This post is about how to choose where to stay in New York City, particularly for first-time visitors and even those coming to the city for a return visit.
With hundreds of NYC hotels to choose from, you may be feeling overwhelmed!
- Where to Stay by Area
- Best Hotels for Families
- Hotels with Special Features
- Tips For Choosing A Hotel
If this comment posted on our NYC Travel Tips Facebook Group sounds like you, then you’ve come to the right place!
How We’ve Organized Our Recommendations
Our hotel recommendations are broken down by neighborhood.
First, we explain a bit about the area, what makes it special, and who might enjoy staying there.
We list the best sights and attractions in that neighborhood.
We then break down hotels into price ranges: budget (under $200 per night), mid-range ($200 - $400 per night), and luxury ($400 - $600 per night).
Note that we do not include NYC occupancy tax of 14.75% or resort fees that may be added to your stay in our price brackets.
Also note that these prices are generally for standard rooms and not for apartments or suites, which should cost a bit more.
Lastly, we make recommendations for some of the best places to stay in the Big Apple for families, for a quiet stay, for free, for delicious breakfasts, and for amazing rooftops.
Why Trust Our Advice?
Why should you rely on our information? Because we speak with tourists every day during our walking tours.
They tell us what they like and don’t like about their accommodations around the city. Some rave and some rant.
We listen and then share what they tell us with our readers. All were first-time visitors at some point.
We learn even more from the hundreds of detailed comments and recommendations from visitors on our Facebook group which has over 140,000 members and growing every day!
These comments are filled with up-to-date hotel recommendations with detailed information from actual hotel guests.
Places To Stay In New York City By Area
Below are some of the best hotels to stay in New York City selected from popular neighborhoods.
We also include hotels in nearby New Jersey.
There are many other great hotels in lots of neighborhoods in NYC, but we can't cover them all here.
All of these areas are relatively safe places to stay. We also have a post on how safe New York is for more details.
For more recommendations, join our NYC Travel Tips Facebook Group.
Times Square Hotels
If you are looking to be within walking distance to great attractions and you love an electric vibe, then Times Square is where to stay in New York City!
You’ll find a wide range of room prices and a variety of hotel styles. Some hotels have a rooftop bar with great views.
While it is true that the neighborhood is not as pretty as others, it is a one-of-a-kind atmosphere!
And it hits a lot of the buttons for first-time visitors.
And you will be close to top tourist attractions such as Broadway theaters, Restaurant Row, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and Grand Central Station.
You can also check out our more in-depth post on Times Square hotels where we include over 70 options.
- Hotel Edison Times Square
- Hilton Garden Inn Times Square
- Row NYC at Times Square *As of Jan. 2023, the city government has leased several floors to house immigrant asylum-seekers. This may affect your stay at the hotel. Contact them before booking.
Attractions within Walking Distance
- Broadway shows
- Three observation decks! Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, and SUMMIT
- Rockefeller Center
- Grand Central Terminal
- Museum of Modern Art
For more things to do in the area and restaurant recommendations, read our post on things to do in Times Square.
Midtown Manhattan Hotels
Midtown is one of the best areas to stay in New York City, with both posh and pricey hotels and minimalist-style hotels with lower prices.
Midtown Manhattan is a large part of Manhattan and encompasses several neighborhoods like Chelsea, NoMad, Murray Hill, and others.
Staying in Midtown Manhattan is a good choice if you’d like to be close to major attractions you can reach by foot or by relatively short subway rides.
There are also several hotels with rooftop bars or rooftop patios.
These sights include landmarked buildings like Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the Empire State Building.
You'll also be near the Museum of Modern Art, The E Times Square, Fifth Avenue, Restaurant Row, and more.
The vibe is lively with tourists and businesspeople day and night.
But late at night, it is somewhat quieter, depending on what part of Midtown you stay in.
Midtown Manhattan is also one of the best photography locations in NYC.
You can also view all hotels in Midtown Manhattan and set filters.
- Four observation decks: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, SUMMIT, Edge
- High Line
- Chrysler Building
- Roosevelt Island Tram
- Free TV show tapings
- and the same great attractions near Times Square listed above.
Read our post on things to do in Midtown Manhattan.
Central Park and Upper West Side Hotels
Staying near Central Park is a great idea if you want to get off the tourist track and see how the natives live.
Most of the affordable hotels near Central Park are on the Upper West Side which is a lovely and safe part of Manhattan. The area is family-friendly as well.
However, most of NYC’s best attractions will not be within walking distance, though some top attractions are located here.
These attractions include the American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle, Carnegie Hall, and Strawberry Fields.
Many of the hotels closest to Central Park are some of the most expensive hotels in the city.
You will pay more to be near Central Park than if you stayed in other neighborhoods and used the subway to get to the park.
*Price brackets are higher than for other neighborhoods
Join one of our pay-what-you-like guided Central Park tours.
Upper East Side Hotels
The Upper East Side is not the most budget-friendly neighborhood to stay in. In fact, it’s far from it!
But if you plan to spend most of your time going to many of New York City’s best museums, you will find staying on the Upper East Side very convenient.
You will be close to Museum Mile (which includes the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and six other museums) as well as the Frick Collection and the Neue Galerie.
Another bonus is that Central Park runs along the western boundary of the Upper East Side so you will be close by to the park.
Read about things to do on the Upper East Side.
*Price brackets are higher than for other neighborhoods
- The Bentley Hotel
- Courtyard by Marriott New York Manhattan/Upper East Side
- voco The Franklin New York, an IHG Hotel
Read our post on things to do on the Upper East Side.
Lower Manhattan Hotels
Lower Manhattan is where New York City was born back in 1624!
The area is a combination of historic buildings, old narrow streets, and modern skyscrapers with the graceful 9/11 Memorial in the center of it all.
Just about every subway line runs through it which means you can get anywhere in the city easily.
Top attractions here include the Brooklyn Bridge, Wall Street, the 911 Memorial and Museum, the Staten Island Ferry, as well as the Statue of Liberty ferry.
While the streets are bustling by day, at night it is fairly quiet. You can find some pretty great prices in the area too!
- Club Quarters Hotel World Trade Center, New York
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott/World Trade Center Area
- World Center Hotel
- Hyatt Centric Wall Street New York
- AC Hotel by Marriott New York Downtown
- The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel
- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- One World Observatory
- 9/11 Memorial
- Brooklyn Bridge
- and much more!
SoHo And Lower East Side Hotels
SoHo’s streets and historic cast-iron buildings are charming. The Lower East Side is edgy and eclectic.
Both offer fantastic food, non-stop nightlife, and trendy shopping. They also happen to be rich in history!
Both neighborhoods are within a quick subway ride to Midtown Manhattan, Times Square, and Lower Manhattan and are within walking distance to Little Italy, Chinatown, the East River, and Greenwich Village.
SoHo, which stands for South of Houston Street, connects to the Manhattan Bridge on its east side and South Greenwich Village and the Hudson River Greenway on its western side.
Note that if you are traveling with children, it can be noisy at night, so you may want to look at some other areas of the city.
Greenwich Village and West Village Hotels
These adjacent neighborhoods (sometimes referred to collectively as “the Village”) are both beautiful and lively, making them desirable areas to stay in.
A hub of the area is Washington Square Park with its surrounding streets filled with restaurants and music venues.
The West Village is known for its charming streets, boutiques, and historic buildings. It’s also where the Friends building is!
Unfortunately, there aren’t as many hotel options in these neighborhoods as in other parts of NYC and most lean toward the expensive end of the price range.
For a unique stay, look into The Standard, on the border of the West Village and Chelsea. It straddles the High Line and has floor-to-ceiling windows with outstanding views.
Chelsea and the High Line
Chelsea is a perfect neighborhood if you want to be near Midtown but prefer a less hectic area.
The High Line park, a must-see attraction in NYC, is located in Chelsea, as is the Whitney Museum of Art.
If you are into modern history, you can stay in the landmarked Hotel Chelsea Hotel whose famed guests over the decades included cultural icons Bob Dylan, beatnik Allen Ginsberg and author Arthur Miller.
Downtown Brooklyn Hotels
If you don’t mind taking a quick subway ride to Manhattan to see the sights, consider staying in Brooklyn.
At some Downtown Brooklyn hotels, you will pay less for more space than you would in Manhattan.
This is usually the most important decision for those trying to decide whether to stay in Brooklyn or Manhattan.
The best Brooklyn hotels fall into the mid-range to expensive price category, but there are deals to be found.
- Hampton Inn Brooklyn Downtown
- New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
- EVEN Hotel Brooklyn, an IHG Hotel
Check out our pay-what-you-like Brooklyn tours including our Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Heights, and DUMBO Guided Walking Tour, or our stand-alone Brooklyn Heights Tour.
Staying in this hipster neighborhood of Brooklyn may cost you more than if you stayed in Manhattan.
That’s because many of the hotels in Williamsburg are boutique hotels.
Some have rooftop bars with amazing skyline views. The William Vale even has a rooftop pool!
If you are looking to stay outside of Manhattan but still enjoy great street art, fantastic food and bars, cutting-edge music, and boutique shops, look into staying in Williamsburg.
Note that there aren’t any Williamsburg hotels that are especially good for families, though some hotels do have pools!
Read about things to do in Williamsburg.
Visitors to NYC don't immediately think of staying in the Bronx, one of NYC's 5 boroughs. That’s likely due to the fact that some areas of the Bronx are a bit rough.
There are a few well-rated hotels just north of Manhattan and a 20-minute subway ride to Times Square.
If you are on a tight budget, you cannot beat the prices.
However, you won’t want to spend time in the area around your hotel. Walk to the block or two to the subway and head into Manhattan.
The Bronx does have some great attractions like Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo, and the New York Botanical Garden.
Note that there are no luxury hotels or hotels we would recommend for families due to the location.
New Jersey Hotels
If you are a large group, like a family of four or more, or you are coming by car, staying in New Jersey might be right for you.
You will also love the breathtaking views of Manhattan and New York Harbor.
If your only reason for staying in New Jersey is to cut costs significantly you may be disappointed.
Room prices are lower generally, even for the nicest hotels that are a quick PATH commuter train or Hudson River ferry ride to Manhattan.
But prices are not dramatically lower.
However, New Jersey occupancy tax is about 50% less than NYC hotels, so you save money right there.
If you are arriving by car, you will still have to pay for parking, but you won't pay as but not as much as you would in Manhattan.
See our post about parking in New Jersey.
Best Places To Stay In New York City For Families
When deciding where to stay in NYC with kids, there are a few factors to keep in mind.
You will want to stay in a hotel that is close to subway lines so those little legs don't have to put in overtime!
Next, you will want a hotel that does not attract party people. Also, if you want to save money on food, look for a hotel with a kitchenette.
Lastly, decide if you would rather be in a neighborhood that is family-friendly or busy night and day.
Look for hotels on the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, and Midtown Manhattan. Brooklyn is also one of the best places to stay in New York City when traveling with kids.
Check out our post on things to do with kids in New York City.
NYC Hotels With Special Features
Choosing a hotel is more than just picking a location. The amenities hotels have to offer are important considerations.
Below are recommended hotels that meet some of the most frequent features people seek when deciding where to stay in New York City.
Where To Stay In NYC For Peace And Quiet
Where To Stay In NYC For Free (And Good!) Breakfasts
Where To Stay In NYC With Amazing Rooftops
Tips For Choosing A Hotel In NYC
- Make a list of the NYC attractions you want to visit then plot them on a map. This way you can see what neighborhoods you plan to spend most of your time in and choose a hotel in that area.
- Pick a hotel near a subway station. Don’t add extra walking time to your day of NYC exploration. If this is your first visit to NYC, you may find our post on navigating the NYC subway helpful.
- Look out for resort fees. A resort fee is an additional fee per day added on top of your room rate. Resort fees can be high, so before booking, check to see if the hotel charges one.
- If you are traveling in a big group (over four people), make sure that the hotel offers rooms that can accommodate your entire group. Otherwise, you may have to book two rooms. In that case, remember to request that the rooms be next to each other, or even adjoining rooms.
- You can save money on weekend rates if you stay at a hotel that caters to business people. During the week, they charge a premium for people who are in tow for work. On weekends capacity is low and prices may be lower to fill rooms.
- Look into booking your hotel through a website like Hotels.com. See why we like Hotels.com below.
- You can also save money on accommodations by using a service like Trusted Housesitters.
Benefits of Using Hotels.com
Of all the online hotel booking companies, our pick is Hotels.com to find the best places to stay in NYC. Here’s what we like about them.
- Free cancellations! Most rooms allow you to cancel, without any penalty, even up until the day of your arrival. You get a full refund!
- The price you see is the price you pay. Do look to see if local tax is excluded - some cities have high local hotel taxes - so you will want to make sure you see the total price before booking.
- Their loyalty program, Genius, is great! After you book a certain number of hotel stays, you get discounts on hotel prices, free breakfasts, and other perks. It is free to create an account.
- Hotels.com’s app is awesome. This user-friendly app has your confirmation information, so no need to print anything. Manage your booking through the app. You can even chat with your booked hotel through the app.
- They have a price match guarantee. If you do find a cheaper rate, Hotels.com will match it. Though you will need to show proof of the lower price you found elsewhere.
- Over 93 Million Reviews! Unbiased reviews help you decide what hotel is good for you.