There are infinite ways to experience New York City, and your perspective is largely influenced by the nature of your stay: A business traveler will have a vastly different experience than the art lover, the theatre buff, the budget traveler, and so forth. And this is precisely what gives the city its pulse. In a single subway car, you have 100 different perspectives on life. It’s dynamic, frenetic, and stimulating—none of which makes it any easier to find the best hotels in New York City.
That’s because the hotel can also greatly influence your perspective on the city—and a bad hotel will sour the entire trip. In a city as densely packed as New York, finding a hotel that actually cares about your wellbeing (and not just cashing in on your dollars) is a tall order. Not to mention finding a decent place in a good location on a budget is a fine art.
Allow us to help you narrow the search, based on the nature of your stay. Below are our picks for the best hotels in NYC, based on things like location, objective, budget, comfort, travel plans, and more. There’s surely something for you—or maybe multiple options, for the various ways you want to devour the Big Apple.
The Best Hotels in New York City for Every Budget
1. To Live Like a Local: The High Line Hotel
“Sanctuary” is the word used most often to describe The High Line Hotel for its 60 spacious, beautifully appointed rooms in a brick-laid, Collegiate Gothic building. Between its cloistered gardens and location in the heart of Chelsea on Manhattan’s east side, this hotel makes you feel like you’re a bona fide New Yorker. It puts you steps away from your new favorite bagel shop (we love Murray’s), a running path on the West Side Highway, and Chelsea Piers Fitness (being a High Line guest gives you complimentary access to the 150,000-sq.-ft gym)—not to mention you’re walking distance to Union Square, West Village, Meatpacking District, and more. The High Line Hotel hosts the borough’s only Intelligentsia Coffee outpost and is, of course, primely positioned for access to the High Line Park walking path itself—a tourist attraction even the locals love to savor.Learn More
2. For Ultimate Luxury: The Mandarin Oriental New York
Breathtaking Central Park views would be the top amenity for any other hotel, yet they’re midway down a list of sumptuous perks at The Mandarin Oriental New York. It’s got a lot going for it: a bustling Columbus Circle location, five-star spa, signature world-class hospitality, and luxurious rooms, Mandarin Oriental remains a favorite among business and leisure travelers alike for its marriage of convenience and class. Marinate with a cocktail at The Aviary’s “open-drink kitchen,” where cocktails are crafted by chefs and mixologists alike; enjoy a panoramic Manhattan skyline dinner at Asiate with cuisine from Mandarin Oriental’s executive chef, Cyril Renaud; and get a nightcap at The Office speakeasy.Learn More
3. To See and Be Seen in Brooklyn: Ace Hotel Brooklyn
The Ace Hotel was already the most bustling spot among the creative class in Manhattan, and now its greatest competition is…itself. The newly opened hotel in Brooklyn’s Boerum Hill (at the brink of downtown BK) has an incredible location, accessible price point, art installations, southern Manhattan and Lady Liberty views, as well as vibrant public spaces (anchored by As You Are, the hotel’s bakery-resto-bar). You’ll be surrounded by the city’s most eclectic makers and doers—and walking distance to all your friends who packed up and moved to Brooklyn. (If your main haunts are in Manhattan, don’t fret; it’s a 15-minute subway ride into the heart of the city.)Learn More
4. The Best of Williamsburg: Wythe Hotel
Speaking of Brooklyn…central/downtown BK isn’t the borough’s only hot spot. Williamsburg is famously robust, serving as Brooklyn’s longtime destination for nightlife, coffee culture, and boutiques. And, if you stay at the Wythe Hotel, you also get Manhattan’s eastern skyline view. But that’s not the hotel’s only draw: The factory-turned-hotel has been Williamsburg’s favorite boutique stay for nearly a decade, with its brick walls and floor-to-ceiling guestroom windows. It’s a common staycation spot for locals and a modern wedding venue, what with its range of rooms (everything from bunk beds to expansive lofts. The Wythe’s latest draw is the rooftop Bar Blondeau, with a European seafood-centric menu and unencumbered views of that beautiful Manhattan skyline. Bathe yourself in city lights as you watch NYC wind down for the night.Learn More
5. For Business Travelers and Lavish Leisure: The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel
The Financial District, or FiDi, as it’s come to be called, is a bit sleepy on weekends, though the neighborhood keeps a bustle with the nine to eight crowd (no, nine to five isn’t a thing here). Both scenarios are optimal for a Beekman sojourn, be it a buttoned-up workweek or luxuriously lazy respite. For business travelers, you can rent one of the 300- to 475-sq.-foot office spaces (with ensuite bathrooms, no less), with in-office dining from Tom Colicchio. (Day rates are available, too.) Colicchio’s wisteria-wrapped rooftop restaurant Temple Court is the best FiDi spot for a business dinner or sky-lined date. The Beekman’s rooms are outfitted in oak and leather, with Carrara marble running through the bathrooms. The facade of the hotel—5 Beekman, to be precise—is an official NYC landmark, having been one of the city’s first skyscrapers (it’s as old as the Brooklyn Bridge, birthed in 1883). FiDi is also grossly underrated in terms of location, giving you quick access to midtown Manhattan and the heart of central/downtown Brooklyn. Promise us you’ll do a late-night BK Bridge stroll, too.Learn More
6. The Best Bang for Your Buck: Freehand New York
You already know a trip to NYC can break the bank. Thankfully hotels like Freehand exist, offering 4-star amenities at extremely competitive rates. It’s no wonder they attract a young, creative crowd, which is only fitting since the building used to house the George Washington Hotel, home to storied creatives like Keith Haring and Christopher Isherwood. The 398-key hotel has 36 bunk rooms for groups of four, three bars, two restaurants, a co-working space, 24-hour fitness center, and features art from local artists (they even operate an artist-in-residency program). Its Gramercy location couldn’t be more perfect for visitors who wish to sprawl across Manhattan and Brooklyn alike, and who want to take advantage of the city’s limitless potential.Learn More
7. To Stay in the Heart of Times Square: citizenM Times Square
Staying right in Times Square seems like a fairytale to the uninitiated—wow, bright lights, big city!—but it really is chaotic without a good hotel to come home to. citizenM answers the call for anyone who wants to be near Broadway and big-name retail, within walking distance to Central Park, and plopped above Manhattan’s most connected subway station. The hotel promises “affordable luxury for the people…everything [travelers] need, and nothing they don’t.” That includes a one-minute check in and cozy, modern bedroom (with XL beds!), plus an app for in-room functions (from lights to temp control) as well as on-demand hospitality. Its affordable price point means you can budget more for the Great White Way or world-class dining, and its bustling atmosphere makes for terrific satellite office hours—they’ve even got a 24-hour gym to round out everything you demand in a home away from home.Learn More
8. For a Sophisticated, Simple Sojourn: Hotel Hugo
SoHo, Tribeca, and West Village have a reputation for being chic, sophisticated, and everything you might associate with a quintessential NYC visit. But they also have a reputation for being over-the-top expensive when it comes to hotels and BnBs. Hotel Hugo gives you an affordable key to these neighborhoods, tucked into Hudson Square (bordering SoHo, TriBeCa, and the West Village). Location aside, the hotel’s main draw is its rooms, decked out with mid-century modern furnishings, giving you a sumptuous, soothing place to rest your head. This is 4-star hospitality at its most pure: You’re in New York to experience New York, and when you retire for the day, you want a room that matches the metropolis’ sophistication.Learn More
9. For Upper East Side Regality: The Mark Hotel
The Mark, one of our picks for The Best Luxury Hotels in the World, offers a very particular (read: lavish) look at New York City. The Upper East Sider POV means the Met Gala is in your backyard, which may as well be Central Park; there’s personal shopping at Bergdorf Goodman; an onsite Frédéric Fekkai hair salon; top-tier, 1,400-square-foot fitness center; avant-garde furnishings and decor; as well as fine dining at The Mark Restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges. This is the poshest way to experience the city, but a grounded one at that, thanks to The Mark’s affinity for cheek. (Lest we forget its famed hot dog stand, Haute Dogs.)Learn More
10. For Late Arrivals and Early Departures: TWA Hotel at JFK Airport
Once you land in New York City, you can probably add an hour or more to get to your destination. And, depending on which airport you fly into, and the neighborhood you stay in, it could cost you upwards of $100 for a taxi at rush hour. That’s why the newly opened TWA Hotel at JFK airport is a blessing, but a clear cut above the standard-fare airport hotel. It’s directly attached to the airport, for one, but it’s also a visual throwback to the 1960s, the heydays of air travel. It has a whopping 512 rooms, some of them with runway views. There’s a rooftop infinity pool, the world’s biggest hotel gym (10,000-square feet), museum exhibits to attract guests and long layovers alike, a fully restored Connie airplane-turned cocktail bar, a wall-to-wall Twister game room, and an outdoor roller skating/ice-skating rink (seriously), which alternate based on the season. Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges (whose name you saw above, at The Mark Hotel, too) has crafted a menu for TWA’s Paris Café, rounding out the best airport hotel stay you ever imagined. You might even add it to your city attractions list, checking in a full day early to enjoy it all. In the very least, it’s a picturesque and memorable place to crash before you relocate to the city the following morning, or to cap your stay before an early morning blast off.Learn More
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