Having lived in New York City our entire lives, we have always loved tiny cafes, small movie houses, and those more intimate places to go. Although we prefer some of NYC’s smaller hotels to the larger ones, in fairness to families who come for excitement and a Big City experience, we have included some favorites in all size and style categories, grouped according to location, then price.
This may seem like a very long list of choices, but there’s a reason. New York City has become the nation’s #1 tourist destination for foreign visitors as the value of the U.S. dollar declines, and higher occupancy rates mean higher hotel prices for all visitors. Be sure to check hotel websites for the most up-to-date information about each property, and for any special promotions.
Ritz Carlton Battery Park
2 West Street off Battery Place, New York NY 10004
800/241-3333 or 212/344-0800
This 298-room (including 39 suites) luxury hotel has all the bathrobes and featherbed perks of your typical Ritz Carlton, plus an amazing waterfront location. Ferries to Ellis and Liberty Islands leave from directly across the street, and Wall Street and South Street Seaport are nearby. Telescopes in harbor view rooms enhance the view of the islands and are great entertainment for kids. The Ritz Kids program provides children aged 5 to 12 years with creative and entertaining activities throughout the day. Babysitting and a children’s menu are available upon request. Feel free to eat at the Ritz’ own restaurant, 4West, or experience their 24 hour in-room dining service. The hotel also features a fitness center with spa.
Eurostars Wall Street
129 Front Street, New York NY 10005
A modern and stylish lobby welcomes visitors with comfortable seating and floral touches attracting many guests to this property, located in city’s financial district. While it’s smaller than others downtown, guests will still find this 56-room, luxurious, one-of-a-kind boutique hotel to be warm and friendly. Gluten-free food items available upon request along with laundry-dry cleaning service and ticket printing service. The hotel is located within walking distance of the South Street Seaport and the subway so your family has access to a variety of attractions.
The GEM Hotel
135 East Houston Street, New York NY 10002
Formerly a Howard Johnson Express Hotel, the GEM Hotel-SoHo is located right next door to the historic Sunshine Theater on Houston Street. Aside from being steps to the trendy SoHo and Lower East Side neighborhoods, this 45-room boutique hotel from the Ascend Collection offers families a clean place to relax after a busy day in the city. The entire building is 100% smoke-free. Rooms come with iPod docking stations, highspeed wireless and in-room coffee maker with Wolfgang Puck coffee and tea. Plus, the GEM offers a free shoe-shine service and monogrammed bath robes.
Midtown West Hotels
Le Parker Meridien
119 West 56th Street off Park Avenue, New York NY 10019
800/543-4300 or 212/245-5000
Located in the heart of midtown, “The Parker” is in the center of shopping, Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall, museums, theme restaurants, and theaters. For a temporary luxury residence, try the attractive, modern, fully-equipped rooms (everything from kitchenettes and minibars to call-waiting and fax machines) ranging from standard to large suites. The hotel provides you with enough dining options to satisfy your hunger needs — Norma’s is great for breakfast and lunch and the burger joint is great for late night munchies. The fabulous, glass-enclosed roof-deck swimming pool has a great view of nearby Central Park (where the kids will enjoy the antique carousel) and Gravity fitness center offers guests complimentary use of a sauna, whirlpools, and aerobics classes; excellent massages are available for a fee. Discounted weekend rates are offered.
151 West 54th Street, New York NY 10019
This high-end Midtown hotel is an enormous, all-suite hotel, with 561 suites to choose from. Located close to both Central Park and Times Square, the London (formerly the Rihga Royal) is truly luxurious, with its expansive rooms containing great views, big couches, high-tech amenities such as flat screen TVs and iHome docking stations for iPods, and separate living and bedrooms. Some rooms have connecting options to smaller ‘London Flats,’ offering a good option for families that need a little more room. A good value — when they have specials — if your upscale family needs two rooms. Guests can also experience fine dining at the London, based on the creations of the famous chef, Gordon Ramsay.
33 West 55th Street off 5th Avenue, New York NY 10019
800/553-3347 or 212/247-6700
This modern, impeccably-decorated, midtown hotel has friendly staff, a great atmosphere and a quiet presence. Its 177 rooms offers the same home-like amenities and services as Hotel Wales (both are owned by the same company). All rooms are decorated in a gray and black motif, with Oriental glass doors separating the living room from the bedroom in each suite (good for a family that needs more space.) Complimentary coffee, cappuccino, and espresso are available in the lobby from 6-11am as is a glass of champagne upon arrival. The hotel also boasts a state of the art fitness center and hip and sleek bar. This stylish hotel is within walking distance of the Museum of Modern Art, Tiffany’s, Rockefeller Center, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
The Blakely New York
136 West 55th Street, New York NY 10019
Located just west of Sixth Avenue, The Blakely has the advantage of proximity to Broadway theaters, Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art and Central Park, and is directly across the street from City Center. Its 118 rooms are made up of 42 one-bedroom suites, 12 studio suites and 63 rooms, plus a fancy penthouse. Deluxe one bedroom suites feature 525 square feet with a separate living room, daybed/couch and second flat screen TV (great for teens, who like a bit of privacy); bedrooms have either a king-size bed or two queens. Every room has complimentary WiFi access, and a flat-screen TV hangs on the wall in both the bedroom and living areas, so kids can watch their own shows. Stay here in the winter, spring, or summer on non-holiday weekends for the best deals. The hotel also features a fabulous restaurant, Abboccato Ristorante, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Midtown East Hotels
70 Park Avenue Hotel
70 Park Avenue, New York NY 10016
Understated elegance and a youthful, relaxed atmosphere make 70 Park an ideal temporary home while visiting New York City. Named for its address (70 Park Ave. at 38th Street), this hotel from the trendy Kimpton group has over 200 guestrooms with a large selection that connect. Rooms have either two queen beds, two double beds, or one king bed with a sitting area. Sophisticated entertainment features include flat-screen HDTVs, iHomes, complimentary high-speed Internet access, and Soundmatters MAINstage music and sound systems in each room. Those who have to work can request an “Office in a Bag,” which has basic office supplies. Families with pets can bring them along, as the hotel is pet-friendly. The hotel is convenient to Bryant Park, also close to Grand Central Station and within walking distance of the United Nations, Rockefeller Center and Broadway theatres.
866/AFFINIA or 212/465-3700
These four all-suite hotels (some of them converted from apartment buildings in wonderful, residential neighborhoods) offer “Only in New York” weekend packages seasonally. These are ideal settings for long-stay families because of their homey feel and a there’s a laid-back lounge with board games and other activities. Innovative packages like the ART:NYC package includes a split of champagne, two tickets to MoMA, city travel guide and complimentary Wi-Fi. Extended stays are also offered with spacious guestrooms and suites, some with kitchens including refrigerators and stovetops.
The Metropolitan Hotel
569 Lexington Avenue at 51st Street, New York NY 10022
800/836-6471 or 212/752-7000
The stylish Metropolitan, a Hilton/Doubletree property that’s been restored to its hip mid-century modern architectural style, boasts a “Metrokids” program that allows children under 18 to stay free. The hotel boasts 764 guest rooms including 22 suites that were renovated in the summer of 2012 with a 24-hour fitness center and Concierge/Theater Ticket Desk on the premisis. Guests are steps from shopping, Rockefefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Central Park.
Times Square & Chelsea Hotels
Doubletree Guest Suites
1568 Broadway, New York NY 10036-8201
800/222-TREE or 212/719-1600
With 468 two-room suites, the hotel is completely non-smoking and features living rooms, private bedrooms and a spacious luxury bathroom. The hotel is located right behind the billboards in Times Square, part of the famous Broadway theater district, and is just a short walk from the city’s well-known attractions including Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall. The Double Tree suites are great for families as each suite features a living room with a sofa bed, bedroom, and bathroom. The suite also offers a microwave, coffeemaker, refrigerator and refreshment center. While parents are working at the large work-friendly desk with wireless Internet access, the kids can enjoy two televisions with movie channels and gaming systems. The multi-lingual staff makes it easier for families traveling from outside of the US.
Residence Inn Times Square
1033 Avenue of the Americas at 39th Street New York 10018
Located to the southeast of Times Square, just a block away from Bryant Park, is this extended-stay luxury Residence Inn from Marriott. Rates start around $269 per night depending on the season, still a good deal for Manhattan and the neighborhood surrounding Bryant Park. Offering guests large spacious junior suites, each room comes equipped with a deluxe kitchen, including a full refrigerator, coffee maker, dishwasher, microwave and all the proper utensils and dishware; a pullout sofa bed; and at least a queen-size bed. Perks of staying at the Residence include free high speed internet in the rooms and in the public lobby areas. Plus, families will love that additional money can be saved with a complimentary hot breakfast buffet every morning and small evening meals served at the Manager’s Reception Monday through Wednesday. The hotel also offers laundry services (for a small fee) in the lower level and if you provide a list of groceries, will do the shopping for you and stock your kitchen, without an added charge!
The Muse Hotel
130 West 46th Street, New York NY 10036
On the quieter 46th Street near 6th Avenue, the Muse Hotel’s location puts it right near Times Square and Rockefeller Center, in other words, right in the middle of all the excitement of the city. Yet its inner atmosphere is very different from its hectic surroundings. The lobby illustrates this effectively enough, with large number of seats and pillows for the weary traveler. A hip Kimpton hotel, it has 181 rooms including 19 suites — that come in a variety of flavors, with king beds or two double beds. Their Kimpton Kids Program offers a welcome gift, hula hoops, goldfish for the room and kid-friendly menus with healthy options. Since the Muse is owned by the same company as the 70 Park (reviewed above), it shares a number of the same amenities and the hotel’s welcome to pets. There is also an in-room spa service, and a 24-hour fitness center. Loaner bikes and complimentary wine hour for parents looking to unwind are also available.
Millennium Broadway Hotel
145 West 44th Street, New York NY 10036-4012
Whether you’re staying for business or leisure, the Millennium Broadway sets the stage for fast-action social events, family reunions and even romantic weekend getaways. This hotel, inspired by Asia’s cool style, is located in the heart of Manhattan’s Times Square. Standing between two towers (the Premier and the Millennium) with 625 beautifully renovated suites and guest rooms, the staff gives everyone the star treatment and provides everything at your doorstep. The Premier Tower is especially for guests who want a more private setting, but it’ll cost a little more for its upscale rooms. The friendly, multi-lingual staff is always ready to assist in making your stay more productive, as the hotel seems more suitable for business travelers, but family packages are available and they’re usually a great deal.
Crowne Plaza Times Square
1605 Broadway between 48th and 49th Streets, New York NY 10019
This straightforward, cookie-cutter chain property features 770 guestrooms and 10 suites, the Samplings restaurant, an indoor pool (a rare commodity in NYC) and sauna, a babysitting service, and cityscape views. Even small pets are welcome. Location is key; guests stay in the heart of New York City with easy access to Broadway shows… but beware the hordes of conventioneers.
Hampton Inn Chelsea
108 West 24th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, New York NY 10011
This relatively new, high-rise property transports the traditionally highway/suburban Hampton Inn chain into so-hip-it-hurts Chelsea. Kids under 18 stay free in these 144 rooms with high-speed internet access and complimentary hot breakfast daily. When there’s a special, it’s a good value for the gallery crowd.
201 West 79th Street at Amsterdam Avenue, New York NY 10024
800/492-8122 or 212/875-1000
This Upper Westside architectural landmark next to the former Tattinger’s bar and once a college dorm, has been renovated with unexpected flair into a stylish, great value hotel with its own fitness room and restaurant. Its upscale marble lobby is more impressive than the simple spotless rooms, but amenities in the suites (separate BR with sofabed in parlor) such as minifridges, coffeemakers and microwaves come in very handy for families. Can’t beat its location one block from the Museum of Natural History, with its renowned dinosaur collection, unless you’re trying to get a cab to the theatre district. Great breakfasts are also served in the off-the-lobby bistro, Nice Matin.
45 West 81st Street, New York NY 10024
Sitting across the street from the Museum of Natural History, and within spitting distance of Central Park, the Excelsior has a great location. But that’s not all it has going for it. This 200-room former-apartment-building-turned-hotel with 80 suites has features newly renovated design and decor. Rooms have an art-decor inspired decoration that provide guests with a fresh atmosphere. All rooms include WiFi, LCD TVs and iPod docks. The hotel’s restaurant, Calle Ocho offers tasty Latin Fusion dishes.
1295 Madison Avenue at 93rd Street, New York NY 10128
This European-style hotel is everything a small Euro hotel should be — friendly, exquisitely decorated and quiet. Well-furnished rooms range in size from standard double to deluxe suite, and larger ones (sleeping 4) also have pull-out couches and a more spacious bathroom. Rooms have WiFi, TV, and even fresh cut flowers. The hotel also provides two onsite dining locations– Sarabeth’s and Paola’s. The Wales provides complimentary cribs and arranges for outside babysitting. Although this hotel seems more suitable for a honeymoon than for a family trip to the Big Apple, many choose the hotel for exactly that reason.
Insider Tips on How to Get the Best Rates
(Shhhh… this is what we do when relatives come to town!) Even when dealing with the more expensive hotels, call each directly and ask for the best price. Most chain hotel reservation agents quote only the “rack rate,” but you can usually do much better with specials and themed package deals offered by the front desk staff. Alternatively, travel in the low season (high season is November-December; low is February — weekends are cheapest). So, try to get the best value accommodations for your family, then ignore the cost and enjoy your trip!
For the latest general tourist information, visit NYC & Company Tourism online.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.