Perfect timing for microhotels


Imagine staying in New York City for $100 per night.

Even staying at the YMCA on West 63rd Street -- where I stayed over the summer and had a wonderful experience -- that's a hard price to beat. But the Associated Press reports that "Moving beyond budget accommodations to an idea that borrows from a ship's berth or a train's sleeper car, developers are gambling that in tough times travelers looking for a little pampering at lower prices will embrace micro-hotels."

And they do mean micro: Think 56-square feet with plenty of space for your clothing under the bed. I think the timing is perfect and these could be the wave of the future. For people who are interested in sightseeing or just plain club-hopping, a luxurious, roomy hotel room is just not necessary. Many people -- especially young people -- would rather save the money to allow for more frequent vacations.

The micro-hotels could also be a nice middle-ground for people who are wary of the dorm-like quarters that come with staying at a hostel -- especially when they include services like 350-thread count sheets, a 23-inch flat-screen LCD television, DVD player, iPod dock and free wireless Internet -- all at no extra charge. Most full-price hotels don't include any of those features, all of which are especially appealing to young, hip travelers -- exactly the kind who don't need anything more than a place to crash and check email after a busy day.

If they can figure out the economics, these could be a bright spot for the hotel industry over the next few years.