Where are you traveling this Fall? It looks like New York City is trying to make a comeback in a major way! There have been whispers that restaurants and cultural event venues are filling up with lines down the block these days. That’s a great sign as I have a business trip coming up in a few weeks to New York, so I’ve been looking at hotels, restaurants and cool things to do as the crisp air of Fall and the leaves of Autumn are taking over. As part of my search, I stumbled upon some rather interesting info about Big Apple travel I wanted to cover in this video.
For starters, Travel Pulse .com recently chose New York City as #6 on its list of the 25 “Best US Cities to Experience in One Weekend.” I’ll let them describe their choice:
“Many would argue that you can’t see New York City properly in a weekend. But honestly, I don’t think you can see all New York City has to offer in even a year’s time. But a weekend will allow you enough time to get a taste of the Big Apple and see most of the city’s highlights. Buy yourself a city pass to save on some of the big ticket attractions and make sure to take a hop-on, hop-off bus tour to maximize your sightseeing time.”
So that was nice of Travel Pulse to let us know that the Big Apple is trying to get back to a go to city for the Fall. That begs the next question: What’s the best hotel to go to? Fortunately, Conde Nast Traveller came out with his 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards just in time for my planned trip. And a new hotel in NYC entered their top 10 for the first time:
“This year introduced some new front runners in the bid for your number one spot for the best hotel and resorts in the USA – The Knickerbocker hotel in New York joined your top 10, famed for being the first luxury hotel in Times Square and host to Hollywood bigwigs…”
Here’s the list of top 10 NYC hotels:
New York City
10. Equinox Hotel New York. Score 94.84.
9. The Knickerbocker Hotel. Score 94.87.
8. 1 Hotel Central Park. Score 94.90.
7. Mandarin Oriental, New York. Score 94.98.
6. The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel. Score 95.31.
5. The Mark. Score 95.75.
4. Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown. Score 96.92.
3. Ink 48 Hotel. Score 97.46.
2. The Beekman, A Thompson Hotel. Score 97.62.
- The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City. Score 97.79.
I’ll cover 3 of these hotels that offers something that piqued my interest. In a subsequent video, I’ll cover the rest of them, including more coverage of things to do in New York.
The Equinox Hotel
The Equinox Hotel is located in the billionaire playground known as Hudson Yards. Interestingly, Hudson Yards just posted an article on its website touting “THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN NYC THIS FALL ARE AT HUDSON YARDS.” In Hudson Yards is the Edge, literally an architectural, elevated protrusion 100 floors up, offering breathtaking, sweeping views of the New York skyline unlike any other. All of this right near the hotel.
Let’s see what the swank hotel has to say about themselves:
“Equinox Hotel is an urban oasis in New York City with a serene setting in Hudson Yards filled with lush gardens and wide-open spaces providing the perfect backdrop to your stay.
“Stay where high-performance lives — Equinox Hotels is for those who rest and play as hard as they work. Power up in the Equinox Club, take a dip in the outdoor pool, and wind down with regenerating Spa rituals before ending your night at the spectacular rooftop terrace at Electric Lemon Restaurant + Bar.”
What is this Electric Lemon Restaurant + Bar located inside the hotel? Let’s find out…
“Electric Lemon, a seasonal American restaurant, celebrates the passionate farmers, growers and artisans of the Mid-Atlantic, transforming their pristine products into clean, conscious cuisine that puts flavor at the forefront. Offering stunning views from the 24th floor of the Equinox Hotel, located within New York City’s Hudson Yards, Electric Lemon’s sleek, expansive dining room and serene al fresco terrace make up the ideal multi-use, day-to-night setting. Equinox members, hotel guests, visitors and locals alike are empowered to embrace the space whenever and however they’d like — true nourishment for a community, delivered on your own terms.”
Before the health crisis of the past 2 years hammered the travel industry, Architectural Digest did an article in August 2019 on Equinox Hotel that quote the hotel’s CEO as saying “We find a balance between luxury and lifestyle,” where lifestyle is a nod to their emphasis on high end fitness and wellness services. At that time, rooms were starting at $700 a night. As of this video, rooms start at over $1,000 a night.
Ink 48 Hotel
With rooms starting at about $500 a night for AAA members (and about almost $60 more per night without it), the Ink 48 Hotel is not a bad deal. And it is ranked higher this year by Conde Nast Traveller, which makes it more tempting seeing it’s not as costly. But it looks like the Hudson Suite at about $700 a night might be the better deal as it has sweeping views of the skyline and water. I might have to shortlist this one.
It didn’t take long for this hotel to brag about their impressive Conde Nast 2022 award as the following quote from their website shows:
“A Modern Marvel in Manhattan
“Located in the creative center of New York City, Hell’s Kitchen, near Times Square, Ink 48 Hotel comes to life in the city’s preeminent theatrical printing press from the 1930s. Transformed with modern interiors, the historic hotel’s 222 guestrooms and suites have views of the Manhattan skyline and the Hudson River, home of our pigment-producing mascot. Naturally, Ink 48 Hotel also has the neighborhood’s best restaurant, PRINT., as well as a rooftop hotspot, The Press Lounge. Steps from The Glasshouse event space, Ink 48 is also situated near the shopping and culture mecca Hudson Yards and the Javits Center. Named no. 3 best NYC hotel in the Condé Nast Traveler 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards, Ink 48 Hotel is proud to have won the award in 2021 and 2020, too!”
Let’s see what the Print restaurant and The Press Lounge rooftop hotspot have to say…
“See the city from our 16th floor! The Press Lounge — “one of the city’s most attractive rooftop bars,” according to The New York Times — is open every day. Come for the panoramic views, stay for the seasonal cocktails (try the Pressed for Thyme, made with gin, honey thyme syrup and lemon) and small plates (from soft pretzels to charcuterie).
“All guests are welcomed without reservations on a first come, first served basis!”
That’s good to know. Oyster Magazine did a review and said some pretty good things, except for the rooms not having coffee and tea making facilities. I personally don’t do either one, so no big deal for me, but I know this is notable for others. Also, they mentioned the valet parking can be pricey. I don’t plan on renting a car, so this should not be a showstopper for me. But US News’s Travel section says they charge a daily wifi use fee. Will make a note of that.
The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel
At the top of the Conde Nast list is the venerable, highly respect The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel under the Marriott Bonvoy brand, of which I am a member. Right now, if you book by March 31, 2023, they offer a Fall for Suite Savings deal that includes a complimentary room upgrade or discounted suite. Unfortunately, my target date, Nov 11-13, is not available for this rate, so I’m looking at about $1,000 a night minimum.
What do they have to say about themselves?
“WELCOME TO THE CHATWAL, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL, NEW YORK CITY
Luxury Midtown Manhattan Hotel
The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, New York City lives up to its exceptional reputation. Heralded as the city’s #1 Hotel by the 2018 Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards, our acclaimed boutique property sits in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, steps from iconic NYC attractions. Step out from beneath our crimson awnings and stroll toward Times Square, Bryant Park, and the Theater District. A long-standing landmark in Midtown’s sparkling views, The Chatwal was built in 1905 by famed architect Stanford White and brought into the modern era under the visionary guidance of Thierry Despont. The Chatwal’s 76 keys includes 29 stunning Suites and 14 themed Suites with spacious designer terraces as well as bespoke services including a team of professional Butlers.”
Part of this hotel is the Lambs Club Restaurant, a top, award winning NYC restaurant and is independently owned and operated. It’s so sought after that it can be hard to get reservations, especially during highly acclaimed Broadway performances.
Ok, time to wrap up. But before I go, if you’re planning a trip for New Year’s Eve, it looks like the Knickerbocker Hotel, #9 on the list, is one of those hotels with the best view of all the midnight action. A couple of other hotels not on the list but worth a mention are the 5-star JW Marriott Essex House hotel, a landmark among hotels, according to The Tour Guy Travel Blog. It has a great view of Central Park as it is right there, and is a relatively short walk from Times Square. “The rooms are nice but the suites are better. They come with not one bedroom but two and their own private terrace that overlooks the park.”
Finally, also from The Tour Guy Travel Blog is a recommendation for Margaritaville Resort Times Square. This hotel “is pretty new to the area but it’s already making kind of a—excuse our pun—splash. It opened back in 2021 and brought with it the only outdoor pool in the area…And the pool is located on the rooftop so you’ll have some great views of the city and all the billboards of Times Square. The tiki themed restaurant has “cheap margaritas during the weeklong happy hour…and a massive replica of Lady Liberty located in the dining room.” How about that!
That’s it for now, my friends. After my trip, God willing, I’ll have some insider pics and videos to share in the up close format you see on our social media platforms as I get in your face lol. I’ll follow up with other nice New York hotels in an upcoming video. Until the next upscale travel video, take care, jet setters.”