Manhattan is a bustling city with hundreds of options for accommodations. However, with real estate as pricey as it is in New York City, your hotel room will often be a cramped space with a view of a brick wall or ventilation ducts. That doesn’t make your trip to NYC feel very glamorous, so we went in search of the best Manhattan places to stay with a view so you can see the city light up around you at night.
The first time I stayed at a cool boutique hotel in Manhattan, I had a tiny room with barely any natural light because the building beside us blocked it all out. The second time I was in a gorgeous room that my company was paying for, but the view was just of other hotel guests across the street at a different lodging option. The third time my room was so close to an office building I could have read their e-mails with a good zoom camera.
If you want to take in stunning views of Manhattan, it is essential to choose the right building in the right location, then read the room descriptions carefully when booking. If you have elite status with a hotel loyalty program, ask about an upgrade to a high room with a view. Or suck it up and pay extra to avoid the inferior options in a hemmed-in hotel building. Then you can experience the breathtaking skyline of Manhattan from your bed or armchair.
You want to be close to areas that interest you or where you have business, however, unless you’ve got plenty of time to get there on the subway or you’re with a group like BCS Bus Charter Service that’s picking you up and taking you where you need to go each time. So here are some high-rise picks for different areas of where to stay.
Upper Manhattan Places to Stay Near Central Park
Central Park and Upper Manhattan offer some of the best views of the city. Visitors can enjoy the lush greenery of Central Park while taking in the iconic skyline in the distance, with nothing blocking your vista. Upper Manhattan is also home to some of the city’s most luxurious hotels and the ones with the longest history.
The Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park
This Manhattan skyscraper is home to 2 hotels in one, The Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park. It is noted to be the tallest hotel not only in New York City but in North America, at 755 feet with 68 floors.
This spot has massive windows for city views and is in a prime location for tourists. Which is better? Well, the Courtyard is larger and occupies floors 6 to 33, while the Residence Inn is all suites and is housed on the upper-level floors 37 to 65. See the full combination hotel review here.
This luxury hotel located on Fifth Avenue offers rooms with breathtaking views of Central Park, as well as a rooftop bar that provides panoramic views of the city. It is 525 feet tall with 41 floors, and is a sophisticated building inspired by Turkish architecture. It has long been one of the top prestige places to stay in Manhattan so if you are a business traveler trying to impress a potential client or investor, this is an ideal choice. Note that it’s now part of the Taj Hotels chain based in India.
Four Seasons Hotel New York
As we are writing, this other prestige address with a view is currently closed for a top-to-bottom renovation. It has long been a spot for wealthy romantic couples trying to relive the scenes they’ve seen in movies, with rooms like the terrace one here that has appeared in more than a few films set in the city. The Garden restaurant is a top spot for a power lunch to strike a deal to cover the lofty rates.
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Midtown Manhattan and Times Square
Midtown Manhattan and Times Square are in the most popular tourist zone in New York City. In many ways this is the center of the city, home to Broadway theaters, company headquarters, Bryant Park, the NYC Public Library, and Grand Central Station.
As a result, there are plenty of hotels in the area that offer stunning views of the city skyline in all directions, some with a view of Time Square itself. Given the popularity of the area, there’s no shortage of choices, though many give you that often-derided non-view that is joked about in social media photos. Here are some top choices for finding a room that makes you feel like you’re in the big city instead.
The Holiday Inn Express Times Square
This 36-floor NYC hotel offers views of The Empire State Building as well as The Hudson River, on West 39th Street not far from Times Square. This is a more affordable option than most, while also offering an amazing city-center location and the chance to use or earn IHG points as well, especially helpful if you have their credit card.
The Westin New York at Times Square
Another great option for those looking for a hotel in the heart of Times Square, The Westin offers panoramic views of the city from its upper floors, standing at 532 feet tall with 45 floors. This is a good choice for Marriott fans and business travelers.
Omni Berkshire Hotel
The Omni Berkshire Hotel in Midtown has 21 floors, with 400 rooms across various levels of space and amenities. This hotel has notably bigger rooms than many on this list, since the norm in many Manhattan hotels as a room with limited, narrow space. This is where a lot of TV shows taped in NYC put their celebrity guests, so you might even spot a celebrity. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll have something else to look at, taking in the view from a roomier space.
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The Benjamin Royal Sonesta
The Benjamin at the corner of Lexington and Fifth Avenue perfectly captures the spirit of the city, while being in the ideal location to match. This hotel is 29 stories, and was built back in the 20’s, with 209 rooms, a trifecta of 2’s and 9’s.
Naturally the hotel has been through plenty of renovations over the century since, the most recent one with a price tag of $10 million. It has luxury offerings such as a sleep program, custom-built beds, and room sizes that are a bit above the norm.
Waldorf Astoria New York
At 625 feet tall and 47 floors, the 3rd-tallest hotel in New York City, Waldorf Astoria, is an iconic landmark. Notably a spot for first-class guests since the 1930s, room service started here, and eventually it launched a whole chain of luxury hotels in multiple countries under the Hilton umbrella.
Enjoy the elegant main areas that are steeped in history, then take an elevator up to one of the best Manhattan places to stay with a view. Everyone will know what you’re talking about if you say you’re staying here. Just understand, however, that as it reopens after a billion-dollar revamp, it’ll be down to 350 rooms and many of the highest ones have been converted to condos. On the plus side, the ballroom will now be an indoor swimming pool.
The Langham New York Fifth Avenue
The Langham New York Fifth Avenue looks out at many of Manhattan’s landmarks from its 234 hotel rooms on floors 5-27. (See the photo at the top of this post.) Located between Bryant Park and The Empire State Building, this prime location offers both luxury and convenience. The higher the room class, the better your chance of seeing the glittering lights at night.
Lotte New York Palace
This historic gilded hotel on Madison Avenue was once the Helmsley Plaza and it has a 55-story tower offering stunning views of the New York City skyline. That shot above is the one our correspondent had, looking out at the city with St. Patrick’s Cathedral right below.
Now part of the Korean-owned Lotte chain, it offers international-standard rooms with a better vista the higher up you get. See our full review here of Lotte New York Palace Hotel.
Houston Street to the Empire State Building
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Manhattan that offers both convenience and stunning views but gets away from the tourist throngs milling around midtown, the area between Houston Street and the Empire State Building is a great option. At the north of it is Penn Station and what is still one of the city’s tallest skyscraper, at the bottom lots of music clubs and classic places to eat.
This area includes popular neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Chelsea, and the Flatiron District, and offers a mix of historic architecture, trendy boutiques, and iconic landmarks.
Cambria Hotel Chelsea
On West 28th Street within walking distance of several iconic attractions and locations, Cambria Hotel Chelsea is a comfortable, quaint location. With only 16 floors this hotel has less height than most others on this list, but you’re still smack in the middle of the city action, and the rooftop patio offers unrestricted views no matter which room you are booked into.
This is part of the Choice Hotels chain, known for its reasonably priced properties and roadside motels, so prices here are usually not as sky-high as the area’s buildings are.
This trendy boutique hotel within walking distance of The Empire State Building and Madison Square Park has beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline, with a King Sky Room that has wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows. With an artsy and urban feel, this hotel is a great differentiator from the more traditional luxury properties that are common on this list.
The Ritz-Carlton New York NoMad
This new hotel from the storied Ritz-Carlton high-service brand is on West 28th Street near Madison Square Park and walking distance to Chelsea. It has great Manhattan views in multiple directions, without many obstacles getting in the way.
There are a few choice suites here that are the size of a multi-million dollar apartment, including one that’s 2,100 square feet.
Tribeca, Lower East Side, and the Financial District
For those looking for a quieter and possibly more residential experience in Manhattan, Tribeca, the Lower East Side, and the Financial District offer a great option. The neighborhoods are known for their historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and trendy restaurants and bars.
Tribeca, short for “Triangle Below Canal Street,” is a chic neighborhood with a mix of converted industrial buildings and new luxury high-rises. You can enjoy a stroll along the Hudson River or explore the boutiques and art galleries in the area. The neighborhood also offers easy access to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. You can access the financial district, the Manhattan Bridge, and the iconic Brooklyn Bridge on the east side of the island.
The Lower East Side is a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood with a rich history of immigration and culture that is home to the Tenement Museum, which offers a glimpse into the lives of immigrants who lived in the area in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Williamsburg Bridge crosses from here to that hip area on the other side of the river.
The Financial District, containing Wall Street, is the heart of the USA’s financial industry, where visitors can take a tour of the New York Stock Exchange or the One World Trade Center.
Hotel Indigo Lower East Side New York
The Hotel Indigo boutique chain is a treat for IHG Rewards members, and the Lower East Side New York Location offers a good spot to earn or cash in points. The building is 24 stories high but the sky lobby is on the 14th floor. This place offers panoramic views, all the way up to the rooftop patio, bar, and pool area.
W New York Downtown Hotel
The W is a hip designer brand within the normally more stodgy Marriott chain, with multiple luxury locations across Manhattan, but the Financial District location provides a bit of distance and killer views. With a whopping 58 floors, it’s nothing short of a skyscraper. It towers over most of the buildings around it and some floors look out at the 9/11 memorial park from through a wall of glass.
See our full review of W New York Downtown and more pics.
CitizenM New York Bowery
This trendy structure at CitizenM is the world’s tallest modular hotel at 21 stories and resides in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The hotel founder, Rattan Chadha, was a fashion designer, and the property has an abundance of colorful art both inside and out of the building. All rooms are exactly the same here and rates are meant to be affordable, so the difference is in how high up you go. It’s meant to be a place where guests gather in the main areas to socialize and work.
These are not the only high hotels with something to see out the window of course, but this should offer plenty of options to get you started.
Have you checked out any of these Manhattan places to stay with a view? Or did you have a killer view from a NYC hotel that we should have included? Leave us a comment and let us know how it went.