The Five Best: Budget beds

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The Independent Travel

There are several YMCAs in the city, but this is the most central: a couple of blocks from Central Park, near the Lincoln Center. Forget any thoughts of a hostel: there are no dormitory rooms, just a selection of singles and doubles, some with en-suite facilities, all with TVs. A small restaurant in the entrance serves burgers and sandwiches, and there is a large pool and gym.

5 West 63rd Street between Central Park West and Broadway (00 1 917 441 8800; www.ymcanyc.org/westside). Double rooms start at $95 (£53).

Hotel QT

Boutique hotels in locations like this don't usually come with such a good price tag. The QT has been open since February, and offers 140 well-appointed rooms off Times Square. The news stand-cum-liquor store at the entrance doubles up as reception. The indoor pool is dimly-lit and atmospheric with a steam room, sauna and a bar on the mezzanine.

125 West 45th Street (00 1 212 354 2323; www.hotelqt.com). Single rooms start at $125 (£70), doubles at $150 (£83); there is a 25 per cent reduction for anyone under 25.

Leo House

Once a hostel for German Catholic immigrants, the Leo House now offers budget accommodation to all. Rooms range from singles to family rooms which sleep six. All rooms have TV and a phone, although some have shared bathrooms. The minimum stay is two nights. Book two to three months in advance - quaintly, bookings must be by post or fax.

332 West 23rd Street, 00 1 212 929 1010; fax 00 1 212 366 6801. Double rooms start at $80 (£44.50), singles at $65 (£36).

Soldiers', Sailors', Marines' and Airmen's Club

To qualify, you have to have military connections. Allied service personnel (serving or retired) or their dependents can enjoy comfortable, if basic, accommodation. Rooms are clean and welcoming, but don't expect TV or a phone. Bathrooms are shared. Breakfast is free, and there are cooking facilities for guests.

283 Lexington Ave (00 1 212 683 4353; www.ssmaclub.org). Rooms are available from $25 (£14) to $52 (£29); rate depends on rank.

Vanderbilt YMCA

The Vanderbilt is on a quiet street in midtown, not far from the United Nations. All the rooms are private, although only a few are en suite. Book well in advance, as the Vanderbilt is often fully-booked. Like the other YMCAs in the city, it has excellent sports facilities, all of which are open to guests.

224 East 47th Street (00 1 212 756 9600; www.ymcanyc.org). Double rooms start at $79 (£44).

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