A New Yorker’s Guide to the Best New York City Hotels
Did you know there are more than 908 hotels listed on TripAdvisor for New York City? If you're like me, you like to pour through hotel reviews before making a decision, and having this many options could undoubtedly overwhelm you. Don't fret; I've made navigating New York City hotels easy for you!
As a New Yorker, I've staycationed in my fair share of hotels, and since I'm also known as The Traveling Hypnotist (based in NYC), I have more insight into the hotel industry than most hotel reviewers. In order to recommend the best New York hotels, I'm considering a few factors: service, upkeep of the accommodations and guest rooms, access to nature, hotel programming & events, safety, and food & beverage offerings. I also want to give you options, ranging from budget to luxury hotels. So it gives me great pleasure to share my list of the five best hotels in New York City for 2022.
BEST BUDGET CHIC NYC HOTELS
Typically, I'll select my hotels based on my travel itinerary. I'll look for budget-friendly options if I don't plan on spending that much time in a hotel. It's essential to spend your money wisely, and quite frankly, many budget chic hotels may not make the top lists in travel magazines. Still, they offer excellent service, upscale design, and solid accommodations.
INNSiDE New York by Melia is a simple but modern art-focused hotel, and it is conveniently located in the Chelsea/Nomad neighborhood. It is tucked away on 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, and its location puts you one block from the Flower District (hello plant lovers), and you'll be walking distance from the High Line, Madison Square Park, and Hudson Yards. The rooms are sleek and streamlined, and if you stay on one of the high floors, you will see amazing views of downtown. (I would opt for a City View Room or Terrace Suite, if possible).
Outdoor space at NYC hotels is rare, and since many people are still a little concerned about mixing in public spaces due to COVID, it's always ideal to find a hotel that gives you the flexibility to convene outdoors. INNSiDE New York by Melia has a patio in the front of the hotel where you can work or people-watch, and I love that they also incorporate seasonal decor (heated during the winter). Additionally, they often host special tastings and treats for hotel guests on the patio or within the lobby.
Additionally, the hotel's restaurant partner is The Wilson NYC, and this trendy-ish seafood restaurant offers shaded outdoor dining (heated during the winter). The Wilson also has a seasonal Rose Garden tucked in the back of the hotel, and it's ideal for a bottomless mimosa brunch.
The Traveling Hypnotist's Pro Tip: The fitness center offers stellar views of downtown, so even if you don't book a City View room, you can get the view while you workout. Additionally, the hotel has two bikes that you can borrow for free.
All in all, I would feel comfortable having my parents or West Coast friends stay here, so it's one of my top hotel recommendations for budget-chic hotels in NYC.
Occasionally, I'll have a friend ask me to recommend a hotel in Times Square. As New Yorkers, we often avoid Times Square at all costs, and yet, I have fond memories of this area from my first few visits to the Big Apple. In this case, I would recommend the new boutique hotel, voco Times Square by IHG located in Midtown West on 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues.
The hotel is steps from Hudson Yards, Broadway, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Empire State Building, and the Hudson River. It is also close to Penn Station, which has its perks if you're taking the Long Island Railroad from JFK Airport, but there are also many homeless people around Penn Station. I've never had an issue, but I wouldn't stay in this area if you're traveling with kids (just being honest here).
At voco Times Square, you'll find a refreshing escape from the hustle of Midtown Manhattan. The rooms are simple and modern, but they are a bit small (typical for New York City). I would suggest upgrading to a Premium Room because you'll want to wake up to the inspiring view of Midtown Manhattan. The hotel has a fantastic Greenhouse area that serves as the lobby with great natural light, and there are cute single-person booths where you can sit and work during the day. There's also a convenient grab & go market with bottled cocktails, water, and snacks.
My favorite part of the hotel is the private patio space with street art by artist Tony ‘Rubin’ Sjöman, and I would certainly take advantage of the space if you're staying in the spring, summer, or early fall. This hotel is also pet-friendly, and the patio space is the perfect spot to kick-back with your pup after a day of sightseeing.
The Traveling Hypnotist's Pro Tip: While visiting, ask for the Turn Up Service, which includes extra amenities like a sleep mask, tea service, chocolates, and a cocktail kit.
Overall, I would stay at voco Times Square is your best bet if you need to be near Times Square/Midtown for work or if you have several Broadway shows on your itinerary.
BEST LUXURY NYC HOTELS
I love a luxe hotel; indeed, New York City has many of them. However, some of the city's most iconic hotels would serve as great spots to grab a tea or cocktail or simply indulge in celebrity spotting because they fail to upkeep their rooms despite the pricey nightly rate. Here are the hotels I feel are worth the extra spend.
Wherever I go, I can always trust Four Seasons Hotels will consistently deliver on top service and beautiful spaces. Indeed, their staff is comprised of true professionals who value the art of hospitality. The Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown is no exception, and it is located at 27 Barclay Street in downtown New York. It's walking distance to the Freedom Tower, The Oculus, The National September 11 Memorial Museum, and Tribeca's top restaurants (like The Odeon). Plus, you can easily walk or Uber to Soho for a day of shopping.
The entire hotel feels decadent with contemporary art and marble staircases, and you will be greeted by the team at every turn. The rooms are always in perfect order with gorgeous linens and plush beds that make you want to stay in and order room service. I would opt for a room with a view when possible.
While you're here, don't miss the spa on the 3rd floor, which feels like a glamorous sanctuary of healing in a city that runs on adrenaline and caffeine. Whether you're booking a massage or a session with a Resident Healer (yes, you can schedule a TTH Session with me), the spa should be part of your NYC experience. There's a beautiful heated indoor pool, so definitely pack your swimsuit. The fitness center is also top-notch!
The Traveling Hypnotist's Pro Tip: Whether you stay at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown or not, I would make it a point to sit at the bar at CUT by Wolfgang Puck. Order the oysters, shrimp cocktail and a glass of wine. Celebrities and professional athletes often stay at the hotel so it's a great spot to people-watch and mingle with other travelers and locals at the bar.
You'll not only feel special, but you'll feel safe staying at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. I would highly recommend it for women staying in the city.
In all fairness, I haven't had the chance to stay at this hotel, but word on the street is that no expense was spared in creating the brand-new Wall Street Hotel. Located at 88 Water Street between Water and Pearl in the Financial District (FiDi), this hotel brings a feminine spirit to the hard-nosed masculine energy of the area. The hotel is rooted in history, and the building was the birthplace of the New York Stock Exchange. You'll be steps from Battery Park, South Street Seaport, and Federal Hall when you stay here. Plus, you will be a quick ferry ride from Governor's Island, which often hosts concerts, festivals, and summer activations.
The Wall Street Hotel is a place for leisure and foodie experiences in NYC. The generous lobby lounge with vibrant artwork and cultural nods is quickly becoming the place to be in FiDi for after-work cocktails. The rooms at the Wall Street Hotel are outfitted to perfection with thoughtful features such as sitting areas, robes, slippers, and sumptuous linens.
Finally, Michelin-starred Chef John Fraser brings sexy to Wall Street with La Marchande. The French brasserie is located on the hotel's lobby level, and the food is remarkably light for French cuisine. (I expect this restaurant to win some awards soon, so make sure to get a reservation while you're in NYC.)
The Traveling Hypnotist's Pro Tip: Take a great photo for Instagram in front of the window that says, "All I Ever Wanted Was Everything."
Overall, I recommend Wall Street Hotel if you prefer to stay among a well-heeled set, and you like to be among the first in your social circle to check out new hotels.
1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge is my favorite luxe hotel in the NYC area. It's located on Pier 1 on Brooklyn Bridge Park, just south of the iconic bridge in the Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo neighborhood. One of the things I love about 1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge is the quick access to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a morning stroll or afternoon run. This hotel is truly the ideal vacation spot for my fellow nature lovers. Yes, you'll be across the East River from Manhattan, but the views of the city are stunning.
Because 1 Hotels is known for its sustainable approach to hospitality, the architecture and interior design in the public spaces and throughout the guest rooms utilize reclaimed materials. Make sure that if you stay, you book a Bridge or Liberty King Room or splurge for a Skyline Suite. (You'll want to wake up to the floor to ceiling windows with views of Brooklyn Bridge or the Statue of Liberty.) Also, take advantage of complimentary refillable water bottles and environmentally friendly bath products in your room.
This hotel offers so many things to do whether you're looking to unwind or socialize. Book a spa service at Bamford Wellness Spa if you're looking to recharge. If you need some Vitamin D, head to the Rooftop Pool from 7 am - 7 pm (make sure you snag a pool reservation). You can also opt for coffee, breakfast, or lunch at Neighbors. The Osprey offers farm-to-table cuisine for weekend brunch and dinners. Harriet's Rooftop & Lounge is ideal for sunset cocktails or late-night gatherings but make sure to book a table.
In terms of getting to Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights, you would need to take an Uber over the bridge, Water Taxi (Ferry), or a subway (A, C, F, or B lines).
The Traveling Hypnotist's Pro Tip: Take a Water Taxi/Ferry from Brooklyn Bridge across to NYC, you absolutely will not regret the views. However, be mindful that it may be windy and chiller on the water so be sure to bring a scarf or a light jacket if the temperature is 70 or below.
1 Hotels Brooklyn Bridge is a special place to stay. Yes, it is pricey, so if you just stayed for one night on the final night of your NYC trip, I think you'd be glad you did. Plus, you'd be closer to JFK than if you stayed in Manhattan.
Before You Book Your New York City Stay
I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't share the best times to visit NYC. While most people want to stay in May, June, September, and December, this is when hotels are also the most expensive. If you can stand the cold, I recommend January, February (avoid V-Day weekend), and early March. Otherwise, opt for July, August, and late October to early November for the best rates on NYC hotels.
Also, I know some people may want to opt for Airbnb in NYC. However, I'd be cautious about doing this in Manhattan because sub-rentals often violate housing agreements in most luxury buildings, potentially putting you at risk of being kicked out. Also, many older apartments in NYC don't have elevators, and carrying luggage up four flights of stairs is a royal pain.
If you found this guide to the best New York City hotels helpful, please share it with a friend! Also, if you have any other questions, feel free to send me a message via the contact form, and I'll either answer you directly or create upcoming content to address your inquiry.
Should you like to book a 1:1 TTH Session with me at the Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, then I would highly suggest booking a Complimentary Strategy Call so that we can discuss your issue in advance and create a plan for your session.
With light and love,
The Traveling Hypnotist
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