Some cities and destinations are known throughout the world. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been or if you live a thousand miles away, some places are just so iconic, you simply learn about it and know about it just from existing. New York City is one of those places.
It’s one of the biggest cities in the country by population yet only exists on a 305 square mile island. If you’ve ever watched a movie or TV show, you know New York City. You’ve seen it before and in some ways that lead to its pervasiveness in our modern culture. It is one of the world’s centers of commerce, fashion, food, entertainment, and art. It has one of the most recognizable skylines dominated by the iconic Empire State Building.
We have always been excited to travel to New York, but where to stay is a conundrum. How much should we pay? Is it worth it? Will I be close to the things that I want to see? How about taxies? Is it safe? These are all questions we ask ourselves when booking into NYC whether for a day or longer.
You might “know” New York City, but the fact of the matter is the city is so large and ever-changing that to know it, is to live it, and even then, people who’ve lived in the city for years still find new things every once in a while.
The city is divided into five boroughs; Manhattan, Queen, The Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Each of the areas all has a little something different to offer so finding somewhere to stay is a matter of what you’re into seeing and doing and how much you’re willing to spend. So if you’re visiting the big apple, check out some of these best spots to stay in New York City.
New York is big and there are a lot of things to see. If you’re visiting the city for the first time and you’re looking to do the quintessential “New York tourist” thing, then you’ll want to stay in Midtown. It’s the area that is right in the middle of Manhattan. It’s got culture, art, and shopping. You can spend all day picking out your perfect outfit before walking over to a broadway show or spend the afternoon people-watching in Times Square.
The Plaza Hotel: If you’re looking to splurge while you’re in New York look no further than the legendary Plaza Hotel. Opened in 1907, the hotel is built in French Renaissance-chateau style and sits between 58th street and Central Park South. If you’re looking for luxury this is it. The hotel is famed for its balls, 24-karat gold plated fixtures and designer spa experiences. Its neighbors are Louis Vuitton and Chanel while its permanent residents include CEOs, musicians, and fashion designers.
Seton Hotel: For more affordable yet chic options the Seton Hotel is a great spot to stay in Midtown. All rooms feature modern decor, a minibar, WiFi, and a work desk while services include a 24-hour front desk and lounge area. The hotel is only a stone’s throw away from landmarks like the Empire State Building, Time’s Square, and Grand Central station. Prices will run you about 150-200$
Hotel 31: For the budget-conscious traveler, Hotel 31 is a perfect and simple option. The hotel is located right in the heart of Midtown and let’s be honest, chances are you’re probably not going to be spending a whole lot of time in your hotel room anyways. All guest rooms come with a TV, telephone, and WiFi access. While places like Times Square, Madison Square Garden, and Rockefeller Center are a short walk away. Prices at Hotel 31 will generally run under 130$.
Soho & The Lower East Side
So maybe you’ve spent a day or two in the city before and you know you’re way around a little bit. Instead of staying where all the tourists are, maybe check out staying in the Lower East Side or Soho. The Lower East Side is more of a residential area and one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. Instead of big tourist landmarks and crowds of people taking pictures with a guy in a spiderman suit in Times Square, the Lower East Side and Soho is more about vintage shops, boutique stores, quirky cafes, and amazing restaurants.
Crosby Street Hotel: If you’re looking for a quaint and cool place to stay in Soho with some old-world charm and class, Crosby Street Hotel is the spot. Sitting on an old cobblestone street the striking facade of the hotel is one you can’t ignore. Guest rooms have massive floor-to-ceiling windows offering tons of light, along with high ceilings, TV, WiFi, and elegant decor. Lounge in the private courtyard, enjoy a gourmet breakfast, read a book by the fireplace in the drawing, or enjoy a movie at the hotel’s private theatre on Sundays. Crosby Street Hotel is a high-end spot and will run you 210$ a night and up.
Sohotel: For a mid-range hotel option in Soho, Sohotel is a cool spot with tons of personality. The boutique-style hotel offers modern guest rooms with exposed brick walls, flat-screen TVs, WiFi, and concierge services. Check out the bar and have a few cocktails with fellow guests or enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant.
The Ridge: Located on the Lower East Side, The Ridge is a budget-friendly hotel but you wouldn’t know it while you’re here. Hang out on the rooftop terrace and check out the views overlooking Manhattan or head out and check out the city with public transport being a short walk away. Guest rooms are well equipped with amenities such as marble-tiled baths, flat-screen TVs, and free WiFi.
Brooklyn, despite being part of New York City, really kind of feels like it is its own thing entirely. The area is home to over 2 million residents and requires crossing the Brooklyn Bridge to get there.
The area is a little less hustle and bustle than Manhattan just across the water but that adds to its charm. If you’re looking to cross into the city, it’s easy to do, but if you’re looking to check out the uniqueness that Brooklyn has to offer in its own little niche neighborhoods, then you’ll have a great time doing that too. Staying in Brooklyn offers the chance to check out amazing art, restaurants, beer garden, and cafes while still just being a 30-minute subway ride into Manhattan.
The William Vale: Located in Williamsburg, this unique-looking building is one of the most luxurious ones in the area.
Rooms are modern and elegant and the property is in the heart of the area with nearby notable landmarks such as Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Museum being a short distance away. But where The William Vale really shines is the 19th-floor rooftop pool and award-winning restaurant offering both in-room options and dining room options. Local artists were commissioned to decorate the space so if you’re looking for a taste of high-end Brooklyn, look no further.
Pod Brooklyn: What’s more quintessential Williamsburg than a quirky and colorful hotel. Pod Brooklyn is a mid-range hotel that’s designed in an interesting way. The property is separated by four buildings with a courtyard in the middle and bridges connecting the buildings to each other. Pod Brooklyn also offers work and lounge spaces with coffee and pastries as well as complimentary breakfast served in the morning. Get some sun and take in some sights on the rooftop lounge or check out nearby Brooklyn Brewery or Music Hall of Williamsburg.
NY Moore Hostel: For a spot in Brooklyn that will cost you under 50$, the NY Moore Hostel is an affordable place that brings in all the cool of Williamsburg. Free tea and coffee are available all day and events like free movies and comedy shows are a regular staple. Mingle in the courtyard with fellow guests or play a game or two of foosball and plan your next adventure.
Long Island, Queens
Located to the East of Manhattan, Queens is technically the Geographic center of New York City. Queens is also home to the largest ethnically diverse region in the world with small ethnics enclaves all living next to each other. Queens is 15 minutes away from Manhattan by public transport so if you’re looking to save on accommodations, you can stay in Queens and still be close to Manhattan since you’re not directly in the city.
Boro Hotel: Averaging around 200$ per night, the Boro Hotel offers large windows that allow plenty of natural light and amazing views of the Manhattan skyline. The modern rooms are equipped with air conditioning, WiFi, TV access, and plush bathrobes so you can relax after a hot shower. Grab a complimentary breakfast in the morning or indulge in a few cocktails in the evening at the on-site bar. The Q and N trains are a short walk away so if you’re heading into Manhattan, public transport is right out the door.
The Local NYC: With accommodations going as little as 50$ this hostel is the perfect place to spend a night or two without breaking the bank. Forget what you think a hostel is like because here you can opt for shared or private rooms, enjoy the large floor-to-ceiling windows, lounge on the rooftop terrace, and grab a locally made beer, straight from the tap at the on-site bar.
As the only borough that is located on the mainland, The Bronx is also the only spot with “The” in its name. Named after Swedish settler Joseph Bronck, who bought the land from Native Americans, people who had to travel through the area would go through “The Bronck’s land” and so the name stuck. Like the other boroughs, The Bronx has its own distinct personality and history. It’s the home of the New York Yankees, the birthplace of hip hop, and an important cultural area for Italian-Americans. The Bronx is fun and wildly diverse.
Opera House Hotel: The Opera House Hotel was formerly The Bronx Opera house. The building which formerly hosted the Marx Brothers and Harry Houdini can now host you. The building was finished in 1913 and in 2013 it opened as a newly redesigned upscale hotel. Enjoy modern amenities with classic and authentic fixtures while you enjoy museum-worthy artwork and design. The nearby Bronx Museum and Yankee Stadium make it convenient for seeing a game or the museum while the room comes with WiFi access, TV, toiletries, luxury bedding, and even a complimentary cookie.
The Edge Hotel: If you’re looking for something affordable in The Bronx, this is a great option. With the style of a boutique hotel without the price tag, The Edge Hotel features guest accommodations with free WiFi access, TV, air conditioning, a desk, and toiletries. Guests can also work out for free at the on-site fitness center and utilize the concierge service if they need help with anything.
With tons of places in New York to stay, the options for exploring the city are almost limitless. Whether you’re looking to break the bank and live it large in a luxury hotel or just stay somewhere simple and enjoy everything the city has to offer there are loads of places to cater to any taste. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or you’ve been to New York City many times before, these hotels will make any trip a memorable one. Where are the places you stay?
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