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Where To Stay in New York When Visiting for the First Time

February 27, 2024 By CityPASS

Deciding where to stay in New York can be a thrilling experience — after all, there's a myriad of options to match every taste and preference. Whether you're drawn to the neon lights of Times Square, the serene greenery of Central Park, or the artistic vibes of Greenwich Village, New York's diverse neighborhoods cater to every traveler's dream. This guide will take you through some of the best places to stay in New York City, ensuring that your first visit is as enchanting as the city's skyline.

The Heart of the Big Apple: Midtown Manhattan

Midtown Manhattan, pulsating with the rhythms of the City That Never Sleeps, is home to many must-see attractions beyond the well-trodden paths of Times Square and the Empire State Building. If sightseeing ranks higher than cheap hotel options, Midtown makes a great home base.

Upscale Accommodations Near Times Square

Midtown Manhattan offers a range of upscale accommodations. Just steps away from Times Square and Rockefeller Center (and not far from the Upper East Side), these hotels offer luxury and convenience, with rooms boasting stunning views of the city. Here are three popular options to get you started:

  • Margaritaville Resort Times Square: This 4-star hotel is relatively new to the area, featuring a nautical theme in its guest rooms and soundproof windows for a serene stay amidst the bustling city. It boasts the only outdoor pool in the area, located on the rooftop, providing great views of the city and Times Square's billboards.
  • TRYP by Wyndham New York City Times Square/Midtown: A 4-star accommodation known for its comfort and roomy interiors, this hotel offers a convenient location for those looking to explore Times Square.
  • JW Marriott Essex House New York: This 5-star hotel has a private terrace atop an art deco building. It's situated close to Times Square, providing easy access to one of New York's most lively and iconic areas.

Hotels With a Glimpse of the Empire State Building

Whether you're on a romantic getaway or a solo adventure, these accommodations promise an unforgettable New York City experience enveloped in luxury and history. Hotels with a great view include:

  • Archer Hotel New York: Just four blocks from the Empire State Building, this hotel features Empire View Rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows for an unobstructed view of this iconic landmark. The rooftop bar also offers a splendid view, ideal for enjoying a drink at sunset.
  • Arlo NoMad: Located in the heart of the city, Arlo NoMad provides a view of the Empire State Building with enormous windows in most rooms. The hotel offers a variety of room setups, including Sky rooms and City View rooms.
  • Refinery Hotel: Like the Archer, this luxury boutique hotel is situated four blocks from the Empire State Building. It offers rooms specifically designed for optimal views, and its rooftop bar provides a spectacular outdoor seating area with a view.

Bohemian Vibes and Artistic Enclaves: Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village, often simply referred to as "The Village," is a cultural and bohemian haven nestled in the heart of Manhattan. This neighborhood exudes a distinct, artistic charm, characterized by tree-lined streets, quaint townhouses, and a rich history of creative expression. The Village has long been a magnet for artists, musicians, and writers, making it an epicenter of New York's avant-garde community.

Stay in Unique Lodgings in the Heart of Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village's unique lodgings reflect the neighborhood's eclectic character. From boutique hotels to charming bed and breakfasts, staying in this neighborhood immerses you in a unique cultural scene that's steps away from iconic spots like Washington Square Park and the bustling streets of the East Village. One-of-a-kind accommodations include:

  • The Marlton Hotel: Located a block from Washington Square Park, this bohemian boutique lodging has herringbone wood floors, brass fixtures, and Parisian-style balconies that provide an unforgettable experience.
  • Boutique Hotel Walker in Greenwich Village: This 4-star hotel is known for its striking interior design. It features unique touches like retro telephones in rooms, combining historical charm with modern elegance.

Stay Near Washington Square Park for a Local Experience

For those seeking a more local experience, staying near Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village is ideal. This area is a hub for artists, students, and locals, offering a glimpse into the everyday life of New Yorkers. You'll find cozy cafes, lively bars, and independent shops, all contributing to the neighborhood's irresistible charm. Try these hotels if Washington Square Park piques your interest:

  • Washington Square Hotel: This hotel is celebrated for its elegant rooms, spa and wellness center, and convenient access to local eateries and cultural spots, embodying the quintessential New York City experience.
  • The Bowery Hotel: Renowned for its cozy, vintage-inspired rooms and exceptional service, the hotel provides a warm and inviting atmosphere — which is why it's a favorite among travelers seeking an authentic New York City experience.

Hip and Trendy: Brooklyn's Williamsburg

Brooklyn's Williamsburg is the epitome of urban cool. Its streets are alive with a dynamic mix of old and new — from historic lofts and industrial buildings repurposed into chic galleries and studios to modern high-rises offering views of the Manhattan skyline. The area is a playground for adventurers to explore its array of unique shops, vintage clothing stores, and artisanal markets.

Explore Stylish Hotels Amidst Williamsburg's Creative Scene

Williamsburg in Brooklyn has emerged as a trendy hotspot known for its creative scene and hip ambiance. Here, you'll find stylish hotels, art galleries, indie music venues, and artisanal shops. Your options in this neighborhood include:

  • Wythe Hotel: Housed in a historic Brooklyn factory, this boutique hotel offers modern industrial-styled accommodations and stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
  • Pod Brooklyn: This hotel is both modern and affordable, and the nearby area is very walkable. Rooms are modular and its common area is styled with sleek lines and bold architecture.
  • Hotel Indigo – Williamsburg: Offering elegant rooms and a beautiful outdoor area, this hotel includes a seasonal swimming pool with a sunny deck and city views, a poolside bar and grill, and an on-site restaurant. The best room, the Williamsburg Grand Suite, features glass doors leading to a balcony and offers treats like wine, cheese, and specialty desserts.

Stay Close to Trendy Restaurants and Cafes in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is also renowned for its culinary scene, and Williamsburg boasts some of the borough's trendiest restaurants and cafes. Staying in this area means you're never far from an array of dining options, from gourmet eateries to casual brunch spots. Try:

  • The 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge: This 5-star hotel offers an Instagram-worthy experience with moss-covered decor and floor-to-ceiling windows. Food lovers can choose from several on-site dining options or walk to nearby cafes and restaurants.
  • The William Vale in Williamsburg: Another 5-star hotel, William Vale is known for its spotless premises and excellent restaurants. Guests have praised its modern conveniences, stunning views, and the high quality of its dining facilities.

Make the Most Out of Your First Time Visit to New York

Your first visit to New York City is an adventure waiting to happen. Choosing the right place to stay is key to experiencing the city's attractions, no matter what time of year. Whether you're looking for a place near Museum Mile, Bryant Park, Madison Square Garden, or somewhere with more green space, there are plenty of accommodations from which to choose.

No visit to New York is complete without exploring its world-famous landmarks and attractions. CityPASS® tickets give you access to New York's top attractions at a great value. Check out all the New York CityPASS® ticket options so you can explore more and spend less.

New York City Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in New York City, we recommend finding lodging near New York City's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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