Fodor's New York City 2016 - Fodor's (2015)
Where to Stay
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Updated by Jessica Colley
There are more hotel rooms than ever in New York City, as exciting new properties continue to open their doors not only in Manhattan proper but in Brooklyn and the outer boroughs as well. But does that mean that New York is cheap? Well, we wouldn’t say cheap, but you can still find some deals, especially if you’re not set on a specific property or neighborhood, and if you don’t mind a few extra minutes of commuting time.
How to choose? The first thing to consider is location. Many New York City visitors insist on staying in the hectic Midtown area—and options are improving there—but other neighborhoods are often just as convenient. Lesstouristy areas, such as Gramercy, the Lower East Side, the Upper West Side—even Brooklyn—provide a far more realistic sense of New York life.
Also consider timing: the least expensive months to book rooms in the city are January and February. If you’re flexible on dates, ask the reservationist if there’s a cheaper time to stay during your preferred traveling month—that way you can avoid peak dates, like Fashion Week and the New York City Marathon. Be sure to ask about possible weekend packages that could include a third night free. (The Financial District in particular can be a discount gold mine on weekends.)
Another source of bargains? Chain hotels. Many have moved into the city and charge reasonable room rates. In addition to favorites like the Sheraton, Hilton, and Hyatt brands, there are Best Westerns, Days Inns, and Comfort Inns. These rates aren’t as low as you find outside Manhattan, but they’re certainly getting closer.
NEED A RESERVATION?
Hotel reservations are a necessity when planning your trip to New York. Competition for clients also means properties must undergo frequent improvements, especially during July and August, so when booking, ask about any renovations, lest you get a room within earshot of noisy construction, or temporarily(and inconveniently) without amenities such as room service or spa access.
Unless otherwise noted, all hotels listed have private baths, central heating, air-conditioning, and private phones. Many now have wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) available, though it’s not always free. Most large hotels have video or high-speed checkout capability, and many can arrange babysitting. Pools are a rarity, but most properties have gyms or health clubs, and sometimes full-scale spas; hotels without facilities usually have arrangements for guests at nearby gyms, sometimes for a fee.
New York has gone to great lengths to attract family vacationers, and hotels have followed the family-friendly trend. Some properties provide such diversions as web TV and in-room video games. Most full-service Manhattan hotels provide rollaway beds, babysitting, and stroller rental, but be sure to make these arrangements when booking, not when you arrive.
DOES SIZE MATTER?
If room size is important to you, ask how many square feet a room has, not just if it’s big. A hotel room in New York is considered large if it’s 500 square feet. Very large rooms are 600 square feet. To stay anywhere larger, book a multiroom suite. Small rooms are a tight 150 to 200 square feet, sometimes less.
There’s no denying that New York City hotels are expensive, but rates run the full range. For high-end hotels like the Mandarin Oriental at Central Park, prices start at $895 a night for a standard room in high season, which runs from September through December. At the low end of the spending spectrum, a bunk at the Jane starts at $99 for a single. But don’t be put off by the prices printed here—many hotels slash their rates significantly for promotions and web-only deals.
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Lower Manhattan | SoHo and NoLIta | East Village and the Lower East Side | Greenwich Village and the West Village | Chelsea and the Meatpacking District | Union Square, Flatiron District, and Gramercy | Midtown East and Murray Hill | Midtown West | Upper East Side | Upper West Side | Harlem | Brooklyn | Queens
Fodor’s Choice | Andaz Wall Street.
$$ | HOTEL | If space is a priority, head to the southern tip of Manhattan: this sleek hotel has generous rooms with large windows, oak floors, and extra large bathrooms. Deluxe rooms are 450 square feet, with king beds and bathrooms with separate walk-in showers and deep soaking tubs; they’re the ultimate romantic retreat and worth a splurge. Downstairs, the Andaz Wall Street Biergarten serves local and German brews, and Dina Rata is a refined space with a farm-fresh menu. This full-service, stylish hotel also has a spa, fitness center, and complimentary bikes available. Pros: free Wi-Fi, bikes, snacks, and nonalcoholic beverages; excellent, intuitive lighting controls; good value. Cons: limited choice for restaurants and nightlife in the neighborhood; in-house restaurant not open every day. | Rooms from: $395 | 75 Wall St.,Financial District | 212/590–1234 | www.newyork.wallstreet.andaz.hyatt.com | 213 rooms, 40 suites | No meals | Station: 2, 3 to Wall St.
$$$ | HOTEL | Captains of Industry, here’s a boutique hotel for you: operated by the owners of the several Thompson Hotels around the United States and beyond, Gild Hall aggressively courts clientele with a Y chromosome. Beds have padded leather headboards and tartan throw blankets. The rooms are small, but come with custom-made wood desks and tables. The Gold Street location, though slightly hard to find, is a short walk from downtown’s central banks and businesses as well as two blocks from South Street Seaport and City Hall. Pros: central Financial District location; eye-popping lobby; stylish room design. Cons: small rooms for the price; untraditional location. | Rooms from: $499 | 15 Gold St., at Platt St., Financial District | 212/232–7700, 800/268–0700 | www.thompsonhotels.com | 116 rooms, 10 suites | No meals | Station: 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, Z to Fulton St.
The W New York Downtown.
$$$ | HOTEL | In the heart of the Financial District, this W outpost juxtaposes the gritty feel of the Financial District with sleek surfaces. The glassy black-box entrance abandons the typical notion of “hotel welcome” and visitors must take the elevator up to the fifth floor to reach the front desk. Guest rooms have a minimalist appeal, and all of the Italian-crafted furniture has been custom built into the walls—the only movable piece of furniture is the chair. The Living Room bar and tapas area hosts live DJ events that attract a unique mix of Wall Street bankers, European tourists, and downtown hipsters shaking it on the black granite dance floor. Pros: near popular tourist attractions; restaurant offers some surprisingly affordable fare; modern workout room. Cons: scaffolding-dense neighborhood; construction noise of World Trade Center nearby; not family-friendly. | Rooms from: $499 | 123 Washington St., at Albany St., Financial District | 646/826–8600 | www.wnewyorkdowntown.com | 214 rooms, 3 suites | No meals | Station: 1, R to Rector St.; 4, 5 to Wall St.
Conrad New York.
$$ | HOTEL | A pleasant surprise in a quiet Battery Park City location, this hotel has many coveted amenities: significant square footage, a breezy rooftop bar, and access to green space in nearby Hudson River Park. Every room is a two-room suite with separate bedroom and living area—starting at 430 square feet. Luxurious extras include a wet bar, espresso machine, and huge walk-in shower. A natural choice for business travelers, this hotel is also good for families (with a movie theater and Shake Shack in the same complex). The seasonal rooftop bar has prosecco on tap and Hudson River views. The ground-floor restaurant, Atrio, serves Mediterranean-influenced meals from an open kitchen, with spillover space in the futuristic lobby, anchored by a 14-story mural by Sol LeWitt. Pros: spacious rooms with separate living space; emphasis on art and design; movie theater and restaurants; near downtown attractions. Cons: daily fee for Wi-Fi; removed from Midtown attractions; expensive. | Rooms from: $359 | 102 North End Ave., between Vesey and Murray Sts., TriBeCa | 212/945–0100 | www.conradnewyork.com | 463 suites | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3, A, C to Chambers St.; E to World Trade Center.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | For a bargain room in a great downtown neighborhood, it’s hard to beat this cost-conscious favorite. The hotel is on a busy TriBeCa intersection and is an ideal launching pad for exploring downtown neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo. The building dates to 1850—Abraham Lincoln slept here. A 2014 refresh transformed simple rooms into sleek, modern spaces with a grey and light blue color palette, central air, and New York–inspired design details like artistic maps on subway tiles in the bathrooms. Pros: friendly staff; great location for power shoppers; recent refresh with New York-inspired design. Cons: sometimes noisy location; small rooms. | Rooms from: $299 | 95 West Broadway, at Chambers St., TriBeCa | 212/566–1900 | www.cosmohotel.com | 130 rooms, 1 suite | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3, A, C to Chambers St.
Duane Street Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | Amid TriBeCa’s historic warehouses and trendy art galleries sits this boutique hotel, a fashionable addition to the neighborhood. Light pours in the loftlike windows of the comfortable rooms, which have hardwood floors, flat-screen TVs, in-room iPads, and compact desks; photographs of the neighborhood provide a sense of place. Sophisticated bathrooms have slate floors and rain showers. Complimentary passes to the nearby Equinox gym are provided. Mehtaphor, a full-service restaurant from renowned pastry chef Jehangir Mehta, serves Asian- and Indian-inspired fare and provides room service. Children love the library of kids’ books that can be checked out at the front desk. Pros: great location; free Wi-Fi; stylish rooms; good pick for the allergy conscious. Cons: off-site gym; no 24-hour room service. | Rooms from: $399 | 130 Duane St., TriBeCa | 212/964–4600 | www.duanestreethotel.com | 41 rooms, 2 suites | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3, A, C to Chambers St.
Fodor’s Choice | The Greenwich Hotel.
$$$ | HOTEL | This understated, inviting hotel manages to fly under the radar even though Robert De Niro is an owner. A discreet entrance leads to a comfortable lobby that encourages lounging (and people-watching), with plenty of reading materials. Upstairs, no two rooms are alike: the style is a blend of Moroccan, French, and Japanese, with rugs covering reclaimed-oak floors and lots of tile. Some have balconies, and all have luxurious bathrooms. Locanda Verde, Andrew Carmellini’s bustling neighborhood restaurant downstairs, serves rustic Italian fare—don’t miss the handmade pastas. The drawing room, a warm space complete with a wood-burning fireplace (reserved for guests only) also serves the Locanda Verde menu—an Italian breakfast of pastries and coffee here is divine. The spa is done in a traditional Japanese style, as is the hotel pool. Pros: fabulous restaurant (Locanda Verde, also available for room service); gorgeous pool; excellent service; luxurious bathrooms. Cons: some plumbing noise; high prices. | Rooms from: $595 | 377 Greenwich St., TriBeCa | 212/941–8900 | www.thegreenwichhotel.com | 75 rooms, 13 suites | No meals | Station: 1 to Franklin St.
The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park.
$$$ | HOTEL | If you’re staying this far downtown, the Ritz is your top choice. The hotel provides the classic Ritz-Carlton experience—you are greeted by at least one staffer each time you walk into the lobby—and the large rooms look out to sweeping views of the New York harbor. West-facing rooms, with views of the Statue of Liberty, come with telescopes. The neighborhood is very quiet, especially at night, so you don’t get much of a feel for the buzz of NYC. There’s steak-house fare at 2 West and a spa with French Carita products. Pros: excellent service; best upscale base for downtown exploring; pet- and kid-friendly; Statue of Liberty views. Cons: removed from Midtown tourist sights; limited nighttime activities; few neighborhood options for dining and entertainment. | Rooms from: $545 | 2 West St., at Battery Park,TriBeCa | 212/344–0800, 800/241–3333 | www.ritzcarlton.com/batterypark | 259 rooms, 39 suites | No meals | Station: 1, R, J to Rector St.; 4, 5 to Bowling Green.
Smyth, a Thompson Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | Conveniently located almost on top of a convenient subway stop, this thoroughly modern hotel makes TriBeCa a welcoming landing spot for visitors. The welcoming lobby is more like a giant living room than a hotel lobby, and invites lounging. Upstairs, the guest rooms are cooly functional with bright furniture accents and plush carpeting. Upgrade to a suite and you’ll get hipper decor with the extra space; some have soaking tubs in the bathroom. Downstairs, Little Park is a seasonal restaurant from acclaimed Chef Andrew Carmellini. Pros: great service; good restaurant; excellent subway access. Cons: Wi-Fi not free; only a frosted glass partition divides bathroom from sleeping area; bathrooms could have better lighting. | Rooms from: $299 | 85 West Broadway, between Chambers and Warren Sts., TriBeCa | 212/587–7000 | www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/smyth-tribeca | 84 rooms, 16 suites | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3, A, C to Chambers St.
$$$ | HOTEL | Still popular with the glitterati, the scene at the Tribeca Grand centers on the eight-story atrium’s Church Lounge bar and café. Now that things have cooled sufficiently from the heyday, it’s a nice place to hang even if you’re not an A-lister, though it can get noisy for the guests upstairs. Comfortable and stylish rooms with a retro nod have low platform beds and podlike bathrooms with aluminum consoles reminiscent of those in airplanes. Access to the latest Apple products (iPads, MacBook Pro laptops, iPods) is a nice bonus. Pets are not only welcomed with open arms; you can even request a loaner goldfish for your stay. Pros: great dining and bar scene; central downtown location; fun social atrium; pet-friendly. Cons: rooms get noise from restaurant below; bathrooms have slightly cold design. | Rooms from: $499 | 2 6th Ave., between Walker and White sts., TriBeCa | 212/519–6600, 800/965–3000, 212/519–6700 | www.tribecagrand.com | 187 rooms, 14 suites | No meals | Station: A, C, E to Canal St.
SOHO AND NOLITA
Fodor’s Choice | Crosby Street Hotel.
$$$ | HOTEL | This whimsical boutique hotel, the first branch of a UK chain to open in the U.S., has excellent SoHo views. The furnishings, all handpicked by co-owner Kit Kemp, are colorful, light, and playful. Rooms are expansive and sunlight-filled, with cozy cushions for relaxing by the floor-to-ceiling windows. In the lobby you are greeted by solicitous staff in gray suits, who record your likes and dislikes for future visits. The Crosby Bar, with oak floors and a long pewter bar, has an impressive cocktail program and garden. On the other side of the lobby are comfortable guest-only drawing rooms; theres’s also a sculpture garden reserved for guests. The hotel is Gold LEED certified and even raises chickens alongside its rooftop garden. Pros: unique, fun design; big, bright rooms; great bar. Cons: small gym. | Rooms from: $555 | 79 Crosby St., between Prince and Spring sts., SoHo | 212/226–6400 | www.firmdalehotels.com | 69 rooms, 17 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to Spring St.; N, R to Prince St.; B, D, F, M to Broadway–Lafayette St.
Holiday Inn SoHo.
$ | HOTEL | “SoHo” and “Holiday Inn” may not sound right together, but here they are. Once endangered by developers, SoHo’s odd man out is more entrenched than ever thanks to rates dwarfed by other hotels in the vicinity. The property retains some of the historical architectural features of the former bank building, too, including oversize arched windows, high ceilings, and a classic exterior. Rooms may adhere to Holiday Inn’s generalized standards, but they’re well maintained, with in-room coffeemakers. Bustling Canal Street is on the corner for bargain shopping.Pros: well-priced SoHo solution; well-trained staff. Cons: nothing stylish; closer to Chinatown than to SoHo. | Rooms from: $280 | 138 Lafayette St., near Canal St., SoHo | 212/966–8898, 800/465–4329 | www.hidowntown-nyc.com | 215 rooms, 12 suites | No meals | Station: 6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.
Fodor’s Choice | The James Hotel New York.
$$$ | HOTEL | This hotel on the edge of SoHo never sacrifices comfort for style, so it’s no wonder there’s a high percentage of return customers: creative types, businesspeople, fashionistas, and anyone else with deep pockets. The lobby has fabulous double-height windows from which to appreciate unobstructed views, along with fresh-baked cookies, coffee, wine, and fresh fruit. Guest rooms are swank and simple, with dark-wood floors, floor-to-ceiling murals, and more huge windows facing south and west. A plant in every room (ostensibly a carbon-offsetting touch), and triple-house-filtered bottled water all contribute to an environmentally friendly ethos. The David Burke Kitchen on the ground floor is comfortable and popular, and Jimmy, the rooftop bar, is a winner. There’s also a ground-level garden that’s surprisingly serene, considering little more than a few plants separate it from the noisy world beyond. Bring your fashion A-game: the James attracts a well-dressed crowd. Pros: stellar service; fabulous views; cool SoHo location. Cons: rooftop bar is expensive and sometimes too-cool-for-school. | Rooms from: $549 | 27 Grand St., between Thompson St. and 6th Ave., SoHo | 212/465–2000 | www.jameshotels.com | 109 rooms, 5 suites | No meals | Station: 1, A, C, E to Canal St.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Owner André Balazs has a knack for dating Hollywood starlets and channeling a neighborhood sensibility, and here it’s SoHo loft all the way. The Mercer is superbly situated in the heart of SoHo’s myriad name-brand stores, although you wouldn’t know it once inside the lobby, a minimalist oasis created by acclaimed French designer Christian Liaigre. Most guest rooms are generously sized, with high ceilings and walk-in closets, but the lowest-priced rooms are a tight 250 square feet. Dark African woods and custom-designed furniture upholstered in muted solids lend serenity with sophistication. Some bathrooms feature decadent two-person marble tubs surrounded by mirrors. Downstairs is the always-happening lobby with 24-hour food and bar service for guests and the popular Mercer Kitchen. Beware the inconsistent service, which runs from friendly to indifferent. Pros: great location; sophisticated design touches; celebrity sightings in lobby. Cons: service inconsistent; some tight rooms. | Rooms from: $695 | 147 Mercer St., at Prince St., SoHo | 212/966–6060, 888/918–6060 | www.mercerhotel.com | 68 rooms, 7 suites | No meals | Station: N, R to Prince St.; B, D, F, M to Broadway–Lafayette St.
Fodor’s Choice | NoMo SoHo.
$$$ | HOTEL | Snazzy, fairytale-inspired style and a chic SoHo vibe make the Mondrian a winner for anyone looking for a decadent downtown New York experience. The most basic rooms are on the small side, but with the serene blue and white color scheme, mirrored surfaces, and floor-to-ceiling windows, the design (and the striking views) helps overcome space concerns. Opt for a room on one of the higher floors and shower with sweeping skyline views (but leave modesty at home: showers have floor-to-ceiling glass, too). Downstairs, the public spaces are classy and inviting, with a beautiful arched passageway lined with ivy and sparkling lights serving as the entrance, a pebbled garden with a swing to sit in, and an intimate restaurant set in a greenhouse-like space, lit by candles and chandeliers. Pros: stylish rooms with fairytale-inspired accents; friendly to electronics addicts; fabulous views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Cons: elevators can be slow; standard rooms are on the small side; charge for Internet. | Rooms from: $579 | 9 Crosby St., SoHo | 212/389–1000, 212/389–1001 | www.nomosoho.com | 263 rooms, 43 suites | No meals | Station: 6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Formerly SoHo icon 60 Thompson, this hotel received a renovation and rebranding in 2014. The fabulous rooftop lounge, Above SIXTY SoHo, remains a warm-weather haven for the well-dressed, with sweeping skyline views. The stylish rooms are masculine-leaning with leather headboards and wood floors covered with carpets in modern patterns. Some rooms have step-out balconies, all have a minibar stocked with snacks from Dean & Deluca plus terrycloth Frette robes. Gordon Bar, located off the lobby, is a cozy place for a drink, and a new Italian restaurant opened in the ground-floor space in 2015. Pros: central to SoHo nightlife; good gym; some rooms have balconies. Cons: not family-oriented; no pets allowed. | Rooms from: $719 | 60 Thompson St., between Broome and Spring sts., SoHo | 212/431–0400, 877/431–0400 | www.thompsonhotels.com | 97 rooms, 10 suites | No meals | Station: C, E to Spring St.
$$ | HOTEL | The SoHo Grand defines what SoHo is today—once pioneering, now expensive, and with a vaguely creative vibe. As new properties crowd the field, the Grand’s low-key sophistication stands out. The Club Room serves three meals a day, but the Parlor, the Club Room’s back room, is reserved for hotel guests during the day and is an oasis of low-lying velvet sofas and leather armchairs, with a fireplace. Comfortable, contemporary rooms have an industrial-chic design and are mainly focused on the view out the ample windows. A great seasonal pleasure is the Yard—a large outdoor space where you can have a drink or meal and then spread out on teak lounge chairs. The staff is professional, polished, and more experienced than you find at other fashionable hotels. Pros: fashionable, laid-back sophistication; great service; surprisingly discreet setting; diverse eating and drinking options. Cons: closer to Canal Street than prime SoHo; rooms on small side. | Rooms from: $329 | 310 West Broadway, at Grand St., SoHo | 212/965–3000, 800/965–3000 | www.sohogrand.com | 341 rooms, 12 suites | No meals | Station: 1, A, C, E to Canal St.
The Nolitan Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | A welcome addition to an underserved neighborhood, the Nolitan combines a hip, slightly gritty feel with some luxe touches, but don’t expect a lot of space to spread out. Guest rooms have exposed, distressed-cement ceilings and walls and minimalist modern decor; north-facing rooms have unobstructed views of the Empire State Building (ask for a room with a terrace during warm months). A curtain separates the showerfrom the sleeping area. The inviting rooftop doesn’t have a bar, but you can bring a drink up and soak in the Manhattan skyline. Thoughtful touches include a 12 pm check-out and a complimentary wine-and-cheese happy hour Monday through Saturday. Pros: cool vibe; fun location convenient to lower Manhattan and Brooklyn; fabulous views from rooftop and some rooms. Cons: smallish rooms; gym access five-minute walk away; some street noise. | Rooms from: $409 | 30 Kenmare St., NoLIta | 212/925–2555 | www.nolitanhotel.com | 56 rooms, 1 suite | No meals | Station: J, Z to Bowery; 6 to Spring St.
EAST VILLAGE AND THE LOWER EAST SIDE
Fodor’s Choice | The Bowery Hotel.
$$$ | HOTEL | The Bowery Hotel is like an English hunting lodge in Manhattan, warmed by rich tapestries, fireplaces, and chandeliers—and there’s no shortage of Brits, who flock to the property; the only thing missing is a trusty hound. The mood created by the red-coated doormen, clubby bar, and trendy address makes this one of the hottest hotels—or lobbies, at least—of the moment. Sadly, rooms upstairs don’t maintain the richness of the lobby: they’re simple, with nice floor-to-ceiling industrial-style “factory windows” and Manhattan views. Rooms and suites with terraces have an outdoor shower and lounge chairs for relaxation with a city view. Gemma restaurant fronts the hotel and is a popular weekday dinner and weekend brunch spot. Pros: quirky, fun location; happening bar and lobby-lounge area; celebrity sightings; interesting views. Cons: gritty neighbors; rooms lack luxe touches expected at this price. | Rooms from: $535 | 335 Bowery, at 3rd St., East Village | 212/505–9100 | www.theboweryhotel.com | 135 rooms, 25 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to Bleecker St.; B, D, F, M to Broadway–Lafayette St.
The Standard, East Village.
$$$ | HOTEL | A jarring, 21-story glass-and-steel finger rising up in the low-rise East Village, this hotel was never going to pass under the radar—and that’s guaranteed now that André Balazs and company have taken over. The vibe is casual chic: there are no check-in desks, just reservation agents positioned to meet guests as they walk in the door. The lobby is lined with cushy leather chairs and hundreds of books (available for purchase, with proceeds going to charity). Thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the CooperSquare, rooms are filled with sunlight. Thoughtful amenities include three different kinds of robes—even one for your dog—as well as a well-stocked minibar. There’s no gym in the hotel, but access to Crunch Bowery is provided. Pros: stylish, sunny rooms with great views; central location for downtown exploring; free Wi-Fi. Cons: out of character with the area; rooms on the small side. | Rooms from: $495 | 25 Cooper Sq., between 5th and 6th sts., East Village | 212/475–5700 | www.standardhotels.com/eastvillage | 145 rooms, 8 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to Astor Pl.; N, R to 8th St.–NYU.
LOWER EAST SIDE
Fodor’s Choice | Hotel on Rivington.
$$ | HOTEL | A pioneer when it opened back in 2004, this glass-walled hotel on the Lower East Side is still a great choice if you want to be in the thick of the neighborhood’s dining and nightlife scene. Though the red-floored, honeycomb-like entrance may feel over the top, rooms are minimalist, neutral-toned refuges —the stunning view through floor-to-ceiling windows is all the adornment you need. Huge bathrooms have either Japanese-inspired deep soaking tubs or oversize steam showers. The mezzanine lobby is the living room of the hotel, with complimentary coffee and wine, plush couches, and a billiard table. On the ground floor is CO-OP Food & Drink, the hotel’s latest in-house eatery. Pros: cool location and vibe; huge windows with wonderful New York views; many rooms have balconies; seriously luxurious bathrooms. Cons: feels clubby on weekends; isolated from some subway lines. | Rooms from: $380 | 107 Rivington St., between Ludlow and Essex sts., Lower East Side | 212/475–2600, 800/915–1537 | www.hotelonrivington.com | 88 rooms, 20 suites | No meals | Station: F to Delancey St.; J, M, Z to Essex St.
$ | HOTEL | The latest stylish creation from hotelier Sean MacPherson, this new hotel embodies the effortless cool attitude of the Lower East Side, from its cozy lounge with limestone fireplace to the romantic trellis-covered garden. Pros: hot restaurant and bar scene; some rooms have terraces and great views; gorgeous bathrooms. Cons: lounge and courtyard can get crowded. | Rooms from: $295 | 180 Ludlow St.,Lower East Side | 212/432–1818 | www.ludlowhotel.com | 164 rooms, 20 suites | No meals | Station: F to 2nd Ave.; J, M, Z to Essex St.
$$$ | HOTEL | This hotel is a great embodiment of the neighborhood inhabitants: hip, but friendly when you get to know it. The two-story lobby bustles with Europeans, musicians, and others with carefully crafted hair. Rooms are stark, black-and-white affairs, with low platform beds whose headboards are light boxes displaying works by the photographer Lee Friedlander. The desk space can be cramped, and although the windows are big, come nighttime, rooms can feel seriously dark. Suites, on the building’s corners, have balconies with sweeping views of both downtown and Midtown—some of the best in the city. The neighborhood is a nexus for nightlife, and the hotel’s rooftop bar and pool a great place to start. Pros: in the heart of downtown scene; great views from suites; hip rooftop bar and pool. Cons: occasionally snobby staff; rooms stylish but dark. | Rooms from: $529 | 190 Allen St., between Houston and Stanton sts., Lower East Side | 877/460–8888 | www.sixtyhotels.com/lowereastside | 141 rooms, 10 suites | No meals | Station: F to Delancey St.; J, M, Z to Essex St.
GREENWICH VILLAGE AND THE WEST VILLAGE
$$$ | HOTEL | Among the ghosts of the literary salons and speakeasies of Greenwich Village is the Jade, a boutique property on a tree-lined street with an Art Deco sensibility. Gas lamps and an inconspicuous facade blend the new hotel with the old character of the neighborhood. The exposed-brick, sunken lobby has tufted blue couches and a fireplace for relaxing with one of the New York-themed books that line the shelves. Rooms are distinctly Greenwich Village with their tight space, but do have nice touches like a retro-rotary phone and C.O. Bigelow bath products. Some rooms have extras like terraces and separate soaking tubs and stall showers. A barrel-vaulted hallway leads to the Grape &Vine Restaurant, serving market-driven fare against the glow of a fireplace. Pros: delivers a true Greenwich Village experience; cozy fireplaces; quiet neighborhood location. Cons: small rooms; no connecting rooms. | Rooms from: $450 | 52 W. 13th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Greenwich Village | 212/375–1300 | www.thejadenyc.com | 109 rooms, 4 suites | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3, F, M to 14th St.; L to 6th Ave.
$$ | HOTEL | Built in 1900 and once home to Jack Kerouac, this hotel has been renovated into a stylish boutique with a residential feel. The comfortable lobby, with a coffee bar, tufted couches, and shelves lined with books, attracts guests as well as locals looking for a quiet place to work. Rooms are tight on space, without extras like work desks, but are elegant, with decadent throw blankets, intricate crown molding, and big, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs. Bathrooms are equally small but attractive. There’s room to spread out in the lobby, bar, and Margaux, a bistro with a bright solarium in the back. Pros: fresh property with luxurious touches; spacious lobby with coffee bar; great Greenwich Village location; value with style. Cons: very small rooms; no work desks; no room service. | Rooms from: $375 | 5 W. 8th St., Greenwich Village | 212/321–0100 | www.marltonhotel.com | 105 rooms, 2 suites | Breakfast | Station: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to W. 4th St.
Washington Square Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | This low-key hotel in Greenwich Village is popular with visiting New York University parents—the location is also near Washington Square Park and its magnificent arch (and just down the street from Mario Batali’s Babbo restaurant). It’s easy to get anywhere in the city from here, since it’s just one block from the West 4th Street subway station. Deluxe rooms have a snazzy Hollywood Art Deco style and much more natural light than the rather plain, pastel-colored standard rooms. The intimate Deco Room off the lobby has mosaic floors, elegant mirrors, and a wrought-iron-and-glass brass gate from Paris—guests can sip tea here during the day, and at night, pull a stool upto the bar. The North Square restaurant downstairs has a jazz brunch and surprisingly sophisticated fare. Pros: parkside location; deluxe rooms are charming; great hotel bar; free Wi-Fi. Cons: NYU students everywhere in the neighborhood; rooms are small. | Rooms from: $315 | 103 Waverly Pl., at MacDougal St., Greenwich Village | 212/777–9515, 800/222–0418 | www.washingtonsquarehotel.com | 152 rooms | Breakfast | Station: A, B, C, D, E, F, M to W. 4th St.
$ | HOTEL | To some, the Jane is impossibly chic; to others, the rooms are reminiscent of Sing Sing. The historic building housed survivors of the Titanic in 1912, and many feel the standard rooms resemble ships’ cabins or railway cars. Standard rooms are 50 square feet, with single beds and a shared unisex bathroom down the hall. Captain’s Cabins are five times larger, with private baths and Hudson views. Off the small lobby, reminiscent of a Correspondent’s Club in a former British colony, are the bar and ballroom, which have drawn controversy in the neighborhood because of their weekend popularity. Pros: extraordinary value for the neighborhood; hot bar scene; gorgeous décor in lounge; great branch of weekend brunch favorite Café Gitane; convenient neighborhood for downtown sightseeing. Cons: impossibly tiny standard rooms; some rooms have shared bathrooms; noise from the bar. | Rooms from: $125 | 113 Jane St., at West St., West Village | 212/924–6700 | www.thejanenyc.com | 171 rooms | No meals | Station: A, C, E to 14th St.; L to 8th Ave.
CHELSEA AND THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT
$ | HOTEL | Popular with Europeans and budget-conscious visitors, the Chelsea Lodge is a great location for guests who don’t insist on a lot of amenities. Toilets are shared and down the hall for most rooms, but rooms each have their own sink, shower, and TV. It feels like a cozy bed and breakfast, without the breakfast. Most importantly, the best of Chelsea, including galleries and Chelsea Market, is right out the door. Pros: on a gorgeous Chelsea block; residential feel; great bang for the buck. Cons: not romantic; shared bathrooms. | Rooms from: $169 | 318 W. 20th St., between 8th and 9th aves., Chelsea | 212/243–4499 | www.chelsealodge.com | 22 rooms, 4 suites | No meals | Station: C, E to 23rd St.; 1 to 18th St.
The GEM Hotel Chelsea.
$$ | HOTEL | At this stylish, well-priced boutique hotel, the modern rooms are small but designed to make the most of limited space. Since you’re in a handy location in Chelsea near some of New York’s best art galleries, bars, and restaurants, you probably won’t be spending much time in your room anyway. Clean and simple rooms have great amenities for the price, including free Wi-Fi, a coffeemaker, and iPod docks. The hotel also supports local artists by displaying rotating works in the lobby. Pros: great Chelsea location; close to several subway lines; in-room coffeemakers. Cons: gym and business center, both on the lower level, feel like a work in progress; rooms may be too small for some. | Rooms from: $329 | 300 W. 22nd St., Chelsea | 212/675–1911 | www.thegemhotel.com | 81 rooms | No meals | Station: 1, C, E to 23rd St.
Fodor’s Choice | High Line Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | A late 19th-century, red-brick Gothic building on the landscaped grounds of a former seminary was transformed into this lovely hotel, full of original architectural details like stained glass windows and pine floors. Pros: historic property with lots of character; gorgeous design from top to bottom; peaceful garden; quality coffee bar in the lobby. Cons: doesn’t have the best subway access. | Rooms from: $300 | 180 10th Ave., at 20th St., Chelsea | 212/929–3888 | www.thehighlinehotel.com | 60 rooms, 4 suites | No meals | Station: C, E to 23rd St.
Hilton New York Fashion District.
$ | HOTEL | Fashion is the theme at this Hilton, which is located in the emerging Fashion District neighborhood (previously known as the garment district) on the upper edge of Chelsea.The lobby is done in rich textiles with multicolor spools mounted on a white board behind the front desk. Rooms are modest in size but snappy, with pinstriped rugs that resemble suits, and orange ottomans that are dead ringers for Hermès Kelly bags. An arrangement with the nearby Fashion Institute of Technology brings student art to the walls. The RARE View rooftop lounge is on the 22nd floor and has stunning views of the city, including the Empire State Building to the north and an expansive collection of iconic wooden rooftop water towers. Pros: reasonable prices for a good location; rooftop lounge with great skyline views. Cons: small closets; trying to be trendy. | Rooms from: $249 | 152 W. 26th St., between 6th and 7th aves., Chelsea | 212/858–5888, 212/858–5889 | www3.hilton.com | 280 rooms | No meals | Station: 1 to 28th St.; C, E to 23rd St.
$$ | HOTEL | This boutique property, which overlooks the High Line, captures the artistic and stylish spirit of Chelsea. Rooms are funky yet comfortable, with low-platform beds, black vinyl bean-bag chairs, and vintage details like touch-tone phones. Design is interesting, but comfort is in the details: soft denim robes, iPads loaded with music, and addictive Aesop bath products. Fashionable locals flock to the year-round rooftop bar and plunge pool. Coiffed staff members are genuinely helpful, a lobby coffee shop supplies on-the-go snacks, and even room service manages to be stylish—meals arrive in bento boxes. Dining on-site is appealing: a French restaurant with Latin flair has indoor and outdoor patio seating, and there’s also a rooftop grill. Pros: year-round rooftop pool and bar; views overlooking the High Line; near the thriving gallery scene in Chelsea. Cons: low beds; bathrooms lack privacy; some furniture is form over function. | Rooms from: $395 | 518 W. 27th St., between 10th and 11th aves., Chelsea | 212/216–0000 | www.hotel-americano.com | 49 rooms, 7 suites | No meals | Station: C, E to 23rd St.
The Maritime Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | The Maritime’s white-ceramic tower, the former HQ for the National Maritime Union, was the first luxury hotel to be built in the Chelsea gallery district, and the property still feels a bit nautical: the small rooms resemble modern ship cabins, with burnished teak paneling, sea-blue drapes and bed accents, and 5-foot “portholes” that face the Hudson River skyline. Pros: fun rooms with big porthole windows; great location near Chelsea Market and the Chelsea galleries. Cons: street noise; small rooms. | Rooms from: $435 | 363 W. 16th St., at 9th Ave., Chelsea | 212/242–4300 | www.themaritimehotel.com | 121 rooms, 5 suites | No meals | Station: A, C, E to 14th St.; L to 8th Ave.
$ | HOTEL | Formerly the Chelsea Star, this new hotel has a rich music history (Madonna crashed here in the ‘80s) and a creative spirit, from the rockstar-inspired rooms to the ground-floor art gallery. Pros: central location near Penn Station; good value option; fresh, bold décor. Cons: some rooms have shared bathrooms. | Rooms from: $149 | 300 W. 30th St., Chelsea | 212/244–7827 | www.riffhotels.com | 36 rooms, 7 suites | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3, A, C, E to 34th St.–Penn Station.
Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC.
$$ | HOTEL | Though the nearby Standard New York has stolen some of its thunder, there’s still plenty to draw guests to this chic Meatpacking District pioneer, starting with the sleek rooms that overlook the city or the Hudson River and the rooftop deck with a 45-foot heated pool. Rooms feature a vibrant color scheme of fuchsia, plum, and gold, and either floor-to-ceiling or wall-to-wall photography and artwork. The Chester restaurant serves French-inspired fare. Pros: rooftop pool; wonderful art collection; great location for restaurants and shopping. Cons: location can seem too trendy, especially at night; service can be slipshod. | Rooms from: $445 | 18 9th Ave., at 13th St., Meatpacking District | 212/206–6700 | www.hotelgansevoort.com | 164 rooms, 22 suites | No meals | Station: A, C, E to 14th St.; L to 8th Ave.
Fodor’s Choice | The Standard, High Line.
$$$ | HOTEL | André Balazs’s architectural statement on the West Side is still one of New York’s hottest hotels. It helps to have the High Line Park running underneath it, but the Standard earns much of the buzz in its own right, with a lobby full of glamorous types, an authentic beer garden (open year-round; dig the ping-pong tables), and the 18th-floor nightclub that is one of the toughest doors in town. Rooms, with low platform beds, are on the small side (even by New York standards) but floor-to-ceiling windows add a sense of space. Some rooms have showers separated from the bedroom by little more than a glass partition. As you’d expect in a space (and neighborhood) that’s so sceney, it can get loud at night. The Standard Grill restaurant, which is almost always packed, handles room service. Pros: beautiful building with sweeping views; beautiful people; impressive restaurant space. Cons: noisy at night; tight rooms; can be too sceney. | Rooms from: $495 | 848 Washington St., between 13th and Little W. 12th Sts.,Meatpacking District | 212/645–4646 | www.standardhotels.com | 334 rooms, 4 suites | No meals | Station: A, C, E to 14th St.; L to 8th Ave.
UNION SQUARE, FLATIRON DISTRICT, AND GRAMERCY
Fodor’s Choice | Hyatt Union Square New York.
$$ | HOTEL | Experiencing a bit of “real” New York (and getting away from Midtown) got easier when this Hyatt opened just south of Union Square in a newlybuilt tower with three restaurants, an on-site gym, and bikes and scooters to borrow. The location is prime, bustling NYC, near New York University and at the hub of major subway lines, which means that guests span the business, tourist, and visiting-family demographics, along with some staycationing locals. Check-in via iPad, then head up to one of the studios, deluxe studios, or suite rooms. All are smoke-free and pet-friendly, and have signature Hyatt Grand beds, flat-screen TVs that link to an online concierge, work desks, and the required tech amenities; higher categories enjoy upgraded views and separate living areas. The muted designincludes wide-planked oak floors, wood-and-stone baths, and an open bathroom with double-wide shower; best of all, the windows actually open. The three dining options include the fullystocked Singl bar; the Latin-accented Botequim, with an open kitchen and illuminated wine displays; and the Fourth, an American Bistro with café, communal and fine dining areas, and French doors opening out to the city. Pros: convenient and vibrant location; buzzy dining and drinking outlets. Cons: charge for Internet; some standard rooms are small. | Rooms from: $379 | 134 4th Ave., Union Square | 212/253–1234 | www.unionsquare.hyatt.com | 178 rooms and suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R to 14th St.–Union Sq.
W New York Union Square.
$$$$ | HOTEL | The W chain’s iconic New York City property continues to attract a mix of trendsetters and tourists, thanks to its downtown location and funky style. In the landmark 1911 Guardian Life building at the end of Park Avenue South, the hotel takes advantage of many original details, including a grand staircase to the Great Room lobby and large picture windows looking out on Union Square. In the lobby, the New York branch of Todd English’s modern Mediterranean restaurant, Olives, draws hungry after-work and weekend crowds. Rooms are of average size, with the classic W look that includes leather headboards,dark furniture, and Bliss bath products. Wi-Fi is a steep $16.95 a day, so budget accordingly. Pros: fashionable location; great restaurant. Cons: noisy lobby; expensive Wi-Fi. | Rooms from: $650 | 201 Park Ave. S, at 17th St., Union Square | 212/253–9119, 877/946–8357 | www.wnewyorkunionsquare.com | 254 rooms, 16 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R to 14th St.–Union Sq.
Fodor’s Choice | Ace Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | The Ace is not your ordinary boutique hotel. The lively lobby melds Ivy League library with curiosity cabinet—taxidermy, mosaic tile floors, wooden bookcases, antique sofas—while the staff wear custom Levi’s, Converse sneakers, and collared shirts. The vibe is unstuffy and down-to-earth, making it a popular hangout for freelancers and creatives. The rooms run from “cheap” and “bunk” (yes, they really have bunk beds) to “superdeluxe,” indicative of the hotel’s inclusive high/low ethos. No two rooms are alike, with original artwork and curated furnishings like turntables, Gibson guitars, and exclusive Pendleton wool blankets. With two in-house restaurants run by celebrated chef April Bloomfield—the Breslin gastropub and the fish-focused John Dory Oyster Bar—along with the crowd-pleasing No. 7 Sub shop and Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the lobby, you don’t have to travel for trendy dining or celeb-spotting. Pros: in-house destination restaurants; supercool but friendly vibe; unfussy yet stylish. Cons: dark lobby; caters to a young crowd; may be too sceney for some. | Rooms from: $399 | 20 W. 29th St., at Broadway, Flatiron District | 212/679–2222 | www.acehotel.com | 274 rooms, 8 suites | No meals | Station: N, R to 28th St.
$ | HOTEL | Europeans and students know about the chipper, winning attitude of this friendly, no-frills hotel, where the rooms are painted by artists on a rotating basis. Note that the unisex bathrooms, two per floor, are shared. Rooms themselves are themed, from an English cottage to a math classroom;all exclude a television. Prices remain consistent throughout the year: $150 with a private bath, $120 to share. Pros: rock-bottom prices; friendly attitude; quieter residential Murray Hill location. Cons: no elevator; many rooms have shared baths. | Rooms from: $120 | 160 E. 25th St., at 3rd Ave., Flatiron District | 212/684–8337, 212/679–0680 for reservations | www.carltonarms.com | 54 rooms (20 with private bath) | No meals | Station: 6 to 23rd St.
$$ | HOTEL | This hotel adds a touch of style just below Penn Station in an area desperately in need of new lodging options. Guest rooms are spacious with comfortable beds,oversize bathrooms with C.O. Bigelow products, and floor to ceiling windows (the veranda suite with a big private balcony is a worthy splurge during the summer). A complimentary happy hour between 5 and 6 pm attracts thirsty hotel guests. An environmentally conscious hotel, the Eventi has been awarded four green keys by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program. This greenspirit continues in the hotel’s spa, home to a range of relaxing treatments. Pros: great location; relaxing spa; nice gym. Cons: crowded lobby. | Rooms from: $350 | 851 6th Ave., at 30th St., Flatiron District | 212/564–4567 | www.eventihotel.com | 239 rooms, 53 suites | No meals | Station: N, R to 28th St.
Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC.
$$ | HOTEL | A downtown-hip hotel on the edge of lower Midtown, the Gansevoort Park improves upon its hard-living Meatpacking District sibling by several degrees. Newer, fresher, and more refined, this Gansevoort still has many of the same attractions, including an indoor/outdoor rooftop pool and a happening seasonal outdoor bar with killer views. Inside, the lobby is Alice in Wonderland grownup, with oversize chairs and bright, funky colors. Rooms are graciously spacious, with a chichi tabletop minibar including premium spirits and snacks. Cushy featherbeds are topped with goosedown pillows for a good night’s sleep. Bathrooms of some larger rooms have big porcelain tubs. Asellina, the downstairs restaurant, serves a good breakfast and generates nighttime heat. Pros: happening bar and rooftop; location convenient to Union Square; friendly staff. Cons: if you want peace and quiet, this hotel is not for you. | Rooms from: $395 | 420 Park Ave. S, at 29th St., Flatiron District | 212/317–2900 | www.gansevoortpark.com | 213 rooms, 36 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 28th St.
$$ | HOTEL | A consistent property with friendly service, large rooms, and lots of repeat customers (particularly business travelers) Hotel Giraffe is often noted for its nightly complimentary wine-and-cheese reception. The style is Art Deco, right down to the balcony rooms’ red-velvet armchairs and French doors, which open onto private Juliet balconies from which you can survey Park Avenue. Recent upgrades include flat-screen TVs, Egyptian cotton sheets, and iPod docks. Be sure to take time to relax at the open-air Rooftop Garden bar, which is open for drinks in the warmer months, although the garden is open to guests year-round. The civilized service here includes complimentary continental breakfast and all-day coffee and refreshments. Pros: rooftop terrace for guests; quiet hotel; nice extras like free breakfast and coffee all-day. Cons: street noise near lower levels; pricey for the quality. | Rooms from: $449 | 365 Park Ave. S, at 26th St., Flatiron District | 212/685–7700, 877/296–0009 | www.hotelgiraffe.com | 51 rooms, 21 suites | Breakfast | Station: 6 to 28th St.
$$ | HOTEL | Convenient to the action without being smack in the middle of it is Martha Washington, a sleek new hotel with a hot Danny Meyer restaurant, Marta, on the ground foor (make reservations in advance for this Roman-style pizzeria). Locals and visitors have been raving about Marta; the result is a crowded restaurant and bar where sometimes getting a cocktail can be a challenge. Guest rooms are modern, with clean lines and whimsical framed art giving an airy feeling to even the smallest rooms (all sizes are very comfortable, with iPod docksand free Wi-Fi). Pros: trendy but not over-the-top; cozy single rooms are a great option for solo travelers. Cons: sceney restaurant can be loud and crowd the lobby; lower floors lack views and can feel a bit basement-y. | Rooms from: $395 | 29 E. 29th St., between Park and Madison aves., Flatiron District | 212/689–1900 | www.chelseahotels.com/us/new-york/martha-washington/about | 261 rooms, 6 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 28th St.
Fodor’s Choice | The NoMad Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | Named for the emerging “North of Madison” (that is, Madison Square Park) neighborhood in which it’s located, this upscale-bohemian property was one of the most buzzed-about hotel openings of 2012. Decorated by architect and interior designer Jacques Garcia (of Hôtel Costes in Paris), this BeauxArts–style hotel has 168 well-curated guest rooms and suites furnished with a selection of quirky original artwork (pieces are unique to each room), damask-printed velvet partitions, clawfoot tubs, reclaimed maple hardwood floors, leather headboards, Sferra linens, and vintage area rugs. Rooms range in size from the 340-square-foot classic to the 1,800-square-foot Suite Royale with a private terrace. Guests gather in the clubby atrium restaurant, headed-up by award-winning chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park fame, or linger with a good read and creative cocktails in the wood-paneled library, surrounded by book-lined shelves and a spiral staircase from France. There’s also the first U.S. outpost of French fashion house Maison Kitsune. Pros: 24-hour room service; free Wi-Fi; rooftop terrace; central location. Cons: exposed bathtubs lack privacy. | Rooms from: $445 | 1170 Broadway, at 28th St., Flatiron District | 212/796–1500 | www.thenomadhotel.com | 154 rooms, 14 suites | No meals | Station: N, R to 28th St.
Park South Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | In this beautifully transformed 1906 office building, rooms feel smartly contemporary, though they’ve retained some period details; request one with a view of the Chrysler Building to avoid overlooking noisy 27th Street and the bar on the ground floor. A rooftop cocktail bar is a seasonal highlight; the excellent Indian restaurants just around the corner delight all year long. The quiet Murray Hill location may disappoint hipster guests. Pros: free breakfast and Internet; turndown service; good value. Cons: some noisy rooms; small rooms and bathrooms. | Rooms from: $299 | 124 E. 28th St., between Lexington and Park aves., Flatiron District | 212/448–0888, 800/315–4642 | www.parksouthhotel.com | 128 rooms, 3 suites | Breakfast | Station: 6 to 28th St.
$$ | HOTEL | Another stylish addition to an increasingly trendy neighborhood, this 21-floor hotel has comfortable, modern rooms with big warehouse-style windows and some fun touches like bedside dictionaries (why not learn a new word before calling it a day?) and Rolodexes full of neighborhood tips and staff picks. Pros: fun, developing neighborhood; fresh, stylish rooms with big windows; rooftop bar. Cons: rooms on small side. | Rooms from: $339 | 32 W. 29th St., between Broadway and 6th Ave., Flatiron District | 212/204–5750 | www.thepaulnyc.com | 122 rooms, 2 suites | No meals | Station: 1, N, R to 28th St.
$$ | HOTEL | A colorful choice in a rather plain neighborhood, the Roger continues to have a following among repeat visitors to New York, especially since its 2012 redesign. The lobby, with its blue tufted couches and black-and-white photographs, is a great place to relax (natural light pours in from oversized picture windows). Rooms are similarly cheerful and include nice touches like flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, Aveda bath products, and a minibar outfitted with Macallan scotch and snacks. The bathrooms are a little cramped. The hotel’s lounge serves American fare at reasonable prices, and the breakfast buffet includes local faves: H&H bagels and Petrossian smoked salmon. Pros: colorful room décor; friendly service; good value. Cons: no room service; tiny bathrooms. | Rooms from: $350 | 131 Madison Ave., at 31st St.,Flatiron District | 212/448–7000, 877/847–4444 | www.therogernewyork.com | 190 rooms, 2 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 33rd St.
Gramercy Park Hotel.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Ian Schrager, boutique hotelier extraordinaire, decorated this property with contemporary art by the likes of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. The lobby has a chic, hushed quality but upstairs, rooms are pure decadence, with draped velvet, studded leather, and very red drapes. Try for a view overlooking Gramercy Park if you can swing it; staffers also let you in the gated private park on request. Maialino, Danny Meyer’s Roman trattoria, has been a hit since day one; use your hotel connections to snag a reservation. The rooftop garden, renamed Gramercy Terrace, has a retractable roof 17 stories above the city. The Rose Bar remains exclusive, with access only if you’re a guest or if you’ve made a reservation. Pros: trendy bar scene; opulent rooms; great restaurant; parkside location. Cons: inconsistent service; expensive bar. | Rooms from: $629 | 2 Lexington Ave., at Gramercy Park, Gramercy Park | 212/920–3300 | www.gramercyparkhotel.com | 139 rooms, 46 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 23rd St.
Fodor’s Choice | The Inn at Irving Place.
$$$ | HOTEL | Fantasies of Old New York—Manhattan straight from the pages of Edith Wharton and Henry James, an era of genteel brick townhouses and Tiffany lamps—spring to life at this discreet, romantic inn. One of the city’s most famous tea salons, Lady Mendl’s, is on the lobby level. Rooms have ornamental fireplaces, four-poster beds with embroidered linens, wood shutters, and glossy cherrywood floors, though they are getting a bit timeworn. The room named after Madame Olenska (a lovelorn Wharton character) has a bay window with sitting nook—this is one of the most memorable spots in New York, perfect for a special anniversary. Pros: romantic and charming; big rooms; excellent breakfast and tea service; Mario Batali’s Casa Mono is downstairs. Cons: rooms show some wear; some street noise. | Rooms from: $449 | 56 Irving Pl., between 17th and 18th sts., Gramercy Park | 212/533–4600, 800/685–1447 | www.innatirving.com | 5 rooms, 6 suites | Breakfast | Station: 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, R to 14th St.–Union Sq.
Marcel at Gramercy.
$ | HOTEL | The chic, affordable Marcel gives guests both style and substance in a prime location. The small lobby feels a bit like a swanky nightclub but is still comfortable for lounging. Lower-priced rooms are still a bit small for the price point, but a sleek redo a few years back added a much-needed zest to the decor. Rooms are fun and modern, with bright colors and animal-print design touches, Frette linens, and Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities. The 10th-floor lounge, with complimentary computer and Wi-Fi access,free coffee, and a connecting outdoor patio, provides respite from the bustling city below. Pros: outdoor patio has spectacular views of the city; good value. Cons: elevators are slow; some rooms are tight on space; décor not to everyone’s taste. | Rooms from: $299 | 201 E. 24th St., Gramercy Park | 212/696–3800 | www.themarcelatgramercy.com | 136 rooms | No meals | Station: 6 to 23rd St.
MIDTOWN EAST AND MURRAY HILL
70 Park Avenue.
$ | HOTEL | A multimillion-dollar refresh in 2012 brought new life to this Midtown business-traveler favorite, infusing the lobby and rooms with a bright color palette and modern furniture. In the common area, done in shades of silver and purple, people are parked for hours with their laptops and iPads—there are also a couple of hotel laptops set out for guest use. Some suites have hot tubs and terraces with Empire State Building views. Silverleaf Tavern serves modern-American small plates, and the bar is comfortable even if you’re alone. It all makes for a good choice in this quiet neighborhood a couple of blocks from Grand Central. Pros: complimentary evening wine reception; polite service; simple rooms and hotel layout. Cons: small rooms; design and art might not suit all tastes. | Rooms from: $299 | 70 Park Ave., at 38th St., Midtown East | 212/973–2400, 800/707–2752 | www.70parkave.com | 202 rooms, 3 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
Andaz 5th Avenue.
$$$ | HOTEL | The serene and spacious rooms at this chic, modern property evoke that coveted New York loft feel, with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over 5th Avenue and the New York Public Library. Rooms come with king beds, marble bathrooms with porcelein foot baths and walk-in rain showers, and notable freebies—Wi-Fi, snacks, and nonalcoholic drinks (no $5 bottles of water). Suites have private balconies or landscaped terraces. The Shop, the on-site restaurant, is a stylish destination with a bustling open kitchen that serves farm-to-table dishes. The Bar Downstairs is a candlelit, wood-filled space ideal for a classic cocktail and some tapas. Pros: spacious and stylish; big, luxurious bathrooms; good dining and drinking options; suites have outdoor space. Cons: pricey; busy location might not suit all guests. | Rooms from: $500 | 485 5th Ave., at 41st St., Midtown East | 212/601–1234 | newyork.5thavenue.andaz.hyatt.com | 142 rooms, 42 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
$$ | HOTEL | NYC is often called the City that Never Sleeps, but if a good night’s rest is essential for your visit, the Benjamin may be your choice accommodation—with a menu of 12 pillows to choose from (including buckwheat, water, and Swedish memory varieties), white-noise machines, and 500-thread-count sheets, they’ve got it covered. While awake, you can take advantage of the kitchenettes in some of the rooms, the handy location near Grand Central Terminal, and high-quality service from a friendly staff. The views, however—of a neighboring hotel—are a bit blah. The National restaurant downstairs serves modern bistro farein an airy setting (and is the hotel’s only free Internet option). Pros: sleep-friendly; great location; gracious staff; kitchenettes in big rooms; pets stay for free. Cons: paid Internet and Wi-Fi; boring views; dull neighborhood after dark. | Rooms from: $429 | 125 E. 50th St., at Lexington Ave., Midtown East | 212/715–2500 | www.thebenjamin.com | 112 rooms, 97 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 51st St.; E, M to Lexington Ave./53rd St.
$$ | HOTEL | This popular hotel attracts business travelers but it’s also comfortable for families or leisure travelers—especially the studios and spacious suites, which have full kitchens and a clean, playful design that incorporates oversize chairs and couches. After a full renovation in 2014, the large rooms feel fresher than ever and the property now features local art. The second-floor club lounge provides business services, a library of design and art books, a communal table with extra outlets, and a coffee and tea station for guest use. There are also some quirky amenities inluding an evening libation reception with complimentary wine daily, drawing lessons with a local illustrator, grocery delivery from Fresh Direct, gourmet organic juices from Love Grace, and a pillow menu. All rooms have a mini-refrigerator and microwave, and all suites have urban kitchens with a stovetop, tea kettle, and tableware for four. Pros: apartment-style living; large rooms; good value; kid- and pet-friendly. Cons: pricey Wi-Fi unless you get an online deal. | Rooms from: $379 | 155 E. 50th St., at 3rd Ave., Midtown East | 212/751–5710, 800/637–8483 | www.affinia.com/fifty | 233 rooms, 18 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 51st St.; E, M to Lexington Ave./53rd St.
Four Seasons Hotel.
$$$$ | HOTEL | For better or worse, the Four Seasons remains the blueprint for what a Manhattan luxury hotel should be. Sure, it’s outrageously expensive, but you get a fair amount of bang for your buck, including stellar service, an imposing lobby done in marble and blonde wood, and a well-connected concierge who can get reservations for most of New York’s hot tables. Rooms here are impressively sized, starting at 600 square feet, with mattresses custom-designed for the hotel, 10-foot ceilings, and marble bathrooms with quick-filling tubs. The feel is conservative and perhaps too restrained for the price, but this is still the destination of choice for entertainment executives, celebrities, well-heeled tourists, and business-makers. Pros: spacious and comfortable rooms; perfect concierge and staff service; afternoon tea in the lobby lounge. Cons: pricey; confusing room controls; some furniture could use updating. | Rooms from: $995 | 57 E. 57th St., between Park and Madison aves., Midtown East | 212/758–5700, 800/487–3769 | www.fourseasons.com/newyork | 300 rooms, 68 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6 to 59th St.; N, Q, R to Lexington Ave./59th St.
The Gotham Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | This sleek hotel has a lot going for it, but a clincher is that every room has outdoor space. Eschewing the conventional check-in and lobby, a clipboard-wielding Gotham attendant greets you in the spare, clean lobby with a beverage and a personal check-in. There are no more than four rooms per floor, allowing families and larger parties to take over entire floors if desired. Upper floors have only two rooms per floor, both with terrific east- and westward views. Rooms are large—at least 300 square feet—and include funky vintage books, king-size beds, and gorgeous tiled bathrooms with dual showerheads and C.O. Bigelow bath products. First-floor eatery Tenpenny is designed with library touchesand a rooftop bar and lounge features expansive city views. Pros: welcoming staff; central location; every room has a balcony. Cons: no on-site gym. | Rooms from: $350 | 16 E. 46 St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown East | 212/490–8500 | www.thegothamhotelny.com | 66 rooms, 10 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 47th–50th Sts./Rockefeller Center; 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
Grand Hyatt New York.
$$ | HOTEL | This historic hotel has been transformed into a sleek and modern central hub. The lobby feels fresh, with low-slung leather furniture and two towering Jaume Plensa sculptures. Rooms are a minimum of 250 square feet, with pops of color on the walls, tons of electrical outlets, and an efficient settee-table setup that’s ideal for an in-room drink or a few hours of work. There’s no room service, but the 24-Hour Market on the ground floor has coffee, snacks, hot meals, liquor, and fresh fruit. New York Central restaurant is making a play for the big time with a slick design and a market-driven, seasonal menu. A bar overlooking 42nd Street attracts a large after-work crowd for beer and sports on a row of flat-screen TVs. Pros: comfy beds, light-filled gym on a high floor; refreshing modern design; large, well-planned rooms. Cons: no in-room minibar; Wi-Fi not free. | Rooms from: $359 | 109 E. 42nd St., between Park and Lexington aves., Midtown East | 212/883–1234, 800/233–1234 | www.grandnewyork.hyatt.com | 1,306 rooms, 43 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
Hilton Manhattan East.
$$ | HOTEL | This traditional-style, 20-story Tudor City hotel is a stone’s throw from the United Nations and Grand Central Terminal, making it fairly convenient but not very glamorous. Rooms are comfortable if not exciting—perfect for the kind of trip where you’re spending most of your time seeing the city. The location across from the secretive and isolated residential neighborhood of Tudor City provides a safe, alternative lodging location at a good value. Pros: near UN; some balconies; convenient location for getting to major sights. Cons: long walk to subway; unexciting room decor. | Rooms from: $425 | 304 E. 42nd St., between 1st and 2nd aves., Midtown East | 212/986–8800, 800/879–8836 | www3.hilton.com | 286 rooms, 14 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
$$$ | HOTEL | This intimate hotel is a favorite for travelers looking for good value in a desirable Midtown location. Rooms have a classic European feel, with wooden headboards, rich carpeting underfoot and—in a few cases—fireplaces, tubs, and balconies. In the Club Room, complimentary coffee, tea, and snacks are available to all guests all day; there’s an extensive buffet at breakfast, and free wine and hors d’oeuvres daily from 5 to 8 pm—good to know since room service is limited. Four of the old-world guest rooms have terraces. The hotel served as a home to Tennessee Williams, Ava Gardner, Joe DiMaggio, Vladimir Horowitz, and Marlon Brando over the years, and is currently the location of the Monkey Bar, one of Manhattan’s most storied watering holes. Pros: complimentary snacks and Wi-Fi; individually decorated rooms; cute library. Cons: underwhelming lobby; slightly outdated décor. | Rooms from: $495 | 60 E. 54th St., between Madison and Park aves., Midtown East | 212/753–1066, 800/535–9733 | www.elyseehotel.com | 87 rooms, 16 suites | Breakfast | Station: E, M to 5th Ave./53rd St.
$$$ | HOTEL | As you might guess from the name, the Kitano imports much of its sensibility from Japan, with touches that include a bilingual concierge and a high-concept Japanese restaurant—it also makes for a notably service-oriented stay. What is not classically Japanese, though, is the large size of the lovely guest rooms, which are decked out in beige and gold. Head downstairs through the quiet lobby to get to the Hakubai restaurant, or just to rub Fernando Botero’s rotund sculpture of a dog for good luck—it’s the hotel’s mascot. The property also attracts music enthusiasts with Jazz at Kitano, a restaurant by day and jazz club by night. Pros: extra soundproofing in guest rooms; cute mezzanine bar area; good value; excellent live jazz. Cons: lower-floor views are limited; expensive restaurant. | Rooms from: $499 | 66 Park Ave., at 38th St., Midtown East | 212/885–7000, 800/548–2666 | www.kitano.com | 149 rooms, 18 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
Langham Place, Fifth Avenue.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Setting new standards for luxury, the towering, limestone-clad Langham Place, Fifth Avenue (formerly the Setai Fifth Avenue) was conceived as an opulent crash pad for wealthy overseas tourists, captains of industry on long-term stays, and anyone in need of some serious pampering. Every detail has been attended to, beginning with an intimate lobby in onyx, leather, and glass, where you are greeted by your “service stylist” (no old-school concierges here), who attends to your every whim. Standard rooms begin at a spacious 700 square feet, with giant hardwood closets and bathrooms with rain showers and soaking tubs. The large spa has an ice room and a Turkish-style hammam. Chef Michael White is behind the Michelin-starred Ai Fiori. Pros: attentive service; gorgeous spa; great location; quality dining. Cons: street noise reported by guests on lower floors. | Rooms from: $745 | 400 5th Ave., Midtown East | 212/695–4005 | www.langhamhotels.com | 157 rooms, 57 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M, N, Q, R to 34th St.–Herald Sq.
Fodor’s Choice | Library Hotel Manhattan.
$$ | HOTEL | Bookishly handsome, this stately landmark brownstone, built in 1900, is inspired by the nearby New York Public Library—each of its 10 floors is dedicated to one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System and is stocked with art and books relevant to subtopics such as erotica, astronomy, or biography—let your interests guide your room choice. The staff is hospitable, and the whole property is old-leather-armchair comfortable, whether you’re unwinding in front of the library fireplace, partaking in the complimentary wine and cheese or continental breakfast, or relaxing in the roof garden. The hotel has no gym but provides complimentary passes to a nearby New York Sports Club. Pros: fun rooftop bar; playful book themes; stylish rooms. Cons: rooftop sometimes reserved for events; more books in rooms themselves would be nice. | Rooms from: $399 | 299 Madison Ave., at 41st St., Midtown East | 212/983–4500, 212/983–4500 | www.libraryhotel.com | 60 rooms | Breakfast | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
Loews Regency Hotel.
$$$ | HOTEL | After a year-long renovation, this snazzy, spacious Park Avenue hotel reopened in early 2014 with state-of-the-art technology, a new 10,000-square-foot spa, and bright, tastefully appointed rooms with notably comfortable beds. Expect exceptional service and pleasantly large, polished rooms with free Wi-Fi, Frette linens and bathrobes, and a big desk with ergonomic chair. The Loews is the supposed birthplace of the New York “Power Breakfast,” and the new restaurant and lounge (from the team behind beloved restaurants such as Casa Lever) brings the tradition of a decadent, working breakfast back to the neighborhood. The buzzy bar and lobby filled with fresh flowers are equally appealing places to kick back. Pros: friendly and helpful staff; fresh, recently renovated property; huge spa and fitness center; appealing, buzzy bar and restaurant. Cons: on the expensive side. | Rooms from: $589 | 540 Park Ave., at 61st St., Midtown East | 212/759–4100, 800/233–2356 | www.loewshotels.com | 321 rooms, 58 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6 to 59th St.; N, Q, R to Lexington Ave./59th St.
New York Palace.
$$$ | HOTEL | From the moment you enter the gilded gates of these connected mansions, originally built in the 1880s by railroad baron Henry Villard, you know you’re somewhere special; there’s a reason this is called the Palace. Chic, inviting rooms are decorated in soft grays and blues. The expansive lobby features sweeping staircases and arched colonnades. Rooms in the towers, a section of the hotel occupying floors 41 to 54 with particularly luxe rooms and suites,have separate check-in, more attentive service, and a dedicated concierge. Many of the guest rooms, as well as the 7,000-square-foot health club, have terrific views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Pros: fresh property after extensive renovation; great service; unmatched views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Cons: high prices; harried staff. | Rooms from: $599 | 455 Madison Ave., at 50th St., Midtown East | 212/888–7000, 800/697–2522 | www.newyorkpalace.com | 822 rooms, 87 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 51st St.; E, M to Lexington Ave./53rd St.
One UN New York.
$ | HOTEL | In a sky-high tower near the landmark United Nations building, the One UN New York starts on the 28th floor and has fabulous views—ask for a room facing west, toward Manhattan’s skyline.A multilingual staff caters to a discerning clientele including heads of state. The serene rooms are warmly lit with pops of soft orange against neutral furniture. Excellent amenities include the 27th-floor pool and health club with dazzling views, the only indoor tennis court in a New York hotel, and a convenient coffee bar serving Italian Illy products. Service throughout is first-rate, though the common areas have seen better days. Pros: unbeatable East River and city views; good value; great front-door and bell staff. Cons: a far walk to the subway; pricey Internet access. | Rooms from: $220 | 1 United Nations Plaza, 44th St. and 1st Ave., Midtown East | 212/758–1234, 866/866–8086 | www.millenniumhotels.com/usa/oneunnewyork | 439 rooms, 34 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
Fodor’s Choice | The Peninsula.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Stepping through the Peninsula’s Beaux Arts facade onto the grand staircase overhung with a monumental chandelier, you know you’re in for a glitzy treat. Service here is world-class and personalized, and the views are stunning: either the northward sweep up 5th Avenue to Central Park past church steeples, or east toward the beautiful St. Regis across the street. Excellent high-tech amenities include a bedside console that controls the lighting, sound, and thermostat as well as a TV mounted over the bathtub (in all but standard rooms). The rooftop Peninsula Spa, with indoor pool, is monumental. The Salon de Ning, a rooftop bar bedecked with Chinese-style daybeds, has dazzling views of Midtown, though the crowd isn’t quite as hip as it used to be. Pros: brilliant service; fabulous rooms with convenient controls; unforgettable rooftop bar. Cons: expensive. | Rooms from: $1045 | 700 5th Ave., at 55th St., Midtown East | 212/956–2888, 800/262–9467 | www.peninsula.com | 185 rooms, 54 suites | No meals | Station: E, M to 5th Ave./53rd St.
$ | HOTEL | If cramped quarters don’t bother you, this is one of the best deals in town. The rooms, starting at a meager 100 square feet, borrow space-saving ideas from mass transit, with sink consoles like those in an airplane restroom and built-in shelves under the beds, making the close quarters livable. Some rooms have standard queen beds and private baths; others have twins or spotless stainless steel bunks with pullout flat-screen TVs. All come with amenities like iPod docking stations and free Wi-Fi. The location is convenient, and common areas are cheerful and modern, with an outdoor bar/café and a stylish roof deck, but don’t expect luxe linens or toiletries. Book well in advance, as stylish thrifty folk of all ages keep this hotel hopping. Pros: great prices; fun design. Cons: not for claustrophobes; some shared baths. | Rooms from: $145 | 230 E. 51st St., between 2nd and 3rd aves., Midtown East | 212/355–0300, 800/742–5945 | www.thepodhotel.com | 345 rooms (189 with private bath) | No meals | Station: 6 to 51st St.; E, M to Lexington Ave./53rd St.
$$ | HOTEL | This quirky choice is one of the better affordable stays in the city.The art-filled rooms, matched by the murals in the lobby, are homey and comfortable, with down pillows and quilts on the beds. All rooms have stocked bookshelves, and suites have kitchenettes and, in some cases, fireplaces. Bathrooms are small, but do have tubs. A seasonal rooftop bar called Henry’s is a cozy watering hole with Midtown views, and an eclectic mix of room service is provided by five local restaurants. Guests have access to the nearby New York Sports Club for a fee. Rates can drop by as much as $100 per night in winter and summer, so ask when booking. Pros: good location near Grand Central; intimate atmosphere; free Wi-Fi. Cons: street noise; small bathrooms. | Rooms from: $379 | 501 Lexington Ave., between 47th and 48th sts., Midtown East | 212/755–1400, 800/445–0277 | www.rogersmith.com | 102 rooms, 28 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 51st St.; E, M to Lexington Ave./53rd St.
The Roosevelt Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | Named after Teddy, not Franklin, this Midtown icon just steps from Grand Central has an ornate lobby with cushy couches and an old-school bar detailed in heavy wood that makes the place feel like it’s from another time, and it is—the property dates from 1924. Happily the amenities don’t hark back to that era, though rooms are a little tired: carpeting shows some wear, the art on the walls is chain-generic, and the bedding is blah, but does have pillow-top mattresses. Bathrooms, however, are nice and big. The rooftop lounge, mad46, serves themed cocktails that include a “Teddy-tini.” Pros: great public areas; big bathrooms; comfortable rooftop lounge. Cons: dated design; limited in-room amenities. | Rooms from: $299 | 45 E. 45th St., at Madison Ave., Midtown East | 888/833–3969, 212/661–9600 | www.theroosevelthotel.com | 963 rooms, 52 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
$$$$ | HOTEL | It may come as a surprise to learn that this stately part of the New York landscape is essentially a tall, luxurious apartment building that also has 50 hotel rooms and suites. With a marble-lined lobby, crystal chandeliers, and wall friezes from the Vanderbilt mansion, the historic glamour is undeniable. The luxurious suites—reached via elevator operated by a white-gloved attendant—have separate living and dining areas. Many rooms have decorative fireplaces, antiques, and glorious marble baths. You can use the private hotel entrance to access Harry Cipriani’s—come for lunch and enjoysome of the best people-watching in town. Pros: gorgeous lobby; commanding, impeccable location; Cipriani access. Cons: small check-in area; rooms vary in taste and décor; nonsuites are on the small side; interior rooms lack views; guests sometimes feel the cold shoulder from the full-time residents. | Rooms from: $649 | 781 5th Ave., at 59th St., Midtown East | 212/355–2800, 800/247–4377 | www.sherrynetherland.com | 26 rooms, 24 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 5th Ave./59th St.
Fodor’s Choice | The St. Regis.
$$$$ | HOTEL | World-class from head to toe, this 5th Avenue Beaux Arts landmark comes as close to flawless as any hotel in New York, with tech-savvy rooms, historic touches, and the iconic King Cole Bar. Butlers have been catering to the whims of each and every guest since the St. Regis first opened its doors in 1904, a touch no other New York hotel can match. Rooms have high ceilings, crystal chandeliers, silk wall coverings, and Louis XVI antiques—along with easy-to-use bedside consoles for controlling lighting, audio, and climate, and huge flat-screen TVs that rise via remote control from the foot of your bed. Note that even at these prices, though, you’re not guaranteed a stellar view or a separate tub in the more basic rooms. Still, if you require the best, the St. Regis delivers; the “designer suites” are outfitted in one-of-a-kind style by Dior, Tiffany, and Bentley and have fabulous views. Dine in the legendary King Cole Bar, a dimlylit institution with famously playful Maxfield Parrish murals, and keep your eye out for historic touches throughout the property, like an original mail chute in the lobby. Pros: classic NYC favorite; rooms combine true luxury with helpful technology; easy-access butler service; superb in-house dining; prestigious location. Cons: expensive; too serious for families seeking fun. | Rooms from: $1495 | 2 E. 55th St., at 5th Ave., Midtown East | 212/753–4500, 877/787–3447 | www.stregisnewyork.com | 171 rooms, 67 suites | No meals | Station: E, M to 5th Ave./53rd St.
W Hotel New York.
$$ | HOTEL | A hopping bar and sunken lounge in the reception area, funky décor touches like window boxes filled with grass and guest rooms that hew to the classic brand formula—they’re small but they look good—make this a quintessential W property. Of course, a party-hearty clientele also means you’re likely to hear your neighbors enjoying themselves heartily through the night. Downstairs, Heartbeat Restaurant serves heart-healthy foods; the attached Whiskey Blue draws a young, hip, and moneyed crowd; and the Bliss Spa flagship attracts legions of beauty devotees. Pros: central location; great-looking rooms; Bliss Spa in hotel. Cons: thin walls; small rooms; inconsistent service. | Rooms from: $329 | 541 Lexington Ave., between 49th and 50th sts., Midtown East | 212/755–1200, 877/946–8357 | www.wnewyork.com | 696 rooms, 60 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 51st St.; E, M to Lexington Ave./53rd St.
$$ | HOTEL | The Waldorf is undeniably historic, and presidents usually stay here thanks to the security of the drive-in entrance, but we’d recommend a cocktail at the classic Bull and Bear Bar downstairs rather than a night in one of the small standard rooms, which can feel a bit oppressive with their extensive floral patterns. The lobby of this landmark 1931 Art Deco masterpiece, full of murals, mosaics, and elaborate plaster ornamentation, features a grand piano once owned by Cole Porter. The pricier and more luxurious Waldorf Towers (28th floor and up) has a separate entrance and management. The Waldorf is famous for its former residents; besides Porter, these have included Herbert Hoover and Nikola Tesla. The luxurious and modern Guerlain Spa is a perk. Pros: historic Art Deco building filled with NYC’s aristocratic, gangster, and jazz histories; best Waldorf salad in town; knowledgeable doormen. Cons: rooms not up-to-date; more about the name than the experience; in-hotel Starbucks costs twice as much as those around the corner. | Rooms from: $379 | 301 Park Ave., between 49th and 50th sts., Midtown East | 212/355–3000, 800/925–3673 | www.waldorfnewyork.com | 1,113 rooms, 300 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 51st St.; E, M to Lexington Ave./53rd St.
$$ | HOTEL | What was once two connected brownstones home to a social club for Williams College has now been transformed into a modern, extended-stay hotel. Pros: convenient fully equipped kitchens; central location near Grand Central; good eating and drinking options. Cons: color and design may be too bright and modern for some guests. | Rooms from: $395 | 24 E. 39th St., between Park and Madison aves., Midtown East | 646/922–8600 | www.thewilliamnyc.com | 26 rooms, 7 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
The Carlton Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | From the two-story lobby designed by David Rockwell to still-intact, original 1904 Beaux Arts details such as the stained-glass dome (created by workers from the Tiffany glass factory), a 40-foot ceiling in the lobby, and a soaring crystal chandelier, the Carlton is a refurbished gem. Rooms are small for the money—they start at 200 square feet—but make up for it with amenities and flair, including mahogany accents and free Wi-Fi. One snafu—the bathrooms, outfitted with swanky Molton Brown products, are underlit at best. Downstairs, the high-profile French restaurant Millesime has generated a following. Pros: spectacular lobby; stylish rooms. Cons: expensive bar; small rooms; dimly lit bathrooms. | Rooms from: $449 | 88 Madison Ave., between 28th and 29th sts., Murray Hill | 212/532–4100, 800/601–8500 | www.carltonhotelny.com | 294 rooms, 23 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 28th St.; N, R to 28th St.
The Herald Square Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | The sculpted cherubs on the facade and the vintage magazine covers adorning the common areas hint that the great-value Herald Square Hotel used to be Life magazine’s headquarters. Rooms are basic, with a general shabby-chic look. There’s no concierge or room service, but the staff is friendly, and nearby restaurants deliver. It’s a great bargain, given the convenient location. Pros: affordable prices; centrally located. Cons: unattractive lobby; readers report inconsistent service. | Rooms from: $199 | 19 W. 31st St., between 5th Ave. and Broadway, Murray Hill | 212/279–4017, 800/727–1888 | www.heraldnyc.com | 100 rooms | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M, N, Q, R to 34th St.–Herald Sq.
$ | HOTEL | This cheap and cheerful sibling of the Pod Hotel on 51st Street has tight quarters and trendy amenities. Single, bunk, and queen pods maximize space, fitting in private bathrooms with rainwater showers, safes, and flat-screen TVs. The pods are tech-friendly, too, with free Wi-Fi and a media center that allows you to easily connect your devices to the TV and speakers. Common areas are spacious: the rooftop lounge and bar has stellar views, and Salvation Taco on the ground floor is constantly buzzing. The lobby lounge, complete with fireplace and ping-pong table, is another appealing place to kick back. Pros: quality taco and cocktail spot; big rooftop with gorgeous views; lobby lounge with ping-pong table. Cons: tight quarters; buzzy lobby and restaurant might not suit all guests. | Rooms from: $150 | 145 E. 39th St, between Lexington and 3rd aves., Murray Hill | 212/865–5700 | www.thepodhotel.com | 366 rooms | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
$$$ | HOTEL | This historic building in Murray Hill was originally apartments—which explains the generous space—and is now a family-friendly hotel in a convenient location near Grand Central. Basic rooms start at 400 square feet, with thoughtful touches including an LED reading light, comfy daybed under the window, and double-paned windows to keep city noise out. Bathrooms are equally spacious, with attractive subway tiles and Molton Brown bath products; some also have big soaking tubs. A penthouse suite occupies the entire 17th floor and hasrare views of both the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building from a wraparound rooftop terrace. Pros: very large rooms for New York; fresh design and furnishings; art installations featuring local artists. Cons: on the expensive side. | Rooms from: $495 | 120 E. 39th St., between Park and Lexington aves., Murray Hill | 212/686–1600 | www.stgiles.com | 116 rooms, 8 suites | No meals | Station: 4, 5, 6, 7, S to Grand Central–42nd St.
$$ | HOTEL | This boutique-style hotel in the shadow of the towering Time Warner Center has the vibe and amenities of downtown lodging with a convenient Midtown location. The small, well-kept lobby has sleek, ‘60s-mod leather furniture and a view into the uptown branch of Blue Ribbon Sushi, the hotel’s in-house eatery and a favorite lunch spot for nearby Time Warner and Hearst publishing employees. Rooms are stylish but comfortable—think cowhide rugs, art books, and flat-screen TVs. Some of the larger rooms have pullout couches, making them good options for families. For a splurge, the duplex Penthouse Suite has floor-to-ceiling windows, two terraces, and killer views of Central Park. Pros: convenient location; fun in-hotel restaurant; reasonably priced for neighborhood; family-friendly. Cons: rooms on lower floors facing 58th Street can be noisy. | Rooms from: $399 | 6 Columbus Circle, 58th St. between 8th and 9th aves., Midtown West | 877/626–5862 | www.sixtyhotels.com/6columbus | 88 rooms, 10 suites | No meals | Station: 1, A, B, C, D to 59th St.–Columbus Circle.
$$$ | HOTEL | One of Manhattan’s most historic properties, the Algonquin is a landmark of literary history—think oak paneling and pillars in the lobby—but with modernized rooms and contemporary comforts. Now this centenarian property features modern technology such as free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks alongside striking photographs of old New York. Renovated bathrooms have glass walk-in showers along with plush robes and towels. Hordes of literary enthusiasts fill the clubby lobby; signed works of former Round Table raconteurs can be checked out in the library. The Round Table restaurant serves three meals daily with plenty of space for animated conversation while the Blue Bar has the type of cool, chic atmosphere that inspires you to order a martini. Pros: free Internet; friendly, knowledgeable staff; central location. Cons: some small rooms. | Rooms from: $459 | 59 W. 44th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/840–6800, 800/555–8000 | www.algonquinhotel.com | 156 rooms, 25 suites | No meals | Station: 7 to 5th Ave.; B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park.
$ | HOTEL | Rooftop bar Skyglass, with its killer view of the Empire State Building, is the star of this quirky new-build property just south of Bryant Park. Pros: rooftop bar; whimsical design and ambience; reasonably priced for Manhattan. Cons: small rooms; lack of amenities including gym or spa; convenient but unglamorous location. | Rooms from: $209 | 45 W. 38th St., Midtown West | 212/719–4100 | www.archerhotel.com | 180 rooms | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M, 7 to 42nd St.–Bryant Park.
$$ | HOTEL | Built during the 1920’s, the Belvedere’s main draw is its Times Square/Theater District location; the rooms tend to be dark and don’t stand out designwise, although they are spacious and have kitchenettes with a microwave, minirefrigerator, and coffeemaker. Executive rooms are much brighter and provide even more space. The helpful staff, location convenient to theaters, and 24-hour fitness center make this affordable hotel a solid pick. Pros: good rates available; renovated rooms are good value. Cons: can be loud with street noise; slow elevators; Wi-Fi free in only some room categories. | Rooms from: $329 | 319 W. 48th St., between 8th and 9th aves., Midtown West | 212/245–7000, 888/468–3558 | www.belvederehotelnyc.com | 345 rooms | No meals | Station: C, E to 50th St.
Best Western Plus President Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | The President is the only politically themed hotel in the city, starting with the purple color scheme, a combination of Republican red and Democratic blue. Portraits and other political-theme items are scattered throughout the renovated hallways and rooms—suites have Revolutionary War uniforms on freestanding body forms. Primary, the hotel bar, serves political-themed cocktails and is popular with an after-work crowd. Standard rooms are small with moody, colored lighting that attempts to make up for the lack of natural light (bathrooms are even darker). Guests get free access to the nearby New York Sports Club and, on request, preloaded iPods. There are two on-site restaurants: Saigon 48 for Vietnamese fare, and Aoki, a Japanese/sushi eatery. Pros: sleek rooms for the price; convenient location; unique theme. Cons: cramped lobby; dark bathrooms; poor views. | Rooms from: $249 | 234 W. 48th St., between 8th Ave. and Broadway, Midtown West | 212/246–8800, 800/828–4667 | www.presidenthotelny.com | 334 rooms, 45 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 49th St.; 1, C, E to 50th St.
The Blakely New York.
$$$ | HOTEL | It may be a tried-and-true design motif, but it’s hard to resist the English gentlemen’s club when it’s done right. The Blakely plays it up, with Chesterfield sofas and wood paneling in the lobby. Expect conveniences of home in this boutique Midtown hotel, such as full kitchenettes (sink, mini-refrigerator, and microwave), free continental breakfast, and free Wi-Fi. Rooms are both functional and comfortable, with large work desks, Frette robes, and pillow-top beds. The fitness center is open 24-hours a day and a complimentary New York Times is delivered daily. Room service is provided by Abboccato, a stylish Italian restaurant that gathers a large after-work crowd and also operates the hotel bar. Pros: all rooms have kitchenettes; central location; good-size rooms; acclaimed restaurant. Cons: rooms facing 54th Street can be noisy; some rooms have little natural light; expensive. | Rooms from: $529 | 136 W. 55th St., between 6th and 7th aves., Midtown West | 212/245–1800, 800/735–0710 | www.blakelynewyork.com | 60 rooms, 58 suites | Breakfast | Station: N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave; F to 57th St.
Bryant Park Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | A New York landmark that towers over the New York Public Library and Bryant Park, this sleek hotel is still a Midtown hot spot. Rooms have padded leather headboards with decorative bolster pillows and marble bathrooms with a rainfall showerhead and Molton Brown products. Despite the trendiness, the rooms themselves are actually bigger than average, though lower floors tend to be a bit dark and don’t have great views. Both the Koi restaurant and Cellar Bar are popular with the after-work crowd (with complimentary open bar for guests between 5 and 6 pm daily), though later in the evening both the restaurants and the neighborhood tend to get quiet. Still, during the day, the location can’t be beat, with 5th Avenue and Times Square equidistant from the front door. Pros: gorgeous building; fashionable crowd and setting; across from pretty Bryant Park; free Wi-Fi. Cons: expensive; Cellar Bar frequently booked for events. | Rooms from: $445 | 40 W. 40th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/869–0100, 877/640–9300 | www.bryantparkhotel.com | 112 rooms, 16 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
$$ | HOTEL | A favorite for the comfortable rooms and great location, the Casablanca evokes the sultry Mediterranean. The lobby is outfitted with mirrors and mosaics, wooden blinds, and dainty little bistro tables—it’s all rather theatrical, but then again, so is the neighborhood. Huge tiled bathrooms, all with windows, feature Baronessa Cali amenities, and the rooms (there are also six slightly larger mini-suites) have soundproofed windows to limit noise from Times Square. On the second floor, music plays while guests linger in the spacious library-like Rick’s Café for the complimentary continental breakfast buffet and wine-and-cheese evenings. Pros: great access to the Theater District; free continental breakfast and evening wine-and-cheese reception; free Wi-Fi. Cons: exercise facilities at nearby New York Sports Club, not on premises; heavy tourist foot traffic. | Rooms from: $439 | 147 W. 43rd St., Midtown West | 212/869–1212 | www.casablancahotel.com | 42 rooms, 6 suites | Breakfast | Station: 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S to Times Sq.–42nd St.
Fodor’s Choice | The Chatwal New York.
$$$$ | HOTEL | A lavishly refurbished reincarnation of a classic Manhattan theater club, the Chatwal delivers a stylish, luxury experience with a matching price tag. The lobby, saturated in red leather and marble, with gilded touches, plays on the property’s Art Deco legacy. Guest rooms and suites—some with terraces—are opulent yet understated, with faux-leather cabinets designed to resemble classic luggage; Shifman mattresses and Frette linens; and interactive bedside consoles that control lighting, television, and curtains. The Lambs Club restaurant is a destination, with a roaring fireplace, plush leather banquettes, and seasonal New American cuisine. There’s also a nicely appointed bar with cocktails by mixology guru Sasha Petraske. The small, well-appointed spa offers a laundry list of pampering treatments. Pros: gorgeous lobby; state-of-the-art room controls and amenities; excellent service; quality dining, bar, and spa. Cons: some visitors may find the price too high for the Times Square location. | Rooms from: $795 | 130 W. 44th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/764–6200 | www.thechatwalny.com | 50 rooms, 26 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park; 1, 2, 3, N, Q, R, S to Times Sq.–42nd St.; 7 to 5th Ave.
$ | HOTEL | A stylish property with a refreshing attitude in Midtown, this hotel is all about giving you everything you need and nothing you don’t. Pros: all-season rooftop bar; cozy lobby full of books and magazines; 20th floor gym with great views. Cons: rooms are tight on space. | Rooms from: $199 | 218 W. 50th St., Midtown West | 212/461–3638 | www.citizenm.com | 230 rooms | No meals | Station: 1, C, E to 50th St.; N, Q, R to 49th St.
City Club Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | Oceanliner–inspired rooms at the City Club are brisk, bright, and masculine: they’re also about the same size as a room on a cruise ship—that means tight quarters, matey, no matter how much you enjoy sharing space with Jonathan Adler ceramics. All rooms have city-oriented photos from the ‘50s, C.O. Bigelow bathroom products, and City Club monogrammed wool blankets. Privacy, not publicity, is the emphasis at this luxe boutique property—the lobby is tiny, and guests who wish to drink are sent across the street to the considerably more spacious Royalton. There’s no gym, but guests who book directly through the hotel receive free access to a nearby New York Sports Club. Chef Daniel Boulud’s db bistro moderne is downstairs, making for delicious room service. Pros: free Wi-Fi; great restaurant; personal service. Cons: no gym; tiny lobby. | Rooms from: $400 | 55 W. 44th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/921–5500 | www.cityclubhotel.com | 62 rooms, 3 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
$$ | HOTEL | Rising high above Port Authority, the Distrikt tries to approximate the boutique hotel experience in an area of town best known for its bus depot, and for the most part, it succeeds. The staff is solicitous and helpful, giving directions, assistance with baggage, and warm smiles at every turn. Each of the 32 floors has a colorful backlit collage of a different NYC neighborhood, and you receive fudgy brownies and chocolates in your room on arrival. Rooms also have Keurig pod coffeemakers. Bathrooms are bright, with great water pressure, and the beds are exceedingly comfortable. Though the lobby is small, it has three computers with large flat-screen monitors for guests’ use, and complimentary coffee in the morning. Pros: central location; friendly staff; good Midtown views from higher floors. Cons: on a gritty block right across from Port Authority; noisy on lower floors. | Rooms from: $429 | 342 W. 40th St., between 8th and 9th aves., Midtown West | 212/706–6100 | www.distrikthotel.com | 155 rooms | No meals | Station: A, C, E to 42nd St.–Port Authority.
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel New York City–Times Square.
$$ | HOTEL | Space is the draw at this 45-story Times Square top dog; every room is a suite, with a separate bedroom and living room (each with a big flat-screen TV), occupying about 400 square feet overlooking Times Square and Broadway—an especially desirable location during the New Year’s Eve ball drop. Rooms are stocked with amenities, including iPod docks, mini-refrigerators, microwaves, coffeemakers, and double vanities in the bathrooms. The sofa in the living room folds out into a bed—great if you’re traveling with kids. Downstairs, the lobby has free Wi-Fi, and guests can sip coffee or martinis in the recently renovated lounge. Pros: free 24-hour gym and Wi-Fi in public areas; extremely helpful, informed concierge; convenient to the Theater District; very quiet considering location. Cons: paid Wi-Fi in guest rooms; pricey for a DoubleTree. | Rooms from: $349 | 1568 Broadway, at 47th St., Midtown West | 212/719–1600 | doubletree3.hilton.com | 460 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park; N, Q, R to 49th St.
Dream New York.
$$ | HOTEL | Part hotel, part Kafkaesque dream, this Midtown spot specializes in style over comfort but is still quite livable, despite some over-the-top design features—and noise from the scenesters headed to the rooftop bar. The dreamscape starts in the lobby, which combines an enormous two-story cylindrical neon-lighted aquarium, a two-story photograph of a tattooed woman, and a copper sculpture of Catherine the Great. Rooms have stark white walls, black furniture, and light-box desks that glow from within. Stay here if you love things modern: plasma TVs, complimentary iPod use, a Deepak Chopra spa, and a velvet-rope rooftop bar scene at AVA Lounge. There’s a second Dream Hotel in the Meatpacking District. Pros: AVA Lounge penthouse bar; large spa; up-to-the-minute electronics. Cons: small rooms; spotty service; might be too sceney for some. | Rooms from: $345 | 210 W. 55th St., at Broadway, Midtown West | 212/247–2000 | www.dreamhotels.com/midtown | 204 rooms, 12 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.
Romantic Hotels in New York City
As the English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh once wrote, “Romance is a love affair in other than domestic surroundings.” Indeed, many high-end hotels seem custom-built for romance, with plush feather beds, silky linens, and ultrasoft robes. But some properties go above and beyond in catering to couples, offering services like bath butlers and in-room massages. Here’s our pick of the city’s best spots for an intimate getaway.
At the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, your wish is their command. Take advantage of lower-than-normal weekend rates to book a Liberty Suite, with sweeping views of the Statue of Liberty. With a quick call to the concierge you can arrange to have champagne and strawberries waiting in your room when you arrive. A bath butler can then fill your marble tub with a potion of bath oils and flower petals. If you’re here in February, don’t miss a trip to the penthouse Chocolate Bar, with its aphrodisiac chocolate-and-champagne buffet.
The Inn at Irving Place does romance the old-fashioned way, with four-poster beds, fireplaces, fur throws, and plenty of privacy in an elegant 1800s brownstone. The complimentary breakfast is served on fine bone china either in the cozy sitting room or in bed.
Few things are as romantic as taking a bath, and at the Carlyle every room has one. Fill the tub with steaming water and some Kiehl’s bubble bath, take a soak, then lounge with your lover in a plush terry robe while looking out at some of the city’s best views. The 23,000-square-foot Bliss Spa at W Hotel New York, on Lexington Avenue, is an urban oasis, with men’s and women’s lounges, a gym, and a full menu of facial and body treatments, massage, waxing, and nail services. Couples can spend a full day being pampered in the spa or unwind in their rooms with an in-room massage, available 24 hours a day.
All the rooms at the Library Hotel have an inviting charm that makes them a good choice for a romantic weekend away, but if you’re looking for a little mood reading, ask for the Erotic Literature room or the Love Room, curated by Dr. Ruth.
Hilton Times Square.
$ | HOTEL | A glass-and-steel skyscraper atop a 335,000-square-foot retail complex that includes a movie theater and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Hilton Times Square soars 44 stories above Manhattan and overlooks New York City’s famous skyline and the Hudson River. The whole hotel, including the lobby, is a bit homogenous, sort of like Times Square. Guest rooms, which start on the 23rd floor to keep things quiet, are better than most nearby options at this price, with an average size of 330 square feet, 37-inch flat-screen TVs, and iPod hookups. The hotel restaurant, confusingly called Above, is two floors below. Internet access does not, unfortunately, come cheap. Pros: great location for Times Square entertainment; convenient to public transportation; big rooms. Cons: impersonal feel; nickel-and-dime charges and overpriced food and drink, especially breakfast. | Rooms from: $299 | 234 W. 42nd St., between 7th and 8th aves., Midtown West | 212/840–8222, 800/445–8667 | www.hilton.com | 460 rooms, 2 suites | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S to Times Sq.–42nd St.; A, C, E to 42nd St.–Port Authority.
Hyatt Herald Square New York.
$ | HOTEL | Business travelers, tourists, and families alike appreciate this fresh property a stone’s throw from Penn Station with a scenic rooftop bar featuring Empire State Building views. Rooms don’t have a ton of extra square footage for lounging, but do have big flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and refrigerators. There is also a 24-hour fitness center, espresso bar with locally roasted beans from Stone Street Coffee company, and The Den, a bar and restaurant with seasonal cocktails and an American menu to round out the quality on-site amenities. Pros: fresh, stylish rooms with coffeemakers; friendly and efficient service; location in the thick of it. Cons: small workout room; location can be noisy. | Rooms from: $219 | 30 W. 31st St., between 5th Ave. and Broadway, Midtown West | 212/330–1234 | heraldsquare.hyatt.com/en/hotel/home.html | 121 rooms, 1 suite | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M, N, Q, R to 34th St.–Herald Sq.
$ | HOTEL | With mirrored columns and elegant black-and-white photos in the lobby, the Hotel Metro feels distinctively retro. Guests tend to hang out in the lounge, where coffee and tea are served all day, or in the adjacent library, a quiet nook with sofas and a desk. The restrained, tasteful rooms have tufted toffee-colored leather headboards and cushioned Art Deco chairs. The seasonal Metro Grill rooftop bar has outstanding Empire State Building views, while the Metro Grill restaurant serves lunch and dinner year-round. Pros: complimentary coffee and tea 24/7; renovated exercise room has flat-screen TVs; free Wi-Fi in rooms. Cons: noise seeps in from outside; rooms are tasteful but spartan. | Rooms from: $294 | 45 W. 35th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/947–2500 | www.hotelmetronyc.com | 162 rooms, 20 suites | Breakfast | Station: B, D, F, M, N, Q, R to 34th St.–Herald Sq.
Hudson New York Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | Budget fashionistas are drawn to the this affordable hotel. Starting at just 150 square feet, some rooms are tight on space, but do have nice touches such as rich wood-paneled walls, work desks, and peekaboo showers. The fabulous lobby seems like a set from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the several bars and lounges are perfect for people-watching, and the hotel’s contemporary art is an escape from the usual hotel design, even in New York. The garden-lounge remains one of the more coveted outdoor spaces in town. Pros: fabulous, elegant bar; gorgeous Francesco Clemente fresco in lobby; breathtaking Sky Terrace. Cons: staff can be condescending; tiny rooms; overpriced cocktails. | Rooms from: $339 | 356 W. 58th St., between 8th and 9th aves., Midtown West | 212/554–6000 | www.hudsonhotel.com | 866 rooms, 69 suites | No meals | Station: 1, A, B, C, D to 59th St.–Columbus Circle.
$ | HOTEL | If you want to be near Midtown but a bit removed from the hustle and bustle, this Kimpton hotel is a great option. Spacious, reasonably priced rooms, expansive views, a sceney rooftop bar and pool, and great service make up for a long three-avenue walk from the nearest subway; the hotel is also within range of Hell’s Kitchen’s increasing number of dining, nightlife, and shopping options. Rooms are accented in shades of deep red, with spacious bathrooms and eco-friendly bath products. Some suites have soaking tubs that are cheekily located in the bedrooms themselves. Though windows are double-paned, some street noise can intrude from the nearby West Side Highway, especially on lower floors. Pros: friendly staff; great views; large rooms; beautiful rooftop. Cons: out-of-the-way location; lobby can feel overly quiet; street noise in lower-floor rooms. | Rooms from: $299 | 653 11th Ave., at 48th St., Midtown West | 212/757–0088 | www.ink48.com | 196 rooms, 26 suites | No meals | Station: C, E to 50th St.
InterContinental New York Times Square.
$$$ | HOTEL | A central location mere blocks from the heart of Broadway, Times Square, and restaurant-rich Hell’s Kitchen makes the InterContinental a conveniently located draw. Spacious guest rooms were designed with Manhattan apartments in mind, featuring conveniences like a big work desk with ergonomic chair, soft lighting, and a Keurig coffeemaker. Generously sized bathrooms have dark blue mosaic tiles and walk-in showers with rainforest showerheads. The lobby is lively and warmed by a flickering fireplace. For the foodie traveler, the hotel’s lobby-level French-brasserie restaurant, Ça Va (featuring a special pre-theater menu), is operated by celebrity chef Todd English. Pros: central for transportation and entertainment; in-house restaurant helmed by celebrity chef; attentive staff. Cons: fee for Internet. | Rooms from: $459 | 300 W. 44th St., between 8th and 9th aves., Midtown West | 877/331–5888, 212/315–2535 | www.interconny.com | 578 rooms, 4 suites, 25 studios | No meals | Station: A, C, E to 42nd St.–Port Authority.
JW Marriott Essex House.
$$ | HOTEL | With Central Park views and an Art Deco masterpiece of a lobby, the JW Marriott Essex House is a comfortable Midtown hotel full of character. The property’s stately design is at its best in the elegant lobby, with inlaid marble floors and bas-relief elevator doors. Sizable rooms are alsoDeco-inspired, with plush, modern furniture and marble bathrooms. Afternoon tea in the lobby lounge is a leisurely affair, a ritual that alludes to the rich history of this hotel, which first opened its doors in 1931. Amenities, however, are completely contemporary, with a well-equipped fitness center and spa with saunas and steam rooms. The South Gate restaurant draws a European crowd with its design-conscious, comfortable interior, and extensive wine list. Pros: great service; amazing views; impressive restaurant. Cons: overly complex room gadgetry; expensive bar. | Rooms from: $399 | 160 Central Park S, between 6th and 7th aves., Midtown West | 212/247–0300, 800/937–8461 | www.marriott.com | 509 rooms, 117 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.; F to 57th St.
$$$ | HOTEL | An oasis of elegant, urban sophistication in the heart of Times Square, the Knickerbocker is a soothing counterpoint to mass of people, lights, and excitement that converge at the crossroads of Broadway and 42nd Street. Pros: in Times Square but aesthetically apart from it; spacious gym; fabulous rooftop bar. Cons: nearby dining isn’t that exciting; small lobby. | Rooms from: $489 | 6 Times Sq., entrance on 42nd St., east of Broadway, Midtown West | 212/204–4980 | www.theknickerbocker.com | 299 rooms, 31 suites | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R, S to Times Sq.–42nd St.
La Quinta Inn Manhattan.
$ | HOTEL | Smack in the middle of Koreatown and close to Penn Station, this budget-friendly hotel in a cheerful old Beaux Arts building may be one of the best deals in town. Nevermind the basic decor when your room includes free Wi-Fi, an iPod plug-in, and a bathtub. Perhaps the best part about staying here is access to Vu Bar on the hotel’s 14th floor. In the evening guests and locals head up to this year-round mellow rooftop bar for a cocktail in the shadow of the Empire State Building. Pros: self-check-in machines; gift shop on the premises for necessities; relaxed rooftop bar; complimentary continental breakfast. Cons: no room service; no frills. | Rooms from: $180 | 17 W. 32nd St., between 5th Ave. and Broadway, Midtown West | 212/736–1600 | www.laquintamanhattanny.com | 182 rooms | Breakfast | Station: B, D, F, M, N, Q, R to 34th St.–Herald Sq.
Le Parker Meridien.
$$$ | HOTEL | Combining the comforts of a dependable large hotel with whimsical elements, this hotel also keeps visitors coming back with its iconic patty-palace Burger Joint, which serves one of the city’s best no-frills burgers from behind a velvet curtain. If you’ve got more scratch, there’s always the famous $1,000 omelet at Norma’s (the restaurant also serves slightly more cost-effective items). Rooms are modern functionalist, with low platform beds and televisions hidden in recessed, cherry-paneled cabinets. It’s worth asking for a Central Park view, though city views are also impressive. The 20,000-square-foot gym is one of the largest in the city and includes a blow-dry bar, mani-pedi boutique, and spa. Pros: lively, animated vibe; best hotel gym in the city; fun dining; tech-friendly rooms. Cons: lobby is a public space and gets crowded at peak times; small bathrooms. | Rooms from: $450 | 119 W. 56th St., between 6th and 7th aves., Midtown West | 212/245–5000, 800/543–4300 | www.parkermeridien.com | 513 rooms, 216 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.; F to 57th St.
Fodor’s Choice | The London NYC.
$$$ | HOTEL | Stylish and sophisticated, the London NYC merges the flair of both its namesake cities in spacious, tech-savvy suites that are some of the largest in New York, starting at 500 square feet. Suites have custom furniture, like an embossed-leather desk and Egyptian-cotton bedding, andbathrooms are equally well styled, with a Waterworks double-head shower and mosaic tiles. For the ultimate splurge, book the 54th-floor duplex, the London Penthouse, the highest hotel room with views of Central Park. The in-house British concierge service, Quintessentially, attends to your every whim with tireless charm. Pros: posh atmosphere without prissiness; great fitness club; generous rooms; free Wi-Fi. Cons: no bathtubs in most rooms; expensive dining options. | Rooms from: $599 | 151 W. 54th St., between 6th and 7th aves.,Midtown West | 866/690–2029, 212/307–5000 | www.thelondonnyc.com | 562 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, E to 7th Ave.; N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.
Fodor’s Choice | Mandarin Oriental.
$$$$ | HOTEL | The Mandarin’s commitment to excess is evident in the lobby, on the 35th floor of the Time Warner Center, where dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows look out over Columbus Circle and Central Park. Guest rooms are outfitted with silk throws on plush beds, comfy robes, and windowside chaise longues for admiring the skyline. It’s the suites, though, that really set the Mandarin apart, by giving the Asian-influenced design enough space to truly dazzle. The swimming pool is one of the city’s best, with panoramic Hudson River views, andthe spa, with a menu of lush treatments based on traditional Chinese medicine, is a destination for hotel guests and New Yorkers alike. Asiate, the upscale restaurant located off the lobby, is a gorgeous spot for brunch or dinner; views are worth the price tag. Pros: fantastic views from rooms, lounges, and pool; all the resources of the Time Warner Center; expansive suites; gorgeous, upscale restaurant with more amazing views. Cons: Trump hotel blocks some park views; expensive; mall-like surroundings. | Rooms from: $895 | 80 Columbus Circle, at 60th St., Midtown West | 212/805–8800 | www.mandarinoriental.com/newyork | 198 rooms, 46 suites | No meals | Station: 1, A, B, C, D to 59th St.–Columbus Circle.
$$ | HOTEL | They sweat the small stuff at the Mansfield: Wi-Fi is free, bathroom products are from Aveda, and even the key cards are snazzily embossed with scenes of old-timey New York. Built in 1904 as lodging for distinguished bachelors, this small, clubby property has an Edwardian sensibility that shows in details like the working fireplace in the lounge, the lobby’s coffered ceiling, and a marble-and-cast-iron staircase. “Small” and “clubby” extends to the “petite” rooms, too—110 square feet, with ultrasuede headboards and microscopic bathrooms. The intimate M Bar, lined with books and leather banquettes, is one of the nicer hotel bars in town. Pros: free Wi-Fi; business center; 24-hour gym; great bar. Cons: small rooms and bathrooms; air-conditioners are window units. | Rooms from: $319 | 12 W. 44th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/277–8700, 800/255–5167 | www.mansfieldhotel.com | 99 rooms, 27 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
$$ | HOTEL | Italophiles feel like they’ve been transported to the good life in the Mediterranean at this deluxe hotel, where the long, wide lobby lounge is clad with multi-hue marble and Veronese-style oil paintings. Upstairs, rooms are spacious, averaging 475 square feet. You can choose contemporary, neo-Classical, Art Deco, or French country styles—all have marble foyers and marble bathrooms equipped with bidets and oversize 55-gallon tubs (the different styles really just have to do with different color schemes). Complimentary cappuccino, pastries, and other Italian treats are served each morning in the baroque lobby lounge, which becomes a cozy bar later in the day. The hotel is a few blocks from Rockefeller Center and 5th Avenue shopping. Pros: good location; spacious rooms. Cons: noisy air-conditioning units; some rooms have limited views; small closets; in-room fixtures need some updating. | Rooms from: $399 | 152 W. 51st St., at 7th Ave., Midtown West | 212/765–1900, 800/237–0990 | www.michelangelohotel.com | 123 rooms, 56 suites | Breakfast | Station: B, D, E to 7th Ave.; 1 to 50th St.
$$ | HOTEL | Surrealist prints and busts of Thalia, the muse of comedy, adorn the lobby of this polished Kimpton property, a good pick for guests looking for a Midtown boutique-hotel experience. Rooms are a decent size for Manhattan—averaging 270 to 350 square feet—and feel fresh and stylish with bundles of flowers, tufted headboards, and carpets with modern patterns. Six of the rooms have balconies and spa suites have deep soaking tubs. All rooms are equipped with iPod docks, big flat-screen TVs, and animal-print robes (for adults and kids). The restaurant, NIOS, is one of the better contemporary Greek spots in the city. The Muse is also very pet-friendly—a Pomeranian concierge greets guests and their furry friends. There’s also a nightly complimentary wine hour. Pros: contemporary interiors; good Midtown location; pet-friendly; complimentary morning coffee and tea. Cons: street noise; small gym. | Rooms from: $389 | 130 W. 46th St., between 6th and 7th aves., Midtown West | 212/485–2400, 877/692–6873 | www.themusehotel.com | 181 rooms, 19 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 47th–50th Sts./Rockefeller Center.
Fodor’s Choice | The Out NYC.
$$ | HOTEL | Billed as a straight-friendly “urban resort” in one of New York’s most happening gay neighborhoods, the Out is the incarnation of all things hip and modern. There’s loads of glass—like oversized windows and atriums—complemented by a sleek decor of muted tones and streamlined furnishings throughout the guest rooms. Accommodations range from studios to one-bedroom suites, all with touches like mirrored headboards, low-lit bedside cubes, workspaces, Wi-Fi, and natural bath products. There are also bunk rooms, with personal TV-outfitted bunk beds (sleeping a maximum of four), a bathroom, and storage cubbies. Amenity offerings are robust: there’s an eatery offering late-night nibbles, a host of common areas, and the booming XL nightclub, which hosts lively events. There are also outdoor spaces for lounging, yoga, and cocktails. The enormous wellness center has personal training, gym classes, steam baths, and pampering spa treatments. Pros: centrally located; affordable; friendly staff. Cons: can be noisy at night. | Rooms from: $360 | 510 W. 42nd St., between 10th and 11th aves., Midtown West | 212/947–2999 | www.theoutnyc.com | 87 rooms, 10 suites, 8 quads | No meals | Station: A, C, E to 42nd St.–Port Authority.
Fodor’s Choice | Park Hyatt New York.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Occupying the first 25 floors of a towering Midtown skyscraper, this hotly anticipated luxury property is the new flagship of the global Park Hyatt brand. Pros: large guest rooms; luxurious furnishings; stunning décor and art collection. Cons: disappointing views from guest rooms; street noise is audible on lower floors; expensive. | Rooms from: $795 | 153 W. 57th St., between 6th and 7th aves.,Midtown West | 646/774–1234 | www.newyork.park.hyatt.com | 115 rooms, 95 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.
Fodor’s Choice | The Plaza.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Eloise’s adopted home on the corner of Central Park, the Plaza is one of New York’s most storied hotels, hosting all manner of dignitaries, moneymakers, and royalty. This landmark property emphasizes service, with white-glove butlers for each guest room and suite, and in-room portable touch screens for contacting the concierge or just turning down the lights. The rooms themselves strike a balance between old-fashioned and modern: yes, there are flat-screen televisions and iPod docks, but the design is old school, with opulent gold-leaf fixtures, faux-fur throws, and big, BeauxArts-style headboards. An appealing, upscale food court in the basement, helmed by celebrity chef Todd English, serves everything from flatbread pizzas and sushi to tapas, wine, and a raw bar. There is an Eloise-themed tea served in the Palm Court. The expansive spa includes a hammam and a wine lounge. Pros: historic property; lavish rooms. Cons: rooms aren’t that big for the money. | Rooms from: $895 | 768 5th Ave., at Central Park,Midtown West | 212/759–3000 | www.theplazany.com | 180 rooms, 102 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 5th Ave./59th St.
$$$ | HOTEL | This new luxury hotel just south of Central Park once housed artists like Marc Chagall and Georgia O’Keeffe. Today, rooms are modern and soothing, done in cool gray tones with rain showers and Nespresso machines. Instead of a concierge, there’s an attaché desk, where experts in fashion, art, theater, and dining provide tailored advice and make reservations. While many hotels bury their fitness centers in the basement, the Quin’s is on the second floor, overlooking the bustle of 57th Street through the bright, two-story lobby. No new hotel in New York these days would be complete without a showstopper of a restaurant; here, that’s the Wayfarer, which serves seafood and creative cocktails. Pros: new, fresh property; spacious rooms; close to neighborhood destinations like Carnegie Hall. Cons: 57th Street location might be too chaotic for some. | Rooms from: $599 | 101 W. 57th St., at 6th Ave., Midtown West | 212/245–7846 | www.thequinhotel.com | 208 rooms, 28 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.; F to 57th St.
Fodor’s Choice | Refinery Hotel.
$$$ | HOTEL | Set in a former hat factory, this hotel has a gorgeous year-round rooftop, impressively spacious rooms, and several buzzing bars and restaurants. Rooms have oak floors, 12-foot loft-style ceilings, and custom writing desks inspired by early 1900s sewing machines. Winnie’s, the lobby bar, is named after a New York figure who ran a bustling “tea” salon during prohibition—expect live jazz and piano performances here on weeknights. The rooftop has three distinct spaces to protect against any weather: a terrace, a patio with a retractable glass roof, and an indoor lounge with fireplace—all under the shadow of the Empire State Building. Parker & Quinn, on the groundfloor, is a retro restaurant with prohibition-era cocktails and hearty meals. Pros: lots of character and lovely, detailed design; rooftop lounge with great views; excellent bars and restaurant. Cons: limited dining and nightlife options nearby. | Rooms from: $559 | 63 W. 38th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 646/664–0310 | www.refineryhotelnewyork.com | 197 rooms | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
$$$ | HOTEL | After a shift from all-business to a more design-centric approach, the Renaissance is enjoying a renaissance of its own. The lobby feels like it’s been designed for urban court jesters, with oversize furniture, curved, abstract sculptures, and dangling, filament-like sculpture. Rooms are comfortable, and decorated in soothing earth tones; bathrooms have mosaic tile showers. Though the hotel’s R Lounge space is more about the view than the cuisine, itserves a menu featuring items from the team behind Blue Ribbon restaurants. Pros: contemporary design; latest in-room technology. Cons: rooms can be a bit noisy. | Rooms from: $539 | 714 7th Ave., between 47th and 48th sts., Midtown West | 212/765–7676, 800/628–5222 | www.renaissancehotels.com | 305 rooms, 5 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 49th St.; 1 to 50th St.; B, D, F, M to 47th–50th Sts./Rockefeller Center.
Fodor’s Choice | The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park.
$$$$ | HOTEL | It’s all about the park views here, though the above-and-beyond service, accommodating to a fault, makes this renowned property popular with celebs and other demanding guests. Service aside, the competition among properties near Central Park’s south side is fierce, and although the Ritz isn’t the foremost of the bunch, it does have the typical high-end hotel perks, like fancy bath products and luxe linens (here, they’re exclusively made 400-thread-count) and one that’s not so standard: a telescope for viewing park wildlife. The gym is small, however, as is La Prairie at the Ritz-Carlton Spa. Auden Bistro and Bar has comfortable leather chairs and a local, seasonal menu. Pros: great concierge; personalized service; stellar location; views. Cons: pricey; limited common areas. | Rooms from: $895 | 50 Central Park S, at 6th Ave., Midtown West | 212/308–9100, 866/671–6008 | www.ritzcarlton.com | 259 rooms, 47 suites | No meals | Station: F to 57th St.; N, Q, R to 5th Ave./59th St.
Room Mate Grace.
$$ | HOTEL | A favorite of European visitors and business travelers who work in fashion and entertainment, Grace delivers high-design lodgings on a budget. The design is modern and playful—Jonathan Adler reflective wallpaper, bright geometric patterns, and a check-in desk that doubles as a newsstand. Guests and locals gravitate to the glowing lobby bar and swimming-pool lounge (a real glassed-in pool, with sauna and steam room) for cocktails and eye candy. Rooms are smallish—but smartly designed (comfortable beds are elevated on platforms, so luggage can be stored underneath) and well insulated from street noise. Room capacity varies from two to four people (in a quad bunk-bed layout—each bed with its own TV and headset), convenient for traveling with teenagers or kids. Pros: cool swimming pool lounge; friendly, helpful staff. Cons: small rooms; little in-room privacy (no door separating shower from main room). | Rooms from: $319 | 125 W. 45th St., Midtown West | 212/354–2323 | www.room-matehotels.com | 139 rooms | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 47th–50th Sts./Rockefeller Center.
$$ | HOTEL | Back in the 1990s, the Royalton’s lobby bar was one of the prime meeting spots for local A-listers, and a redesign has attracted a new generation of movers and shakers—be prepared to run the gauntlet of the buzzing lounge before reaching your room—but the helpful staff have ensureda smooth transition. Updated guest rooms, designed by Charlotte Macaux, are comfortably sleek and elegantly outfitted with atmospheric lighting, fresh flowers, and candles changed daily. Some rooms have working fireplaces; there are plasma-screen TVs and iPads in every room. Luxe bathrooms have huge circular Roman soaking tubs and rainfall showers. The restaurant Forty Four is a solid locale for a quick bite, with a menu of global small plates and fancy cocktails. Pros: hip lobby scene; luxurious beds and bathrooms; helpful service. Cons: dark hallways; lighting verges on eye-strainingly dim. | Rooms from: $399 | 44 W. 44th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/869–4400, 800/697–1791 | www.royaltonhotel.com | 141 rooms, 27 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
$ | HOTEL | In a neighborhood packed with generic hotels, the Shoreham sports a welcome dose of style, along with proximity to Midtown’s attractions. Sleek rooms are on the small side, but do have nice touches like Aveda bath products, mini-refrigerators, and comfy pillowtop mattresses. Some rooms have soaking tubs in slate bathrooms. The small on-site café serves three meals a day plus 24-hour room service, and complimentary cappuccino and espresso is available 24/7. This boutique property attracts artistic types with rotating art installations in the lobby and welcomes pets (there’s a dog-walking service). Tech is big here: you can request an Xbox 360 or PS2, and rooms have free Wi-Fi and big flat-screens. The trendy bar is designed to give the illusion of being underwater; whether or not this succeeds, the lighting and translucent glass are a nice backdrop for a cocktail. Pros: tech-friendly rooms; pet-friendly attitude; stylish décor. Cons: not designed for families; limited space. | Rooms from: $259 | 33 W. 55th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/247–6700, 877/847–4444 | www.shorehamhotel.com | 177 rooms, 42 suites | No meals | Station: E, M to 5th Ave./53rd St.; F to 57th St.
Sofitel New York.
$$ | HOTEL | With bilingual signage throughout the hotel, plenty of velvet in the lobby, and European modern design in the rooms—think blond wood and fresh flowers—the Sofitel brings a Gallic flair to Midtown West. This 30-story glass and limestone building showcases excellent skyline views; some rooms look out at the iconic Chrysler Building. All rooms have Art Deco flourishes, such as colorful artwork, and all bathrooms have separate tubs and walk-in showers: a nice bonus. Some suites have terraces with views of the Empire State Building that are worth the splurge. The hotel’s French restaurant, Gaby, is named after a Parisian model from the 1920s, with a menu of small plates and classic cocktails that dates from about the same era—it’s rich, heavy, and filling. Pros: central location; great beds; some suites with terraces and views. Cons: room views vary. | Rooms from: $350 | 45 W. 44th St., between 5th and 6th aves., Midtown West | 212/354–8844 | www.sofitel.com | 346 rooms, 52 suites | No meals | Station: B, D, F, M to 42nd St.–Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
The Time Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | One of the neighborhood’s first boutique hotels, this spot half a block from the din of Times Square tempers trendiness with a touch of humor. A ridiculously futuristic glass elevator transports guests to the second-floor lobby, and in the adjoining bar nature videos lighten up the low-slung, serious, gray-scale furnishings. The smallish guest rooms, each themed to one of the primary colors—red, yellow, or blue—have mood lighting that creates a unique, if slightly contrived, hotel experience. Whatever your primary color, they have Gilchrist & Soames bath products and modern, if not especially comfortable, beds and couches. In the trendy lounge, local DJs spin a fresh selection of music. Pros: acclaimed and popular Serafina restaurant downstairs; surprisingly quiet for Times Square location; good turndown service. Cons: design makes the rooms a little dated; service is inconsistent; water pressure is lacking. | Rooms from: $275 | 224 W. 49th St., between Broadway and 8th Ave., Midtown West | 212/246–5252, 877/846–3692 | www.thetimeny.com | 164 rooms, 29 suites | No meals | Station: 1, C, E to 50th St.; N, Q, R to 49th St.
Viceroy New York.
$$$ | HOTEL | Handsome and finely tailored, this hotel has functional, tech-focused rooms and lots of amenities. Rooms, which have rich wood, leather, and metal accents, are standard size for New York (meaning small) but are designed to make the most of the space. Floor-to-ceiling windows, which actually open, provide lovely views over Manhattan’s iconic water towers to Central Park, and technology is integrated seamlessly, with Smart TVs, sound systems, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a well-equipped fitness center and plunge pool, a rooftop bar with park views, and a welcoming ground-floor restaurant, Kingside. Pros: comfortable, quiet library with “cartender” mixing drinks in late afternoon; generous rooftop space with views of Central Park; appealing restaurant. Cons: small, crowded lobby; busy 57th Street location might not suit all guests. | Rooms from: $559 | 120 W. 57th, Midtown West | 212/830–8000 | www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/newyork | 197 rooms, 43 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.; F to 57th St.
W Times Square.
$$ | HOTEL | Although it opened back in 2001, the W Times Square still stands out in the craziness of Times Square, thanks to its iconic, 57-story exterior—if you want to be in the thick of the action, this is a fun place to stay. Rooms are small but sophisticated, with pink and purple accents, hideaway cabinets, fantastic platform featherbeds, and sleek bathrooms. The more expensive rooms on the higher floors have impressive views to the west over the Hudson River. Blue Fin, the sushi restaurant, and the Living Room bar remain popular, if pricey, offshoots of the eighth-floor lobby, which is always flooded with activity. Pros: bustling nightlife and happy-hour scene; sleek rooms. Cons: if you want quiet, head elsewhere; no bathtubs in the smaller rooms. | Rooms from: $379 | 1567 Broadway, at 47th St., Midtown West | 212/930–7400, 877/946–8357 | www.wnewyorktimessquare.com | 466 rooms, 43 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 49th St.
$$ | HOTEL | This grande dame was built by William Randolph Hearst in 1926 for his mistress, Hollywood actress Marion Davies, and it’s hosted many from Tinseltown since then, including Cary Grant in the Presidential Suite for 12 years. Some of the higher-floor suites have terraces overlooking 6th Avenue. The standard rooms are a bit tired, however, and some come with “New York-y” views of an airshaft. The premier rooms are a better choice, with fresh designs including tufted headboards, marble bathrooms, and a generous work space. The Murals on 54 restaurant, which takes up a big portion of the ground floor, serves Italian-influenced American fare under the gaze of 1930s-era murals—try to spot the “obscene” additions that the artist inserted after a disagreement with Hearst. Randolph’s Bar continues to be busy late into the evening. Pros: excellent restaurant and bar; historic property; spacious suites. Cons: some rooms could use a refresh; no a/c in the hallways. | Rooms from: $385 | 65 W. 54th St., at 6th Ave., Midtown West | 212/247–2700, 800/223–4099 | www.warwickhotelny.com | 359 rooms, 67 suites | No meals | Station: F to 57th St.; B, D, E to 7th Ave.
$ | HOTEL | A few blocks south of Central Park and Columbus Circle, the Wellington is a good base for visitors who want to see the sights in Midtown and the Upper West Side. The vibe in the rooms is more classic than edgy or modern, with floral patterns and dark-wood headboards and chests. Bathrooms are dark and on the small side. Suites, however, are spacious and have a microwave, a refrigerator, and extra beds—a great fit for large families. Molyvos, a boisterous Greek restaurant in the hotel, serves excellent Mediterranean food, while the Park Cafe serves three meals a day along with theater snacks. The hotel runs clever theme packages during holidays, which draw return guests every year. Pros: central location; chipper, helpful staff; good for big families. Cons: dark, often small bathrooms; limited breakfast options. | Rooms from: $275 | 871 7th Ave., at 55th St., Midtown West | 212/247–3900, 800/652–1212 | www.wellingtonhotel.com | 515 rooms, 85 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.
$$$ | HOTEL | This Art Deco–style hotel is designed to feel like a glamorous private residence. Breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening canapes, all included in the rate, are served on the 23rd floor terrace; the nightly $35 “resident fee” also includes premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, barista coffees, in-room snacks, and Wi-Fi. Comfortable rooms are done in soothing dove grey tones, with tufted leather headboards, tasteful art, and luxurious bathrooms with walk-in showers. Extras like sleep masks, aromatherapy oil, and turndown chocolates created specifically for relaxation all encourage a good night’s sleep for hotel “residents.” Pros: many extras included; fresh, luxurious rooms. Cons: guests may have mixed feelings on mandatory daily resident fee; busy Midtown location lacks nearby quality restaurant and nightlife options. | Rooms from: $499 | 201 W. 55th St., between 7th Ave. and Broadway, Midtown West | 212/707–4888 | www.westhousehotelnewyork.com | 154 rooms, 16 suites | Breakfast | Station: B, D, E to 7th Ave.; N, Q, R to 57th St.–7th Ave.
Westin New York at Times Square.
$ | HOTEL | This giant Midtown hotel has all the amenities and service you expect from a reliable brand, at fairly reasonable prices, though without much style. Rooms are generic but comfortable, with coffeemakers, iPod docks, 24-hour room service, and a spacious work desk. For even more comfort, rooms on the spa floor come with massage chairs, aromatherapy candles, and other pampering pleasures. The gym is impressive, and includes Wii Fit and concierge-arranged running tours throughout the city. The huge lobby gets crowded during busy check-in and check-out times. Pros: central for Midtown attractions; big rooms; great gym. Cons: congested area near Port Authority; small bathroom sinks; some rooms need to be refreshed. | Rooms from: $299 | 270 W. 43rd St., at 8th Ave., Midtown West | 212/201–2700, 866/837–4183 | www.westinny.com | 873 rooms | No meals | Station: A, C, E to 42nd St.–Port Authority.
$ | HOTEL | Look beyond the gimmicks (a luggage-storing robot, the futuristic white design scheme)and discover one of New York’s best-run, most functional lodgings. The self-check-in lobby works like a dream, and though rooms may seem too small at first glance, they are surprisingly comfortable, accommodating giant flat-screen TVs, loungers that morph into beds with the touch of a button, nooks and crannies for storage, and smartly designed bathrooms. Larger “cabins” and suites have outdoor terraces and hot tubs. There’s no room service, but a galley kitchen on each floor has free coffee, tea, water, and ice. The large outdoor space, perfect for reading and drinking coffee, becomes a hopping club on summer nights, with guest-celeb DJs. Complimentary coffee and pastries are provided in the morning. Pros: great value; large common outdoor space; access to West Side piers and Javits Center. Cons: rooms may be small for some; limited luggage storage and hanging space; 10th Avenue is a bit remote. | Rooms from: $149 | 570 10th Ave., at 42nd St., Midtown West | 646/449–7700 | www.yotelnewyork.com | 647 rooms, 22 suites | Breakfast | Station: A, C, E to 42nd St.–Port Authority.
UPPER EAST SIDE
Fodor’s Choice | The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel.
$$$$ | HOTEL | On the well-heeled corner of Madison Avenue and 76th Street, the Carlyle’s fusion of venerable elegance and Manhattan swank calls for the aplomb of entering a Chanel boutique: walk in chinhigh, wallet out, and ready to impress (and be impressed). Everything about this Upper East Side landmark suggests cultivated refinement: rooms are decorated with fine antique furniture; there are vast views from the higher floors, and white-gloved operators work the elevators 24 hours a day. It’s all overwhelmingly grand, almost to the point of diminishing comfort. Dining and entertainment options can’t help but captivate, especially when cabaret luminaries hold court at the Café Carlyle (Woody Allen still performs every Monday); Bemelmans Bar is one of the greatest old-school cocktail spots in New York; and the Carlyle restaurant continues to give the ladies-who-lunch clientele something to chew on (Dover sole, cobb salad). For pampering, the Sense Spa and Yves Durif Salon can buff, polish, and frost your every extremity. Pros: perhaps NYC’s best Central Park views; refined service; delightful array of dining and bar options; chic shopping in the neighborhood; great bathtubs. Cons: removed from touristy Manhattan; stuffy vibe may not work for families; every room is different, limiting consistency. | Rooms from: $800 | 35 E. 76th St., between Madison and Park aves., Upper East Side | 212/744–1600 | www.thecarlyle.com | 121 rooms, 69 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 77th St.
$ | HOTEL | The best luxury boutique hotel north of 57th Street, this nine-story townhouse is a gem in a decidedly residential neighborhood. Though quite small, rooms are well appointed with name-brand knickknacks, including Bulgari toiletries, iHome stations, free Wi-Fi, and Frette linens. The lobby feels comfortable and lived-in, with newspapers laid out on comfortable couches and a free 24-hour cappuccino machine behind it. The generous complimentary breakfast uses a local bakery for all goods, and the hotel hosts a wine-and-cheese reception on weekday evenings. You can meet (sweaty) locals using a free pass to the nearby New York Sports Club. Pros: neighborhood-y location; free Wi-Fi and generous breakfast; pet-friendly. Cons: far from many tourist sights except Museum Mile; small rooms. | Rooms from: $279 | 164 E. 87th St., between Lexington and 3rd aves., Upper East Side | 212/369–1000, 800/607–4009 | www.franklinhotel.com | 50 rooms | Breakfast | Station: 4, 5, 6 to 86th St.
Hôtel Plaza Athénée.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Positioned unobtrusively by Central Park on the Upper East Side, the Plaza Athénée (now related in name only to its Parisian cousin) makes stellar service a priority, with a personal sit-down check-in off to the side of the lobby, and extravagant in-room dining service with an old-world feel: white tablecloths, candles, and flowers are part of the deal. Rooms have big bathrooms and refined, if nondescript, furnishings and linens. The hotel may seem stuffy to younger visitors, but to others it’s a welcome dose of old-school luxury. Bar Seine is a fabulously dark and secretive hideaway, and surely the only bar in New York with a floor made of leather. Arabelle is a much-touted, if not particularly well-loved, restaurantin need of a menu face-lift or celeb-chef infusion. Pros: discerning service; fabulous hotel bar. Cons: lobby can feel dark; Wi-Fi costs extra; expensive. | Rooms from: $695 | 37 E. 64th St., at Madison Ave., Upper East Side | 212/734–9100, 212/606–4600 | www.plaza-athenee.com | 117 rooms, 25 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 68th St.–Hunter College; F to Lexington Ave./63rd St.
$$ | HOTEL | A favorite for in-the-know travelers, the Wales is a pleasant if unassuming hotel in a sedate neighborhood. Standard guest rooms are small, but they do have fine oak woodwork, interesting photographs and art, and Gilchrist & Soames bath products. Most of the suites face Madison Avenue and some have Central Park views from the higher floors. This property has great space for guests in the common areas, including the Carnegie Lounge on the second floor and a rooftop bar open seasonally. Sarabeth’s restaurant, a local favorite for brunch, is in the hotel (and available for room service), as is Paola’s, a neighborhood Italian restaurant known for one of the best pesto pastas in town. Pros: on-site fitness facilities; great neighborhood feel; roof garden. Cons: standard rooms are tight on space; if seeking nightlife go elsewhere. | Rooms from: $395 | 1295 Madison Ave., between 92nd and 93rd sts., Upper East Side | 212/876–6000 | www.hotelwalesnyc.com | 46 rooms, 43 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 96th St.
$$$$ | HOTEL | Steps from Madison Avenue shopping and the Museum Mile, this old-money refuge on a leafy residential block was built as an upscale apartment hotel in the 1920s and still delivers genteel sophistication and pampering service in an unbeatable location. The lobby is small, but spacious guest rooms have all the civilized comforts of home including stocked bookshelves and luxe bathrooms. Thirty-three of the suites—all decorated in different themes—have working wood-burning fireplaces, and 13 have private terraces. The elegant Pembroke Room serves a hearty breakfast and fine afternoon tea. The in-room iPods and iPads (on request) and New York Times delivered to the room are nice touches. Pros: great location; service with a personal touch; charming décor; some suites with wood-burning fireplaces. Cons: cramped lobby; expensive. | Rooms from: $800 | 28 E. 63rd St., between Madison and Park aves., Upper East Side | 212/838–1400, 800/221–4444 | www.lowellhotel.com | 27 rooms, 47 suites | No meals | Station: N, Q, R to 5th Ave./59th St.; F to Lexington Ave./63rd St.
Fodor’s Choice | The Mark.
$$$ | HOTEL | The Mark is the perfect combo of uptown panache and downtown chic. The hotel sparkles from top to bottom, from the striped marble floors and modernist furnishings in the lobby to the cow-print upholstery in the chic bar just off the entrance. Rooms are opulently appointed in very modern style, with plush Italian linens, Sub-Zero freezers for ice, and more closet space than most New York City apartments. Bathrooms have marble floors, decadent sunken tubs, and enough towels to dry a small nation. There’s a state-of-the-art gym and a posh Frédéric Fekkai salon for blowouts and benefit-worthy color jobs. The hotel restaurant, the Mark by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, has become a bona-fide destination for well-heeled locals and neighborhood visitors alike. Pros: hip design; cavernous closet space; great service; scene-making restaurant and bar. Cons: expensive; limited budget dining options in neighborhood. | Rooms from: $600 | 25 E. 77th St., at Madison Ave., Upper East Side | 212/744–4300 | www.themarkhotel.com | 100 rooms, 50 suites | No meals | Station: 6 to 77th St.
Lodging Alternatives in New York City
Apartment Rentals vs. Suite Hotels
For your trip to New York, you may want a little more space than the city’s typically tiny hotel rooms provide. Some travelers consider apartment rentals, but there are many good reasons to stick to hotel suites instead. Why? First, apartment rentals of less than 30 days—with some very limited exceptions—are illegal in New York City. Furthermore, apartment-rental scams are an issue. In some published reports, potential guests have arrived to find that the apartment they rented does not exist, or that they are paying for an illegal sublet. In some cases, travelers have lost their deposit or their prepaid rent (note: never wire money to an account).
There are a few reputable providers of short-term rentals, but many Fodorites have turned to suite hotels and bed-and-breakfasts with apartmentlike accommodations. As Airbnb’s attempts to change the New York State housing laws continue, consider one of the legal providers below. And if you are going to rent an apartment, be sure to read reviews of individual apartments for first-hand feedback from fellow travelers.
Local rental agencies that arrange rentals of furnished apartments include the following.
| 800/835–8880, 212/472–2000 | www.abodenyc.com.
| 212/956–2010 | www.manhattangetaways.com.
Suite hotels like the Conrad New York, the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel New York City-Times Square, and The London NYC—all in Manhattan— as well as the Box House Hotel, in Brooklyn, are definitely on the spacious side. The Affinia hotel group (www.Affinia.com), which includes the FIFTY NYC, has many suites as well. Milburn Hotel (www.milburnhotel.com) and the Salisbury Hotel (www.nycsalisbury.com) are some of the more popular independent budget options.”
B&Bs booked through a service may be either hosted (you’re the guest in someone’s quarters) or unhosted (you have full use of someone’s vacated apartment, including kitchen privileges). Reservation services:
Bed and Breakfast Network of New York.
| 134 W. 32nd St., Suite 602, between 6th and 7th aves., | 212/645–8134, 888/707–4626 | www.bedandbreakfastnetwork.com.
City Lights Bed-and-Breakfast.
| 212/737–7049 | www.citylightsbedandbreakfast.com.
The City Lights Bed and Breakfast aggregate helps travelers find B&Bs as well as short-term appartments.
UPPER WEST SIDE
The Empire Hotel.
$$$ | HOTEL | In a prime Upper West Side spot, the sophisticated Empire Hotel attracts locals for views from the rooftop pool and lounge area underneath the hotel’s iconic red neon sign, while guests appreciate the rooms, which are a comfortable and chic escape from the bustle of the city. Rooms also have fun design accents like animal-print chairs and amenities such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations, and Frette linens. Ed Brown, formerly of Sea Grill and Eighty-One restaurants, runs Ed’s Chowder House on the second floor. Pros: great location next to Lincoln Center and blocks from Central Park; beautiful rooftop pool and bar; nice turndown service. Cons: rooftop bar brings foot traffic through hotel lobby, plus noise to some rooms; some rooms could use a refresh; bathrooms are nicely designed but tiny; pool is quite small. | Rooms from: $519 | 44 W. 63rd St., at Columbus Ave., Upper West Side | 212/265–7400 | www.empirehotelnyc.com | 376 rooms, 50 suites | No meals | Station: 1, A, B, C, D to 59th St.–Columbus Circle.
The Excelsior Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | Directly across the street from the American Museum of Natural History, this well-kept, old-school spot is comfortable but has occasionally inconsistent staff. Renovated rooms have warm lighting, comfortable beds, and work desks with ergonomic chairs. The hotel restaurant, Calle Ocho, is a Latin fusion spot that serves three meals a day alongside a cocktail list full of refreshing choices; the breakfast is especially good but pricey for the neighborhood. The library lounge—with leather sofas, a cozy fireplace, and tables with built-in game boards—is an unexpected plus. On the negative side is a staff that sometimes seems too busy to focus on customer service. Pros: excellent neighborhood-y Upper West Side location near Central Park; near foodie mecca Zabar’s and popular burger joint Shake Shack; tranquil environment. Cons: spotty front-desk staff; rooms are inconsistent; Wi-Fi is not free. | Rooms from: $289 | 45 W. 81st St., between Central Park W and Columbus Ave., Upper West Side | 212/362–9200 | www.excelsiorhotelny.com | 120 rooms, 80 suites | No meals | Station: B, C to 81st St.–Museum of Natural History.
$ | HOTEL | A neighborhood favorite for a reason, this Upper West Side hotel is three blocks from Central Park, ten blocks from Lincoln Center, and steps from great gourmet grocery stores—Zabar’s, Fairway, and Citarella. It’s also the neighborhood’s best buy for the price: all of the generously sized rooms and suites have kitchenettes (stocked with coffeemakers, pots and pans, and toasters) and marble bathrooms. Closets are huge and high floors have views of Central Park, the Hudson River, or the Midtown skyline. A small fitness center has modern equipment, though you might prefer to go jogging in the nearby park. A recently renovated lobby and the addition of Beacon Bar, a contemporary and dimly lit watering hole with small plates and classic cocktails, bring a modern polish to the hotel. The staff here are especially friendly and helpful. Pros: kitchenettes in all rooms; great UWS location; affordable; great service. Cons: though comfortable and spacious, rooms aren’t winning any design awards. | Rooms from: $299 | 2130 Broadway, at 75th St., Upper West Side | 212/787–1100, 800/572–4969 | www.beaconhotel.com | 140 rooms, 136 suites | No meals | Station: 1, 2, 3 to 72nd St.
$$ | HOTEL | Service is the strong suit at this landmark-facade hotel, whose exterior has more pizzazz than the predictable guest rooms decorated with dark-wood reproduction furniture and chintzy bedspreads. Health-conscious adults appreciate the gym on the top floor, with its city views; downstairs, the Mediterranean restaurant Nice Matin is a popular draw (ask about a guest discount). The affluent residential neighborhood has an impressive array of boutiques and gourmet food shops, and the American Museum of Natural History is a short walk away. Pros: free Wi-Fi; clean; great gym; close to Central Park. Cons: inconsistent room size; some guests report uncomfortable pillows. | Rooms from: $309 | 201 W. 79th St., at Amsterdam Ave., Upper West Side | 212/875–1000, 800/492–8122 | www.thelucernehotel.com | 165 rooms, 37 suites | No meals | Station: 1 to 79th St.
NYLO New York City.
$$ | HOTEL | Bringing modern style to the sometimes stodgy Upper West Side, this hotel nods to the jazz era—think raucous bar, decadent living room with a fireplace, and tempting restaurants. Bright and welcoming rooms with wood floors, exposed brick, and views of Manhattan’s iconic water towers are streamlined and cozy (some have huge terraces). The LOCL Bar, open all day for coffee, snacks, and cocktails, adds to the social feel. Hungry guests can choose between Serafina, a northern Italian favorite, or RedFarm, a contemporary, upscale Chinese restaurant whose original West Village location inspired long lines. Pros: short walk from Central Park; quiet, safe location; excellent dining and drinking options; rooms with terraces and dynamite views. Cons: lobby might be too hectic for some; Upper West Side location removed from some attractions. | Rooms from: $349 | 2178 Broadway, Upper West Side | 212/362–1100 | www.nylohotels.com | 258 rooms, 33 suites | No meals | Station: 1 to 79th St.
Trump International Hotel and Towers.
$$$$ | HOTEL | This iconic New York property’s incomparable views of Central Park has interior design to match, conceived with the help of the Donald’s daughter, Ivanka. The inconspicuous lobby immediately introduces you to the hotel’s stellar service, which continues throughout your stay with personal assistant and concierge services. The building, a black skyscraper jutting high above Columbus Circle, presents unobstructed views of Central Park from floor-to-ceiling windows. Corner suites have some of the most compelling urban views in the world. Rooms and suites resemble mini-apartments, with 51-inch flat-screen TVs and Sub-Zero fridges. Personalized stationery and business cards are provided on request. The restaurant, Jean-Georges, is one of the city’s finest, and for a price a Jean-Georges sous-chef will prepare a meal right in your kitchenette. Pros: fine service; stellar views; discerning treatment. Cons: expensive. | Rooms from: $800 | 1 Central Park W, between 59th and 60th sts., Upper West Side | 212/299–1000, 888/448–7867 | www.trumphotelcollection.com | 35 rooms, 141 suites | No meals | Station: 1, A, B, C, D to 59th St.–Columbus Circle.
$ | HOTEL | A reasonably priced option in an increasingly popular area of Harlem (Marcus Samuelsson’s hot Red Rooster restaurant is nearby), this branch of the Aloft chain delivers with cheerful service and a fun atmosphere, once you get past the confusing front entrance. Guest rooms make good use of their space, and have sustainable wood-grain accents and faux-cork touches. Bathrooms are sleek, with spacious glass-walled overhead rain showers. Downstairs is a bar and a pool table, and a revolving display of art from local galleries. The Re:fuel minimarket in the lobby sells everything from fresh blueberries to slices of red velvet cake and is open 24 hours a day. Pros: good room size for the price; convenient to subways; ever-increasing local shopping and dining options. Cons: rooms have minimal space for hanging clothes; rooms get some street noise. | Rooms from: $289 | 2296 Frederick Douglass Blvd., between 123th and 124th sts., Harlem | 212/749–4000 | www.aloftharlem.com | 124 rooms | No meals | Station: A, B, C, D to 125th St.
Aloft New York Brooklyn.
$$ | HOTEL | A funky boutique operation in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn, Aloft is a lively yet comfortable space. World music plays in the lobby lounge; in the relatively spacious rooms expect the quality beds Starwood properties are known for. The Re:fuel minimarket has reasonably priced coffee and snacks. Rooms are good value for the price, with Bliss bath products, powerful overhead rain showers, and mini-refrigerators. A swanky rooftop bar, the Brooklyn Terrace, has great views. Pros: easy subway access; reasonable prices; guests have access to the adjacent Sheraton’s indoor swimming pool and room service. Cons: rumored construction behind the hotel could mean noise in years to come. | Rooms from: $359 | 216 Duffield St., between Willoughby St. and Fulton Mall, Downtown Brooklyn | 718/256–3833 | www.aloftnewyorkbrooklyn.com | 170 rooms, 6 suites | No meals | Station: 2, 3 to Hoyt St.; A, C, F, N, R to Jay St.–Metro Tech.
New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.
$$ | HOTEL | The rooms at this well-situated hotel are classic Marriott—large and enhanced by high ceilings, massaging showerheads, rolling desks, and other nice touches. As many visitors before you have discovered, one virtue of staying in Brooklyn is all the extra space. What Manhattan hotel has room for a 75-foot lap pool, an 1,100-car garage, and even a dedicated kosher kitchen? If you’re looking to explore, some of the borough’s best neighborhoods—Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, and DUMBO, as well as the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian path—are nearby. If you need to get to Manhattan, major subway lines are a block away or a taxi ride takes just a few short minutes. Pros: near some of Brooklyn’s hipper neighborhoods; traditional full-service hotel. Cons: on a busy downtown street. | Rooms from: $369 | 333 Adams St., between Johnson and Willoughby Sts., Downtown Brooklyn | 718/246–7000 | www.marriott.com/nycbk | 638 rooms, 28 suites | No meals | Station: 2, 3, 4, 5 to Borough Hall; A, C, F, N, R to Jay St.–Metro Tech.
NU Hotel Brooklyn.
$ | HOTEL | The hip-yet-affordable NU, on one of Brooklyn’s main nightlife and shopping streets, is perfect for visitors seeking a perch near the best of the borough. Flat-screen TVs, complimentary Wi-Fi, and hookups for your iPod or laptop add to the above-average-size rooms, and the minimalist white and gray color scheme is punctuated with eco-friendly flourishes like cork floors and organic cotton sheets (a few suites even have cozy hammocks). Pros: great Brooklyn launching pad; knowledgeable staff; 24-hour fitness center. Cons: subway or cab ride to anything in Manhattan; bar area can be a little too quiet; limited in-room amenities. | Rooms from: $299 | 85 Smith St., Boerum Hill | 718/852–8585 | www.nuhotelbrooklyn.com | 87 rooms, 6 suites | Breakfast | Station: F, G to Bergen St.; A, C, G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn Sts.
Hotel Le Bleu.
$ | HOTEL | This hotel, nestled among gorgeous Brooklyn brownstones, provides comfortable, carpeted rooms, some with terraces facing the Statue of Liberty or Manhattan. Pros: stylish rooms with coffeemakers; some rooms have terraces and Manhattan views; great access to Brooklyn dining and shopping. Cons: far from main Manhattan attractions. | Rooms from: $239 | 370 4th Ave., Gowanus | 718/625–1500 | www.hotellebleu.com | 48 rooms | Breakfast | Station: R to 9th St.; F, G to 4th Ave.
The Union Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | When it’s not your first time visiting New York, and you want to get away from the crowds, this hotel provides a comfortable Brooklyn retreat from which to explore the borough. Pros: location near the subway; walking distance to great restaurants and shopping; free Wi-Fi. Cons: rooms are tight on space. | Rooms from: $159 | 611 Degraw St., Gowanus | 718/403–0614 | www.unionhotelbrooklyn.com | 43 rooms | Breakfast | Station: R to Union St.
Box House Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | Adventurous travelers are drawn to this all-suites hotel, formerly a door factory, in industrial northern Greenpoint. Suites feel like stylish New York City apartments, with kitchens, living rooms, and homey touches like shelves lined with books (some also have terraces). At your doorstep is the rapidly changing neighborhood of Greenpoint, with upscale coffee shops, cult-favorite restaurants, and cheap Polish eateries. The hotel provides free transportation within Greenpoint and neighboring Williamsburg in classic 1970s checker cabs. With free Wi-Fi, a stylish lobby with iMacs, and a fitness center with sauna and steam room, this hotel is a polished pick in a somewhat isolated area. Pros: exciting, developing neighborhood; huge suites with kitchens and living rooms; free neighborhood transportation. Cons: functional bathrooms not particularly luxurious; no black-out curtains; isolated location in industrial area isn’t for everyone. | Rooms from: $379 | 77 Box St., Greenpoint | 718/383–3800 | www.theboxhousehotel.com | 56 suites | No meals | Station: G to Greenpoint Ave.
Hotel Le Jolie.
$ | HOTEL | This no-frills favorite has excellent service and is convenient not only to Williamsburg’s arts, culture, and dining scenes, but also to the subway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the latter handy should you want to get into Manhattan via car. The simple lobby has a sunny breakfast area that serves cereal, pastries, and juice (and coffee and fresh fruit all day). Rooms are economical in both size and features, though perfectly comfortable with down comforters and plaid curtains. “Elite” rooms at the back of the hotel and above the fourth floor have views of the Manhattan skyline (and cost extra). There’s a small parking lot and complimentary Wi-Fi. Pros: good value; free parking on a first-come, first-served basis; convenient part of Brooklyn. Cons: proximity to highway can mean noise; can feel remote even though near to subways. | Rooms from: $199 | 235 Meeker Ave., between Lorimer St. and Union Ave., Williamsburg | 718/625–2100 | www.hotellejolie.com | 52 rooms | Breakfast | Station: L to Lorimer St.
McCarren Hotel and Pool.
$$ | HOTEL | With funky design details like an underfoot, glass-encased river in the lobby (plus a fireplace), and a plum location overlooking McCarren Park, this hotel sizzles with scenester savvy. Rooms (some with incredible Manhattan views) have clean lines,big flat-screen TVs, and minibars stocked with locally sourced snacks and drinks. Bathrooms have waterfall showerheads and Malin+Goetz bath products. The buzzy parts of Williamsburg are just a short stroll away, but an outdoor pool with lots of lounge space along with a subterranean bar and restaurant keep guests happily on-site. Pros: high hip factor; quality rooftop restaurant-bar; close to main thoroughfare Bedford Avenue. Cons: potential for noise from concerts in McCarren Park; some room details like lighting controls could be more user-friendly. | Rooms from: $315 | 160 N. 12th St., between Bedford and Berry sts., Williamsburg | 718/218–7500 | www.chelseahotels.com/us/brooklyn/mccarren-hotel-and-pool/about | 60 rooms, 4 suites | No meals | Station: L to Bedford Ave.
Fodor’s Choice | Urban Cowboy B&B.
$ | B&B/INN | Williamsburg’s only B&B, which occupies a newly renovated 100-year-old townhouse, combines the neighborhood’s renegade spirit with an eye for design. Pros: beautiful design with personal touches; backyard Jacuzzi; personable staff. Cons: most rooms share a bathroom. | Rooms from: $200 | 111 Powers St., North Williamsburg | 347/840–0525 | www.urbancowboybnb.com | 4 rooms (3 with shared bath), 1 cabin | Breakfast | Station: L to Lorimer St.; G to Metropolitan Ave.
Fodor’s Choice | Wythe Hotel.
$$ | HOTEL | A former cooperage on the Brooklyn waterfront has found new life as the Wythe Hotel, a stunner for its Manhattan-skyline views, locally sourced design touches and amenities, and super-cool restaurant (Reynard) and bar (Ides). The factory building near the Brooklyn Brewery, built in 1901, underwent a five-year renovation, utilizing reclaimed pine from the original building to create rustic ceilings. Rooms have a distinct Brooklyn sensibility, with polished concrete floors (plus underfloor heating), local custom-patterned wallpaper, and surround sound controlled by your iPhone. The best rooms face Manhattan’s skyline, but it’s also possible to take in the views from the sixth-floor rooftop bar. There is no room service, but the cozy ground-floor restaurant, Reynard’s, has won a place in the hearts of locals—partly due to free Wi-Fi—and is ideal for a meal or coffee at any time of day. If you’re looking to keep costs down, bunk rooms are a great value. Pros: unique building history; excellent entry into fun neighborhood; Brooklyn-based design and environmentally friendly products; fabulous views from rooms or rooftop bar; destination-worthy restaurant. Cons: somewhat removed from the subway; no room service. | Rooms from: $300 | 80 Wythe Ave., at N. 11th St., Williamsburg | 718/460–8001 | www.wythehotel.com | 66 rooms, 4 suites | No meals | Station: L to Bedford Ave.
The Paper Factory Hotel.
$ | HOTEL | Space, style, access to intriguing local neighborhoods, and seriously good value—this paper factory turned chic hotel provides many reasons to stay in Queens. Pros: excellent value; one-minute walk to subway; stylish rooms and restaurant; generous space. Cons: some street noise reaches rooms. | Rooms from: US$199 | 37-06 36th St., Astoria | 718/392–7200 | www.paperfactoryhotel.com | 123 rooms, 10 suites | No meals | Station: M, R to 36th St.