Where should you stay in Times Square? These are some of the best hotels in the Times Square area.
On this blog, I’ve told you to stay somewhere other than Times Square. But many of you (and people who visit NYC in general) prefer to stay here because it’s convenient to Broadway theatres and most New York attractions. Plus, you can get to most any place in the city from the 42nd St/Times Square subway station, so it makes perfect sense to book a room in one of the many Times Square Hotels. I get it! With that said, I’ve tried out quite a few properties in this part of town, so I’m going to leave you with my top picks. These are some of the best hotels in the Times Square area, so yes, I am giving them my personal stamp of approval.
citizenM Times Square, 218 W 50th St
I’ve stayed in this location and the one on Bowery (home of the cool Museum of Street Art) and I can’t say enough good things about this brand. You won’t get the fluff that you will at some other New York hotels (no bathrobes or slippers; no bellhop or room service), but you will stay in affordable rooms with some luxurious touches. The beds are extra large and super comfy, and rain showers, bath amenities, and digitally controlled temp and TV are some of the pluses. The negative is the room size – it’s cozy and not always the best choice for two people. You’ll have everything you need, but it’s definitely the more Euro-style hotel room. If I were traveling alone and on a budget, I’d easily put citizenM at the top of my list. The best thing about this hotel is the lobby/living room, a fantastic concept for working, eating, drinking, relaxing – you name it – so you’ll spend very little time in the room anyhow.
There’s no formal restaurant, but citizenM puts out one heck of a breakfast buffet – one of the best I’ve seen in the U.S. And you can pick up grab-and-go sandwiches, salads and other snacks as well as drinks in the lobby. There’s also a rooftop lounge.
AC Hotel Times Square, 260 W 40th St
Sleek and design-centric from the moment you enter, this Marriott hotel offers a huge lobby. You’ll feel chic even after an exhausting day of travel and have plenty of space to hang out if you’re waiting to check in. The rooms are straightforward (and spotless) and average in size but have all the essentials, plus those dreamy Marriott beds. Staff here is wonderful, from the front desk to the Castell Rooftop Bar (you must check this out!), the people are friendly and make you feel welcome.
The on-site restaurant, Boqueria, is excellent and serves up yummy Spanish tapas. I recommend selecting several from the menu and sharing the plates. For dinner, try the blistered shishito peppers, crispy potatoes with salsa brava, baby squid with white beans and artichokes and the Serrano ham. Breakfast is wonderful as well. You can order a la carte, but if you’re a hearty eater, the breakfast bar ($29) provides hot and cold items including seasonal scrambles. Really delicious!
Iroquois New York, 49 W 44th St
What I love about this historic hotel is the personalized service and the location between Fifth and Sixth, so it’s close to Times Square and Grand Central Terminal yet a bit off the beaten path. As a travel writer, I often get special privileges, but I stayed at Iroquois New York as a paying customer and I was treated like royalty. I also want to mention that I heard other guests commenting at checkout how superb their stay was. That says a lot. It’s family owned and boutique – the 114 rooms were recently renovated to reflect the Art Deco style of the building. Basic rooms are on the smaller side, but still large enough for two. Suites provide tons of space. You’ll have perks like Frette bedding and robes along with nightly turndown service. The staff in this hotel is well-trained and down to earth. Nothing is too much trouble, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Triomphe is the on-site restaurant, and while pricey, it’s a top pick for a quiet dinner. (There aren’t too many places in Midtown Manhattan where that can happen.) There’s a cute bar alongside the restaurant that offers happy hour so be sure to check that out. And if you walk all the way through the lobby, you find a speakeasy-type drinking den called Lantern’s Keep. Mixing up prohibition style cocktails, it’s one of the best bars in Midtown. The snacks are also delicious!
LUMA Hotel Times Square, 120 W 41st St
If you want to see the ball drop, this is the place to be. You can’t get much better than this location – LUMA has guest rooms with stellar views of the New Year’s Eve festivities and it’s just slightly removed from the madness of Times Square (yet close to it). Plus, this hotel is just down the street from Bryant Park, so you’ll score there too. Slick and modern, the rooms feature plenty of spots for plugging in your tech, and you’ll be able to spoil yourself a bit with luxury amenities like Etro toiletries. While the lobby is tiny with just a petite check-in desk and only a few chairs, it does have a spacious bar, and I recommend relaxing there with a cocktail in hand. 🙂 Luma was offering welcome Sangria when I stayed in the hotel, so maybe you’ll be just as lucky.
Now onto the food! I really enjoyed my meal at Ortzi. James Beard Award-winning chef Jose Garces and his crew cook up Basque-style dishes like fava bean salad, tuna belly crudo and crispy suckling pig. Excellent wines round out the experience – order the Tempranillo!
Sofitel New York, 45 W 44th St
I’ve stayed at this hotel twice; I’ve attended an upscale art event here, and I’ve dined in the restaurant a few times as well. If you want to imagine that you’re in Paris but be in the heart of Midtown Manhattan on a fairly calm block, this is the hotel. The interior is timeless with a touch of glam and you’ll probably be swept away by elegance (like I was). It’s okay, you’re in New York and on vacation. Rooms are a bit larger than some other New York hotels, and the beds….the” SoBed” as it’s called, is one of my all-time favorite beds anywhere. When you crawl in, it’s like a giant cocoon of down is swaddling your body. Fabulous. You will not want to leave the bed, but the greatest city in the world is outside your door, so you must. 🙂 You can’t help but appreciate the Hermes bath products, sumptuous robes, and pin-drop quiet rooms.
While you will find countless spots to eat and drink within a quick walk, Gaby is a solid choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the atmosphere is lovely and reminiscent of a Parisian brasserie. For entrees, the burger, steaks and duck breast a la ‘orange are frontrunners for sure. Try the Caesar salad made with baby gem, kale, avocado and tomato – it’s not your ordinary Caesar. Be sure to sip a pre-theatre cocktail in the bar area before your night out on the town.
All of these hotels are close to transportation and within a 15 or 20-minute walk of Central Park!
Iroquois New York photo by the hotel. All others by me.
Do you have any favorite hotels in the Times Square area? What’s your go-to hotel when you visit NYC? I’d love to know your top picks.
And The St. Regis may be the very best hotel in New York.
Plus, if you’re looking for something fun to do while in NYC, consider this fun tour and visit the places New York movies were filmed.