2. The International Cozy Inn, Harlem, NY
Last month, we were faced with a dilemma. A relative had come to town and had naturally asked us for affordable hotel recommendations. Groan. It seemed to be the wrong time to be in New York. Hoteliers had seemingly lost their mind and were charging in-vitro rates for no-frill places like a Courtyard Marriott. For the first time, we were flummoxed. We were afraid we'd have to send them to a truck stop in New Jersey. And then THEY scooped US.
By going to Trip Advisor and Yelp, they came across six-room hotel called The International Cozy Inn located in a Harlem brownstone. Had we heard of it? At first we thought they said the InterContinental and we were sure they'd lost it. But no, The ICI did exist--two blocks from the subways and most importantly right across from Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster restaurant! Say what now? How had we not heard of this? Was this some sort of "No Tell, Motel"? Apparently, not.
The rooms are designed in individual styles, but all have kitchenettes and sitting areas--are meticulous, and come with either twins, queens, or king size beds so everyone from singles to families are welcome. Oh, and WiFi is $3 a night, LOL. But given the rates below, we can't be mad at them for such an odd price.
Rates begin at $109 per night if you book 4-nights in their lowest category room, but rates are still a steal without the minimums for bigger rooms!
3. Hotel Chez Swann, Montreal, Canada
You could easily walk by the Chez Swann and not know it was there. Which is what we did. Twice. That's because it's lobby is tucked way inside an otherwise non-descript Tudor building. Odd. But, OK, we like a little mystery! There's just 23 rooms to the petite place which opened two years ago in the trying-to-be-trendy downtown area. It's a decent spot, though you'll might find yourself seeking the action of nearby McGill U, the shops of Rue Ste-Catherine, or biking to Old Montreal.
The "boudoirs" are a decent size, but it's the details that make them funky--a touch of red velvet here, a faux-grass rug there. The bathrooms could use a bit more room, but the multi-jet shower heads and free WiFi make up for it. Funny enough, there's no room guide to speak off. But if you take the in-room coupon for a free drink at the bar, someone's sure to clue you in what you need to know about the hotel.
Rates begin at $165 per night
[Photos: HotelChatter/ICI Hotel]