Q. I know New York in August is no picnic, but that’s when I can come in from Baltimore for a three-night weekend. (Baltimore in August is not so great, either.) I don’t want to break the bank, but I’d like a hip hotel with some style. Since I always stay in midtown when I come in for work, I want to be downtown this time. Any ideas?
A. Hotel rates shoot into the stratosphere come September, so August in New York isn’t as horrendous as you may think if you’re looking for a deal. The SoHo Grand, one of SoHo’s original boutique hotels, offers a summer special through September 5, with queen-bed rooms starting at $229 and king-bed rooms from $249, available Thursdays through Sundays with a two night minimum. Should you crave something more lavish the hotel’s Summer Weekend Package offers a two-category upgrade, continental breakfast and a champagne toast when you arrive, available through August 31. Rooms start at $327.30. Though the Grand is pushing 15 – geriatric by boutique hotel standards – it’s well maintained, the glamorous high-ceilinged lobby lounge is a great place to meet up with friends, and the street level deck serves up alfresco meals and drinks (but no views, unfortunately). For slightly cheaper rates, check out sister hotel the Tribeca Grand several blocks south.
The Financial District – or what remains of it at the bottom tip of Manhattan – blazes during the week but cools on the weekend. Hotel prices do, too, and Gild Hall’s summer package goes a step farther. In addition to 10 percent off stays of two nights or more, you get an upgrade to the next category when available, two drinks at Libertine, the hotel bar and the ultimate sweetener, free WiFi. Rooms start at $203. Though small, Gild Hall has style to spare (we like the leather pig planted next to a sofa in the lobby). The flip side: this part of town can get deserted on weekends, but at those rates, who cares?
New hotels often offer off-season deals, and Dream Downtown, which opened earlier this summer, is no exception. Summer special rooms start at $244, and we doubt you’ll see those prices anytime soon once September rolls around. The wildly stylish hotel features round windows (the hotel’s exterior was dubbed the cheese grater due to its metal façade), room furniture accented with chrome and teak and – ta da — a rooftop pool. It’s super new, so there may be a few hiccups, but hey, you could be among the first guests from Baltimore.