|Highline Park - lower East Side|
Here's a month-by-month summary.
January - lowest
February - lowest
March - lowest but starts to rise mid-month and beyond
April - high
May - highest
June - highest but drops as the month goes on
July - lower
August - lower
September - after Labor Day prices zoom
October - highest
November - highest
December - highest until a week or so before Christmas then lowest (except New Year's Eve)
New York is a destination for all reasons, but like most big cities except for glaring exceptions like Las Vegas and Orlando, lodging demand is driven by business travel.
In the winter, business travel subsides and leisure travel in New York slows to a crawl. In the spring and in the fall, business travel is very high. In summer business travel declines which leads to somewhat lower rates in New York, too. This is partly offset by increased leisure travel but these travelers aren't willing to spend as much on accommodations as business travelers are, and prices reflect that. As in other destinations driven primarily by business travel, rates are generally higher for weeknights (Sunday-Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday) and lower for weekend nights (Friday-Saturday).
Let's go from the general to the specific using three different hotels as examples:
- Hampton Inn Times Square South (moderately priced hotel)
- New York Hilton (upscale, huge Midtown hotel)
- The Plaza (luxury hotel on Central Park South at Fifth Avenue)
Rates below are per night before tax for three weeknights in a standard room with king bed. The rate is what is called "best available rate". Lower rates such as AAA or senior may apply, but these discounts are taken off "best available rate". (Rates were researched on 16 April 2014.)
28 April 2014
Hampton Inn: $289
New York Hilton: $349
The Plaza: $700
22 July 2014
Hampton Inn: $269
Hilton New York: $349
The Plaza: $625
14 October 2014
Hampton Inn: $359
Hilton New York: $469
The Plaza: $775
13 January 2015
Hampton Inn: $179
Hilton New York: $249
The Plaza: $650
While not as volatile as airline ticket prices, hotel rates are also dynamic. The price for a room booked three months in advance may be different (higher or lower) when booked closer to the actual date of travel. Take these prices merely as a random snapshot example of the seasonality of the rates, and not as a bronze, immovable tablet.
And then go take a big bite of the Big Apple. There's no other city quite like it.