In my experience, bed and breakfasts are one of the best ways of experiencing a new place. In many cases the rates can be quite reasonable although there is an increasing number of high end luxury bed and breakfasts and inns, many of whom may end up charging several hundred dollars per night as well. At some of the more budget-oriented B&Bs you can get a simple, yet usually comfortable room, new york city directories often with unique décor. Sometimes bathrooms are shared which will result in lower prices, so if utmost privacy is important to you check whether your B&B accommodation offers private bathrooms.
B&B stands for “bed and breakfast”, now obviously we have discussed the “bed” portion of the equation. As far as the “breakfast” portion is concerned, there are also a range of choices available. Some B&Bs will offer full breakfasts, some even with home-made ingredients, jams, preserves or various gourmet breakfast dishes etc. while others may only offer a simple continental style breakfast. In larger cities B&Bs may even exclude the breakfast option altogether, so if a nice meal in the morning is important to you, make sure you check whether your desired accommodation actually includes breakfast or not.
One additional advantage of B&Bs is that generally these places are owned by private individuals or couples who enjoy hosting people from all over the world. Quite often the hosts end up being quite entertaining and they can become your built-in local travel expert for the area. At any rate, be prepared for a rather personal experience since often the hosts share the house with the guests. Inns are usually larger and take on an atmosphere of a small historic hotel, so there the atmosphere will be less personal.
Here is a listing of websites that specialize in bed and breakfast accommodation for New York City: