Hotel Guide to Midtown Manhattan
New York is easily the city that I have visited the most and as I always want to stay near the theatres, I have stayed in a lot of the Midtown hotels. Some have been great, some less so. Here are the ones that I can recommend and what you should expect at each.
First off, I should point out that if you are looking for real luxury accommodations, or super swanky stays, Midtown is often not going to be your best pick for either of those. Soho and the Meatpacking District are better known for offering the coolest but still high end hotels, whilst the Upper East Side has many of the luxury, big name hotels. For boutique stays you may want to look around Chelsea or even the Upper West Side.
That is not to say that you cannot find any of this in Midtown - that is far from the truth! You definitely can! In Midtown though you often find the larger hotels, and certainly more of the hotel name chains (Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott, etc) because, let's be honest, it's not cheap to have a huge hotel in the middle of one of the most expensive cities in the world.
Within Midtown it can be harder to find value for money which scares people away from staying in the area. However, with some good research you can definitely get great deals, affordable luxury and even boutique hotels...I have some on this list for you!
I choose to stay in Midtown because of the proximity to the theatre. I am not a big fan of the Subway, particularly because I do travel to New York alone a lot and prefer the option to walk home after the show. I also travel to New York often in their wintertime and so I don't want that walk to be too long because I am a summer gal who is terrified of the cold and will freeze if left outside in the dark in the cold walking for too long. So, I opt for convenience and closeness to the theatres above and beyond anything else. I thought I should point that out.
Here are some Midtown properties that I can recommend in the area:
Photos featured in the remainder of this blog are credited to the individual hotel websites
1335 6th Ave, New York
This very large property is NOT for people who like boutique stays. It is enormous. As a convention and conference hotel, I have been staying here for years primarily due to Broadwaycon (an event I attend annually as part of the media) taking place in the hotel. Since then I have made this my primary New York hotel as, as Diamond Hilton members, the perks are worth it. The rooms are standard Hilton rooms but I would definitely recommend requesting a higher level in your booking request - it does make a big difference to the room. It is the the sort of hotel that you stay in when you need somewhere spacious and comfortable but where the hotel is not the point of the vacation and you will be out a lot. The staff have always been lovely and I feel very comfortable here.
I stay here mostly because the location is amazing - 6th and 54th St - so it is just blocks from the Rockefeller Centre and Central Park, as well as from Times Square and all the theatres, without being in the thick of the theatre district.
102 W 57th St, New York
More of your boutique style hotel, this is a much smaller Hilton where the rooms are smaller but definitely nice and there are far less people. If you're a Hilton member and looking for a nice option but that will still earn you points, this is definitely a great hotel to look into. The location, being only 3 blocks from the hotel above, is still excellent - you're closest to Central Park and Carnegie Hall.
I haven't seen it yet but a Conrad was opening between these two Hiltons as well, again, a more luxurious option for Hilton members in this same area.
132 W 45th St, New York
Keeping in line with the boutique hotel theme, The Night Hotel definitely steps up the style, offering a really cool vibe in two great locations. I have stayed a couple times at the Times Square location on 45th Street and found that the only downside was that when you wanted to get anywhere, the enormous foot traffic of Times Square was always in your way...to be honest, that will be the problem with anything right near Times Square and the benefits will greatly outweigh this issue.
The Night has a great little bar in the lobby with a really good Happy Hour and snacks that we absolutely loved hitting up on our way to the theatre.
The rooms are on the smaller side - it's a big bed but the bed does take up a large majority of the room. I have stayed there twice and had totally different rooms - one was quite a bit larger and had a window offering a decent amount of natural light. The second time the window faced into the side wall of the next building obstructing the light and unfortunately, it made the whole room really dark as the modern, sleek features of the room, are all black and grey (including a very cool but slightly trippy black shower).
I do like the hotel a lot but if I chose to stay there again I would definitely request a room that had more natural light because being there during the day was challenge with this light predicament - it was just very disorientating, and whilst of course we weren't in New York to stay inside during the day, sometimes in winter you do need a moment to warm up, regroup and head back out.
1535 Broadway, New York
Ordinarily I wouldn't choose to position myself in the middle of Times Square but due to this hotel being selected as the Broadwaycon hotel for the year, I booked a room for the long weekend and I loved it!! If you want to be literally in the centre of the centre of the world, this is where you need to stay, The rooms were spacious and nicely kept, the staff were helpful and all round I was very impressed. I will definitely stay here again at some point...one day when I next need to be smack bang in the middle of Times Square.
305 W 46th St, New York
I stayed at the Riu soon after they first opened in New York. Having stayed at the Riu in both Cabo and Cancun, I was actually in New York and looking on their website for somewhere nice to go in Mexico on my next US trip which was to be in January. Whilst on the website, the announcement that New York was opening soon popped up on the side of the page and so I clicked on it to check out the inside of this amazing glass structure I kept walking past on 8th Ave. There was obviously a glitch in the system because the prices were RIDICULOUS - like $32 USD a night...so I quickly called them to let them know so that they could fix it! They said they would honour it if I wanted to stay so I booked in for a week the following January and had my Riu trip sorted...Mexico would have to wait.
The room was small, very small, like if you're going 2 or more people you need to upgrade to more than just the most basic of rooms (but when I booked I thought I was going alone and thought this would be enough space for 1, we ended up being 2 people). However, I was very happy to try out the hotel, thought that in general it was really very good and would stay there again. My only regret...why didn't I book in for a month?!
The location of this hotel is fantastic! On the corner of 8th and 46th, you are right on Restaurant Row, and one block away from Times Square. You are really in the heart of the theatre district in this hotel. I loved the location - would recommend!
235 W 46th St, New York
Just down the road from the Riu, The Paramount Hotel is truly beautiful building. Built in the mid-1920s, this hotel was built as part of the effort to revitalise Times Square and was one of the first hotels built in line with this. The architect, Thomas W. Lamb, was actually one of America's leading cinema and theatre designers - this is in fact his only hotel - but the hotel was always designed with the intention of fitting right into the theatre district. The hotel actually now has New York City landmark status.
It maintains the tradition now of being 'the theatre hotel,' often hosting pre-Tony Awards events, having relationships with the casts of the shows in the area, even having the Hamilton Musical Merchandise shop as the current resident of the street front shop.
Again, the rooms are generally not too big though you can get lucky. I have stayed at the Paramount a number of times and my rooms have been very hit and miss. When its a hit, the location and vibe of this hotel are FANTASTIC, when it's a miss...lucky the location is still good.
Even with the misses, I would still stay here again for sure because the rates are generally fair and the good rooms are really good.
44 W 63rd St
Slightly further up, The Empire Hotel is in another amazing part of the city that I would say edges just out of the Midtown range but is close enough to walk and, because of it's position across the road from the Lincoln Centre, still is a great choice for theatre lovers (so I'm adding it to this list!).
If you're a Gossip Girl fan, this is Chuck Bass' hotel. If you're not, read on.
Close to Central Park and Columbus Circle, The Empire has a cool design that is both modern yet traditional at once, giving it a funky feel and really great vibe. Our room was not big but it was comfortable and we really liked all the people who worked there that we met.
In summer, this would be a great place to stay as it has a Rooftop Pool and bar area that looks dreamy! We stayed there in Winter so that area was closed but the high-rise bar with the most INCREDIBLE view of the STUNNING Lincoln Centre all lit up over a great cocktail left me absolutely thrilled.
790 8th Ave, New York, NY
Fantastic location, this Hilton is generally on the cheaper side and if you're looking for a points option right in the heart of the action, this hotel is comfortable, has a great location and has really decent sized rooms. This is a good hotel too for families as they do have rooms with queen size pull out sofas and most of the rooms have a microwave and mini fridge which is always handy in a big city like New York. It's not your glamour choice as far as a hotel stay but it is certainly a good option and definitely comfortable.
Row NYC - 700 8th Ave, New York I stayed at this property years ago when it was under different management and a different name. The location is so fantastic that I am putting it on the list because I am sure that with new managers it has got to be 100% better than when I stayed there (not good) and I would definitely be keen to give it a try! There is also now a food hall next door/off the side of the lobby called City Kitchen that I would highly recommend for a quick bite in the middle of Midtown, particularly if you don't feel like sitting down at a restaurant.
Le Meridien - 120 W 57th St, New York
I am yet to stay here myself but have visited the rooms which were modern and very nicely appointed and definitely have this one on my list of places that I would like to try in New York. If you are looking for something slightly more up-market, this may be a good option.
If you're looking for total luxury, this is meant to be one of New York's best. It looks gorgeous!
There are literally hundreds of hotels in the Midtown area. If you have flexibility in when you can travel, consider travelling in late Jan/early Feb for the best hotel deals of the year. The most expensive time I have found for New York hotels is around September/October.
Wherever you stay, being out and about in New York is what it is all about so read my Where to Eat and What to Do in Midtown Blogs too to make sure you have your lay of the land.