The 20 best hotels in New York City

IP Best Hotels New York City 4X3

Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

  • There are hundreds of hotels in New York City from Manhattan to Brooklyn and other boroughs in between, ranging from sparse, budget-friendly accommodations to ultra-indulgent suites.
  • To help narrow the field and highlight the best affordable, high-end hotels in New York in 2020, the Insider Picks travel team hit the New York City streets to stay at, tour, and research the city's top-rated hotels to determine which are worth your hard-earned money and time off.
  • We also scoured reviews and guest feedback, to highlight what makes each place great, where some have room for improvement, and insider tips on special requests you should make to ensure the best stay possible. Pricing reflects many budgets, from micro rooms from $107 to five-star suites for $500.
  • Read all Insider Picks hotel reviews here.

As a longtime New Yorker, when friends and family come to visit, I'm often asked, "where should I stay?"

It's a loaded question. The city is filled with so many great hotels throughout many neighborhoods and boroughs, from old-school luxury in Manhattan to contemporary boutiques in Brooklyn dripping in neighborhood charm. The big brand names all have flagships, and cheap (and some not-so-cheap) micro hotels are rapidly popping up in a bid to make bunk beds chic.

Much like the city itself, there's something for everyone based on what you like and how much you're willing to spend.

To help narrow the field and highlight the best New York hotels to book in 2020, the Insider Picks travel team hit the New York streets to stay at, tour, and research the city's top-rated hotels to determine which are not only worth your hard-earned money, but sacred PTO.

Every hotel was personally reviewed, vetted, and selected based on the following criteria:

  • Hotels located in New York City, with a primary focus on Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • Considered a four- or five-star hotel, for an elevated experience that won't disappoint, or a three-star that's a total standout.
  • Holds a Trip Advisor rating of four or above, as many tourists check and use it.
  • It is typically priced between $150 to $500 per night, a common range in New York depending on the time of year and advance booking. While that higher-end might seem, well, high, it's not uncommon in New York in popular seasons, or for those seeking a luxury property. In the off-season, prices might fall as low as $100.
  • Boasts amenities and features that are visually interesting with unique design, architecture, food, or other experiential elements that add value.
  • Meet our high standard - we don't recommend hotels just because others have, but because we think they truly are the best. We're hard-to-impress New Yorkers, after all.

These are our top New York City hotels to book in 2020:

Keep reading to see why we were so impressed by these 20 New York City hotels, sorted by price from low to high.

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Arlo SoHo

Arlo SoHo
Book Arlo SoHo starting at $103 per night

Arlo SoHo seeks to popularize the trend of micro hotels with sleek, tiny rooms measuring barely 150 square feet. And we mean tiny. You can likely reach the bathroom from your bed, and there's little by way of privacy.

But, what it lacks in size, Arlo makes up for with bustling common spaces including four bars, an on-site restaurant, co-working space, rooftop lounge, and a seasonal Instagrammable courtyard. It starts at just $103 in slower months, which a great deal for typically expensive SoHo.

Pros: Cheap room prices and cool SoHo location.

Cons: The room sizes can feel shockingly small and bathrooms lack privacy.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Arlo SoHo

Park South Hotel

Park South Hotel
Book Park South Hotel starting at $129 per night

Rooms at the Park South Hotel are relatively straightforward, but recent renovations have made it a highly-reviewed hotel in Manhattan's NoMad neighborhood. It belongs to World of Hyatt's Joie de Vivre boutique portfolio and has a standout culinary program that might very well upstage the tasteful rooms.

With prices in low season starting at $129, it's very reasonable for a well-appointed four-star hotel.

Pros: Excellent on-site food and drink with competitive pricing for a four-star hotel.

Cons: Pricing is unstable and can surge hundreds higher than is typical otherwise.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review for Park South Hotel

Sister City New York

Sister City New York
Book Sister City New York starting at $159 per night

Sister City is a new spin-off property from the creative studio behind Ace Hotel that caters to the experienced, and busy, traveler. Self-service tablets guide guests through check-in, while amenities and housekeeping are on demand.

It's a smart approach for savvy guests looking to avoid the pain points of crowded, more traditional hotels and prefer an individualistic approach.

Pros: Affordable prices and a self-service approach helps things to run smoothly. Check-in is a breeze.

Cons: Some might find the self-service stand-offish. Rooms can feel small for two people.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Sister City New York

Ace Hotel New York

Ace Hotel New York
Book Ace Hotel New York starting at $179 per night

Ace Hotels have long established themselves as the cool kid, operating in hip cities like Portland, Palm Springs, Seattle and more. It's the hipster, in hotel form.

The New York location has moody lighting, minimal rooms, and decor inspired by art and rock music. But it's not all hype. We'd recommend Ace to anyone who wants to feel like one of the cool local kids spread out on the lobby's leather sofas to co-work. Except unlike most of them, you'll get to actually go upstairs and spend the night. Choose a small or bunk bed room and you might even land it for under $200 per night.

Pros: The Ace brand cool factor, a NoMad location, and on-site stores and eateries that are so good, you might not want to leave the property.

Cons: Some rooms show wear and tear and the lobby can feel crowded.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Ace New York

Sixty SoHo

Sixty SoHo
Book Sixty SoHo starting at $180 per night

If you're set on SoHo and have a budget for something more spacious than Arlo's micro-sized rooms, look to Sixty SoHo. The hip hotel places you in style-minded accommodations right near equally fashionable shopping and dining.

The hotel is so cool, that some guests complain of staff members being snobby o unaccommodating, though we didn't experience that at all. A basic Queen Superior starts at a very accessible $180 a night, but prices fluctuate wildly.

Pros: Fancy digs with a SoHo address.

Cons: Rooms prices can be expensive and fluctuate.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review for Sixty SoHo

Moxy East Village

Moxy East Village
Book Moxy East Village starting at $185 per night

Marriott's newer outpost in the East Village is a four-star boutique hotel themed after the neighborhood's vibrant local scene. There are clear nods to rock and roll, street art, and other East Village countercultures.

As part of the Marriott Bonvoy family, Moxy East Village is great if you want to earn or redeem points during your stay. Rooms are small, and with a starting price of $185 midweek, that might feel like a lot for what you get. But, rooms are comfortable, common areas are fun, and the location is pretty great.

Pros: Marriott Bonvoy earning potential, cool Moxy brand clout, and East Village location.

Cons: Room rates can seem expensive considering many rooms are on the smaller side.

Read Insider Picks' full review of Moxy East Village

Library Hotel by Library Collection

Library Hotel by Library Collection
Book Library Hotel, starting at $200 per night

The four-star Library Hotel, by Library Hotel Collection in Midtown, New York is a book lover's paradise, but there's plenty to adore even if you don't consider yourself a bibliophile.

The highly-reviewed property consistently ranks within Trip Advisor's top 10 hotels in New York City. It has a charming, whimsical vibe thanks to themed floors and over 6,000 book titles available to peruse. Rooms tend to be small, but perks such as wine and cheese receptions, 24/7 snacks and refreshments, and breakfast included add value.

Pros: Perks such as happy hour, lounge access, and breakfast included in room rates.

Cons: Rooms feel dated and not as stylish as other NYC hotels.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Library Hotel

The Freehand New York

The Freehand New York
Book Freehand New York starting at $200 per night

The Freehand New York is a good pick for budget-conscious travelers who want convenience and personality from their accommodations, but also something nice to look at.

Art-filled accommodations are steeped in character with reasonable prices. From cheap bunk bed options to spacious suites, Freehand is a sleek stay for those seeking something lesser-known than Ace Hotel.

Pros: Hip and cool with excellent on-site food and drink.

Cons: Street noise bleeds into rooms and may make sleep difficult if you're sensitive to it.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Freehand New York

MADE Hotel

MADE Hotel
Book MADE Hotel starting at $200 per night

MADE Hotel has quickly become popular with both tourists and business travelers for its central NoMad location, boho-chic design, and lush green-filled spaces. It's the kind of hotel you should pick if you prefer experiential, one-of-a-kind properties that you'll document on the 'Gram.

Pros: Standard entry-level rooms are just as nice as more expansive suites, and the lofted beds in the smaller rooms are cooler, making it an easy decision to save money.

Cons: While they look nice, some bathrooms aren't designed in the most efficient way.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review for MADE

The William Vale

The William Vale
Book The William Vale starting at $228 per night

The William Vale in Williamsburg is one of the best hotels in Brooklyn with sleek rooms, a popular pool scene, and the on-site rooftop bar Westlight and Italian restaurant Leuca, both of which easily warrant a visit on their own.

It's one of the more expensive options on this list, but for good reason. All rooms have balconies with unparalled views. While holidays and weekends can start at upwards of $400 per night, flexible travelers looking to book midweek or in winter will find deals under $250. For a special occasion, consider upgrading to a suite or Manhattan view. Come sunset, you won't regret it.

Pros: All rooms boast balconies with unbeatable views, and the on-site food and drink scene is worth a trip on its own.

Cons: It's expensive and starter rooms will feel very small for what is still an expensive price. Consider an upgrade to a suite to feel more worth it, but it will cost you.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of The William Vale

The Knickerbocker

The Knickerbocker
Book the Knickerbocker Hotel starting at $250 per night

The Knick is one of the nicer hotels in Times Square. Rooms are higher-end than what you'll find at some of the big brand counterparts in this tourist mecca, with good on-site food and drink, including a great rooftop bar overlooking the action. If you're booking a room in Times Square, you're likely spending most of your time outside of it, but The Knick is a great option for those who want a chic place to retreat.

Pros: Luxury-leaning hotel in Times Square with nicer rooms than many nearby counterparts for roughly the same price.

Cons: It's Times Square, so it can be noisy both from outside traffic and inside from fellow guests.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of The Knickerbocker

Hotel 50 Bowery

Hotel 50 Bowery
Book Hotel 50 Bowery starting at $250 per night

A World of Hyatt Joie de Vivre property, Hotel 50 Bowery brings boutique glam to the gritty Lower East Side. We like it for its well-appointed rooms, great views, rooftop bar, and overall design. Plus, the LES location near Chinatown offers a fun base with prime access to dining and nightlife that many in Midtown miss.

Pros: The hip, style-minded vibe with cool views and a trendy rooftop.

Cons: While some may love the LES/Chinatown location, others might find it noisy and far from tourist sightseeing.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Hotel 50 Bowery

The Evelyn New York

The Evelyn New York
Book The Evelyn New York starting at $250 per night

The Evelyn is a historic NoMad hotel that recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. Everything feels brand new, while still maintaining the building's roots in music and history through Art Deco design. Rooms are on the small side, making it ideal for solo business traveler or couples looking for an intimate, boutique stay.

Pros: Art Deco style and NoMad location.

Cons: Can be expensive for rooms that tend to be small.

Read Insider Picks' full review of The Evelyn New York

The Beekman

The Beekman
Book The Beekman Hotel starting at $262 per night

Behind a historic, yet unassuming facade, The Beekman Hotel is a jewel hiding in plain sight. Housed in a New York City landmark building dating back to 1881, the hotel features a breathtakingly preserved nine-story atrium. We spent the night in a suite, and while lovely, your money is just as well spent in a more affordable Superior Queen, which feels equally iconic.

Pros: Incredible architecture, friendly service, great on-site food and drink.

Cons: Many previous guests have complained of noise.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of The Beekman Hotel

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Book 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge starting at $277 per night

One of the best things about the rooms at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge are the stunning floor-to-ceiling views of Manhattan and, of course, the Brooklyn Bridge. But when you close the drapes, the abundant reclaimed wood, repurposed materials, living plants, and soothing neutral colors make it feel like you've escaped to a woodsy Scandinavian cabin. It's a total respite with front door access to Brooklyn Bridge Park and is another top hotel for Brooklyn.

Pros: Cool rooms make thoughtful use of the size so standard offerings don't feel like a compromise, plus the waterfront location and city views.

Cons: The bathroom provides little, if any, privacy.

Read Insider Picks' full review of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Andaz 5th Avenue

Andaz 5th Avenue
Book Andaz 5th Avenue starting at $281 per night

Andaz 5th Avenue, a World of Hyatt member, has an excellent Midtown location beloved by tourists and business travelers for the convenience it offers. The high-end hotel is known for being a dependable, fashionable brand, though, that solid reputation means rooms feel a bit generic. But they're recently renovated and spacious. We stayed in a suite but solidly stand behind their Standard King Room as the best choice.

Pros: A central location near all major tourist activity and business hubs without being thrust in the frenzy of crowds, plus spacious rooms.

Cons: Room design feels a bit generic, and housekeeping could pay better attention to detail.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review for Andaz 5th Avenue

The Park Terrace Hotel

The Park Terrace Hotel
Book the Park Terrace Hotel starting at $300 per night

The Park Terrace is a great base for those who love boutique hotels and want to be near Times Square, but not actually thrust into it. Little details shine here, from amenity closets available to guests on each floor to the tranquil terrace, and great breakfast buffet. I also liked how it had personality without feeling stuffy. The hotel's published rates start at $300, but I spied deals on as low as $175 per night.

Pros: The low-key boutique vibe across from Bryant Park, self-serve amenities, and New York-inspired breakfast buffet.

Cons: It's expensive in high season and standard rooms are small.

Read Insider Picks' full review of the Park Terrace Hotel

The Conrad New York Downtown

The Conrad New York Downtown
Book Conrad New York Downtown starting at $300 per night

Many visitors fixate on Midtown, but the Conrad New York Downtown offers a more local experience in a neighborhood where real New Yorkers actually spend time.

An all-suite offering, you'll be hard-pressed to find more spacious accommodations in all of Manhattan. The five-star hotel carries a higher price tag, but the added space makes staying here feel like you've landed a great New York apartment.

Pros: All-suite rooms offer more than double the space of typical NYC hotel rooms for similar pricing.

Cons: Not everyone will love being in TriBeCa, which can feel far from uptown neighborhoods and attractions.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Conrad New York Downtown

Moxy Chelsea

Moxy Chelsea
Book The Moxy Chelsea starting at $336 per night

The Moxy Chelsea in Manhattan's flower district is wedged between the popular Chelsea and NoMad neighborhoods. Part of the Marriott family, the Moxy Chelsea is a great option if you want to earn or redeem points. Some rooms can be small, but stunning views, the rooftop bar, and great location make up for it.

Pros: Views for days, Marriott Bonvoy earning potential, and the Chelsea location.

Cons: Can be expensive for what may seem like a quite standard offering.

Read Insider Picks' full review of Moxy Chelsea

The Chatwal

The Chatwal
Book The Chatwal starting at $500 per night

The Chatwal is another higher-end property we've deemed worth the cost given its coveted Midtown location, old school Manhattan glam, five-star service, and sizeable rooms.

Rooms start at $500 per night, which isn't cheap but is accurately priced for such a top-tier hotel in Manhattan. It's actually cheaper than other ritzier counterparts. As a Marriott Bonvoy property, it's a good place to cash in on points if the price tag still seems out of reach, too.

Pros: The five-star service with personal butler and Broadway concierge is excellent and will make you feel like Upper East Side royalty.

Cons: Room prices are expensive and might be out of reach for many.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of The Chatwal
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