While not new, the blind-booking websites Priceline and Hotwire are terrific sources for discounted rooms in Manhattan (and elsewhere). These sites won't name the hotel (or airline or car-rental company) you're working with until your bid has been accepted and your credit card has been charged. But rest assured, these websites work with respected hotels, so you should receive a quality room in Manhattan if you bid on three- and four-star hotels. For help with your bidding, check out biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding.com, which are user's guides to Priceline and Hotwire.
Be sure to consider mid-market national chains such as Hampton Inn and Courtyard by Marriott, which have been moving into New York City. These hotels offer newly constructed buildings and often provide substantial breakfasts, unlimited local calls, and free Internet access in their lobbies. Best of all, these mid-market chains charge up to 30 percent less than comparable local independents. For more info, read our article New Hotels in New York City.
Still, there's the obvious trade-off: try as they might, hotel chains lack local character. If independently owned lodging with some personality is what you want, consider Budget Travel's picks for affordable New York City hotels.