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Since the days when the majestic Statue of Liberty warmly welcomed immigrants seeking a new life in a land of plenty, New York has been one of the most popular cities in the United States. The city has been gifted with restaurants featuring flavors from all corners of the globe, neighborhoods with distinct local character, and numerous celebrations of international arts and traditions. As a world-class city, New York also contains more than its fair share of upscale shopping, art galleries, and leading museums, theaters, and public libraries. Although a stay in this dynamic city can seem daunting, there are a number of excellent properties that provide a range of family-friendly facilities and services to make a visit to the Big Apple as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Best Overall: Four Seasons Hotel New York
Soaring 52 stories into the sky, the Four Seasons Hotel New York is the tallest hotel in the city, offering stunning views of Central Park and other nearby Manhattan landmarks. Guestrooms take full advantage of the gorgeous views with large windows that flood contemporary rooms and suites with natural light. The hotel goes the extra mile to accommodate families, with extensive kids’ packages of welcome gifts, child-sized bathrobes, and baby toiletries prepared for guests prior to arrival. Cribs and rollaway beds are provided where necessary (at no extra charge), and the dedicated concierge service can arrange babysitting services and family-friendly activities throughout the city. Coloring books, board games, and a DVD library are available to help keep young ones entertained. The Garden Restaurant serves a range of healthy, gourmet breakfast, brunch, and lunch platters, with a selection of children’s options. Although there is no dinner restaurant, the concierge service can recommend and reserve tables at a variety of local dining establishments. There is also an in-room children’s menu, available 24/7 to for guests’ convenience.
Best Budget: Skyline Hotel
Set in the infamous but rapidly gentrifying district of Hell’s Kitchen, Skyline Hotel offers guests excellent value accommodation with many of the features of much pricier properties. Basic but comfortable rooms can accommodate up to four people and come with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and private bathrooms. A pet-friendly policy allows up to two four-legged family members to accompany guests during their stay free of charge (although a deposit is required against any damage). The hotel features a heated indoor pool, set in a tranquil hall with floor-to-ceiling windows that present excellent views of the surrounding skyline. The hotel is also located close to the numerous emerging restaurants and bars of 9th Avenue.
Best for Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park
Overlooking the green expanses of Central Park and just steps from upscale shopping on Fifth Avenue, the Ritz-Carlton New York Central Park offers luxurious accommodations and impeccable service well suited to discerning families. The Ritz Kidz program welcomes younger guests with a dedicated kids’ registration area, where children are presented with a welcome package and a choice of toy upon check-in. A children’s menu is provided in the Auden Bistro & Bar, and families can purchase a Family Fun package for lots more family conveniences. Large guest rooms can accommodate rollaway beds for extra capacity and feature a full range of modern amenities and comforts, including flat-screen TVs and high-quality sound systems. Impressive bathrooms are lined with marble fittings and contain separate soaking tubs and walk-in showers. Guests staying in the deluxe rooms on the 10th floor and above will enjoy superb city views, with some including uninterrupted vistas of Central Park.
Best for Younger Families: The Iroquois New York
Situated close to Times Square, a New York Public Library, and other attractions, the Iroquois New York provides modern amenities and conveniences without losing its historic character. The hotel is family owned and the staff has obviously been trained to welcome families with open arms. Guestrooms are sprawling and come with modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and soundproofed windows for a quiet night’s sleep. Expect a gift bag upon check-in that may include goodies such as a coloring book or a rubber duck for bath time. Amenities available to help parents out include strollers, baby cribs, baby bathtubs, and car seats. A dedicated concierge service is also on hand to provide guests with a range of services, including babysitters and child-friendly transportation.
Best for Older Families: Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC
Set in a fashionable district with an abundance of restaurants and bars in the immediate vicinity, Gansevoort Meatpacking NYC is a chic, trendy hotel that at first glance would suit young couples and hip single travelers. However, a variety of family-friendly features and amenities makes it perfect for broods as well. Rooms are spacious and can accommodate cribs and sofa beds to cater to families of all sizes. Kids will be kept entertained with in-room video game consoles and with games of pool at the table in the downstairs lobby. A heated rooftop pool is a great place to cool off while enjoying panoramic city views, and you can even take a nighttime dip thanks to underwater lighting. Younger children are also catered to, with baby services including strollers, infant bathtubs, and bottle warmers. The Chester provides classic American fare in a casual setting and has a children’s menu to cater to littles.
Best Boutique: The James New York SoHo
Set within trendy, bohemian SoHo, The James comes across as patently grown-up, but it does extend a considerable amount of its hospitality to families with children. Little guests receive a welcome check-in gift, milk and cookies at turndown, and a DIY kit for oatmeal whoopie pies. The hotel also has loaner board games, Nintendo Wiis, and G-rated DVDs to keep everyone entertained. The James accepts dogs of any size or weight but charges a $75 cleaning fee. Sleeping pads and dog bowls are provided by SoHo pet shop Pup Culture, plus treats and toys are available for purchase. The hotel offers upscale family suites with private foyer access; these come with modern furnishings, bathrooms with glass-enclosed rain showers, and large windows that provide views of the surrounding neighborhood. Guests can take advantage of 24-hour room service and in-room massages. Spectacular 360o views can be found on the rooftop pool and sundeck and at the Jimmy lounge bar.
Best Location: Parker New York
Ideally situated in midtown Manhattan, Parker New York places many of New York's finest attractions — including Central Park and Carnegie Hall — right at your doorstep. Additionally, the 57 Street Subway Station provides accessible public transport to other areas of the city. By weaving together marble floors, graceful columns, and graffitied walls (in the popular burger bar), the hotel somehow manages to mix an elegant and classical atmosphere with a quirky and unpretentious vibe. A property highlight is the indoor rooftop pool and sun deck, which presents excellent views of Central Park and the city's skyline. Views can also be found in spacious rooms on higher floors, which come with all the amenities you'd expect. Parker's onsite burger joint serves some of the tastiest burgers in the city, and the iconic Norma restaurant serves a breakfast and brunch menu that ranges from kid-friendly favorites to the world’s most expensive omelet. Savvy families should partake in the Family & Fun program, which offers burger vouchers to cover a family of four and an upgrade to a roomy junior suite.
Best for Times Square: New York Marriott Marquis
Smack dab in the hustle and bustle of Times Square, the New York Marriott Marquis offers an unbeatable location for guests wanting to be in the heart of NYC's action. Despite the chaos of surrounding streets, the hotel offers a haven of peace and tranquillity, with soundproofed walls to keep out the cacophony. Starting on the eighth floor, the hotel provides spectacular views of the city skyline. The Broadway Lounge, a classy cocktail bar, offers superb views looking down onto Times Square, while The View is a revolving restaurant that allows guests to take in 360o scenes of the city. Rooms come with soft feather beds and roll-out couches to accommodate a variety of family sizes. Flat-screen TVs with cable channels and iPod docks are standard amenities, and large floor-to-ceiling windows offer excellent city vistas. Thanks to its central location, the hotel is located close to several public transportation hubs, providing ease of travel to other parts of the city.
Best Rooms: TRYP Times Square South
Set in a convenient central location within walking distance of Times Square and several subway stops, TRYP Times Square South is a fun and funky hotel that provides ideal lodging for families. There are a wide variety of rooms here, from spacious bunk rooms sleeping up to eight guests to the themed Samsung Rooms with 60-inch 3D TVs and popcorn machines, and fitness rooms with exercise bikes. No matter which you choose, all come with reclaimed hardwood floors, flat-screen TVs, Keurig coffee machines, iPod docks, and bathrooms with dual vanities and rainfall showers. Continental breakfasts, wood-fired pizzas, and tapas-style snacks are offered at the Gastro Bar at 35th restaurant, as well as contemporary American fare, Spanish wines, and classic cocktails. A gym contains modern exercise equipment, a full-length wall mirror, and flat-screen TVs, while the Plaza Central social hub and the relaxed library space can also be used as an informal business center.