For a “city that never sleeps,” NYC sure has lots of hotels. Here’s the best ones for families.
For a “city that never sleeps,” New York City sure has a lot of hotels! With some 110,000 rooms and thousands more in the pipeline, it’s hard to know what’s best for your brood. With the highest occupancy rate in the nation, the city is popular and expensive. Whether you want budget, luxury or any room that lets you put the kids to bed without having to go to bed yourself, this list will help you pick the perfect place.
Photo courtesy: Julienne Schaer
155 E 50th St.
There’s a reason why residential hotels are growing in popularity in New York City. Many tourists these days want more than the standard, teeny-tiny, matchbox-of-a-room typically found in Manhattan, especially if they’re traveling with kids. That’s what makes Fifty NYC such a fabulous find for families. Suites in this stylish, understated hotel make you feel like you’re staying in a NYC apartment, complete with separate bedrooms and “urban kitchens” (read: tiny, but hey, this is NYC people! Everyone’s kitchen is tiny) – ideal for those who want meal flexibility. The hotel also has teamed up with FreshDirect (which is how I get my groceries), so you can order meals and snacks directly to the hotel or have them waiting for you when you arrive. How’s that for a “home away from home” feel? Starts at $220/night.
KidTripster Tip: One bedroom suites are best for families with a private king or two queen bedroom and a separate living area with pull-out sofa along with kitchen and dining area. The hotel also has cribs, strollers, high chairs, and a complimentary happy hour complete with kid-approved snacks and lemonade.
2/The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park
2 West St.
Few New York hotels give guests such sweeping views of Lady Liberty as The Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park City and all the while offering rooms more spacious than most in Midtown. Stay in one of the hotel’s Liberty View Suites, and your kids will have their very own telescope to see it up close. Set up base here and immerse yourself in all Lower Manhattan has to offer from Wall Street and South Street Seaport to the 9/11 Memorial and the gorgeous Battery Park and esplanade. This location is great for families who want to sightsee but don't want to be in loud, crowded, and all-too-hectic Midtown. Starts at $350/night.
KidTripster Tip: The Ritz Kids program provides children (ages 5 to 12) with creative and entertaining activities throughout the day. Babysitting and a kids’ menu are also available. Let the team know in advance that you’ll have kids in tow, and the staff will prepare a personalized kit for your little one to get to know New York City. Kids will also get cookies during their nightly turndown service.
KidTripster Tip: If it’s in the budget, treat your kids to the hotel’s Indoor Campout Package which provides children (ages 3 to 8) with a tent, two sleeping bags, an indoor lantern, and even a faux campfire complete with moving “flames”. The hotel’s pastry chef will also create a camping-theme chocolate treat. What kid wouldn’t love that?
What kid doesn’t love a pool in their hotel? Believe it or not, pools are hard to come by around these parts which makes Le Parker Meridien a special spot in New York City. This upscale hotel not only has a stellar location (two blocks from Central Park and near museums, Rockefeller Center, and shopping along Fifth Avenue), it also has a long list of amazing amenities including the indoor penthouse pool, one of the city’s best hotel fitness centers, and not one, but two family-friendly restaurants: Norma’s, a favorite of both locals and tourists where breakfast is served every day until 3 p.m., and a secret burger shop. A massive floor-to-ceiling velvet curtain in the hotel’s lobby hides the entrance to Burger Joint which serves affordable burgers and shakes. It’s a cheap thrill that kids will love; cash only.
Cartoons play on a loop in the elevators that take you to modern and spacious rooms. Junior suites can easily sleep a family of four or five. Starts at $350/night.
KidTripster Tip: Moms, leave the kids with dad and sneak off to The Underground, a one-stop-shop for some serious pampering located on the hotel’s lower level.
5/Conrad New York
102 North End Ave.
If city living just isn’t your speed, consider booking a room at The Conrad. This sleek, elegant hotel is nestled in a quiet enclave of Battery Park City that’s less crowded, more family-friendly, and gives a more peaceful impression of what life in Manhattan can be like. The hotel has an emphasis on contemporary art (with more than 2,000 pieces on display) and offers all two-room suites, so you won’t be short on space. It also provides an excellent base for exploring Lower Manhattan. Sights like the Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, South Street Seaport, and Brooklyn Bridge are all within a few minutes’ walk from this hotel.
Added bonus: You’re right across the street from one of the newest and nicest shopping malls in the city with a killer food hall inside. This isn't your mama’s food court! At Hudson Eats, you’ll find something for every appetite and an incredible view of the Hudson River, too. Also check out the authentic French marketplace, Le District, NYC’s French-version of Eataly, which by the way, opened it’s second NYC location just across the street. Starts at $275/night.
KidTripster Tip: Traveling with teens? Send your kids to see a movie at the Regal Cinema located inside the hotel and sneak off to the Loopy Droopy Rooftop Bar for a cocktail and some impressive views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.
KidTripster Tip: Suites have separate living and sleeping areas, two big-screen TVs, and a wet bar complete with a Nespresso coffee machine. However, not all rooms have bathtubs, so if you have an infant or toddler who isn’t quite ready for a shower, call to confirm with the hotel in advance that your room will have a tub.
145 E 39th St.
Larger families and those traveling with teens will love the budget-friendly accommodations at this funky New York City hotel. Traveling with more than a party of four often means having to pay up for two separate, adjoining rooms, but Pod 39 offers modern, no-frills rooms that can be interconnected in a variety of combinations. Two teens and two parents? Go for the Queen Pod + Bunk Pod combo – two separate rooms with a bathroom in each and a sliding door in between. Family of five? Get a Queen Pod + Mini Bunk Pod + Single Pod. Added bonus: each of the bunk beds has its own TV, so your kids won’t fight over what to watch. Starts at $115/night.
KidTripster Tip: Kids will love the hotel’s “playroom” lounge with ping pong tables, board games, and comfy couches, perfect for iPading. Parents will love that it’s also a bar. There’s a Salvation Taco in the main lobby and a cool rooftop bar.
7/Lotte New York Palace
455 Madison Ave.
One look at the larger-than-life entrance to this grand dame hotel in Midtown Manhattan and you’d think – “no way, this can’t be family-friendly,” but alas, you’d be wrong. Little ones, along with their parents, receive special treatment at this legendary Madison Avenue property. Kids receive teddy bears and coloring books at check-in and will find NYC-themed cookies and sweets waiting for them in their rooms along with child-sized robes and slippers. Located right across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and just steps away from Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, and Central Park, Lotte is all about location, location, location. But for that, you pay a premium, so this hotel is not for the budget-conscious. Starts at $300/night.
KidTripster Tip: Families can choose from a variety of large rooms, many with separate seating areas and views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Select units also have kitchens and outdoor terraces. The hotel also offers an American Girl Place Package which includes a tiny crib for your girl's doll during your stay (gift to take home). Round out the experience with a trip to the American Girl Café.
KidTripster Tip: Take advantage of the hotel’s other luxury amenities like complimentary house car service, shuttle service to the Theater District and Wall Street areas, and even free exercise clothing and cross training sneakers for use at the gym during your stay.
8/1 Hotel Central Park
1414 Avenue of the Americas
Located just one block from Central Park, 1 Hotel Central Park is the city’s newest luxury, hotel. This zen-like, modern-meets-green boutique hotel is LEED-certified featuring energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, filters in all taps, reclaimed wood beam ceilings, bathrooms made with natural materials, and hemp-blend bedding. You’ll also find fun changes like mini chalkboards in lieu of note pads on the desk and stones with the words “Now” or “Not Now” outside the doors in place of “Do Not Disturb” signs. Don’t worry though, going green doesn’t mean giving up modern conveniences. You’ll also find an in-room Nespresso coffee maker, free Wi-Fi, and a big-screen LCD TV. Many rooms also have views of Central Park. The hotel’s restaurant, Jams, serves up local, seasonal fare with organic ingredients and provides kid-friendly, 24/7 in-room dining, too. Guests also receive goodie bags filled with snacks from the restaurant’s chef! Starts at $350/night.
KidTripster Tip: If you're shy, this hotel may not be for you. Note the in-room glass shower! I know, I think it's a little weird, too. But also note that many rooms have closed-off bathrooms; just be sure to check when booking.
9/The London NYC
151 W 54th St.
The London NYC, a luxury, all-suite hotel located just a block off Fifth Avenue, is super spacious and surprisingly, reasonably-priced for New York City. All rooms are over 500-square-feet – much larger than most in Midtown (and some apartments here, for that matter!) London Crown Suites offer a king bed and a queen sofa bed and two-bedroom suites offer a king, a queen, two bathrooms, and a sitting area, easily sleeping five. The hotel also makes the option of in-room dining easy with a great room service menu, complete with kids’ options. Starts at $249/night.
KidTripster Tip: There are plenty of family-friendly restaurants nearby. The famed Carnegie Deli is just around the corner, if you’re in the mood for pastrami or corned beef. Want less touristy, more up-scale, but not too fancy? Try The Todd English Food Hall for anything from guacamole and tacos to oysters and kale salad or The Plaza Food Hall which offers tons of options, most of them casual but nice. Both are located on the concourse level of The Plaza Hotel.
10/Q&A Residential Hotel
70 Pine St.
I am a big fan of sites like Airbnb and VRBO that let you rent a residence and live like a local. But while I love the convenience of having more space and my own kitchen, I often miss things like daily housekeeping, complimentary breakfast, and concierge service. That’s why I love this hotel with a funny name. The Q&A Residential Hotel in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District is half condos, half hotel – giving you the best of both worlds. Located in one of the city’s great vintage, Art Deco skyscrapers, which just got a $50-million makeover, you get a fully-furnished apartment but with hotel amenities like a fitness center, concierge, complimentary continental breakfast, and housekeeping. It also offers grocery delivery, if you don’t want to eat out all the time. Starts at $215/night.
KidTripster Tip: Best bookings for families are the 1-bedroom, 1-bedroom + office and 2-bedroom apartments. Teens may want to check out SoulCycle FiDi around the corner, while toddlers will want to hit the Pearl Street and Imagination Playgrounds, each within a two-minute walk of the hotel.
Marcia Breen always thought NYC was a great place to visit, but she could never actually live there. She now lives in Manhattan with her husband and 2-year-old daughter and spends her days exploring the city and writing about it. Well, that and doing laundry and making meals her kid won’t eat.
This writer received some complimentary stays for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions expressed are solely her own.