughout the month. If you can travel outside of the school holidays that always makes a big difference to prices too.

How can you get a cheap hotel in New York?

Bargains can be had if you book well in advance or last minute. Prices are higher on Fridays and Saturdays, so if you can book your break with as few weekend nights as possible it makes a big difference to your bill. Many chain hotels also have loyalty schemes, so it’s worth checking if joining the scheme could make you a saving.

While cheap accommodation is available in the very centre of Manhattan at places like Yotel and Radio City Apartments, savings can be made by staying further out. There’s great public transport all over New York’s five boroughs, so you’ll always be within easy reach of all the sights.

What’s the best budget hotel in New York for families?

The best budget hotel for families in New York is Radio City Apartments. These practical, well-equipped apartments have it all - a central location just off Times Square, plenty of space for the whole family and affordable prices.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there's nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out what affordable family hotels in New York were being recommended.

We then did some online research, looking at what family hotels in New York had won accolades or had been featured in 'best choice' lists, and what customer reviews said about them. Having collated all that information, we then narrowed our list down to the best budget family hotels in New York at the moment.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.