New York hotels for every traveller

By Danielle Contray

Title photography by Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza. © Hilton

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There are countless hotels in New York, which means no matter who you are – or what you are looking to do – there’s one for you. Couples can find lovely rooms on the Lower East Side, whilst families can spread out at the Shelburne. Even if you’re only in the city for one night – make sure you stay in style.

For a one night stopover: Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza

It’s got a mouthful of a name, but its great grill restaurant might make you wish you were staying longer than just one night.

The lowdown... The Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza is set in a great big, gloriously glassy skyscraper. It’s right next to the many-flagged United Nations headquarters on 1st Avenue. You’re probably not here to sit on the UN, but there are plenty of other sights nearby – and Grand Central Station is ten minutes’ walk away – making this hotel great for stopovers. The hotel’s Ambassador Grill restaurant is an official New York City Landmark – as is the hotel’s lobby: its postmodern interior design is pure class.

Even if you’re only staying 24 hours, you’ll still get views for days over the East River and the Chrysler Building.

Insider's tip... Look out of the windows: even if you’re only staying 24 hours, you’ll still get views for days over the East River and the Chrysler Building.

Book a stay at Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza

  • One of the guest rooms at the Shelburne Hotel & Suites by Affinia. © Affinia Hotels & Suites.

    Family time

    Bringing everyone? Ask for interconnecting rooms or book a six person suite. Book flights to New York, plus a five night hotel stay from£704 pp

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  • The Beaux-Arts exterior of The Knickerbocker. © The Knickerbocker.

    Knickerbocker glory

    Get a load of that beautiful Beax-Arts exterior – at the Knickerbocker. Book flights to New York, plus a five night hotel stay from£807 pp

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  • Ambassador Grill & Lounge at the Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza. © Hilton.

For a budget: Pod Times Square

You don’t have to spend a fortune to stay in New York, nor do you have to sacrifice style. Pod Hotels are part of a wave of affordable, stripped-back hotels. Yes, you get a small room – but its space-saving tricks will probably impress you, not frustrate you, and you still get your own bathroom.

The lowdown… This trendy hotel offers sleek style – but also fantastic rates. Rooms are simply designed, with the choice of bunk beds or queen beds and all the essentials you need for a city break base. At Pod Times Square you’re (unsurprisingly) just a short stroll away from Times Square – but you’re also close to Central Park and the action of Broadway. The windows are soundproofed so you can rest easy, even though you’re right in the centre of town.

Insider’s tip… The hotel’s restaurant, The Polynesian, dishes up tantalising bites and colourful cocktails from a Tiki Bar. Try the Hokule’a Punch for a taste of the tropics – it comes served in a miniature boat. Don’t miss the panoramic views of the city from the terrace.

Book a stay at the Pod Times Square

  • The Gin Parlour at the InterContinental New York Barclay. © IHG. All rights reserved.

    Begin with a gin

    The Gin Parlour at the InterContinental New York Barclay has 80 bottles to choose between. Now, let’s get down to business. Book flights to New York, plus a five night hotel stay from£723 pp

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For the family: Shelburne NYC

Sharing a room with the entire clan here will provide plenty of space for everyone to breathe.

The lowdown… This hotel, located within walking distance of the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station, has studio rooms that are 410 square feet, so you won’t be tripping over each other. The rooms also have a kitchen, perfect for popcorn on an in-room movie night, or for whipping up a quick, cheap breakfast before heading out for a day of sightseeing.

Insider’s tip… The hotel is perfect for kids, with pushchairs and playpens for guests to borrow, as well as family-friendly board games.

Book a stay at Shelburne NYC

For couples: Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York

If you’re the kind of couple that like rooftop bars, cool little neighbourhood streets – and retiring to a beautiful, comfortable bedroom afterwards (so, that’s most people), then you’ll love the Hotel Indigo.

The lowdown… IHG’s Indigo hotels are all designed to fit seamlessly into their neighbourhoods. Hotel Indigo is as cool and urban as the Lower East Side around it, with art installations and a hip rooftop bar. But just because it wants to be your friendly neighbourhood hotel, doesn’t mean it isn’t fancy. This is a four-and-a-half-star hotel, after all. From its 14th-floor ‘lobby in the sky’ to its heated rooftop plunge pool, everything’s just got a little bit extra ‘wow’ factor.

Insider’s tip… The hotel bar and restaurant, Mr Purple, is an all-day, all-night venue that gets very lively – so it’s great for a nightcap. Down on the street you’ll find Katz Deli and Russ and Daughters, two of New York’s most famous delis. Judge for yourself who has the best brisket.

Book a stay at Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York

For solo travellers: Hudson

If you’re travelling alone, pick a spot with lots of common space for mingling.

The lowdown… This Philippe Starck-designed hotel has an innate quirky coolness, from the escalator glowing with chartreuse lights, to the courtyard filled with whimsical furniture. The rooms are a little snug, but you won’t be spending a lot of time there anyway. Head to the Library Bar, with its roaring fireplace and antique billiards table, to relax and socialise.

Insider’s tip… For a true escape, grab your book and headphones and snag one of the hammocks on the Sky Terrace. Before you completely tune out, order one of the signature watermelon sangrias or a grapefruit old fashioned.

Book a stay at Hudson

  • Hudson New York. © SBE Hotel Licensing, LLC.

For affordable luxury: The Knickerbocker Hotel

Don’t be put off by the Times Square location – every effort has been made inside The Knickerbocker to make it a total haven of calm – including blackout blinds in the rooms.

The lowdown… Beaux-Arts on the outside – inside ‘The Knick’, as it’s known, is actually very modern. The restaurant Charlie Palmer (named after the famous US chef) has American classics on the menu and the rooftop bar – St. Cloud Bar – is a buzzing place to spend an evening. When you want to get away from it all, walk down to Bryant Park.

Insider’s tip… F Scott Fitzgerald and Sam Rockefeller used to come and drink martinis in this very building – in fact, the drink was supposedly invented here.

Book a stay at The Knickerbocker Hotel

Best for business: InterContinental Barclay

Business hotels don’t have to be souless, as a stay in the fabulously five-star InterContinental Barclay proves. This hotel has had a jaw-dropping renovation and has emerged looking like a city slicker.

The lowdown… Not just near Grand Central Station, but actually built as part of its expansion in 1926, the InterContinental Barclay is in a great location for flying visits and meetings, and was named North America's Leading Business Hotel 2019 at the World Traveller Awards.

Insider’s tip… Station yourself in the Gin Parlour – but choose carefully – there are over 80 to choose from – from everywhere from Mahon, Menorca to the middle of Minnesota.

Book a stay at InterContinental Barclay