Chances are you're not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet. After all, we still have Halloween to get through! But as anyone in the NYC hotel industry will tell you, families looking to book a hotel where they can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan do so up to a year ahead of time. For a NYC hotel room with a view of Snoopy, Spidey, Hello Kitty, and their other inflatable pals, you've really got to plan in advance.
It's not just NYC tourists who splurge on hotels for the annual Thanksgiving parade, either. Over the past few years, we've had many New Yorkers write in asking which hotels looked out on the Macy's parade route (it sure beats watching from the street). While most of these hotels still have availability at the time of this writing, call right away as everything will likely sell out. If you do get shut out, it's worth checking closer to Thanksgiving since there are sometimes last-minute cancellations.
For a budget-saving alternative, catch a prime viewing spot the night before the parade as the giant balloons are inflated on the Upper West Side.
Important note: It's best to call to make your reservation, so that you can confirm with a human that the room you're paying oh-so-much for does indeed have a good view of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. You will also want to go over all of the details, including whether you can invite non-registered guests. Hotels we spoke to for this story recommended booking by July.
Mandarin Oriental New York
80 Columbus Circle at 60th Street
The Premier Central Park view rooms where guests can watch the festivities from floor-to-ceiling windows right in their suites are all sold out, but if you book a non-parade-view room you can watch the parade from the hotel's Ballroom for no extra cost. There will be light refreshments, face painting and lots of kids' activities. When not watching the parade, pass the time in the hotel's renowned spa and fitness center, or frolic in the pool. Special services for families include babysitting, a children's menu in the restaurant, roll-away beds, childproofing accessories, bottle warmers, high chairs, coloring books, storybooks, and kids' DVDs. There's a two-night minimum; call to reserve.
Watch Paddington race down Sixth Avenue from the New York Hilton Midtown.
New York Hilton Midtown
1335 Sixth Avenue at 54th Street
The Hilton Midtown offers an array of Thanksgiving Parade packages (up to a five-night minimum stay is required for the grandest ones). But, good news: Families visiting the NYC hotel during Thanksgiving week will also be invited to a parade kick-off event the Tuesday before the holiday, where you can have a family photo taken on a winter wonderland set by a professional photographer, hear a storytime from Mrs. Claus, meet some parade characters, and enjoy more seasonal treats and fun. All of this NYC hotel's views, both full and partial, look out onto Sixth Avenue. Got questions? The hotel has an entire Thanksgiving Parade team set up to answer them: Call 212-261-5955 or email ThanksgivingHiltonNYC@Hilton.com.
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The JW Marriott Essex House New York offers a parkside view of the parade.
JW Marriott Essex House New York
160 Central Park South between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
There's a three-night minimum stay required for these prime viewing rooms at Essex House, a JW Marriott NYC hotel. If you don't manage to book a room in time, you could try to snag a premium-view breakfast table at SOUTHGATE Bar & Restaurant on the lobby level. Reservations come with all-access bracelets to catch the action from the curb out front, sans early rising and fighting the crowds. You must be a hotel guest to book a reservation for the holiday, though.
Courtyard New York Manhattan/Herald Square
71 West 35th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
The parade ends in Herald Square and though there's little public viewing in the area, since that's where the broadcasters are set up, this hotel's rooms have great sightlines. A minimum two-night stay is required.
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Catch the parade from above at The Quin on 57th Street.
101 West 57th Street at Sixth Avenue
The Quin offers a variety of rooms with full and partial views of the parade. Guests can dine in-room during the parade or nab a grab-and-go breakfast from the first floor dining room to take back to their rooms. A four-night minimum stay is required.
Enjoy prime Midtown viewing at the Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square. Photo by Anna Gross
Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square
1033 Sixth Avenue between 38th and 39th Streets
This hotel's parade-view rooms require a three-night stay. Non-view rooms for up to four guests are also available, and guests can attend a special family-style brunch with a great view of the parade.
1 Hotel Central Park
1414 Sixth Avenue at 58th Street
A two-night minimum is required for a Thanksgiving stay at the 1 Hotel, where the 1 of a Kind View package includes in-room dining credit and an up-close view of the parade action. Call to make sure your room includes the view you're looking for.
The Warwick Hotel
65 West 54th Street at 6th Avenue
Perfectly located along the Thanksgiving Day Parade route, this historic NYC hotel has a few rooms and suites available offering a prime view of the parade. Call Director of Reservations, Angela Calabrese, to book.
Prefer to watch Macy's Thanksgiving Parade for FREE? Check out our post on the best parade viewing spots and insider tips, then start planning your strategy.
A version of this article first published in September 2013. Jody Mercier contributed additional reporting.
Photos courtesy of the hotels