• Image about hotel-so-base2stay-new-york-city-the-pod-hotel-americanway

Given the economy, most of us are having to pinch our pennies. Luckily, one of travel’s biggest expenses -- the hotel room -- is becoming more affordable as micro-hotels, pod hotels, and new upscale hostels are growing in popularity and in number.

MICRO-HOTELS

BASE2STAY, London.
Base2Stay is one of the few micro-hotels we’ve seen with a kitchenette. But if you don’t want to cook, you can get fish-and-chips and more delivered to your room from one of several Kensington-area eateries. White linens, clean lines, and designer touches lend a boutique look at a bargain price. From $134. www.base2stay.com

HOTEL SO, Christchurch, New Zealand.
The compact rooms at the Hotel SO, which opened last November, are a mastery of form, function, and flair. Their mod design packs a lot into a little space without compromising the creature comforts of bigger, more expensive accommodations. From $45. www.hotelso.co.nz

THE JANE, New York City.
Outfitted with wood paneling and porthole-size windows, the reduxed rooms at this former hotel for sailors resemble old-fashioned boat cabins. But luxury hasn’t jumped ship here -- witness the high-thread-count sheets and flat-screen TVs. And while there’s not much space to stretch out, the price tag (starting at less than $100 a night!) lets you stretch your budget so you can splurge on dinner and a show. www.thejanenyc.com

TUNE HOTEL, Penang, Malaysia.
One of the newest hotels in the rapidly expanding Tune chain, this downtown Penang lodging offers rooms for a song -- a double goes for as little as $7 a night. That’s because in Malaysia, while amenities like power showers and 24-hour security come standard, you pay for the other extras you want, like air-conditioning, towels, and in-room Wi-Fi. www.tunehotels.com

POD HOTELS

CAPSULE INN AKIHABARA, Tokyo.
Since pod hotels started in Japan, for the quintessential pod experience you should head to a place like the Capsule Inn in Tokyo’s techy Akihabara district. At approximately three feet wide and seven feet long, the pods aren’t good for much besides sleeping, but they do have a TV, a radio, and reading lights. The public facilities include a lounge with free Wi-Fi, a men’s bath, and women’s showers. From $42. www.capsuleinn.com/en/

THE POD HOTEL, New York City.
America’s first self-proclaimed pod hotel, this stylish Midtown spot is technically more of a micro-hotel than a traditional pod hotel, but when the results are as affordable and accommodating as these, why nitpick? Our favorite feature: the cozy rooftop terrace. From $89. www.thepodhotel.com

YOTEL, Amsterdam.
If you have a long layover at Schiphol, catch a few winks (or stay overnight) at the newest member of the Yotel capsule chain. Inspired in part by yacht design, its barely sized rooms aren’t bare on luxuries, which include a techno wall, a workstation, a flat-screen TV with surround sound, mood lighting, and upscale toiletries. You can also have food delivered 24/7. Less than $80 a night. www.yotel.com

HOSTELS


LISBON LIVING LOUNGE HOSTEL, Lisbon, Portugal.
Each of the rooms at this design-minded hostel was decorated by one of 17 different artists (including one named Dirty Cop). Antonio Cardoso, an artist in the kitchen, presides over the three-course meal served in the dining room each night, as well as a walking tour of the city each Tuesday and Friday morning. Lisbon Lounge was also voted one of the world’s cleanest hostels in 2008. From $25. www.lisbonloungehostel.com

STAY, Los Angeles.
Like more and more hostels, the year-old Stay gives guests a choice between a private room with a private or shared bath and a shared room with a shared bath. Either way, you’ll be treated to thoughtful touches like colorful decor, an on-site art gallery, a computer corner with 20-inch Macs, and coming soon, a lobby bar. From $35. www.stayhotels.com