New York City commands the highest hotel prices in the nation, and occupancy rates can be quite high, too. In seasonal destinations, such as the Hamptons and Fire Island, it can be tough to find weekend hotel rooms in summer, so it's wise to book several weeks or months ahead; you'll also pay the steepest rates in seashore destinations in summer. These same rules apply to popular fall-foliage destinations, especially the Catskills, Finger Lakes, and Hudson Valley. When visiting towns with a large college presence (Poughkeepsie, Ithaca, Hamilton), be aware that rooms can be extremely tough to come by on weekends throughout the school year. Also take into consideration major cultural and sporting events, which can push up prices and greatly reduce availability in certain places—everything from New Year's Eve in New York City to the Baseball Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown.
The lodgings we list are the cream of the crop in each price category. We always list the facilities that are available, but we don't specify whether they cost extra; when pricing accommodations, always ask what's included and what costs extra. Properties are assigned price categories based on the range between their least and most expensive standard double rooms in high season (excluding holidays). You'll be charged a hotel tax, which varies between towns and counties throughout the state from approximately 11% to 14%.
Apartment and House Rentals
Some parts of New York are popular for short- and long-term vacation rentals, such as Long Island (especially the Hamptons and Fire Island), the Finger Lakes, and the Adirondacks.
Home Away. 512/493–0382; www.homeaway.com.
Interhome. 954/791–8282; 800/882–6864; www.interhome.us.
Villas International. 415/499–9490; 800/221–2260; www.villasintl.com.
Historic B&Bs and inns are plentiful throughout New York, including a handful in New York City. In many rural or less touristy areas B&Bs offer an affordable and homey alternative to chain properties, but in tourism-dependent destinations you can expect to pay about the same or more for a historic inn as for a full-service hotel. Although many B&Bs and inns are low-key and lack TVs and other amenities, the scene has changed somewhat in cities and upscale resort areas, where many such properties now cater to business and luxury travelers by offering high-speed Internet, voice mail, whirlpool tubs, and VCRs. Many of the state's finest restaurants are also found in country inns. Quite a few inns and B&Bs serve substantial full breakfasts—the kind that may keep your appetite in check for the better part of the day.
American Country Collection is a reservation service for eastern upstate New York, from the Hudson Valley up through the eastern Adirondacks to the Canadian border. Bed and Breakfast Network of New York serves New York City.
American Country Collection. 800/810–4948; 518/370–4948; www.bandbreservations.com.
Bed and Breakfast Network of New York. 800/900–8134; 212/645–8134; www.bedandbreakfastnetny.com.
Bed & Breakfast.com. Bed&Breakfast.com also sends out an online newsletter. 512/322–2710; 800/462–2632; www.bedandbreakfast.com.
Bed & Breakfast Inns Online. 800/215–7365; www.bbonline.com.
BnB Finder.com. 212/432–7693; 888/547–8226; www.bnbfinder.com.
Within New York's extensive state-park system, much of it concentrated in the Adirondacks and the Catskills, campgrounds offering both primitive and developed sites abound. For state parks, you can call or book online through Reserve America to claim a campsite at any of the state's camping parks as early as nine months in advance and as late as two days before you arrive. Most park campgrounds are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day; some of them remain open throughout the year, even in winter. Some have cabin rentals, too. Based on availability, state parks also accept walk-ins without reservations, but it's best to call ahead to avoid disappointment.
New York also has hundreds of private commercial campgrounds for RV and tent camping.
Campground Owners of New York. 585/586–4360; www.campcony.com.
Reserve America. 800/456–2267; www.reserveamerica.com.
HI has hostels in New York City, Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Syracuse, and Cape Vincent (in the Thousand Islands).
Hostelling International—USA. 301/495–1240; www.hiusa.org.
Chain hotels can be found at big cities throughout the state. Here are their contact numbers:
Best Western. 800/780–7234; www.bestwestern.com.
Choice. 877/424–6423; www.choicehotels.com.
Comfort Inn. 800/424–6423; www.choicehotels.com.
Days Inn. 800/325–2525; www.daysinn.com.
Doubletree Hotels. 800/222–8733; www.doubletree.com.
Embassy Suites. 800/362–2779; www.embassysuites.com.
Fairfield Inn. 800/228–2800; www.marriott.com.
Hilton. 800/445–8667; www.hilton.com.
Holiday Inn. 800/465–4329; www.ichotelsgroup.com.
Howard Johnson. 800/446–4656; www.hojo.com.
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. 800/233–1234; www.hyatt.com.
La Quinta. 800/531–5900; www.lq.com.
Marriott. 800/236–2427; www.marriott.com.
Quality Inn. 800/424–6423; www.choicehotels.com.
Radisson. 800/333–3333; www.radisson.com.
Ramada. 800/333–3333; www.ramada.com; www.ramadahotels.com.
Sheraton. 800/325–3535; www.starwood.com/sheraton.
Sleep Inn. 800/424–6423; www.choicehotels.com.
Westin Hotels & Resorts. 800/228–3000; www.starwood.com/westin.