Hiya! I feel like it is one thing to explore New York and have an amazing time and it is a completely separate thing to be able to find a hotel in New York where you feel comfortable relaxing and recharging at an affordable price.
During my last trip to NYC, I found the spot where all of these ideas intersect....it's called Pod 51 (I booked through Expedia)!
Conveniently located in Midtown East on 3rd Ave and 51 st, you are close to plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Not only that but you are short walk away from Grand Central Station and the 5th Ave shops!
Now, if you are looking for a room at the Palace (located an avenue to the west), Pod 52 isn't for you. The rooms are quite small but use all of their space wisely!
Kate and I booked a bunk room that has a shared, private bathroom. However, upon our arrival we were upgraded to a room with our own private bathroom! It was very clean, comfortable, and somewhat quiet.
My least favorite and favorite part of the hotel was the bathroom....there was an oddly placed window so the bathroom wasn't very private. To make up for this there was a round rain shower head!
It was exactly what I needed after walking 15 miles around Manhattan and I highly suggest it for college student traveling to NYC!