It’s not hard to find a good time in New York, but it can be a challenge finding a good hotel. With so many options crammed into a boggling array of hot neighbourhoods, how do you know what’s worth the famously sky-high prices? The good news: it is possible to bag a (relatively) reasonable rate, without sacrificing on the Big Apple’s signature cool.
Choosing somewhere with independent flair helps you find the vibe that matches what you want out of your trip, whether that’s partying on the Lower East Side, living the high life on the Upper East Side (which will cost you), or going full hipster in Williamsburg.
While tourists tend to be drawn into the thick of Midtown mania, there are more interesting districts for getting a feel for Manhattan – and don’t discount the other boroughs. Brooklyn is arguably NYC’s hottest hood these days, while affordable Queens is a compelling mix of old-school locals and new-school cool.
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Neighbourhood: Lower East Side
Best for: Party people
The neon “disco” escalators ought to be your first clue this is an Ian Schrager enterprise; the second is the pervading party atmosphere, because what else would you expect from the legendary co-founder of Studio 54? With a prime location in the midst of the scrappy-and-happening Lower East Side, with Soho and the East Village right next door, the scene at PUBLIC is enough that we wouldn’t blame you for staying inside. A lamp-lit, ivy-strung courtyard is the setting for seasonal plates by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, while the sexy rooftop bar has daybeds and 360-degree views. Rooms are small, but impeccably designed, with huge windows serving up skyline views.
Rooms from $255 (£210)
Best for: Exploring modern Manhattan
There’s a pleasingly old-school feel about this hotel, set in a Gothic-style, 19th-century seminary: think antique rugs, decorative fireplaces, vintage furniture and rotary-dial phones. The neighbourhood, though, is…