A Beginner's Guide to New York Hotels

by Asako Maruoka /
Asako Maruoka's picture
Sep 14, 2012 / 0 comments

When you go to New York, finding a good place to stay, an excellent place to eat and a savvy place to shop is the Triple Crown of the Big Apple experience. The location of many of New York’s must-see restaurants and trendy nightclubs are secrets that are guarded by the locals. There is a neighborhood tribalism in New York that is impossible for the casual tourist to penetrate. In the end, all you are left with is a guidebook; it portrays New York with broad strokes but does not get into the pointillist details of the 780 km city. However, word of mouth is New York’s second favorite currency, and after ponying up $12 for a bottle of water and $15 for a martini, you will take any type of word of mouth you can. The best way to find out where to stay, eat and shop is to ask someone who has been to New York, or better yet, ask a New Yorker (better yet, why not check out Virgin Holidays?).


Choosing a Hotel

Where you stay can make or break your New York holiday. Your piggybank is already going to be broken, but there is not much you can do about that. However, there are so many different types of hotels in New York that finding a place to stay is a daunting task. The East Side, between 60th and 80th streets, is home to numerous luxury hotels. On the other hand, you can find more moderately priced hotels in midtown, especially around Lexington Avenue and Grand Central Station. The Murray Hill district has easy access to midtown as well as some of the quietest hotels in the city. The Times Square area has been revived. If you are in New York for a theatre holiday, then the hotels in this area put you in close proximity to all the action. Some hotels offer seasonal and promotional rates, but tourism in New York is always in season, so finding an off-peak price might be like looking for a needle in a haystack.


The Representation of the Room and the Room Itself

When you order lunch at McDonalds, have you ever noticed how the vibrant and glossy representation of you burger on the menu looks nothing like the decrepit burger that is served to you on that brown cafeteria tray? Booking a hotel in New York is a lot like that. The pictures of New York hotel rooms that you see on the Internet have a tendency to be romantically exaggerated, and you might walk into your room and not even recognize it from the picture. In the end, this is another reason why word of mouth and personal recommendations are your best guidebook.