We’ve teamed up with Eric from NewYorkCity.UK to bring you an insiders guide on where to stay, what to eat and where to explore in the Big Apple. Need some more tips for whilst you’re there? Be sure to check out his new app, (for the Android version click here) and have Eric as your personal guide around the city with offline maps, tips, tricks, and tickets for everything you could possibly want to do in New York.
Welcome to New York City, the city that never sleeps, a constantly evolving melting pot and a tricky place to find your ideal hotel. As someone who has been both traveller and resident of the big apple, these are my favourite New York neighbourhoods to call my temporary home from home and some of my favourite hotel options for all budgets.
First time in NYC? Then book a hotel in Midtown.
For anyone visiting for the first time, I definitely recommend staying in Midtown: the epitome of New York City. The unique, electric atmosphere of Times Square just has to be experienced. Staying in this area allows you to be within walking distance of many iconic attractions.
Visit the Top of the Rock for sprawling views over Midtown and Central Park before shopping on Fifth Avenue. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), showing amazing works from van Gogh to Warhol is a must for any modern art fan.
This neighbourhood is also home to the bright lights of Broadway. When visiting New York, you simply cannot miss out on seeing a show. Head to Carmines for a pre-theatre feast of Italian sharing plates, then sit back and enjoy the performance.
Midtown is also the starting point for many tours, the Hop on Hop off buses are definitely something that I recommend for first time visitors – you can book them directly on newyorkcity.uk. See a lot of the city with a guide in a short space of time and hop off when you want to explore further!
Citizen M’s brand of affordable luxury is the perfect place to stay in Midtown Manhattan and enjoy all the trappings of a boutique hotel with a relaxed vibe and every modern amenity you can imagine such as free WiFi, ambient mood lighting and Netflix.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
1 Hotel Central Park
Practically in Central Park this is the perfect hotel for those looking to enjoy both the bustling metropolis and the relaxed vibe of one of the most famous parks on the planet. Drawing on influences from nature every detail of the 1 Hotel has been thoughtfully considered with reclaimed wood furniture, custom hemp blend mattresses and pure white 100% cotton sheets.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
A gorgeous luxury art deco hotel with gold fixtures, symmetrical shapes and a hint of bygone glamour of the golden days of New York in the thirties. If you are looking to splash out opt for the 730sft Chatwal Suite that comes with it’s own roof terrace amongst the skyscrapers.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
Celebrity spotting in NYC? A hotel in the Upper West Side is for you.
Manhattan’s Upper West Side, originally farmland inhabited by wealthy Dutch immigrants, has definitely come a long way! Nowadays it’s home to many a celebrity.
Staying here gives you a little distance from the bustle of Times Square. With Central Park on your doorstep and everything within reach. Central Park is a perfect place to relax, people watch or ride a bike. Not far from the Upper West Side is the departure point for the Circle Line Cruises. A boat tour is a fantastic way to see the city from a different perspective.
For culture, head to Lincoln Center and enjoy some, theatre, dance, opera or music. Or visit the American Museum of Natural History, a treasure trove of displays: Dinosaurs, butterflies and even a lifesize whale! Nearby, Alice’s Teacup is nice for lunch or afternoon tea (great if you are craving a proper cup of English Breakfast).
Towards Times Square, at the south-westerly corner of Central Park you’ll find Columbus Circle. For dinner, head to Robert NYC, with a wonderful view of Central Park and Columbus Circle, be sure to ask for a table by the window.
Upper West Side is a good place to book your hotel for transport links to the rest of the city. The subway conveniently connects you to the rest of the city.
Friendly and welcoming with wonderful views over the Hudson, Central Park and midtown Manhattan, the Beacon Hotel is an ideal hotel to stay in on the Upper West Side. The rooms are focused on comfort alongside modern amenities, so expect big squishy armchairs and floral patterned cushions, alongside free WiFi and iPod docks.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
This is the perfect hotel for the culture vultures out there, as the Belleclaire counts among its neighbours the Beacon theatre, the Lincoln Centre and the American Museum of Natural History. This lovely boutique hotel features stylish interiors that capture a sense of what it is to be a Manhattanite, think bold colours, textured upholstery and if you are lucky, city view windows.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
Shopping In NYC? Stay in SoHo for boutiques and big names.
Did you know that SoHo is an abbreviation for South of Houston? At the end of the 19th century, a large textile industry developed in this area which is apparent in the industrial buildings. Nowadays SoHo is one of the city’s safest neighbourhoods, a great place to stay when travelling alone.
If your trip to New York is primarily for retail purposes, SoHo is the place for you, with a nice mix of big name stores and smaller boutiques housed in beautiful buildings along the neighbourhoods cobblestone streets. The best place to start is at the crossing of Prince Street and Broadway.
Crosby Street Hotel
Located on a quiet cobbled street in the centre of SoHo the Crosby Street Hotel is a hotel that has it all. From afternoon tea to watching the latest blockbusters in the screening room, you will want for nothing during your stay. Opt for an invigorating morning yoga session or head over to the rooftop kitchen garden for unparalleled views of sunrise in the city.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
Soho Grand Hotel
Everything at the luxurious Soho Grand hotel is on a grand scale. From the impressive lobby to the loft spaces some of which offer up to 1,600 square feet of interiors space, all decorated with a modern perspective and including an outdoor terrace.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
The Roxy is a nod and a wink to New York’s jazz age and celebrates the 1920’s movie scene and its own past a movie theatre. Dining at the restaurant includes large juicy American Hamburgers and if you are looking to make a night of it head over to Paul’s cocktail bar where their expert mixologists can whip you up the perfect beverage of your choice.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
Where to eat in NYC? Foodies stay in the East Village and never run out of options!
East Village is my personal favourite neighbourhood, I lived here for a while and I am not the only one who is fond of the place. Madonna, Lady Gaga, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop – all lost their hearts to East Village. With its relatively low buildings and lack of chain stores, it’s a great place to discover.
East Village is a trendy neighbourhood, with many small bistros, pubs and student bars. Tree Bistro is a cozy place with great service and a beautiful patio. Ikinari Steak is a Japanese steakhouse where you eat at standing tables. I have had one of the best steaks here, and the sauce is delicious. If you’re looking for an alternative night out, take a tour of the hidden speakeasies in New York, many of which can be found (if you know where to look) in this area.
For getting around, the East Village has a great location, close some of Manhattan’s most beloved areas such as Little Italy, TriBeCa and Chinatown. Within a short subway ride you can find yourself in Midtown, Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn.
The Bowery is like being transported to an old colonial country house. The lobby features oak-panelled walls and a deep fireplace surrounded by 1930’s armchairs whilst the bedrooms boast pure white walls, a white-painted wooden slat ceiling and ceiling fans, with dark wood furniture. The effect is an oasis of comfort and warmth in the heart of the city.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
Sixty Lower East Side
Sixty is about as chic as they come. The hotel’s key feature is perhaps the outdoor pool with Andy Warhol’s face printed on the floor so that it looks up through the water. Rivalling for the title of ‘key feature’ is the tiki themed rooftop-bar which apart from being a whole load of fun also commands impressive views of the city.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
The best sight-seeing in NYC? Book a hotel in the Financial District.
New York’s Financial District, the world renowned centre for finance and law. A stay in this neighbourhood offers a bounty of attractions and hotspots. Amongst the many skyscrapers you’ll find the world-famous stock exchange, Trinity Church and Federal Hall.
One World Observatory offers amazing views and the 9/11 Museum, along with the memorial is a touching tribute to the tragic events of 9/11. The entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is also located here for even more fantastic New York views.
If you are in this part of town, make sure you don’t miss the opportunity of catching a boat to these world-famous landmarks, or even taking an exciting helicopter tour.
W New York Downtown
A psychedelic and modern hotel the W is a stylish hotel right in the centre of all the action. The rooms all follow a clean white aesthetic, with minimal furniture, maximising space and allowing the views to the focal point of the room.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)
Andaz Wall Street
In true wallstreet style this hotel is in the heart of the city and caters for those who are always on the go. Think a 24 hour gym, an on-site gourmet restaurant, a beer garden where you can sip on craft beer after a long day in the city and a complimentary nightly wine-hour hosted in the lobby.Compare price (£) Compare price (€)