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SMART DEALS: New York City at Christmas

  Marcel   The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's have traditionally been among the most expensive to visit New York City.
    So much for tradition.
    This is 2008, and Manhattan hotels are making deals and extending offers like never before. If you want to visit during the holiday season, it pays to shop around. And to commence a  visit on a Sunday, if you can. Visit a hotel booking site like Quikbook, put in some dates for December, and you’ll see plenty of availability, as well as prices that have literally been slashed. For Sunday December 14th, rates at the Shelburne Murray Hill were $184 (instead of $229). The hip, new design hotel, Marcel at Gramercy (above) was $279 (it’s $439 the night before, on Saturday). And the venerable Roger Smith Hotel was $179. Rates rise a bit on Monday and Tuesday (The Shelburne jumps to $208, for example) but they’re still moderate compared to the stiff prices that New York City hotels have been commanding for years. Check out hotels.com , Priceline.com and Travel Ticker for other deals.

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