The One Where….We Go To New York! Inspired by the Friends Reunion, my ultimate guide on where to stay in New York includes luxury hotels, modern apartments, and great value options.
New York is one of the few places that I have re-visited many times, but the wow factor never goes away. I always feel like I am part of a movie set, and even the most simple thing like hailing a yellow cab, gives me joy. New York is definitely one of my favourite cities in the world, so I hope my ultimate guide on where to stay in New York help you plan a trip there soon.
Many of us will have grown up with romantic notions of what life would be like to live like a New Yorker – the idea of living out our own real-life scenes from Friends or Sex and the City.
It’s not just the buildings and skyline that leave you in awe in this incredible city, the people are incredibly friendly, the shopping is second to none, the Broadway Shows are spellbinding, and then there’s Central Park – an oasis within the concrete jungle where every turn brings you to another iconic movie scene.
If you manage to tear yourself away from Midtown Manhattan, and walk down the streets of the West Village, dine in one of the cafes in Meatpacking district, or take the subway to Brooklyn – you will be amazed at how quickly you can feel at home in New York.
As much as there is an abundance of reasons choose New York for your next getaway, there are certainly no shortage of accommodation choices to suit each one, and I’m here to help you decide where to stay in New York.
Considering my love for New York movies and TV shows – I couldn’t help but use the recent release of the Friends Reunion to help me with my top picks on where to stay in New York!
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The One With….The Rooftop Bar:
3-Star Moxy Hotel Times Square
New York is known as the city that never sleeps, and if you want in on the action, look no further than a stay at the quirky Moxy Times Square, where you are promised a lively stay right in the centre of Midtown Manhattan.
Rooms here are compact but stylish and well-appointed for the price – but let’s face it, you’re not staying here for the rooms. Moxy Times Square is home to Magic Hour, the largest rooftop bar and lounge in the city, with an amusement park design and regular DJ’s.
Make sure to check out the Rooftop Brunch served each Saturday and Sunday from 11.30am – 3.30pm. Sitting 18 floors above the city, enjoy a cocktail while taking in the spectacular views of the Empire State Building and the neon lights of Times Square.
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The One With…The Free Breakfast:
3-Star Best Western Hospitality House Apartments, East 49th Street
A stay in these typical Manhattan style apartments is a great value choice. The excellent 8.8 reviews on Booking.com continually compliment the space, cleanliness, and value for money at the Best Western Hospitality House.
The complimentary hot breakfast which includes Belgian waffles, eggs, fresh bagels, muffins, coffee and teas is an added bonus, and will set you up for a day exploring the city. Within a short walking distance, you will reach Times Square, Central Park and Grand Central Station.
One-bedroom apartments have a maximum occupancy of four, and two-bedroom apartments will sleep up to six. Each of the apartments have a living room, full kitchen, Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Check out the stunning Penthouse Apartment with outdoor terrace, the perfect getaway for summer in the city!
The One With…The Celebrity Hanging Out:
5-Star Mercer Hotel, SoHo
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The New York neighbourhood of SoHo in Lower Manhattan is famous for its designer boutiques and contemporary art galleries as well as being home to many A-list celebrities. For the rich and famous visiting New York, the Mercer Hotel in SoHo is a popular choice – many famous names have checked-in including Rhianna, Pharrell Williams, Cindy Crawford, as well a Kardashian or two.
The boutique hotel offers 75 guest rooms over 6 floors, with the Loft Suite offering a particularly special New York hotel experience. The personal concierge is available to each guest at The Mercer Hotel to ensure that you have the best break in New York.
The Mercer Hotel’s two-level restaurant, Mercer Kitchen, is renowned for its communal dining tables and world-famous chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. You are also certainly spoilt for dining options here, as there are many exceptional restaurants within a 10-minute walk in any direction of the hotel.
The One With…The Outdoor Pool:
4-Star Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel
There is no doubt, summer days in New York can get pretty hot, and what better way to cool down after a day of shopping and exploring, than sipping a cocktail at your rooftop pool.
The Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel offers an urban oasis with unobstructed 360-degree views of the Manhattan Skyline and the Hudson River. The 45-foot heated pool is open all year round and comes alive at night with a rooftop bar, restaurant, and entertainment.
The Gansevoort Meatpacking Hotel is a short stroll away from Chelsea neighbourhood and the popular High Line elevated park and greenway.
Room choices range from Superior to Manhattan One-Bedroom Suites – all newly renovated with modern, high tech furnishings. Grand Deluxe Rooms offer seated bay windows to enjoy stunning Manhattan views. This is a modern choice for a stay in the fashionable Meatpacking District.
The One With…The Skyline Views:
5-Star 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn
There are many reasons to consider a stay in Brooklyn, particularly if this is not your first time to New York. This hipster paradise is practically a destination in itself, and getting back and forth to Manhattan on the subway is easy. Its laid-back atmosphere, chic galleries and low hotel rates are now attracting overseas visitors as well as domestic tourists.
The view is another one of the main reasons people chose to stay in Brooklyn, – you can enjoy the iconic New York Skyline across the river that you wouldn’t see from a stay in Manhattan.
Located a short walk from Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), and the starting point of the Brooklyn Bridge Walkway, the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge really does have it all and more. The rooftop pool offers views not only of Manhattan, but also the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge.
Other features include the Bamford Haybarn Spa and a cellar cinema. Rooms are bright and spacious ,and for a special treat have a look at the incredible Skyline One-Bedroom Suite, complete with a hammock to lounge on as you soak up the views.
The One For…Instagrammers:
4-Star The Standard High Line, Greenwich Village
I’m sure I’m not alone in admitting that sharing photos and stories of our travels on Instagram has become part of our travel experiences now, so I’m always on the look out for Insta-worthy locations. The Standard High Line is surely one of the most photogenic hotels New York has to offer.
Wall to wall windows in the guest rooms create the perfect light for golden hour shots, with views of either the Hudson River or the city. Le Bain is the rooftop bar and club, and offers world class DJ’s, breath-taking sunsets, and a night-time city skyline. I’ve no doubt, the edgy design of The Standard, is sure to impress.
Even the gym offers incredible views of the Hudson (not that gym selfies are my thing!). The High Line is less than a two-minute walk from the hotel, and many of the Meatpacking Districts excellent bars and restaurants are within easy reach.
The One With…The Best Reviews:
4-Star Mint House at 70 Pine, Wall Street
Taking number one spot on where to stay in New York on Trip Advisor is Mint House at 70 Pine. Proving that Midtown Manhattan isn’t the only location worth considering, this Lower Manhattan property is a short walk from the World Trade Centre, 9/11 Memorial, Brooklyn Bridge and Battery Park (where you catch a ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island). A 20-minute subway journey will have you in Times Square.
Each of the studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments are extremely spacious with fully equipped kitchens, and are furnished to a luxury modern standard.
The hotel boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant, state of the art fitness centre and a bowling alley. If it’s spacious luxury you’re after, in a convenient location away from the madness of Midtown, this is certainly one to consider.
The One With…The Luxury Spa:
5-Star Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, West 44th Street
A few days in New York will see your Fitbit reaching numbers you never knew possible. However, a stay in The Chatwal could be exactly what your weary muscles need to rejuvenate for a new day of exploring. The prestigious, award winning Mynd Spa will tailor a wellness treatment to specifically suit you, while also offering a small saltwater pool and Jacuzzi.
Located right in the heart of Midtown, this stunning hotel is a mix of timeless design from its origin in 1905, along side contemporary luxury following a renovation in 2010. Among the 76 room types on offer are Deluxe, Superior, and individually designed Suites with a personal butler available to all guests.
If the TripAdvisor reviews are anything to go by, you’re in for a treat at The Chatwal – this must be one of the best spa hotels in New York.
The One With…The Large Family Rooms:
4-Star Hotel Beacon, Upper West Side
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We stayed in the Beacon Hotel a couple of years ago and loved it. Its location, close to Central Park and Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is ideal for families looking to be away from the hustle and bustle of Times Square.
The rooms are spacious and come with a kitchenette, which is ideal if travelling with kids – trust me, you will wake early with the time difference! You can walk to mid town in fifteen minutes or take the subway, the station is just minutes away. The Beacon Hotel is one of the best choices for a family stay in New York.
The One With… The Low Prices & Central Location:
3-Star Hotel Edison Time Square, West 47th Street
If you want to be in the thick of the action in Midtown Manhattan, the Edison will be hard to beat for location. Just a half a block will have you at Broadway and Times Square. This combined with the fact that rates at the Edison are generally unbeatable for this type of location, makes it a popular choice for many travelling to New York on a budget.
The hotel was built in the 1930’s and to this day holds onto it’s art deco design – I’m sure if the walls could talk, they would have decades of incredible stories from the hotel’s iconic Grand Ballroom.
Classic rooms at the Edison are traditional in style but if you want something a little more modern, have a look the more recently renovated Signature rooms, some of which come with a small terrace and sleep up to six.
The One From…The Movies:
5-Star The Plaza, Fifth Avenue
Surely one of the most iconic hotels in New York, The Plaza opened in 1907 and is still one of the city’s most famous luxury hotels. Many will recognise The Plaza from appearances in numerous movies such as Home Alone 2, Sleepless in Seattle and Bride Wars.
Located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park, the privileged setting is perfect for shopping (or window shopping!) in the city’s top designer shops, as Saks Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Prada are all just steps away.
The Plaza sets the standard for a luxury stay in New York, offering 24-hour butler service, 24 carat gold-plated fixtures in the bathrooms and an indulgent Afternoon Tea in The Palm Court. This is a super choice to celebrate a special occasion in one of the best hotels in New York.
The One For….Shoppers:
4-Star The New Yorker, 8th Avenue
New York is famous for its department stores, boutiques, and outlets, which in turn make this a favourite destination for shopping trips. The New Yorker is excellently positioned to fulfil all your retail therapy needs. Macys is a short five-minute walk from the hotel, passing lots of popular chains on the way such as Forever 21, Old Navy, Sophora and the Designer Shoe Warehouse.
For iconic designer stores, a further ten-minute walk will take you to Fifth Avenue, or walk a few short blocks to Penn Station to grab the bus to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.
Many of the standard rooms in the New Yorker have two double beds, which will suit groups looking for great value. This is a super option for a central location to base yourself in while you shop ‘til you drop, before returning to the Butcher and Banker Steakhouse and Bar in the vault of The New Yorker to refuel and recharge!
The One With…The Romantic Open Fire:
5-Star The Lowell Hotel, East 63rd Street
New York is an incredibly popular choice for a honeymoon or anniversary, whether as a standalone destination or part of a multi-centre to include a Caribbean island, a cruise, or other US cities. For the New York stay, the Lowell is a beautiful option for a romantic stay in Manhattan.
Located in the upmarket Upper East Side of Manhattan, The Lowell is far enough away from the craziness of Times Square to enjoy a laid-back stay, yet close enough to walk to many of New York’s top sights.
At 17 floors high, The Lowell offers an old world, elegant experience as well as exceptional dining, but the standout features for a romantic stay here are without a doubt the suites with four poster beds, fresh flowers and a wood burning fireplace. At the end of an exciting day in the city, relax in the comfort of your unique suite as your butler prepares an open fire. This is classic luxury at its best.
The One That…Feels Like Home:
3-Star Radio City Apartments, West 49th Street
A hugely popular choice for families or groups, the Radio City Apartments tick all the boxes for those looking for good value, lots of space and a central location. Depending on the number of guests, you can choose from studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, all equipped with a kitchen.
Located right in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, you will find yourself just steps away from the Rockefeller Centre and Times Square. Many describe the Radio City Apartments as a home away from home, earning them enormous customer loyalty and a high volume of repeat visitors.