Finding a hotel in New York as a first-time visitor can be daunting. There are around 700 hotels to choose from. If you are a New York first time visitor, we would recommend staying in the midtown area, south of Central Park and north of 14th street. This area is also the area with the biggest concentration of hotels, and you are smack bang in the middle of Manhattan. Easy walks to most major sights like Empire State building and plenty of subway stops to transport you around Manhattan and out to other areas like Brooklyn and Williamsburg. Like any other big city anywhere in the world there are hotels in every price range and in every quality from run down to shining boutique glam. The easiest option is to decide a budget per night and check different booking sites, we tend to use Booking.com and check hotel website directly to compare. Be prepared to pay a premium, New York is expensive and hotel rooms are no exception. The average cost for a hotel room is per 2020 a eye watering 178 dollars per night. Airbnb is also an option but be aware that there has been controversy around “non hotel” letting since it is prohibited by law to rent out dwellings shorter than 30 days in Manhattan but there has also been lawsuits and a lot of public backlash to people who rent out their apartments to Airbnb. Read more here about the issue.
Our main argument against not utilizing hotel room is that most flights to Europe depart from New York in the evening, and in hotels you can store luggage at no extra cost for the departure day. If you rent an Airbnb apartment you must either carry your luggage for an entire day or find a place that offers luggage storage at a cost. And of course, there is the issue of short term rental apartments bringing higher rental costs and fewer flats to rent for those who actually have to live in New York and other big cities around the world.
1. Soho Grand
Located in our favourite neighbourhood of Manhattan the Soho Grand is industrial elegance and very chic SoHo hotel living. When it opened in 1996 it was the first upscale hotel in SoHo and it was a contributing factor to the rejuvenation of an entire area. The whole hotel is design eye candy and the rooms are plush and very cool. The hotel boasts the Grand Bar and Lounge, The SoHo diner 24-hr eatery, Gilligan’s bar, and the very cool Club Room. You can spend your entire weekend stay in New York just walking, eating, and shopping the SoHo area. You are also just a few minutes’ walk fro legendary areas like Chinatown and Little Italy.
2. Kimpton Eventi New York
Located on the edge of Chelsea area of Manhattan the Eventi hotel has a location to die for. If you get the right room, you will wake up looking out of your window straight at Empire State Building just 2 blocks northeast of the hotel. The location is perfect and within short distance of everything from Madison Square garden to the High Line and Madison Square Park. Since the hotel is quite new and build high with few tall buildings around it, the view from the rooms is normally stunning in any direction but to upgrade to that Empire State view is worth it. Even though it is a 4-star hotel, the amenities and the price for the rooms are 5 stars.
3. Hotel Giraffe by Library Hotel Collection
Great location just one block northeast of Madison Square Park this 4-star hotel is a good option. Within walking distance of most major attractions. If you are staying as a family one of their suites is a great option with a bedroom and a sitting room with a sleeping sofa in it for the kids. The hotel also offers breakfast, a rarer thing in New York, and it will save you a few dollars not having to pay every morning for your coffee and bagel. They also boast a nice rooftop garden that is open during the warmer months of the year, a great place for a post sightseeing drink.
4. Courtyard New York Manhattan/Central Park
If you are looking for a hotel closer to Broadway theatres or Central Park this hotel is the one for you, smack bang in the middle between Times Square and Central Park this is the perfect hotel. If you get a room facing south and high up, you will have views down to the lights at Times Square. There is also a great outside patio/roof bar with views down to Times Square.
5. The Empire Hotel
If you want to feel a bit of that upper west side living this is where its at. The Empire hotel is only steps from Central Park and the Lincoln Centre. It has a very cool retro cool bohemian lounge feel to the interior. It also boasts a great rooftop bar in the aptly named Empire Rooftop Bar & Lounge.
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