New York City Hotels
Two very different hotels in New York that will certainly give you what you need – convenient locations and charming surroundings!
Belvedere Hotel – Midtown, New York
For the first couple of nights in New York we stayed at the Belvedere Hotel in Midtown in Manhattan. It’s a classic hotel that’s been around for a while. Even so it’s designed and decorated beautifully, with a variety of inviting shared spaces.
Even getting to the room was amazing because of the classically beautiful, Art Deco elevator!
The Hotel Room
Opening the door to the room we found a very welcoming space, which would be home for the next couple of nights. The room was well set up with several sets of windows bringing in lots of natural light, and views of New York. There was a large king size bed and a desk, as well as a television and a small kitchenette.
Location, Location, Location
Hotels in New York City are never cheap, however there are a wide variety. With many visitors to the city wanting to stay in Manhattan, with access to downtown, there are many hotels to choose from.
The Belvedere on West 48th Street suited us perfectly because it’s location was within walking distance of Central Park, Time Square, and Broadway. Places where many of the sights and experiences that a tourist to New York wants, are located. It was also superbly located for restaurants and bars.
More on that later, including the best rooftop bar we found in New York, which was just a block away from the hotel.
On Offer at the Belvedere
The hotel itself was well set up. A business centre with a couple of computers and a printer was available for guests. Also available was an ice machine and an ATM.
The hotel provided a reasonably sized gym for hotel patrons, that had a good range of equipment. The gym had sufficient space for floor exercises like yoga and stretching, and a variety of hand weights.
It’s great when hotels provide travellers the option to continue with their work out programs whilst travelling.
The hotel has numerous seating areas for patrons. These included a delightful, shared lounge. Situated directly behind the lounge was an Argentinian steak restaurant. Although the restaurant is not part of the hotel, it is connected to it via the shared lounge.
The restaurant is well worth a visit if killer steaks and a bottle of red wine is your idea of a great night out in New York!
Decor and Antiques
The Belvedere is beautifully decorated. Little touches like the antique telephones in the lobby, really add to the personality of this New York hotel.
From Monday to Thursday, in the evening, the hotel provides a wine reception. Red and white wine, and beer are available. These beverages are all complimentary for hotel guests. The wine reception is held in a little corner of the lobby.
It was thoroughly enjoyable meeting people from the UK, as well as Australia, who were in New York for business and/or pleasure. The wine reception was an enjoyable way to meet others and talk informally with a relaxing drink in hand. It made for a lovely start to the evening.
Rooftop Bar to Die For
The Belvedere Hotel is well located with lots of restaurants and shops close by. The standout though was The Attic rooftop lounge, just one block from the hotel. This was a lovely indoor-outdoor space, which takes in the full beauty of New York City at sunset.
The rooftop lounge was a lovely spot to start an evening in New York. Having a drink here before heading out on the town, perhaps to see a musical or show, is a great way to start.
You’ll find a lot more detail about this rooftop bar, and other New York attractions in our 48 Hours in New York post.
The Crowne Plaza – JFK Airport
On the last night in New York we moved to a hotel near JFK airport – the Crowne Plaza JFK. We chose to stay at JFK as we had an early morning flight out the next day to Europe. We didn’t want to have the hassle of transferring from the city.
The Crowne Plaza JFK is a fairly old hotel but has been nicely renovated with a chic and vibrant look.
Luckily there was a comfortable reception area, although it was small. The hotel absolutely needed this space! Everyone had to wait quite a long time to check-in or check-out, due to the volume of people coming through the hotel.
This was not really a problem for us, although if you were in a hurry you might find this a challenge.
The rooms were very nicely designed, with plenty of colour, although the TV set-up looks like a leftover from the 80s.
One of the nice, quite creative, touches at this New York hotel were the toiletries supplied in the room. They are provided by TEMPLESPA and they are quite fun products. Take a closer look at your shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion if you find yourself in this hotel.
The hotel itself has a lounge bar and restaurant on the lower ground floor. It also has a small gym. In the lobby there is a small business centre and a small shop selling breakfast snacks and supplies.
The restaurant on the lower ground floor is a convenient place for a quick evening meal. This is lucky because there’s not really that much in this area of New York!
We settled in and found that the steak with fries and a glass of red hit the spot. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but then after all, an airport hotel is an airport hotel.
JFK area hotels all provide free transfers with their own shuttle buses. When you’re arriving at JFK you will need to catch the air train to Federal Circle (a free service). From here you walk a short distance to where the shuttle buses arrive.
It was a short 5 minute drive back to the terminals the next day from our second New York hotel. The shuttle buses run 24 hours so there’s always one not too far away. The buses also drop off at all the terminals on request.
One of the benefits of staying at JFK area hotels is that you’re able to be at the airport quite quickly. This means you are checked in, through security and in the lounge without too much hassle.
Expert Traveller Recommends…
New York City is a town with a million hotels. Finding the right one for you can sometimes feel like a bit of a lottery. We were delighted with the Belvedere Hotel in Midtown Manhattan. It was close enough for us to be able to walk to everything we needed to see.
When choosing a hotel in Manhattan the location is important, as you will walk a lot. Otherwise you will need to take taxis, and depending on the time of the day, getting a taxi can be a challenge.
At JFK there are also a lot of hotel choices. We found the Crowne Plaza, which is probably at the top end of the price range, quite satisfactory. There was certainly nothing amazing about the hotel but it was definitely comfortable enough for a one night stay.
When you’re next in New York, do take advantage of visiting some of the best spots in town, like the Attic rooftop bar, the ice skating rinks at the Rockefeller Center or Central Park, or a Broadway show. An amazing experience like one of these will add an extra special memory to your trip.
New York, New York – one of our favourite cities in the world!
Ready to start planning your New York getaway?