I am SO excited for your NYC adventure. You are going to LOVE the city. I can’t get enough of it and I wish I could come along with you! 🙂 A few years ago I wrote this post about Christmas in NYC with kids and I have been amazed at the response. Hundreds of thousands of visits later, this post is the most popular post of all time here on PPD. There is obviously a demand for NYC travel info and since it is one of my favorite cities on the planet, I’ve decided it’s high time I do a series here on the blog of all kinds of New York City travel info for you. I escape to NYC every chance I get. If you consider visiting 3 times in the last six months a lot, then yes, I visit a lot. 😉 NYC is huge and if you’ve never been, it can seem very overwhelming. Especially if you’re a first time visitor.Once the tickets are booked, the most important decision to make is where to stay. I will say that in my opinion, where you choose to stay can seriously impact your impression of the city and your entire trip. Where to stay in New York for the first time is probably the most important thing to research to make sure you have a wonderful trip. Do you want an amazing Central Park view like the JW Marriott NYC has to offer…or an iconic luxury experience like at The Plaza? So many decisions!
Where to stay in New York for the first time is probably the most important thing to research to make sure you have a wonderful trip. Of course, everyone’s idea of the perfect trip is different, and so is everyone’s budget. For me, a stay in a luxury hotel is all about the overall value..for instance, check out my feelings about staying at the Four Seasons vs. the JW Marriott NYC below. I am not afraid to spend money on a nice hotel stay, but I ALWAYS look for the best overall value. You can find deals on some of the best luxury hotels in Midtown NYC, famous New York hotels and New York suites, you just have to plan ahead, look at everything, and be flexible. There are definitely less expensive ways to see the city and so maybe you’ll see some hotels on my list that you think are crazy, or of no interest to you, but here are all of my favorite luxury hotels in Midtown NYC. Affiliate links are included in this post.
WHY STAY IN MIDTOWN NYC?
Midtown Manhattan is roughly defined as the area of Manhattan between 34th street to the south and 59th street (also known as Central Park South) to the north, and it stretches all the way across the island from the Hudson River on the west side and the East River on the east. Some people consider the border of Midtown to be down as far south as 14th street, but when I am talking about staying in luxury hotels in midtown NYC, I am specifically referring to the area from Grand Central Station (42nd street) to the south to 59th street to the north and in between 3rd Ave and 6th Ave as the east/west borders.
If you have always been enamored by all the things in New York City made famous by Hollywood, then you are basically familiar with what midtown NYC has to offer. The Macy’s from Miracle on 34th Street, Broadway and Times Square, Rockefeller Center, The Plaza Hotel, Radio City Music Hall, the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, the famous Essex House JW Marriott NYC sign as seen from Central Park… you name it, it is part of Midtown Manhattan. Yes, you will need to venture out of Midtown to see things like the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and the 911 Memorial and museum, but depending on how much time you have to spend in New York City, you may never leave midtown.
If you do want to get out and see other neighborhoods, you will be extremely well connected with Subway lines in every direction and the major hub of Grand Central Station just a few blocks away. Each of the neighborhoods in New York City has such a distinctive feel and vibe. Once you get familiar with the city you will start to recognize the personality of each area and may find neighborhoods that you prefer more than others for subsequent visits, but for first time visitors, Midtown can’t be beat in my opinion.
Depending on what is most important to you during your stay in NYC, here are my recommendations for luxury hotels in Midtown NYC for your visit with a little description of what I like about what each one has to offer. Just know going in that New York City is expensive. Even budget hotels can be as much as $500 a night depending on the time of year and location. For the best hotel deals in NYC check early and check often. Weekends, holidays and especially weekends in shoulder seasons, the city empties out. Some of the best deals we have found on luxury hotels in midtown NYC were over Memorial Day weekend. There are lots of pretty NYC boutique hotels in Midtown that might not be on your radar since they might not be affiliated with a major hotel brand. If you are traveling to New York City with a family there are New York suites and larger rooms to be found, I will highlight some of those as well.
My Recommendations for Luxury Hotels in Midtown NYC
A BIG part of the experience for me when I go to NYC is staying in a nice hotel with killer views, so that is what I am always on the hunt for and I am always willing to pay extra for it. All of these hotels are very nice, and the location is great, you can’t go wrong with any of them, many are hotels near Park Avenue, many are some of the best hotels near Broadway in NYC, but what I think makes them extraordinary is the view, the suites, the service etc. There are tons of hotels in New York City, something for every budget, but these are my best recommendations for luxury hotels in Midtown NYC.
The Plaza: One of the iconic NYC hotels, an experience at The Plaza is just that…an experience. Perched on the corner of Central Park South and 5th Ave this is the epitome of luxury. As with many of the luxury hotels in midtown NYC, bouncers block off the entrance to the hotel lobby so only registered guests are allowed to enter. Butler service with your room is a fun perk. Some suites offer partial Central Park views if that is what you are after, but I think the real gem at The Plaza are the interior courtyard view rooms.
You can’t tell from looking at it, but The Plaza has a gorgeous interior courtyard that is quiet and serene. You would never even know you are in the middle of the city. Located on the 5th floor and above, you can find rooms with windows or a private terrace overlooking this beautifully landscaped courtyard. If you are taking more than 3 people you will need two rooms or a suite. They do offer a family room but the location in the hotel is horrible and I wouldn’t want to pay for it. We booked it once and were shocked to find a dark, plain room next to the loud elevators. We ended up leaving the hotel because it just simply wasn’t worth the cost. We returned another time to stay in a suite as a family which was a much better (but more expensive) experience.
Junior Suite at the Plaza Hotel
JW Marriott NYC Essex House:
Nice hotel, beautiful lobby. The central park view rooms do offer great views of the park. Slightly smaller rooms than some other luxury hotels if you get a basic room, but I think the JW Marriott NYC is probably the best value on Central Park South.
view of Central Park from the JW Marriott Essex House rooms
1 Hotel Central Park – While I have not stayed at this hotel personally, I have stayed at it’s sister property the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge and it is stunning! I have friends who vouch for this Central Park location and I have walked by and peeked my head into this gorgeous property. My one recommendation when staying here is that the showers are open to the rest of the room, so if you are staying with kids or friends, just beware that privacy is pretty non-existent. 😉
St. Regis NYC – Just steps off of 5th Ave., this stunning hotel is tops in customer service, and gorgeous rooms. Rooms are a nice size for families if you get the room with two doubles…although it drives me crazy that all of these hotels have gone to 2 doubles when they could totally fit queen beds! 😉
The Benjamin– This is one of our favorite places to stay as a family. Some rooms have amazing balconies and terraces overlooking the city. Suites have a large separate living room where you can put a rollaway AND they have a queen sized pull out sofa, as well as a kitchenette which is so awesome to find in the city! In a quieter location in Mid-Town, just a few short blocks from everything you want to see. Fantastic service as well.
The Waldorf Astoria NYC– I am only putting this hotel on my list because it is currently undergoing a complete gut renovation. On my first visit to NYC I was super excited to stay here because it is such a famous NYC hotel. It was SUCH a disappointment. Dirty, old, dilapidated rooms…many which smelled like smoke, had clogged toilets etc. I have stayed at many WA properties that have been beautiful, so it was a shame to see this iconic New York landmark hotel in such disrepair. Slated to re-open in 2021, watch for this newly, completely renovated luxury hotel in Midtown NYC to be one of the jewels of the city again.
New York Lotte Palace– I haven’t stayed here, but I have taken pictures in the lobby and on the terrace. The location is great, it gets great reviews, and every time I look at it the prices seem unbelievably good. Stay in one of the tower rooms…those are supposed to be nicer and have been renovated recently. Might be a good option if you need more than one room. Located steps away from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockefeller Center. It is also one of the most decorated hotels at Christmas time, so if you are looking for a hotel during the holidays, be sure to check it out! It is a great place to take pictures!
Mandarin Oriental NYC Columbus Circle – High above the bustling round about of Columbus Circle is this gorgeous oasis wth floor to ceiling windows with views of everything from the Hudson River, the city skyline and Central Park…take your pick. This hotel sits just a few blocks away from Lincoln Center and all of the great things the Upper West Side has to offer, as well as Times Square and Central Park.
Ritz Carlton Central Park – It’s the Ritz Carlton…on Central Park…need I say more? 😉 But in all seriousness..if you can spring for a park view room here, that would be my suggestion! You’re in good company here with The Plaza, Essex House, and Mandarin Oriental all on the same street. It must be a nice neighborhood. 😉
The Baccarat Hotel – This gorgeous Parisian inspired hotel in the heart of Midtown is a super glamorous hotel. Sitting right next to the MoMa it is in a great location right off 5th Avenue. Definitely don’t miss the Grand Salon and Bar…SO beautiful!
Park Hyatt -Great service, minimalist decor and a perfect location on the edge of Central Park, definitely keep the Park Hyatt in mind for your next luxury trip to NYC.
Viceroy Central Park -Super cool spot at The Roof to enjoy the center perched high above it all. Located in the heart of Midtown, The Viceroy is centrally located to everything you want to see. The hotel has a luxurious feel and tech savvy accents.
The London – This all suite hotel is a great spot for families. Rooms have a living room area with a desk and couch, as well as a separate bedroom and bathroom, closed off from the living room with a set of french doors. Living room is big enough to accommodate a roll a way bed. Nicely appointed marble bathrooms and a location just steps away from times square make this a fun place to stay in Midtown.
The Living Room in a suite at The London
The Quin -A pretty hotel that boasts awards from both Conde Nast and Travel and Leisure. Part of the Hilton family The Quin has a super sleek and contemporary vibe. They offer rooms with two QUEENS that can accommodate up to 4 guests which is incredible as most luxury hotels these days seem to max out at 3 guests. Makes for a very comfortable luxury experience for a family.
Four Seasons – Super duper expensive, but Four Seasons luxury! If you are hoping to stay at a Four Seasons in NYC but don’t necessarily care so much about the location, then the Four Seasons Downtown is usually half the price…but for a Central Park and 5th avenue address, you are going to fork over some serious cash here. King size rooms are on the smaller size. The junior suites are more in line with a regular sized room at the St. Regis or Ritz Carlton. Just to give you an idea of cost differential, for a Central Park view 300sf room at the Essex House you are paying under $500 a night. For a 300sf room with a city view here at the Four Seasons you are paying $1100 a night. The JW Marriott NYC Essex House would be a much better value in my opinion…you get the view and can stay twice as long for less. 😉
Other luxury hotels in midtown NYC to check out if you haven’t found something that catches your eye yet…these are on my list of places I need to stay, so I’d love to hear your experiences with them!
I will be covering New York City hotels by neighborhood in hopes that no matter where you are looking, you will be able to find something in the location you desire. I cannot stress enough however that if you are new to NYC, staying in this area of Midtown (between 42nd-59th and 3rd and 6th) is something I think will make your first trip to NYC even better.
Here are a couple of other NYC posts to get you started and I will be adding lots more here shortly!
Prettiest Boutique Hotel In Chelsea NYC
New York City at Christmastime with Kids
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