You're about to spend a week in New York City. You've got your flight booked and your itinerary (almost)
figured out, and now it's time for the most important, yet difficult, part – choosing a place to stay.
But where do you start?
You could scour TripAdvisor or Google reviews until your eyes bleed, and maybe you have, but there are more efficient ways to find the perfect hotel for you, especially if this is your very first time in the city. In fact, we are going to break down the entire research process we do for our clients.
When we start building bespoke travel packages
for our guests and it's time for us to focus on the accommodation(s), we like to choose them based on these three aspects –
- Budget v Amenities
1- LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
PS – it's not what you think!
You should definitely pick a Hotel with a great location. However, so many times we hear the phrase “in the city center
” but the center in New York City can be everything and nothing. Granted, the city center of a traditional town is where you would expect to find all the stores, the restaurants, the hustle & bustle of the city, etc. In New York City, with five boroughs and hundreds of thousands of neighborhoods, there are multiple “centers”
scattered across 303 square miles.
So when it comes to LOCATION we actually focus on the following points –
(a) Safe environment so our guests can come and go as they please day & night
(b) Easy access to public transportation
(c) The Walkable Score which includes access to good dining options from coffee shops to fast-casual food chains and restaurants.
Here are few guidelines we love keeping in mind when selecting the right location –
- You can't go wrong if you consider the location first!
- Remember, that location can be more important than amenities, especially in a city as big as New York City and with many diverse neighborhoods.
- If you want to experience the best of New York City, try staying in a neighborhood that's loved by locals. As locals we know our city inside and out – we know where the good bars and restaurants are located, what shops have been around for years and years, which places are worth visiting on your trip, and more!
- Remember that NYC has a pretty extensive 24/7 public transportation system. It will be easy for you to move around the city during the day and visit the different attractions, especially those located in Manhattan. So, you don't have to be near Times Square to visit Times Square. Instead, opt for the location that gives you the most access to the things you may need early in the morning or in the evening such as bars and coffee shops, restaurants, and stores. If you choose a hotel close to your favorite restaurants and bars, you can fully enjoy your hotel stay and spend less time going back and forth.
Sizing comes in second
After we narrow down the location(s) we look at the CLEANLINESS of both the lodging/rooms available in that area and the overall neighborhood. We read reviews of previous customers and we mix those with our first-hand experience of living and working in NYC. The fact that rooms are often dubbed “shoe boxes” is unfortunately a very common issue in the city … Our homes and apartments are shoeboxes too if you care to know. And ultimately what makes the difference (for both hotels and apartments) is the budget you have.
More upscale and luxury venues tend to offer bigger rooms. The size issue however does present itself especially when we are looking at the more budget-friendly hotels. However, this is not to say that within a set budget, we cannot find more square-footage and more value for your buck. It’s a matter of knowing where and how to look. So when it comes to CLEANLINESS we like to ask and consider
(a) Do most feedbacks mention clean rooms
(b) Are common areas clean as well?
(c) Is the neighborhood and its surroundings
clean and free of the most common NYC issues – piles of trash, overflowing trash cans, rodents, etc?
3- BUDGET & WISHES
And let's be realistic!
Now, it's time to talk budget – How much are you willing to spend per night?
In New York City, hotels range from $150-$5,000+ per night depending on what part of town they're located in and how luxurious they are. If budget is an important factor for you, consider making reservations well in advance so that there aren't any surprises and you might have more options to choose from.
When you try balancing your budget & your wishes,
think of the type of hotel you are looking for – the category and amenities. This will help us, and you, narrow down the search so that we don't waste time looking at too many options.
Things that are worth keeping in mind are –
- People Traveling With You: Do you plan on bringing friends or family with you? If so, how many people need beds and will you be sharing rooms? Keep in mind that not many Hotels in NYC offer 2 Queen Size Beds in one room and if they do, they tend to be the most expensive rooms.
- What kinds of AMENITIES do YOU want out of YOUR hotel? Do you require a Gym or in-house laundry service? Do you like Hotels with lounges? Remember that NYC Hotels tend to already have above avarage pricing for (unfortuantely) lower than avarage standards. The more ameneties and services you require, the more the rates will go up.
These are the average nightly rates (pre tax) based on the season and hotel category. High Season (December / May / June / September)
5-Star Hotel = $800+ average per night Mid Season (July / August / October / November / March)
4-Star Hotel = $550 average per night
3-Star Hotel = $320 average per night
5-Star Hotel = $650+ average per night Low Season (January / February)
4-Star Hotel = $400 average per night
3-Star Hotel = $250 average per night
5-Star Hotel = $450+ average per night
4-Star Hotel = $250 average per night
3-Star Hotel = $120 average per night
BEFORE BOOKING –– PAY ATTENTION TO THE FINE PRINT!
- Remember that most website aggregators such as Booking, Expedia, Orbitz, etc, oftentimes advertise the lowest available Nightly Rate excluding local taxes. Additionally, the cheapest rates are often non-refundable rates, so make sure you double check the rate you are selecting.
- If you decide to book the Hotel on your own, please make sure to read what's included. All Hotels in NYC are required to charge an overnight tax of 14.75% + $1.5 USD per night per room.
- Many Hotels will also charge additional Resort Fees per night. These Resort Fees can go anywhere from $25 to $75 per night depending on the Hotel and amenities included.
CAREFUL HOTEL SELECTION FOR OUR GUESTS
Here at New York Welcome, we believe in curating memorable experiences expertly tailored to our guests' needs & dreams. This is why when we curate our bespoke packages, we go through an extensive research phase to make sure we provide some unique and valid hotel options tailored to each guest. When booking your hotel with us, you will also get –
- First-hand expertise
- Local support
- Full access to the latest openings & local gems
- Privacy and discretion
Traveling shouldn't be a cookie cutter experience ... No two travelers are exactly alike nor should their journeys be! - Irene, founding family, experience coordinator.
MANHATTAN NEIGHBORHOODS WE LOVE
UPPER WEST SIDE
For a very local New York stay – lots of restaurants and bars, access to both Riverside & Central Park. Family and laid-back vibes without compromises.
Movie/TV: You’ve Got Mail - Seinfeld's - Only Murderers in the Building
SOHO & NOLITA & THE VILLAGE
For those looking for the Hip & Cool, Seen & Be Seen vibes, boutiques and hot spots. Narrow tree-lined streets famous for either cast-iron architecture or townhomes.
Movie/TV: Ghost - Friends - Sex & The City (The TV-Series) - The First Wives Club
UPPER EAST SIDE
For those looking for elegance, pre-war buildings and traditional Grand Hotels. Fine dining, classic stores, quitnessential old New York.
Movie/TV: The Nanny Diaries - Gossip Girl - Metropolitan (1990)
If you don't mind being in a business hub, lots of fast-casual food options during the day, easy access to top landmarks. A NYC Skyline classic.
Movie/TV: The Wolf of Wall Street - Wall Street - 25th Hour
If you are looking to be in Midtown withouth compromising on local services such as good restaurants, bars and lounges try Midtown East.
Movie/TV: Breakfast at Tiffany's
If you love industrial looking buildings, lofts & cobble-stone streets. Off the beaten (not touristy) path but with lots of Hot spots for you to try; Tribeca is a foodie heaven.
Movie/TV: Hitch - Sex & The City: The Movie
As with any major metropolitan city, there might be areas that are best to avoid, particularly considering how covid-19 has changed and reshaped some neighborhoods, yes, especially in Manhattan!
High foot traffic areas where there might have been lots of stores and services before the pandemic, but now because half of the offices are still working remotely, many stores shut down and haven't fully come back (yet.) As always major transportation hubs such as train stations and bus terminals, might attract unsavory individuals, so please be aware of that especially if considering the South-West Times Square area (7th, 8th & 9th Ave between 44th and 26th street
) when booking your hotel. News and sensationalism aside, New York City is a pretty safe area, however, we always recommend exercising caution when traveling, avoid traveling to remote areas at night, be aware of your surrounds and just be smart.
THE OTHER BOROUGHS
Both the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens
offer several charming and lively neighborhoods to choose from –– Williamsburg, Astoria, Brooklyn Heights, Dyker Heights, Park Slope, Forest Hills and Dyker Heights
, and many more.
The one thing to consider when you are deciding wether it makes sense for you to venture outside Manhattan, is how willing you are torely on on transportation. If you are okay having to ride the subway (from 15 to 50 minutes depending on the route) then you should give those neighborhoods a try.
The one thing we do recommend is that regardless of the borough you end up choosing, you do select an area that offers several options when it comes to dining and local stores. The one thing that you don't want is a Hotel in the middle of nowhere with very limited services around.
If you are interested in creating a custom stay in the city, we do specialize in selecting hotels for different needs and budgets from leisure travelers looking for the ultimate luxury experience to more budget-friendly options for families and groups of friends to large corporate or leisure groups.
So, why book with us?
The ultimate Luxury New York-cation is yours to experience.
Family-operated NYC Small Business with 40+ years of hands-on expertise.
Source anything you wish to create your desired travel memories.
" [...] What can I say, in addition to wonderful places, NYW has made everything more magical [...]” – Giorgia M. - verified guest on Google
FINDING THE PERFECT HOTEL IS NOT AS HARD AS YOU MIGHT THINK!
The reality is that when you visit NYC, you most likely will spend very little time in your room! So, we feel that as long as we focus on these 3 aspects –
- EASY TO GET FROM & TO
- CLEAN & SAFE AREA
- STANDARD FEATURES IN THE ROOM
you should be able to have a pleasant stay in the city.
INTERESTED IN CREATING YOUR NYC STAY WITH US? SEND US YOUR REQUEST NOW PLEASE FILL OUT THE REQUEST FORM BELOW WITH YOUR CHOSEN DATE AND WE WILL BE IN TOUCH WITH YOU TO BUILD YOUR CUSTOM TRAVEL PACKAGE.