Teemu Paananen

Key-Areas, Hotels & Places to Visit in New York City

Vianca Meyer

As Simone Beauvoir once put it: “There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”

Many are those who will tell you that you can’t say you’ve seen all there is in the world unless you have also travelled to the Big Apple, also known as The Capital of the World, The City of Dreams, The City That Never Sleeps, and the list goes on. Many names and identities for one location only: New York City.

 

It goes without saying that Broadway and the Theatre District, Times Square, The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Empire State Building are only some of the must-see attractions to include in your bucket list, but aside from choosing where to go you should also consider where to base yourself in. And for that, we have curated a list of the best areas for you to stay in NYC: Midtown, Chelsea, Upper East Side, Soho and more (if it’s NYC hotel views you’re after, this is the place to find them).

 

Keep reading…

Key-Areas in New York City

Jonathan Riley

Midtown

When one thinks of New York City, images of high-rise buildings and impressive skyscrapers with neon lights and flashing billboards attached to them, no doubt, spring to mind. This is exactly what travellers will find in the ever-bustling district of Midtown. It’s noisy, busy, colourful and an utterly incredible experience. Midtown is home to the instantly recognizable Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square, the New York Public Library and the St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It is the epitome of things to do and see in New York City and in most cases, it is travellers’ first introduction to this positively awesome destination.

Where to stay

Hotels in Midtown

When looking at a map of New York City, one will find a cluster of top-notch accommodations in and around Midtown. Whether it be because of its prime, central location, close proximity to some of the best shopping and dining experiences, people adore staying in this vibrant and unforgettable district. Here are a few of the best Hotels to choose from:

 

Gramercy Park Hotel

The Gramercy Park Hotel is exceptionally located to some of the most popular attractions in New York City, such as Madison Square Park and Fifth Avenue with its string of boutique shops. The interior is something that must be seen to be believed, offering modern and innovative decór mixed in with a true, old-school American twist. For instance, one of the lounges features a cool, contemporary design and has dozens of singular lightbulbs hanging from the ceiling, creating a masterful work of art. Guests can indulge in the delicious Italian cuisine offered at the award-winning, Maialino on-site restaurant and sip on delicious cocktails at the hotel’s very own Rose and Jade Bar. Another great feature The Gramercy Park Hotel offers, is that they have live music performances on selected nights – so even if you do choose to spend the night in, there is always something happening to keep you pleasantly entertained.

 

Lotte New York Palace

The Lotte New York Palace offers a genuinely grand decór and impeccable services. Here one will find luxurious finishings, stunning views over St. Patrick’s Cathedral (from selected rooms) and effortless transfers to Wall Street and Broadway. All the rooms are decked out with pristine marble bathrooms and The Villard (in-house) restaurant prepares some of the most mouthwatering dishes. In fact, their breakfasts are known to be quite spectacular! The Lotte New York Palace is closely situated to Rockefeller Center and is within walking distance to designer outlets such as Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren and Burberry. It’s a fantastic place to lay your head whilst taking in all the city has to offer, and guests can rest assured that all their needs will be met down to the last detail.

 

Westin New York at Times Square

If you’re in search of something truly modern and totally eye-catching, though, look no further than the eloquent Westin New York at Times Square hotel. The outer structure looks like something out of a sci-fi film, caked in shiny glass windows and reaching high over the Manhattan skyline. While the interior is that of an earthy, modern and totally awe-inspiring nature – and the best part? It is located right on the doorstep of Times Square, Rockefeller Center and Penn Station is just a 5-minute walk away. The streets surrounding the hotel brim with diverse eateries, shopping experiences and attractions are within equal proximity. Enjoy the breathtaking views across NYC when booking a top-tier room, feast on the delicious international dishes in the Foundry Kitchen on the mezzanine floor and sip on a nightcap on the lobby level, Foundry Bar, while taking in the view over Eighth Avenue.

Laith Abdulkareem

Chelsea, Greenwich, West Village

Found on one of the far western stretching regions of New York City, is the contemporary-art filled neighbourhood of Chelsea, home to the stellar Gagosian Gallery and Gladstone Gallery. Since the construction of the High Line, travellers and locals have found it easier than ever to explore this bustling part of town – particularly Hell’s Kitchen, which has been on the rise for its industrial art galleries and booming gay scene. Here one will find part of the trendy Meatpacking District, the electrifying West 34th Street and its abundance of designer shopping experiences.

Where to stay

Hotel in Chelsea

Kimpton Hotel Eventi

If you’re after accommodation that is primely located to all of the best sights with more than a dash of added luxury, you will find no better than the Kimpton Hotel Eventi. Situated just a 7-10 minute walk away from The Empire State Building, Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, the Kimpton Hotel offers lavish amenities within its walls such as a fitness centre, spa and renowned “The Vine” restaurant. It is the ultimate base for those that are art, foodie and museum inclined, making it one of the top choices of accommodation in Chelsea.

Meredith Owens

Upper East Side

Ah, The Upper East Side. The home of blue-bloods and socialites, a place where lavish boutiques, gorgeously built Beaux art structures, quaint, quiet tree-lined streets and high-class designer outlets lay sprawled out like twinkling stars in the sky.

 

Of course, this is the ongoing cliché of the affluent Upper East Side. Don’t get us wrong, though, travellers are sure to find hints of the above when wandering through the likes of  5th Avenue, Madison and Park. However, when venturing further downtown, one is sure to be pleasantly surprised with the laid-back, trendy atmosphere fluttering throughout the area.

 

Here, brownstone buildings line the borders of Central Park, while a variety of eateries and opulent shopping experiences can be found on various corners of The Upper East Side. Locals and visitors scurry to the trendy cafés, bars, galleries and museums (which can be found on Museum Mile, where the world-renowned sites of The Guggenheim, Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA) and National Academy Museum stand tall in their iconic and enticing grandeur). It is also worth noting that the city of New York plans to install a shiny new subway line along 14th Avenue, making navigation throughout NYC all the more efficient.

Where to stay

Hotels in Upper East Side

As one can only imagine, some of the best accommodations can be found on The Upper East Side, all primely located and pristinely kept.

 

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York, located opposite Central Park, is an establishment rich in history and a smashing choice for those looking to indulge in the finer things. Moreover, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel will have its guests situated just minutes away from great landmarks and shopping opportunities (such as  Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s and Rockefeller Center), offering eloquent and truly luxurious amenities, dining and experiences. Additionally, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel hosts a great selection of events throughout the year, and guests shouldn’t be surprised to find a Broadway show, jazz orchestra or similar live music events taking place within its midst.

 

The Mark New York

The Mark New York hotel is sure to ignite your senses with its innovative and artistic design. Similarly situated within the regions of Central Park, The Mark New York Hotel holds quite a few aces up its sleeve – offering pet-friendly accommodations, The Mark Bike Rides and Picnics by Jean-Georges, fabulous hair treatments from their in-house Frédéric Fekkai’s Hair Salon and is within walking distance to all the action. For instance, The Whitney Museum of American Art and Times Square are situated just a stone’s throw away, and guests will be absolutely delighted with all there is to see and do in and around the hotel.

 

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

Hôtel Plaza Athénée is decorated with sheer modern sophistication and can be found situated in The Upper East Side and within the area of The Museum of Modern Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Lexington Station. Their in-house restaurant, The Arabelle Restaurant, prepares delicious American cuisines while the on-site spa, Spa Valmont, will guarantee relaxation after a long days’ worth of exploring.  

 

The Surrey

The Surrey hotel features a breathtaking, private rooftop garden where one can enjoy the smashing views across the city while being closely located to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MoMA), Bernard Museum Temple Emanu-El and the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. It is a timeless, intimate and discreet stay and their cosmopolitan restaurant stays true to the haute cuisines from The Upper East Side and lingering Café Society, awarding The Surrey hotel as an esteemed Michelin Star eatery.

Kay

Harlem, Upper West Side

The Harlem district in the Upper West Side has come a long way since the 1970s, and its modern and forward thinking progressions can be seen scattered throughout the area since the renovations began all those years ago. This is mostly thanks to the creative and innovative touch of architect David Rockwell, who had invested an immense amount of time working through every fine detail of the newly built shops, buildings, bars, clubs and stores.

Furthermore, Minton’s Jazz Club is still a number one hit amongst visitors, while history buffs continue to savour each moment spent at Columbia University, the Museum of Natural History and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan. For those more in touch with nature, Harlem offers close proximity to Central Park and dashing views across Riverside Park and the Hudson River.

Where to stay

Hotel in Harlem, Upper West Side

Aloft Harlem

There may be a great selection of accommodations in Harlem, however, there are few that meet the quirkiness that the Aloft Harlem hotel has to offer. Attracting a younger crowd, Aloft Harlem features a stylish bar and fitness centre, while being within walking distance of the subway which will take travellers to and from some of New York City’s most coveted attractions. Additionally, The Apollo Theatre is just a 6-minute walk away and the surrounding, artsy bars & restaurants are sure to delight any of the youthful globetrotters that venture throughout the district.

Soho, Tribeca

Soho continues to be an artists paradise, what with its endless string of art galleries, exhibitions and bustling cultural scenes. Here travellers will find a marriage of art-house cinemas, an eclectic Café Society and an abundance of international stores on Broadway Street. Whereas one will find an immense amount of history and smaller shops on Prince, Broom, Grand and Spring Streets.

 

It is an area bursting with creativity, one where the once thriving warehouses have now been turned into upscale and designer condos. However, Soho isn’t just all about bougie restaurants and fashionable bars, as it has become one of the pioneering areas for tech in the whole of NYC – so it would seem that the creative flow has spilt over quite thoroughly into just about every market there is to find within the area!

 

Where to stay

Hotels in Soho, Tribeca

When it comes to 5-star accommodations, Soho takes no prisoners and offers an incredible selection of which to choose from.

 

The Mercer

The Mercer (with its rich history and close proximity to Washington Square Park and Little Italy) is first and foremost an esteemed luxury hotel in Soho. The Mercer is a stellar stay when it comes to “old-money”, lavish accommodations and features their very own limousines and chauffeur-driven car services. Not only is the in-house spa completely exuberant, but also offers private trainers, masseurs and in-room beauty treatments.

 

The Dominick Hotel

The Dominick Hotel features breathtaking views across the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River (that can be seen from the floor-to-ceiling windows), and is just a short walk away from The Film Forum, along with various other popular attractions. The Dominick is decorated with sheer elegance and offers a fair amount of specials throughout the year, such as a “complimentary fourth night” or complimentary ice-skating tickets to the Hudson Rivers’ ice-skating rink.

 

SIXTY SoHo

If you’re more into a young and trendy atmosphere, SIXTY SoHo hotel with its Art-Deco / contemporary feel and a prime location close to Chinatown, is the perfect escape and will have guests’ heads reeling with all there is to see and do within the dashing area.

Leonard Alcira

Noho, East Village

The East Village’s Noho neighbourhood is situated just east of Bowery and in between Houston and 14th Streets. The place is an absolute hub of old record stores, trendy restaurants, parks (such as the Tompkins Square Park), vintage clothing stores and crowded bars.

 

Although there is always something going on in East Village, the district offers a laid-back atmosphere and peaceful stay for travellers who choose to have it as their base. The peaceful and charming atmosphere is sure to set your mind at ease and give you a relaxed vibe while touring this chilled out area. Think cobblestone streets, rich history, ethnic-diners and hordes of students hanging out at upscale eateries.

 

Additionally, Noho is quite famous for its old-school punk heritage, of which one can still see remnants freckled throughout the town. Visits to St. Mark’s Place, the Chuck Close Museum and cultured restaurants are sure to take up the majority of your time. One of the best things about East Village is, is that it is seriously easy to navigate to and from all the most popular attractions and surrounding areas by way of the L train.  

Where to stay

Hotel in Noho, East Village

The Bowery Hotel

Get a taste of old-school American luxury when booking into the iconic Bowery Hotel, which features a grand lobby bar, warm, contemporary interiors (think hardwood floors, Oushak rugs and 400 thread count bedding) and floor to ceiling windows that show off sweeping views across the city. Primely located just a 5-minute walk away from the New Museum and numerous live music venues such as The Ballroom and Mercury Lounge, The Bowery Hotel is a fantastic stay for those wanting to be just outside of the bustle while having a peaceful escape from the city.

Jason McCann

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Williamsburg is without a doubt the soul of Brooklyn and is situated just opposite the districts of Manhattan. Here travellers will find an abundance of hip and happening bars, restaurants, markets, vintage stores and tattoo parlours to check out while being surrounded by an incredible international crowd and electrifying city atmosphere.

 

However, Williamsburg wasn’t always this hip and happening. It was only when the 20th century dawned, when more and more immigrants relocated into the dense area, that the district truly came into bloom. Jewish, Italian and Latino settlers have all played a part in the vibrant and beautifully diverse nature of Williamsburg, setting it firmly on the map for one of the most unique neighbourhoods to visit just outside of central New York City.

Where to stay

Hotels in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

When it comes to top-tier accommodations in Williamsburg, there are two spectacular hotels to choose from, each offering something a little different while catering to a guests’ every need.

 

The Williamsburg Hotel

The Williamsburg Hotel sits just north of Brooklyn and is encapsulated by thick, brick walls and features not only a raw, natural interior and a fantastic rooftop pool and bar area, but is located right across from the Manhattan river and one subway stop away from East Village.

 

The William Vale

While the second, The William Vale hotel, takes the crown for having an utterly modern architectural build and some seriously sleek interior designs. Furthermore, The William Vale is just a 5-minute drive from Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Museum, while just a 5-minute walk to the L train will have you whisking off to various other districts and landmarks.

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