The reality of finding inexpensive accommodation in NYC means you have to get very creative, and that’s just the way to describe Ye Old Carlton Arms. The hotel is over a hundred years old and has survived respectability, prohibition and being a flophouse for the down and out. It has seen the flotsam and jetsam of life, but in the past 30 years, with the inspiration of passing artists, it has been transformed to a very unique art gallery that just happens to let you stay overnight. Each floor is themed differently – Egyptian Pharaohs ( cast from staff members ) and hieroglyphics shine golden on one level, while on another, images from Australia contrast next to Elvis a la Mickey Mouse, the work of the famous street artist ( and now movie maker ) Banksy. The rooms take you into even more worlds, and while you can’t ask for any theme specifically, I would be hoping for a woodland rather than the engine room. And I would definitely want my own bathroom, as the shared facilities have their own queue-inducing distractions. Accommodation is priced by the person, $130 for a couple in a room with a bathroom, $110 without, and there are cheaper rates in the winter. There are four floors and no elevator, although the staircase will keep you entertained on the way up. The location on East 25th and 3rd is great, the staff are friendly ( and there is a resident cat ) but they make no bones about the fact that their hotel is basic. So whether you want to stay or just call in for touch of New York history, you will be very welcome.