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Boutique hotels in New York that won't break the bank

The Yotel in New York.

We're heading to New York for New Year's Eve. Is there such a thing as a boutique hotel that won't break the bank?

Well, as thrifty readers have suggested in the past, there's always Hotwire or Priceline. But if you don't want to roll the dice for this special occasion, several budget-friendly boutiques have recently opened their design-savvy, technology-loving doors in New York.

For example, Yotel (yotel.com), located a few blocks from Times Square, doesn't compromise on style or functionality, "though the rooms are smaller cabin-style accommodations," says Christopher Heywood, vice-president of travel for NYC & Company ( nycgo.com). The hotel offers futuristic style: Push a button to release the space-saving bed; watch a giant robotic arm store your luggage; sip a cocktail in the Asian-fusion restaurant where, after meals, the floor can be raised into a performance stage. Rates start at $149 (all amounts in U.S. dollars).

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Other chic-yet-not-too-cher properties include the Z New York Hotel ( zhotelny.com) in Long Island City and the Aloft Brooklyn and Aloft Harlem ( alofthotels.com), Heywood says.

The Aloft properties, both from the Starwood Hotels empire, feature loft-like rooms and chill lounge spaces with pool tables. The Z New York, meanwhile, goes more retro with its front desk constructed of steamer trunks and its Mason-jar bedroom lights, along with movie-scene Manhattan views visible from this neighbourhood in Queens. Rates at all three currently start at around $169 a night.

When booking, consider lingering beyond New Year's as December is the city's peak travel season and the deals tend to start in January. And, after clicking through all the tempting photos, remember you're here not just to scrutinize the hotel bill, but to celebrate new beginnings, right? So bring on the countdown.

E-mail your travel questions to concierge@globeandmail.com.

Karan Smith is a former editor of Globe Travel.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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