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NYC Hotels: Where Not To Stay In The Big Apple

Visiting New York City can be a stressful and overwhelming endeavor in many respects—it's expensive, it's enormous, and it's crowded. What you spend on a hotel will help decide what you can spend throughout your vacation, so you want to make a smart choice. That is, unless money is no object, in which case, why are you reading this article? Keep it moving, Leona Helmsley.

The Big Apple saw a record number of visitors in 2010. People keep on coming, and we've got hotels for days. It's a lot to consider.

Check Out: New York City's Best Affordable Hotels

Rooms don't come cheap, but on the other hand they're unimaginably tiny. Welcome to New York! As you sign the astronomical bill for the room in which you can brush your teeth, use the toilet and iron your shirt all at once, you can feel proud that you've experienced life as a true resident does. And then there's that bedbug thing you've heard about, which is very, very real. And a whole host of other issues, like noisy neighborhoods, proximity to restaurants, shops and transportation, non-proximity to things that are awful, such as the Garment District.

We can't exactly tell you where you should stay, but we can certainly tell you where you shouldn't.

By Nina Pajak.

The New York Inn

765 Eighth Avenue (between 47th & 48th)
Reviews & More Info

You might think this hotel is ideally situated near the Theater District, Times Square, and other terribly unpleasant areas. So you've got crowds, noise, and crowds and noise. Favorite neighborhood haunts include the Olive Garden and Toys 'R' Us. Charm aside, the complaints against this gem include: mice and/or rats, broken window, no heat, no hot water, no elevator, decrepit stairs, rude staff, lack of space, leaky plumbing, and an included breakfast which is evidently a voucher and a gentle shove towards the nearest Subway sandwich shop. On the bright side, as one very optimistic online reviewer noted, it is in New York City, which is pretty awesome.

Hotel Pennsylvania

401 7th Ave
(212) 736-5000
Reviews & More Info

First and foremost, this hotel is located directly across the street from Penn Station/Madison Square Garden. Honestly, why don't you just grab some newspapers and sleep in Penn Station? I have two words for you: grr-rross. This area is so hideous that it actually sucks charm out of everyone and everything within a five-block radius. For god's sake, there's a DMV around the corner! Not only that, but visitors report a shocking lack of civility from employees (DMV staffers' night job?), vicious mold growing in the bathrooms, filthy carpeting, and sinks literally falling out of the walls. If that homeless guy gives up his spot in front of the Tim Horton's by the New Jersey transit terminal, you might be better off there after all.

Hotel Gansevoort

18 9th Ave
(212) 206-6700
Reviews & More Info

Not all hotels are bad because they're…well…bad. Sometimes they're bad because lots of people think they're good. Do you want to have a slumber party with large groups of dudes who quote Lee Iacocca and Machiavelli on their Facebook profiles without irony? Who make The Situation and Ron-Ron-Ronnie look like the President and VP of the Gloria Steinem fan club? Don't be seduced by the famous meatmarket rooftop pool. In truth, Jersey Shore-types from all over the region check in on Friday nights for the privilege of waking up to throw on an Ed Hardy swimsuit and go ogle each other as they sip Michelob Ultra and bop to house music. Then more of them show up on Saturday night to wait in line and glare at each other until they're let upstairs, where they continue to glare at each other, albeit from a more comfortable position. Unless you're one of these urban wildcats (in which case, uh, sawry), stay away. If you're looking for a bit of a classier experience, check out the New Gansevoort Hotel on Park Ave.

Hotel Carter

250 W 43rd St
(212) 944-6000
Reviews & More Info

This hotel has the distinction of making it onto a number of "worst hotels in New York City" lists. Articles and reviews from a couple of years ago cite everything from prostitutes to dead housekeepers hidden under beds. Today, the biggest complaints are bed bugs (duh), dirty towels in the bathroom, "pubic hair everywhere," fungus, graffiti on the furniture, rats that eat your food in the middle of the night, faulty door locks and, unsurprisingly, a deeply uncaring staff. This is almost too ridiculous to even bother mentioning in this article. Except that a quick search online shows that not only are people still staying at this place, but they are reviewing it positively because it is in Times Square! People! Please! Clearly, this warning bears repeating.

Henry Hudson Hotel

515 W 59th St
(212) 974-0905
Reviews & More Info

By all accounts, this comes as a surprise to this list. But sure enough, the trendy Hudson has earned the unique distinction of being the highest priced-lowest ranked hotel on While the bar, lobby and rooftop are pretty unanimously fun and impressive, the rooms are laughably small. People have reported dirty furnishings, smelly bedding, funky climate control, malfunctioning phones and televisions, slooooow check-in and super-meanie employees. Others have griped about limited room service, a creepy basement gym, and (gasp!) no protective bedbug bed covers. All for the reasonable price of $269 for a 220 square foot "deluxe queen" room. I hope you like your travel companion.

Thank you, TripAdvisor and Yelp, for educating us all and giving me the itchies for the rest of my life.
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Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.
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