You dearly love your living space, of course.
Unintended drama ensues when cousins come in from Philly to see the shows or family members descend en masse to be in the City that Never Sleeps, but they need to.
Manhattan is known for many things, but large apartments aren’t really among them.
With that in mind, we’ve surveyed the hotel landscape to come up with solutions for visiting friends and family. On the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Chelsea, we’ve selected three in each area at three different price levels to keep our visitors happy, with an introduction to what it’s like living in a place where 80% of the residents don’t own cars. Please note that given inflation, the high cost of living in NYC and other factors, most of the reasonably-priced independent hotels that were once a hallmark of this city have been shuttered.
For your guidance: the lowest-priced hotels will run $150-300, the mid-priced $200-400, and the splurges will run north of $600, when there aren’t huge NYC events, To keep it simple, we used the lowest-priced rooms at each of the nine hotels listed that offer more expensive larger rooms.
In the old days, hotel rates were consistent over parts of the year, today you need the skills of an experienced horse race handicapper to keep track every day. Your best bet is to book rooms as far in advance as possible, and keep checking the rate; they do go up, but they may come down as well, once you’ve reserved a room. It never hurts to check!
UPPER EAST SIDE
While many of the Upper East Side Hotels are large and modern, the 90-plus-year old Franklin has just 50 rooms, redolent of a Fourth Arrondissement inn in Paris. Recently absorbed into the InterContinental Hotels orbit, this building was once a townhouse. Located in Carnegie Hill, it’s a short walk to subways, buses, restaurants and stores. The least expensive room is a queen-bedded small room, ranging from $180-300 per night, based on seasonal demands; there is a small amenity fee that covers a morning coffee and WiFi. It is also pet-friendly.
164 East 87th Street
The Concorde Hotel
While this four-year old hotel may not be on tip of everyone’s lips, it is generating favorable buzz among its guests. With 130 rooms and 37 floors, there are at most four guest rooms on a floor, giving its occupants an almost upper Fifth Avenue Condo feel, with affordable rates for rooms, ranging from $160 to about 350, depending on your room needs and the events calendar. Want to look presentable when going out on the town? Each bathroom has a rainfall shower head and a separate soaking tub, enclosed in a space that is at least 270 square feet, the minimum sized-room.
Even with a $25 additional fee for WiFi, coffee or tea, use of the health facility and business center, this is well-priced for a room of this size in this area. There is an Asian fusion cafe on the premises for light bites, and an outdoor area strictly for hotel guests. Who knows? Maybe you will give the visitors your cramped apartment to inhabit while you luxuriate here. And note all rooms only have one bed.
127 East 55th St.
The Upper East Side boasts of a small handful of truly luxury hotels; this 1930 landmark among them, which offers access to Fifth Avenue, a truly full-on elegant stay. While not every room has a Central Park view, at the very least your guests will have a well-appointed 300 square foot space to luxuriate in. In 42 floors, there are 140 rooms and 49 suites in the hotel, with the other spaces part of a posh co-op. Room rates fluctuate from around $500 a night to three times that during the events that bring NYC traffic to a standstill. While not the most hip or trendy place to stay, hospitality here reigns supreme, and your treatment by staff will be the stuff that dreams are made of.
2 East 61st St. at Fifth Avenue
At this point, we also would like to mention that another option might be the 342-room Pod Hotel. The least expensive room is a double-bedded room, 112 square feet in total, with a private bath, for about $100 to $400 a night. Not huge, but given a flexible timeframe, it can be very affordable.
230 East 51st Street
UPPER WEST SIDE
Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Manhattan / Central Park
With 224 rooms and suites, the 18-story, six-year old building is located on West 58th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. The compact, bustling lobby, gives off a true NYC style. While the accommodations aren’t large, it’s affordable and there is an included hot breakfast that works for both early-birds and later sleepers. There is also a lobby bar. Figure between $150-250 a night during non-peak times, a bit higher during busy times.
538 West 58th Street
Around the corner from Broadway on West 76th Street, the former Middletown Hotel has evolved into an incredible place to stay; of 124 hardwood-floored rooms, almost half are suites. A marble check-in desk and comfy chairs in the lobby greet you upon entry, as does a warming fireplace. This boutique hotel raises the benchmark for Upper West Side hotel residencies. While the rooms aren’t huge, they are well appointed, fresh and spotless. With a lobby bar set to open soon for light snacks and drinks, every strata of dining is within a few minutes’ walk.
Expect to spend $200-400 for queen- or king-bedded room, depending on when you are there, a bit more for a suite.
242 West 76th Street
The Mandarin Oriental
At Columbus Circle, with a lobby 280 feet above Central Park, the views are the bonus to staying in this specific lodging. Should you elect to place your friends or family here, all 198 rooms and 46 suites offer incomparable vistas of either Central Park and the buildings nearby, or the Hudson River. Each room is at least 400 square feet, furniture placement well thought out, and perhaps, a tub with a view! The spa, state-of-the-art fitness center and 75-foot lap pool offer incredible views looking over the West Side, the Hudson and Northern New Jersey’s hills. This hotel, the choice of affluent foreign visitors and C-Suite corporate types, would definitely be a splurge with rates on the basic room category from $800 to $1300, depending on the time of year.
80 Columbus Circle
On the Upper West Side are two other hotels, slightly lower-price than the Wallace, also worth consideration, across the street from each other.
The Arthouse City
2178 Broadway at West 77th St.
The statistics alone are impressive; 35 stories tall, 350 wall-to-wall windowed bedrooms, drenched in natural light. Walk-in rain showers, smart HDTV, 24/7 fitness center, and four different eating and drinking outlets in the hotel.
Valet parking? Oh yes. Enter the lobby through a flower shop, antithetical to a normal NY hotel. For all this, your king bedded room at the lowest price point will cost between $180 and 400, depending on city events. The Moxy concept, geared towards Millenials and Gen Z’s, provides many 21st century touches, including rooms with four bunk beds, which make an NYC trip affordable for small groups or families. There is also a $30 fee to cover amenities that are provided for you, including a morning coffee and access to the fitness center. With the Moxy brand (a part of Marriott), gone are in-room closets, but in-room safes are provided. Your guests might call it the Miracle on 28th Street.
105 West 28th St.
The Chelsea Hotel
Should your guests want to wake up to a Chelsea morning, this is the place to do so; a listing of former creatives that lived and live here is staggering. The 1884, twelve-story red-brick building was one of the city’s first co-ops during its history. Arthur C. Clark, Dylan Thomas, Stanley Kubrick, Bob Dylan, Madonna ... were all former guests as one point or another. A 225 square foot queen-bedded room, the cheapest category, ranges from $295 to 345, again, depending on the date. El Quixote, the restaurant attached to the hotel, has retained many of the former touches, but has been updated for current tastes ... and should your friends and family stay here, it’s a snap lesson on why you live in Manhattan.
222 West 23rd St.
This is the only hotel in Hudson Yards; it opened in 2019 with 164 rooms and 48 suites. Indeed a city resort, the driveway at the entrance speaks of a luxury experience. The smallest room is 400 square feet, double that of many hotel rooms in the city. All spaces are well-lit, staggeringly quiet, and include a 65,000 square foot duplex spa and health club, with many activities included with your room rate. The rate ranges from $700-1300 a night for a basic room, and $1300-2200 for a 770 square foot one-bedroom suite. If NYC has a large event going on, the rates will be at the upper end. A dining room and bar give stunning views from the 24th floor. Should you wish to, an outdoor sauna and 94-degree swimming pool are available even on the coldest days. A splurge, but a memorable one.
33 Hudson Yards
For family groups, some of the hotels mentioned here have rooms with provisions for more than two people, others do not, the specific hotel will be able to tell you that if unobtainable on the website.
The rates quoted here are what is referred to as rack rates, hotel industry jargon for what rate will be put out as an initial booking rate. Are any of your guests members of AARP? AAA? A large corporation?Airline or hotel frequent traveler program? Perhaps part of an organization that has offices here in Manhattan? It might be worth a call or an email to any of the hotels listed here — emails are available on each website.
You can also call the hotel in question every so often to verify if your booked rate has gone down, unlikely, but not impossible. It is always important to verify if the hotel has reservations people on-site, as they usually have a better view of what bookings look like internally than those in call centers all over the world.
Finally, you will note that rate variances swing more than a pendulum; the hotel industry has adapted the same inventory controls that airlines have, which means that during citywide events like Fashion Weeks, United Nations General Assembly, World Series, the NY Auto Show, the NYC Marathon, December weekends, demands for hotel rooms skyrocket, as do prices. If your guests have any flexibility for a date change, there could be a potential savings of hundreds of dollars.