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Where to stay in New York for first time visitors

A comprehensive guide on finding the best accommodation in New York

Wondering where to stay in New York? Our comprehensive guide will showcase some of the best neighbourhoods including epic accommodation recommendations so you can have an amazing stay in
the world’s most famous city. New York defies expectation, providing everything to everyone. You can come to NYC with any goal in mind, as a tourist or student or person looking for work, and you’ll find it here. The city is always in flux, with Manhattan neighbourhoods providing authentic local foods from every corner of the globe, and areas like Brooklyn’s Williamsburg becoming a hub of unique hipster coffee shops, bookstores, and record stores. Between every iconic landmark is a thousand wonderful distractions to spellbind every visitor to this wonderful city that refuses to be bottled and labelled.

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Where to stay in New York?

Choosing where to stay in New York City is a difficult one, every district is brimming with its own culture and distractions. This is one of those wonderful cities that’s very possible to explore on foot and opens up to visitors who choose to do so. However, wherever you’re based the simple to navigate subway system has got your back. The majority of visitors choose to stay on the island of Manhattan where you’ll find most of the city’s major landmarks, museums, and notable restaurants. However, the cool Brooklyn and Queens areas are fast becoming hipster hubs attracting tourists who want a cheaper option without sacrificing things to do.

Where to stay in New York city

Midtown West – Broadway and Times Square

Why stay in Midtown West

One of the most coveted spots for tourists in New York, this area makes up Times Square, Broadway and stretches all the way West to the Hudson River. When you picture New York, this is the area people usually imagine and is perfect if you want to be in the middle of all the action in terms of bright lights, performances, shopping, and people. You’ll also be within walking distance of these key areas as well as Macy’s, Madison Square Garden, plus the areas in Midtown East making it ideal if you want to traverse New York by foot. It’s also perfect transport wise since most of the major subway lines and bus routes run through this area.

Why avoid Midtown West

Midtown West is an expensive area and incredibly busy. There are people walking and cars tooting until the early hours so it’s not ideal if you’re a light sleeper. It’s also constantly bright from all of the billboards. Obviously, it’s a very touristy area so you won’t get much of local life here and have to deal with ticket touts trying to sell things more than you might like.

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Where to stay in New York for first time visitors
Where to stay in New York for first time visitors

Midtown East – See as much as possible on your doorstep

Why stay in Midtown East

Very convenient for lots of New York biggest sights, you’re within walking distance to Times Square, the Theater District, the Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library and MOMA. You’re also next to some interesting cultural areas like Korea Town where there are some interesting restaurants, shops, and karaoke bars. Some of the most famous buildings like the Empire State and Grand Central are right on your doorstep and it’s thrilling to walk past these landmarks on a daily basis. This is an area that’s ideal if you’re in New York for a few days and want to see as much as possible as easily as possible.

Why avoid Midtown East

It’s one of the main tourism and business hubs meaning it’s incredibly busy most of the time. It’s also quite expensive to eat locally and the choice of restaurants isn’t as extensive as in other areas. There’s very little budget accommodation in the area so staying here could add up very quickly.

Where to stay in Midtown East

Where to stay in New York midtown east
Check Westgate New York City on Booking.com

Westgate New York City

Located 300 yards from the United Nations Headquarters, this Manhattan hotel is within 600 yards of Grand Central Station. It offers on-site dining and a 24-hour business centre. The Westgate New York City boasts a fitness centre with cardio machines and personal TVs. A sauna is located on site.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Lotte New York Palace

All rooms at this Midtown-Manhattan hotel come with a marble bathroom and some rooms offer a view of the Cathedral. A minibar and a desk are also included in the rooms. The property boats a 7000-square-feet fitness centre and spa. The Villard is open for breakfast and weekend brunches. Lotte New York also has an onsite bakery, two lounges and in-room dining options.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Lombardy Hotel

The elegant rooms of the Lombardy Hotel provide a flat-screen TV, plush bathrobes and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. A coffee maker, ironing facilities and kitchenette are included. An exercise room and a business center are open to all guests. Concierge ticket services and a full beauty salon are also available.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Lower Manhattan – Quieter Alternative to Midtown

Why stay in Lower Manhattan

A quieter spot than some of the other tourist hubs of Manhattan that’s still very much close to all the action. There’s a laidback vibe in the area, plenty of cafes, bookstores, and shops to wander. It’s also known as the financial district so caters a lot towards people here for business meaning you might get some hotel deals on the weekend when it’s quieter. There’s plenty to do in the area, it’s within walking distance to Little Italy, the 9/11 memorial museum, and the ferry to Staten Island which offers great free views of the State of Liberty. There’s also a lot of history in the area so plenty to uncover for culture vultures and you’re just a short train ride to Brooklyn and Midtown.

Why avoid Lower Manhattan

As it caters towards the business side of things, some local eateries can be closed outside of office hours and although there are good transport links it is a twenty-minute ride to Midtown which may not suit people who want to spend a lot of time in the area.

Where to stay in Lower Manhattan

Where to stay in New York lower manhattan
Check citizenM New York Bowery on Booking.com

citizenM New York Bowery

At the hotel, all rooms are fitted with a desk, wall-to-wall windows, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with rain showers. The rooms feature a fridge and free WiFi is provided. A buffet or American breakfast is available daily at the property.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel

Located in downtown Manhattan, this hotel is steps from Little Italy and 150 yards from the Grand Street Subway station. It features guest rooms with flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Every room at the Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel provides coffee facilities. Each includes cable TV with in-room movies and a variety of international TV channels.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

World Center Hotel

Each of the rooms at the New York World Center Hotel is decorated in neutral tones and includes a desk. Guests can charge and listen to their iPod on the iPod docking station or adjust the room temperature with the bedside touch screen monitor. A fitness centre and a 24-hour concierge staff are available at the World Center Hotel. Free bottled water stations are also located on each floor.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Upper West Side – Family Friendly, Central Park Area

Why stay in Upper West Side

Anyone looking for some peace and quiet will feel right at home in the Upper West Side. Known for Central Park, this is the place to be if you want to combine shopping, a plethora of museums, and peaceful tree-lined streets. This is an ideal area for families due to the family-friendly restaurants and wide-open riverside spaces that are ideal for cycling or walking. It’s also very easy to get to the other popular areas on the subway due to the good connections so you’re not sacrificing action for the quieter location. It’s also known to be one of the safest areas in the city.

Why avoid Upper West Side

This isn’t the area for nightlife or particularly varied cuisine with a lot of chain restaurants in the area so if you’re a foodie or a night owl this might be too quiet for you.

Where to stay in Upper West Side

Where to stay in New York upper east side
Check Arthouse Hotel on Booking.com

Arthouse Hotel

Greeted by custom artwork, an original fireplace and a 1920’s elevator system in the lobby, guests at this century-old hotel in Upper West Side will be 700 yards from the Central Park. Rooms and suites at Arthouse Hotel include flat-screen TVs and desks. Some units come with a private balcony as well, and all units feature an in-room safe that can hold a laptop.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Lucerne

A flat-screen TV and video games are provided in every room at Hotel Lucerne. Rooms feature light colors and offer luxury bath products. In-room coffee and a work desk are also included. The Lucerne Hotel offers the French restaurant, Nice Matin. It is open all day and serves a weekend brunch. Guests can dine in or on the outdoor patio. For breakfast included rates, guests will get juice or fruit, a choice of breakfast entree and coffee or tea.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Beacon

Each room and suite offers free cable on flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and WiFi access. The kitchenettes have a microwave, refrigerator and coffeemaker. Suites at the hotel have a living room with a sofa bed. The quiet and comfortable lobby offers space for visiting or reading and relaxing. There’s a business centre for guest use and the hotel offers laundry service and luggage storage.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Upper East Side – Upscale, relaxed area with museums

Why stay in Upper East Side

Featuring the ‘museum mile’ and various upscale buildings, dining, and department stores, this is the area to stay in if you want a swanky, quiet area not far from Central Park with lots to do. You could easily spend your entire trip visiting galleries and museums being based here and not even start on the usual sights of Manhattan. If upscale shopping is your thing, then you’ll also be very happy here.

Why avoid Upper East Side

It’s a quiet area, suited to families and people looking for a relaxing getaway so may not suit everyone. It’s also a generally high-end area so not suited to the budget traveller.

Where to stay in Upper East Side

Where to stay in New York upper east side
Check The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York on Booking.com

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel is located across from Central Park at 61st Street. A part of the New York City skyline with its copper mansard roof, The Pierre offers guests white glove luxury service. The hotel is close to high-end shopping destinations and is only steps away from Barneys New York. The boutiques of Fifth & Madison Avenues are in close proximity.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Loews Regency New York Hotel

The neutrally coloured guest rooms at Loews Regency New York Hotel include modern furnishings and a flat-screen TV. Guests can relax with a drink from the minibar. A work desk is also provided. Subway access is 2 blocks from Loews Regency New York Hotel. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is 1.2 miles away.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

The Mark New York

With an artistic design, Mark Hotel includes a state-of-the-art gym and spacious guest rooms. Free Wi-Fi, an iPod docking station and 32-inch flat-screen TV are included in all modern rooms. The large marble bathrooms boast a large soaking tub and mini flat-screen TV. Each room is decorated in ebony and sycamore furnishings.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Chelsea – Quieter, Stylish Area with Lots to Do

Why stay in Chelsea

A great hub for foodies, and people who love trendy bars, cobbled streets, art galleries, and nightlife. It’s an ideal alternative to the busy Midtown and is located just West of there so it’s not far from most of the number one tourist sights of Manhattan. The Flatiron building is in this district as well as Union Square with plenty of coffee shops, small restaurants, and bookshops including the famous Strand bookshop. It’s a great choice for people who love markets as this is the sight of the famous Christmas Market, the Greenmarket four days a week, and various other flea and antique markets throughout the week. There’s plenty to do after dark in terms of entertainment so it’s an ideal base for people who like to be kept busy.

Why avoid Chelsea

Depending on where you are in the area, it can either be very noisy after dark or eerily quiet with not much to do so positioning yourself on a good side street is key to enjoying the area to its fullest. There isn’t a lot of budget accommodation in the area and the food and drink options lean towards the more expensive here since its so close to Midtown.

Where to stay in Chelsea

Where to stay in New York chelsea
Check The Hari London on Booking.com

The Hari London

The Hari London features an on-site fitness centre, an 80-seater Italian restaurant and a bar with an outdoor terrace. Buckingham Palace and the Royal Albert Hall are only 1 miles from the hotel. An LCD flat-screen TV, handy phones, on demand movie library and an iPad/iPod docking station, as well as individual artworks from artists such as Tracey Emin, Mario Testino and Juergen Teller, are featured in all rooms at The Hari London.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

San Domenico House

Beautifully designed rooms are furnished with antiques, paintings and classical furniture, collected from around the world. Air-conditioned rooms feature seating areas, Smart TVs and large built-in wardrobes. Penhaligon's toiletries and bathrobes are provided in the luxurious bathrooms. Some rooms offer a balcony. Bedrooms have en suite marble bathrooms and offer free Wi-Fi.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

The Chelsea Harbour Hotel

The Chelsea Harbour Hotel offers free WiFi and stunning Thames views. Each stylish suite has a living area and a large separate bedroom with en suite bathroom. Many suites have views of the city's skyline and the River Thames. All have cable TV and a minibar.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Soho & Tribeca – Upscale, boutique area

Why stay in Soho & Tribeca

If you’re looking to stay in the most upscale part of Manhattan, this is it. It’s a shoppers’ paradise with boutique stores and vendors selling handcrafted and artisan items married with the tree-lined streets. It’s a romantic area in the heart of Manhattan, just South of Washington Square Park. You can take your pick of fine dining establishments to eat at in Tribeca after visiting the multitude of art galleries and photographing the beautiful architecture that’s hard to miss.

Why avoid Soho & Tribeca

This is one of the most expensive areas in the city and there’s very little budget accommodation on offer here. It can also get very busy with foot traffic as it's popular with tourists.

Where to stay in Soho & Tribeca

Where to stay in New York Soho and Tribeca
Check NoMo SoHo on Booking.com

NoMo SoHo

Located in New York City's trendy SoHo district, this 5-star hotel is inspired by the Jean Cocteau Film, "La Belle et la Bête" and offers a fitness centre, bar and modern guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows. NOMO SOHO offers Molton™ Bath Products, Frette™ linen and flat-screen HDTV with streaming capabilities. Down bedding and a marble bathroom are also included in each room. In-room spa services are available.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Duane Street Hotel Tribeca

Surrounded by art galleries and shops in the lively Tribeca neighbourhood of lower Manhattan, this boutique hotel offers an on-site restaurant and rooms with flat-screen cable TVs and free Wi-Fi. Guest rooms at Duane Street Hotel Tribeca are furnished with hardwood floors and slate rain showers. Work desks and bathrobes are also provided.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

The Roxy Hotel Tribeca

All rooms at The Roxy Hotel Tribeca have a work desk and a seating area. Bathrobes and complimentary toiletries are provided. The rooms also come with a flat-screen cable TV. The Roxy Bar & Lounge boasts an 8-story atrium and serves modern American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Bar & Lounge offers up DJs and live entertainment.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Greenwich Village – Great for nightlife and quaint pictures

Why stay in Greenwich Village

With plenty to offer, this quaint area lies on the West side of Manhattan and has lots to offer people who like arty, hipster vibes with a more upscale feel. The area isn’t quite as grid-like as most of the city and features cobblestones and winding streets. It’s one of the best areas for nightlife as the Meatpacking District has you covered for breweries, bars, live music halls, and clubs. It’s also a hotspot for foodies with lots of choice in terms of restaurants, small eateries, and cafes. With some of the most boutique hotels in Manhattan in the area, this is a perfect place to stay if you want something a little bit different with lots to do and good transport links.

Why avoid Greenwich Village

The nightlife scene, while a huge draw does make it very noisy and busy at times, particularly on the weekend. It’s quite an expensive area despite the edgy vibe so people on a budget may not find this the ideal location.

Where to stay in Greenwich Village

Where to stay in New York greenwich village
Check The Standard, High Line New York on Booking.com

The Standard, High Line New York

Every room at the hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows and a city or river view. Each room also comes with a flat-screen TV, an overstocked minibar and a private bathroom with bathrobes, a hairdryer and free toiletries. There is a 24-hour front desk at The Standard, High Line New York. The hotel offers several on-site bars and restaurants. There is also 24-hour room service and complimentary bike hire as this pet-friendly hotel.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Walker Hotel Greenwich Village

Nestled in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, this boutique hotel is 900 yards from New York University and Washington Square Park. Breakfast is served at the property for an additional charge as well. Boasting elegant 1920s-inspired décor, guest rooms at Walker Hotel Greenwich Village feature leather chairs and cable TVs. Guests are pampered with bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

The Marlton Hotel

Located in the heart of Greenwich Village and housed in a restored historic building, this Manhattan boutique hotel features free WiFi access and on-site dining, including a complimentary daily breakfast. It is 200 yards from Washington Square Park. A flat-screen cable TV is included in the guest rooms at The Marlton Hotel, which feature herringbone wood floors, crown moldings and brass fixtures.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Lower East Side – Arty, grungy area with great food

Why stay in Lower East Side

The artsy, creative hub of Manhattan, there’s plenty to do here for people who love vintage stores, artisan cafes, speakeasy bars, and cocktails. You’re also within walking distance to some of the best foodie areas in the city like Chinatown, Little Italy and some fantastic delis – a Katz’s sandwich is a must-try experience. There are also several trains running to Brooklyn meaning you can explore popular areas like Williamsburg easily. This is ideal if you like to be based in an edgy area. There are some key things to do in the area like the Tenement Museum, Merchant House Museum, and Eldridge Street Synagogue so there’s plenty to keep you busy.

Why avoid Lower East Side

The transport links here aren’t great so if this is your first time in the city and you’re hoping to see lots of the main tourist sights then this may be a bit of an awkward location. It’s quite busy and crowded here and there’s not a huge range of accommodation. It also generally looks run down and is quite residential in parts so it may not have the New York bright lights vibe many are looking for.

Where to stay in Lower East Side

Where to stay in New York City
Check Hotel on Rivington on Booking.com

Hotel on Rivington

Some of the rooms at Hotel on Rivington are fitted with a balcony, tub, steam shower and/or floor-to-ceiling glass walls. The property is designed by architects Grzywinski + Pons. The property has a coastal Mediterranean restaurant onsite, called Café Medi. Guests can dine at the bar, the atrium dining room or on the sidewalk patio

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Madison LES Hotel

All guest rooms include a coffee maker, a work desk and a flat-screen cable TV. Guests of Madison LES can use the on-site business centre or fitness centre. Flatiron Building is 2 miles from the hotel, while The Highline Park is 2.2 miles away. LaGuardia Airport is 9.3 miles from the property.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Hotel Indigo Lower East Side

Each room here will provide you with a minibar. Featuring a bath or shower, private bathroom also comes with a hairdryer. Extras include a desk, a safety deposit box and ironing facilities. At Hotel Indigo Lower East Side you will find a 24-hour front desk. Guests can dine at Mr. Purple or enjoy a dip in the open-air, heated pool.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Long Island City – Cheaper alternative not far from the action

Why stay in Long Island City

New York City can be a challenge for those on a budget but not impossible. Anyone who’s looking to save some money on accommodation may find Long Island City a great choice as there’s a plethora of budget hotels and hostels in this up and coming neighbourhood. Not too far from the city, there are several convenient train lines running through Long Island City that will get you into Manhattan in no time. You also get the bonus of incredible skyline views of the city.

Why avoid Long Island City

There are fewer bars, restaurants, and general things to do in the area as it’s still up and coming so if you like a lot of things to do within walking distance then constantly getting the train may not suit you. This also won’t suit people looking for a high-end experience being a largely residential area.

Where to stay in Long Island City

where to stay in long island
Check Courtyard by Marriott Long Island City/New York Manhattan View on Booking.com

Courtyard by Marriott Long Island City/New York Manhattan View

All rooms are equipped with a desk, an iron with ironing board, flat-screen TV and a coffee maker. Some rooms offer a view of the city as well. The fitness centre at the Courtyard Long Island City/New York Manhattan View is equipped with cardiovascular equipment and free weights.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Best Western Plus Plaza Hotel

All warmly decorated rooms at the Best Western Plaza hotel offer a refrigerator, coffee maker, and a spacious work desk Each room includes a hairdryer and free bathroom amenities. This hotel provides a daily continental breakfast and a 24-hour business centre. A concierge service is available to all guests.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Nesva Hotel - New York City Vista

A work desk along with an iPod docking station is featured in each room at Nesva Hotel Long Island City. Select rooms offer views of the New York City skyline. Breakfast is served each morning and it features hot coffee or tea along with fresh fruit and pastries. A business centre is available for guests. A 24-hour reception is also provided.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Brooklyn – Budget, hipster central with lots to offer

Why stay in Brooklyn

This is another great option for people looking to stay in New York on a budget, Brooklyn, however, is much more than a budget option now offering a microcosm of culture of its very own to explore. With popular areas such as the hipster Williamsburg offering artisan cafes, markets, vintage stores, and art galleries to the popular areas on or near the waterfront like Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, and Dumbo. The Museum of Moving Images is a popular destination as well as the various flea and antique markets that happen on a daily basis and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It’s very easy to take the train or the ferry (which offers fantastic views of Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridge) into Manhattan so there’s no need to miss out on any of the sights there either. Perfect for people who like a more relaxed, edgy vibe.

Why avoid Brooklyn

As nice as being outside the city can be, you will have to get the train or a taxi to see the big sights of New York City so if it’s your first visit you may find the travel to and from eating away at your time.

Where to stay in Brooklyn

Where to stay in New York
Check Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown on Booking.com

Holiday Inn Brooklyn Downtown

Every room at the property comes with a desk, an iron with ironing board and en suite bathrooms with complimentary toiletries. The onsite restaurant Brasserie Seoul offers French and Korean cuisine. A cocktail lounge, off-site restaurant delivery and room service are also available. The property also has a fitness centre, a sauna and a steam room.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

Pod Brooklyn

The Pod Hotel Brooklyn is located 700 yards from the Music Hall of Williamsburg and 1,050 yards from State of New York – East River State Park. The Pod Brooklyn offers complimentary WiFi and concierge services. The rooms are housed in four buildings that are separated by a courtyard and connected by bridges. Each room at The Pod Hotel Brooklyn are fitted with a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Private bathrooms with free toiletries and hairdryer are provided for guests’ convenience.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

EVEN Hotel Brooklyn

Each room includes a flat-screen TV with cable channels. Rooms come with a private bathroom. For your comfort, you will find free toiletries and a hairdryer. EVEN Hotel Brooklyn features free WiFi throughout the property.

Compare prices and read reviews, check: Booking.com

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