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New York City is brimming with life and energy at any time of the year, but this festive spirit really comes to life around the holidays. Lots of people travel to NYC in the winter months to see the fun Christmas decorations and store displays, shop for gifts, and attend top-notch arts performances. From the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park, Union Square Holiday Market, and sledding around the city, this is a truly magical place to be.
Lots of the local hotels get in the holiday spirit as well with their decorations and themed events. Here are some of the best places to stay for your holiday trip to New York City!
Old-world elegance and new-world luxury are combined at the Lotte New York Palace, which is one of the city’s best 5-star hotels on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The Villard Restaurant and Pomme Palais offer breakfast dishes, pastries, and sandwiches. And there’s a 7,000-square-foot full-service fitness center available to help you stay in shape over the holidays. Pet-friendly accommodations are available, so you don’t have to leave your pup behind. This hotel typically puts up a great Christmas tree behind the gates of its Madison Avenue courtyard. The staff set up smaller trees in the lobby, and there’s even been elaborate gingerbread houses displayed at the top of the grand staircase.
Dream Downtown is a boutique hotel with a buzzing lobby, a glass-bottomed swimming pool, and built-in nightlife options that make going out easy. The PH-D Rooftop Lounge is ideal for a penthouse party, and the Bodega Negra restaurant is decorated with vintage guitars and has a south-of-the-border atmosphere. There’s also the Electric Room, which has a cool speakeasy vibe. During the Christmas season, Dream Downtown gives its lobby a makeover that is both festive and eclectic. Past displays here have featured taxidermy-style snow leopards and polar bears, as well as an outdoor ice bar and alpine ski lodge themes.
This is one of the most iconic hotels in New York City, located on Fifth Avenue at Central Park South. The Plaza opened its doors in 1907 and has since been the NYC hotel to see and been seen at. It has been the setting of various Hollywood movies and drawn in presidents, kings, and celebrities over the years. The Plaza Food Hall has some great counter-style dining options, the Palm Court serves breakfast, afternoon tea, and dinner, and the Todd English Food Hall serves excellent seafood and pasta. The Christmas decorations at the Plaza usually go up around Thanksgiving to make the hotel festive for the entire season. You’ll typically find wreaths, garland, and ornament strung about to welcome guests into the Fifth Avenue entrance.
Your holiday trip to NYC will be festive as well if you plan to stay in the exquisitely decorated Gramercy Park Hotel. Red rugs and velvety furniture make the lobby lovely all throughout the year, but you’ll also usually find trees with decorations here and in the Rose Bar during the holiday season. Offering some of the best views of NYC from its lavish rooms, the hotel is filled with Julian Schnabel’s furnishings, and the Renaissance revival-style décor features bronze-studded velvet headboards and a saw-tooth chandelier. The artwork on the walls is ever-changing, and Maialino restaurant is known for roast suckling pig and flavorful pasta dishes.
A top choice if you want to be near Central Park, The Ritz-Carlton gets all decked out for the Christmas season too, and it’s conveniently located by some of the city’s top attractions. This hotel is in Midtown Manhattan and close to all the best shopping, near Radio City Music Hall and also by the Modern Museum of Art. Many of the 259 luxury guest rooms and suites here overlook Central Park, and guests enjoy afternoon tea and cocktails at the Star Lounge. La Prairie Spa specializes in luxury skincare treatments, and the Auden Bistro & Bar is a great place to grab a bite to eat.
The Pierre, A Taj Hotel is a Fifth Avenue hotel that overlooks Central Park and really knows how to do the holiday season right. There are luxury rooms and suites here, as well as a 24-hour fitness center. Guests enjoy the Turkish marble bathrooms, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, and fine dining French specialty restaurant onsite. You can also enjoy afternoon tea at Two E, and there are activities and services for families traveling with kids. At the Pierre, you’ll usually find lots of Christmas trees with shiny ornaments and lights in the common areas. Another decorating tradition here is faux fireplaces that are hung with stockings, just waiting for Santa to arrive and fill them.
It’s exciting to stay at the JW Marriott Essex House for a while you take in the festive sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of NYC at Christmastime. This hotel has luxe rooms and suites to pick from. Onsite you’ll find a full-service spa, fitness center, meeting event space, and pet-friendly rooms. Bring the whole family along because there are family suites available, family-friendly breakfast packages, and package deals that make traveling with kids more affordable.
The holidays are also a fun time to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York because of its wonderfully decorated Art Deco lobby. For past Christmas seasons, the hotel has displayed a 25-foot tree that’s wrapped in garland and accented with thousands of lights, ornaments, and bows. Setting all of this up takes many hands and many hours! Elsewhere in the hotel, you can expect to find carefully placed poinsettias and maybe even a gourmet gingerbread village. You’ll also be very close to Madison Avenue shopping when you stay at the Four Seasons. There are family package deals and many family-oriented activities offered here, as well as a beauty spa with nine treatment rooms and 24-hour fitness facilities. Also, there are fewer than 12 rooms per floor at this hotel, which helps to ensure a quiet and peaceful stay.
It’s hard to beat Park Lane if you’re looking for that classic New York City experience. Perfectly situated, this luxe hotel has some of the best views in New York City, overlooking both Central Park and the New York skyline. You’ll wake up every morning in your oversized bed and throw back the curtains to reveal the energy of the city down below. This magical spot is guaranteed to leave you with beautiful memories during the holidays, from the bespoke experience the team here offers every guest to the extensive range of amenities. Spacious and bright rooms at Park Lane New York come with oversized windows and tasteful color coordination. Sweeping, melodic murals cover the walls while the decor of its downstairs restaurants and bars – including a rooftop bar – follow a similar, sophisticated style.
It would almost be a crime to visit NYC and not check out Times Square at least once. Better yet, check into The Westin New York at Times Square, one of the best Times Square adjacent hotels, during your time in the city, and you’ll be treated to the magic of that particular corner of NYC every day. This luxury hotel is one of the most unforgettable in the area, within easy reach of many of the city’s most famed attractions. Walk to Broadway theaters, Central Park, and Madison Square Garden, or make good use of the hotel’s own facilities with dinner at the vibrant Foundry Kitchen & Bar. Over at the gym, you’ll find state-of-the-art equipment, including Peloton bikes, and, at the end of each night, return to your hotel room or suite to get cozy in your giant, heavenly bed or take a dip in the oversized bathtub.
The InterContinental New York Barclay is a classic choice if you’re heading to NYC this winter and know exactly what you want or if you’re looking for a place to stay in the city for a luxurious workcation. This staple spot is a perpetually popular one suitable for solo travelers, business travelers, or anyone looking to be centrally located. A refined hotel with a timeless history to match, InterContinental New York comes with all of the essentials and a few added extras for a seamless stay in the city. Rooms here are airy and spacious and come decked out in gold tones with oversized, comfy beds and charming decor. Take a shower in the pristine bathrooms using the hotel’s delicious toiletries and wrap yourself up in an oversized bath towel afterward. This elegant hotel is only a 10-minute walk to Times Square, while the luxury shops and restaurants along Fifth Avenue are just five minutes away.
The New York Marriott Marquis is one of New York City’s most popular hotels and one of the best Marriott hotels in the city, located right in the center of Manhattan, with all of the city’s perks only footsteps away. This modern, imposing hotel stretches high up into the city’s skyline and comes filled with the impressive amenities you’d expect from such a place. You can choose between rooms or suites at the New York Marriott Marquis, making it one of the best hotels for all kinds of budgets. Rooms come complete with neutral tones and beautiful views of the buzzing city, while suites come with sumptuous leather sofas, separate living and dining areas, and even more impressive views. A place where you’ll never go hungry, there’s a range of different restaurants and bars to suit all tastes.
The Royalton Park Avenue Hotel is based in the seriously cool NoMad district in Midtown Manhattan, surrounded by some of the city’s most highly rated bars, restaurants, and sights. The first thing you’ll notice about this star hotel is probably its rooftop terrace and lounge, complete with a swimming pool overlooking the city skyline. The second thing you’ll notice about this urban spot is its little luxuries dotted throughout, like its 400 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, stylish bedrooms with neutral colors, and sundeck and cocktail bar. Downstairs there’s a cozy Italian restaurant serving delicious, home-cooked style meals that you should dine in at least once during your stay here. There’s also an on-site spa if you want to add a little relaxation to your time in this fast-paced city.
Looking for something a little more personal? Head to Hotel (The Mercer), one of NYC’s coolest boutique hotels, situated in a landmark brick Romanesque building at the east end of SoHo’s high-end shopping area. Many guests at this hotel rave about its location, only a five-minute walk from Washington Square Park and Little Italy and three miles from Times Square. Wander through The Mercer to take in all of its exceptional attention to detail, like the high ceilings and luxurious touches through to the marble bathroom, including a walk-in shower with body sprays. You can request video game systems for your room or book private treatments and services here, including private exercise trainers, massage therapists, and yoga lessons. Its loft-like bedrooms are reminiscent of the city’s coolest apartments, just a little more luxurious.
If you’re hoping to spend most of your time in NYC exploring all of the best things to do in Manhattan, we’d recommend checking into Thompson Central Park New York. This modern hotel is renowned for its unique sense of style, something you’ll probably notice as soon as you’ve stepped through its doors. With unusual color combos and intriguing artwork decorating the walls, it’s fair to say Thompson Central Park is quite unlike any other hotel nearby. Views here include the lush greenery of the park or the bustling sidewalks below, with thick windows keeping out any external noise. You’re guaranteed a great night’s sleep at this prestigious spot, with its sumptuous mattresses, sculptural ombré lighting, and refined finishes of warm woods, sleek marble, and jewel-toned elements. Downstairs, there’s a choice of restaurants: Chef Manish Mehrotra’s signature Indian Accent or the incognito Burger Joint.
The Evelyn is NYC’s top hotel for lovers of Art Deco design. This incredible hotel is one for photographers or anyone who likes to snap a photo with a great background. You’ll find plenty of those in every room of this boutique hotel, with its oversized stained glass windows, dark-toned wooden furniture, and endless greenery. Set in the NoMad neighborhood, formerly the historic Tin Pan Alley, The Evelyn offers Art Nouveau-style bedrooms and gorgeous communal spaces. Even if you’re determined to eat and drink your way across the city, you should definitely spend some time in the hotel’s own dining concepts. There are three to explore here, including the Brooklyn Diner Pop-Up and the Evelyn Bar with its architectural highlights. There’s also a state-of-the-art gym with Peloton bikes if you hope to work out during your stay.
The Iroquois in Times Square is definitely one of New York’s most elegant hotels, infusing classic design with modern touches in a place that simultaneously feels like a look back at the past and a look forward to the future. This one-of-a-kind boutique hotel is magical with its imposing entrance and gold touches throughout. The Iroquois was first built in 1899 and has retained many of its original features, making it a top spot for history buffs or anyone looking for a little extra culture. It is located in midtown Manhattan. Only 700 yards away from Grand Central Station, you won’t have to walk many steps to find some kind of entertainment here. In true throwback style, there’s even a speakeasy bar downstairs.
There may be W Hotels dotted across the world, but the W Hotel New York Union Square is maybe the most impressive. This contemporary spot is set right in the center of NYC, which means it’s pretty straightforward to find your way to all of the city’s best tourist attractions and even easier to find your way back to your cozy room afterward. Tucked within the landmark 1911 Beaux-Arts Guardian Life building, this is a hotel that takes its communal decor seriously. While the rooms may follow a similar blue or brown routine, the hotel’s famed lounge and other areas fuse old-school grandeur with NYC’s avant-garde style. Perched at the intersection of New York City’s Uptown and Downtown neighborhoods, you couldn’t be better located.