Frank Sinatra famously labelled New York City as ‘a city so nice, they named it twice’. He may have been promoting his song at the time, but the label stuck and remains as true today as when those famous words were first uttered.
One of the busiest cities on the planet, New York can be different things to different people. To some it may appear congested, dirty and intimidating; to others it is vibrant, energetic and full of life, with endless sights to see, places to go and personal stories to be written.
The sheer scale of New York City also makes it home to hundreds of luxury hotels, from the boutique through to renowned brands welcoming guests the world over.
Some are home to members of New York City’s most revered names in dining, Michelin stars among many accolades, while others boast views of Central Park or Manhattan’s enchanting waterways.
Whether you crave hustle and bustle or are in search of a quieter corner of the five boroughs to base yourself, in no particular order, here are some of the most spectacular addresses you can call home during your visit.
Park Lane Hotel
Where you’ll find it: 36 CentralPark South
For many, New York hotels are simply a base, but Park Lane Hotel is a retreat where you’ll want to spend your time.
Every bit as elegant outside as in, Park Lane Hotel sits across the road from Central Park with its 628 rooms starting from 32 sqm through to the delectable one-bedroom Meadow Suite and its panoramic park views from both the bedroom and living area.
Of course, park views are available to any guest, even if their room faces another direction, simply by heading to the 47th floor garden oasis which transforms into the Darling Rooftop Lounge.
Seats in the indoor lounge are open season, whereas spots on the outdoor terrace require a booking.
Dining at Park Lane is a true bastion of Manhattan indulgence, falling under the watchful eye of native New York restaurateur, Scott Sartiano, who also heads up two ground floor bars and restaurants in Harry’s and Rose Lane.
Both serve breakfast daily along with a variety of upmarket share plates and main meals.
Where you’ll find it: 10 South Street
Deep in the bottom corner of Manhattan Island lies Casa Cipriani, housed within the 1906-designed Battery Maritime Building and listed on the National Register of Historic Places back in 1976.
Boasting a private members club (with annual dues of US$3,900 plus a $2,000 joining fee), it’s a hotel aimed at those who enjoy the finer things in life – indeed, a Cipriani tradition.
Operating separately is a 47-room boutique hotel, of which some feature balconies and terraces overlooking the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge.
Custom furnished around lacquered mahogany décor, guests can upsize to a suite with as many as three bedrooms with large living areas designed for entertaining if they wish.
The hotel features three restaurants and bars, one serving classic Cipriani recipes that have stood the test of time. After dinner, patrons can adjourn to a private jazz club or rooftop bar to enjoy views of an illuminated city.
During their stay, guests enjoy access to the same privileges as club members, including valet parking, access to exclusive show and event tickets, private art and cultural tours, use of a chauffeured courtesy car and more.
An on-site fitness centre offers daily personal training sessions, while reflexology and stress recovery sessions are among the treatments available in the hotel spa.
The Peninsula New York
Where you’ll find it: 700 5th Avenue
Peninsula Hotels carry with them an intrinsic sense of place, elegance and a reputation for glamour and sophistication.
Set in a classic 1905-built and immaculately maintained address in New York, you can walk through the front doors of The Peninsula New York and not only feel like you’re at home, but one that has been shared by stars of stage and screen, royalty and some of the world’s most eminent decision-makers.
A few blocks walk from the front door will take you to Central Park in one direction, Rockefeller Centre in another, with many of the world’s leading names in luxurious fashion and accessories all around.
Rooms start from 34sqm and are designed to immediately invite a calmness into your body through soft colours and gentle lighting.
Perfect for travellers from around the world, universal power outlets negate the need to first connect an adaptor, with an executive desk in rich mahogany featuring a multi-functional printer, making it easy to get your documents for the next day or your onward journey in order.
Marble bathrooms feature a spacious single vanity alongside a dual bathtub and shower, with two plush robes hanging from the door.
Guests of The Peninsula New York can enjoy numerous social settings to cap off their day.
During the warmer months (May-Sep), head up to the 22nd floor to the new Terrace De Ning for a drink and curated charcuterie snacks overlooking Fifth Avenue.
Other spots where it pays to be seen are Clement Lounge for some light, Asian-inspired bites; or the tantalising Gotham Lounge which teases a selection of irresistible desserts to go with your evening cocktails.
Where you’ll find it: 242 West 76th Street
Staying on the Upper West Side of Manhattan brings with it an expectation of luxury and upmarket surroundings.
The Wallace knows this… and doesn’t disappoint, with grand European marble bathrooms and some of the most spacious rooms in Manhattan.
Located two blocks from Central Park in one direction and the Hudson River in the other, The Wallace is a fine base to explore the city’s finest institutions, such as the Museum of Metropolitan Art, Lincoln Centre and Columbia University.
The Wallace features 124 carefully decorated guest rooms and suites, starting from 23 sqm and each offering with parquet flooring, upholstered headboards and a desk.
Junior Suites take the available space to 36 sqm and add a pair of accent chairs and glass coffee table, while multi-bedroom offerings include a private wet bar in a separate living space.
While The Wallace doesn’t currently have a dining option of its own, a stylish cocktail bar and lounge is in development and due to open in coming months.
Renaissance Hotel Flushing
Where you’ll find it: 133 37th Avenue, Queens
If you’d rather not base yourself amidst the action of Manhattan, there are many amazing hotels in the surrounding boroughs where you can enjoy a more resort-like experience. Renaissance New York Flushing Hotel is one of them.
Spanning two blocks in a four-phase complex nearing completion in Queens, the hotel sits atop a vast retail centre home to nearly 30 Asian restaurants, eight cinemas, a bar with outdoor beer garden and a fitness centre with a full-size Olympic swimming pool.
The 208 rooms themselves are less encumbered by the constraints of Manhattan and feature refrigerators, a large sofa and a standalone desk around the King bed. Bathrooms are stylish and feature Aveda amenities.
Dining within the hotel comes from the rooftop Prime Met restaurant, which serves a fusion menu of Asian and American delicacies and a drinks menu featuring imported whiskey and sake.
Marriott Bonvoy members holding Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador cards can also partake in snacks and drinks in the hotel’s 11th floor Club Lounge, as can guests booking Concierge Level rooms.
Where you’ll find it: 730 5th Avenue
Unapologetically exclusive, Aman New York is being heralded as Manhattan’s most luxurious and as much a destination as the city itself.
Offering 83 suites and an absolute base nightly rate of US$3,200 per night (if you can get it), loyal sybarites are queuing up not just for a stay but also to join its even-more-exclusive members club, paying US$200k as a joining fee alone.
For the money required to get inside the door, the 75 sqm of space provided make them more of a residence than a hotel room, but it’s the Aman lifestyle that guests pay for, not the bed.
Aman New York features a three-level wellness spa featuring 10 treatment rooms including sauna and steam rooms, a 20-metre pool, Moroccan Hamman, and cryotherapy chamber.
The 14th floor Garden Terrace is flanked by soothing water features, fire pits and boasts panoramic views over the city to ensure maximum comfort for its year-round clientele, even in the bitter New York winters.
This is complemented by fine Italian dining at Arva, which celebrates Sicilian cuisine using local ingredients; and Washoku Japanese dining at Nama, complete with its Omakase bar.
To cap things off, Aman’s jazz club features daily performances from some of the city’s finest musicians.
The Ritz-Carlton NoMad
Where you’ll find it: 1185 Broadway at 25 W 28th Street
Located around five blocks between both the Empire State Building and curiously-designed Flatiron Building, the Ritz-Carlton NoMad forms part of a new mixed-use development shared with exclusive residences.
Planted in the city’s Flower District, the hotel features an exquisite art and sculpture collection devised by local New Yorkers, complemented by floral installations to create a blooming welcome for guests.
On the ground floor, Turkish cuisine is celebrated at the 140-seat Zaytinya restaurant through an innovative mezze menu and Mediterranean-infused cocktails, under the careful watch of Michelin starred chef, José Andrés, who will also open a Spanish restaurant at the hotel later this year.
The hotel maximises views for every guest with its 250 rooms soaring high into the sky. Among these are 19 suites and 16 penthouses featuring subtle floral gestures and designed to reflect residential living with custom-designed furnishings.
But it’s the 195 sqm Ritz-Carlton Suite that will truly take your breath away.
Sitting on the 37th floor and featuring wraparound views of the city and two rivers, guests of this lofty residence enjoy a private entrance, separate living and dining areas, walk-in closet, their own Peloton exercise bike, and media room.
For even higher views, guests can access the glittering Nubelez rooftop bar and lounge to build their own jamon, queso, and embutidos boards in a space reflecting New York’s glamorous history, quite literally, via multiple mirrors.
Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s
Where you’ll find it: 456 Greenwich Street, Tribeca
If you’re seeking a touch of Parisian flair in your New York visit, Le Fouquet holds a certain je ne sais quoi.
Whisked from Manhattan into a classic French mansion via the cobbled streets of Tribeca, the hotel features 97 boudoir-esque rooms decorated in quaint European charm.
Among its delights are parquet flooring, sumptuous curtains, quilted headboards, and Toile de Jouy wallpaper, together with marble bathrooms featuring high ceilings and tall windows. Higher room categories also house separate living rooms.
If the frantic activity of Manhattan has worn you out, you can rejuvenate at Spa Diane Barrière, where a hydrotherapy pool with water fitness circuit, and a sauna and steam room, and a menu of treatments utilising organic plant-based French beauty brands await.
When it’s time to dine, Brasserie Fouquet is on-hand to plate up decadent French cuisine as a tribute to the group’s original 1899-founded Parisian restaurant, found on the Champs-Élysées.
Under the tutelage of Michelin-star chef Pierre Gagnaire, diners can savour true French gastronomy amid a dimly lit, warm and romantic environment.
To complete the occasion, Titsou speakeasy bar evokes the classic intimacy of 1920s Paris.
As an alternative, the more casual Par Ici Café is vegetarian themed and specialises in the ‘slow food’ concept in a typical French café setting.
Where you’ll find it: 11 Stone Street, Financial District
This new-build 27-storey tower in New York’s Financial District is exactly where The FIDI takes its name as the first two letters of its surrounds.
The FIDI is a 27-storey new-build offering 143 spacious rooms decorated with wooden cabin vibes. It’s an intriguing juxtaposition of rustic bedrooms with bold postmodern art interpretations in the bathrooms, which guests will find layered with hexagonal marble rings in different shadings.
Guests comfortable with navigating Manhattan’s crazy streets will find a sanctuary at The FIDI, with free parking for guests – a prized luxury if you plan on venturing out each day to explore surrounding boroughs, suburbs or even the city itself.
For dinner, take a seat at The Mint to enjoy some new-age American favourites inspired by Mediterranean culture.
Upstairs, the intimate Mint Bar and cocktail lounge is sure to become a favourite among Wall Street’s executives, with a two-storey jewel box terrace complete with a disco ball for when it’s time for the party to begin.
Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards
Where you’ll find it: 33 Hudson Yards
Curiously described as the ‘fittest hotel on earth’, travellers eager to get their sweat on can relish in a wide variety of exercise programs and individual challenges to ensure they wake each morning fully charged and ready for the day ahead.
Located in Hudson Yards, an increasingly trendy enclave of Manhattan between Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, the hotel is only a few streets west of Midtown and Times Square, surrounded by some of the city’s newest and most innovative attractions.
These include the highest sky deck in the Western Hemisphere and City Climb, where you can dangle from the edge of a skyscraper. Couple this with luxury boutiques and intriguing galleries and you’re in one of Manhattan’s most exciting precincts.
Each of the 222 rooms at Equinox Hudson Yards feature extra-large blackout curtains and soundproofing technology, with the goal of blocking out the Manhattan evening ‘ambiance’ (read: honking horns and snarling traffic) and ensuring all guests enjoy a deep, restful sleep.
Elevating this fitness focus are the services of an Equinox Sleep Coach, a digital room attendant who can guide you through a series of stretches to help you wind down in the evening, or conversely, warm up your body in the morning, with yoga equipment also available.
The theme continues with the hotel’s dining offering, with high-performance breakfasts and nutritious dinners and after-hours sleep-promoting fare, menus are crafted for renewal and recovery.
Perhaps unique for a Manhattan hotel, the hotel features two swimming pools, with a 22-metre indoor saltwater lap pool available alongside an outdoor pool, with summer cabanas able to be booked to soak up some New York sun.
Four Seasons Downtown
Where you’ll find it: 27 Barclay Street, Tribeca
Naturally, the Four Seasons moniker is synonymous with luxury and opulence. New York Downtown is no exception.
Boasting 368 expansive rooms and suites named after New York boroughs and precincts, guests can book spaces starting from the 37 sqm Brooklyn Room up to the 223 sqm Empire Suite.
There’s even a Gotham Suite, should fans of the caped crusader be so inclined to check-in, while many rooms feature spellbinding views over Midtown… even without Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego lurking.
Guests can select from a choice of three bed styles – plush, signature or firm – while marble bathrooms feature an in-mirror television, separate soaking tubs and walk-in showers.
Famed US chef Wolfgang Puck has applied his creative nous to the Four Seasons dining options, built around signature restaurant ‘Cut’ open for three meals each day.
The hotel has dedicated an entire floor to its health and wellness facilities, with a seven-room spa facility and indoor heated lap pool to help guests warm up their muscles.
Should improving your personal health be an objective (and why wouldn’t it be?), guests can even partake in a Life + Longevity package which includes a full-day comprehensive check-up which crafts a personalised wellness program to manage any future risks and maintain an active lifestyle.
The Wall Street Hotel
Where you’ll find it: 88 Wall Street
Newly opened, this Australian-owned ode to excellence and grandeur can be found right on America’s most famous street in finance, just a few blocks down from the NYSE itself.
Housed within the historic Tontine Coffee House building, named after an investment type which once served as a legendary meeting spot for stockbrokers, the hotel features 180 elegant rooms and suites.
Inspired by classic New York homes, the Wall Street Hotel’s rooms embody the rambunctious swagger of political eras before it through curated libraries, handcrafted in-room spirit carts and original artworks, enveloped by calming colour tones.
Guests can opt for the homely 26 sqm Pearl Street King room through to the exuberant 65 sqm Great Pearl Suite, complete with separate living and dining rooms, powder room and two bathrooms.
This elegance extends to the hotel’s public facilities, with first encounters facilitated by a stately grand lobby lounge perfect for a coffee or an evening aperitif while you agonise over the daily New York Times crossword.
Michelin-star Chef John Fraser helms the hotel’s dining offering via La Marchande, a modern take on the classic French brasserie with menu items prepared using exotic ingredients imported from Southeast Asia.
Vermouth is the focal palette cleanser in the beverage list, with numerous cocktails embodying the fortified aperitif including the appropriately located Manhattan.