I'm in Staten Island on depositions today and tomorrow and spending the weekend in Manhattan. Finding a reasonably priced room in Manhattan is the trick.
I went on Priceline and looked at their standard discount rates and while they are not bad, they're really no different than Exedia, Orbitz, etc. And in fact, you can almost always get those rates directly from the hotel without all the restrictions placed on reservations through the online discounters (like paying in advance, no refund, etc).
The real trick to getting a cheap room in Manhattan or Chicago or San Francisco, etc. is to bid for a room on Priceline. These are very restricted. You win a bid and you buy the room right then, use it or not.
The Priceline no bid rate for this weekend at the Sofitel on 44th Street at 6th Avenue was $485/night. So I bid 4 stars in Midtown West / Time Square and after a couple rounds of raising my bid I landed the same 4 star Sofitel for this weekend for $217/night. Both nights less than one night at the no bid rate.
I'm loving Priceline. The best rates seem to be had just before the weekend.
(Posted from the Hilton Garden Inn, Staten Island)