As a born and bred New Yorker who is raising children here myself, my out-of-town friends always ask my advice when planning their NYC family vacation. They want to know everything: the best things to do, places to eat, museums to explore and, perhaps most importantly, where to stay.
New York City is, of course, loaded with hotels, many of which are kid-friendly. And while it's nice to have options, there are so many it can feel overwhelming. That's why we've compiled this list of 16 NYC hotels for families based on a combination of personal experience, trusted recommendations from friends and great reputations. Some have pools, others offer gratis strollers, while a number of our choices are located smack next to top kid attractions; some are more budget-friendly and others a splurge.
Our picks aren't all in Midtown Manhattan. We included places to stay with kids in downtown Manhattan, the Upper West Side, and Upper East Side, and even hotels that are in hot neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.
Aloft Harlem — Harlem
2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard near 124th Street
Located near the historic Apollo Theater, this modern hotel is smack-dab in the middle of the vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood of Harlem. Rooms are sleek with high-tech amenities and free Wi-Fi, and the public spaces are inviting and encourage guests to socialize. It's popular with families visiting Columbia University students. Although there aren't any rollaway beds available, cribs and kid-sized air mattresses are provided for FREE. The hotel is pet-friendly, too! You'll find small boutiques and chain shopping one block away on 125th Street, and lots of family-friendly restaurants nearby, including iconic soul food spot Sylvia's. Want to see Times Square? It's only a 15-minute subway ride away.
Four Seasons Hotel New York — Midtown East
57 East 57th Street between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue
It’s not only the parents who get spoiled at this popular upscale hotel. Kids enjoy complimentary coloring books, toys, children’s DVDs, child-sized robes and slippers, and more. Parents to tots can also scoop up free cribs, rollaways, bed rails, baby monitors, high chairs, diaper genie, bottle warmers, strollers, and even baby toiletries and baby-proofing items. Bonus: The concierge can arrange babysitting services for your night out, plus myriad kids tours and activities, including a trip to the American Girl Place, carriage rides, or even a helicopter tour.
RELATED: 50 Things to Do with Kids in Midtown Manhattan
The rooftop pool at Hotel Gansevoort is just one of the perks for visiting families.
Hotel Gansevoort — Meatpacking District
18 Ninth Avenue between 13th Street and Little West 12th Street
Visiting families looking to explore downtown NYC will do well to score a room at this trendy hotel that caters to the hip but also families. With the High Line, Whitney Museum of American Art, the west side bike paths, walkways, and playgrounds all within walking distance, no family will be bored. Or stay in to enjoy the heated rooftop pool, free PSP Wii consoles, complimentary sofa beds (for those under 13), and even baby supplies, such as cribs or pack-and-plays, wipes and baby lotion.
Hotel Beacon — Upper West Side
2130 Broadway at 75th Street
Located on the super-family-friendly Upper West Side
, Beacon is close to all of the neighborhood's top family attractions including Riverside Park, Central Park
, Lincoln Center
, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the American Museum of Natural History. One- and two-bedroom suites are available with a sofa bed in the living room. There are also small kitchens, so you can save money by preparing your own meals with groceries you buy from Fairway Market, which is directly across the street.
Hotel Wales — Upper East Side
1295 Madison Avenue near 92nd Street
This old-world hotel is located in quiet Carnegie Hill just one block from Central Park, so the perks are pure: location, location, location. There are many private schools in the area, so families may catch a glimpse of what an Upper East Side childhood is like. The hotel has a spacious guest lounge on the second floor, a rooftop terrace, and local comfort food favorite, Sarabeth’s, is located off the lobby. Consider the reasonably priced two-room family suites with kitchenette, or book a room with a sleeper sofa for the kids. If you're looking to spend time at Museum Mile's world-class institutions like the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of the City of New York, this hotel is a good bet. Peruse our 50 Things to Do on the Upper East Side with Kids before your visit.
RELATED: 100 Things to Do with NYC Kids Before They Grow Up
Enjoy milk and cookies at The James.
The James — Soho
27 Grand Street between Sixth Avenue and Thompson Street
Soho's creative vibe carries over to the James Hotel with its on-site art gallery, which showcases the works of both local and international artists. The hotel caters to kids with milk and cookies at bedtime, and a supply of children’s books, classic board games, coloring books and art supplies, plus a rooftop plunge pool with inflatable toys is open in warmer months. The hotel has a spacious family suite configuration, too, but it will cost you. Plus its on-site restaurant, the David Burke Kitchen, serves a great family brunch in NYC.
Your little princess will flip over the Princess Package at Lotte New York Palace. Photo by Jody Mercier.
Lotte New York Palace — Midtown East
455 Madison Avenue between East 50th and East 51st Streets
Little princesses take note: Book this luxury hotel's Palace Princess package and your little diva will be treated to a new dress, tiara, and more. Enjoy spacious two-room suites, soaking tubs for bubble baths, child-sized robes, and turndown treats. Pop into the spa for mother-daughter manis and pedis, or recharge solo with a custom massage. Babysitting services can be arranged, too. Read our full review of our recent staycation at Lotte New York Palace.
The Muse Hotel — Midtown West
130 West 46th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues
This boutique property offers 200 rooms in the heart of the Theater District. Book a family-friendly show, and then enjoy the hotel goodies for the entire family, including nightly wine receptions for the grown-ups, complimentary bikes, and in-room yoga mats. Rollaways or cribs are available upon request, as are welcome packages for kids that can include a temporary pet (a guppy) and hula hoops. Babysitting services are available too, and it's pet-friendly to boot.
NU Hotel — Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
85 Smith Street between State Street and Atlantic Avenue
Live like a local family in this stroller-packed Brooklyn neighborhood. Located near four family-friendly areas (Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Cobble Hill), the NU Hotel gives guests an authentic NYC experience. Free breakfast and Wi-Fi, loaner bikes, and toddler step stools, baby bathtub, and high chair upon request, plus a Brooklyn-themed coloring book, makes NU a top choice for families. The Bunkbed Room comes with a queen bed, twin bunk beds, and eat-in area is just one family-friendly room option. Plus the hotel is close to the A, C, F and G subway lines, so you can get to Manhattan (or Queens!) in a jiffy.
Breakfast at the Omni has something for everyone.
Omni Berkshire Place — Midtown East
21 East 52nd Street between Fifth and Madison Avenues
Located a stone’s throw from major tourist attractions like Rockefeller Center, Top of the Rock, Radio City Music Hall, and Fifth Avenue's high-end shops, Omni Berkshire Place offers convenience but also perks just for kids. The Omni Kids Crew doles out a backpack full of treats to little ones, including an activity book, binoculars, tabletop game, crayons, and milk and cookies on their first night. Families can also enjoy outdoor programming (and great views) from the hotel's nine terraces. Family-friendly flicks will screen all summer long on the 17th floor St. Patrick's Terrace, complete with popcorn and beverages. Come fall, s'mores and cocktails or juice will replace the alfresco screenings, and in winter, a pop-up hot chocolate station debuts. Families might also consider special packages like the American Girl Dream, which comes with a doll bed, special breakfast outing, and more.
Kids will love the indoor faux campout at The Peninsula.
The Peninsula New York — Midtown East
700 Fifth Avenue at 55th Street
Looking for a splurge? Kids and grown-ups receive the celeb treatment at this luxe Midtown spot, which offers plenty of family perks and specialty packages. Opt for the Camp Peninsula Package and kids can pitch a cozy tent inside their parents suite, enjoy a “s’mores welcome,” a poolside picnic above Fifth Avenue, scavenger hunt, and a turndown with slippers, robe, and sweet treat. Kids under 10 eat FREE at the Peninsula with this package, and a 50% discount is offered for bookings on adjoining rooms. Or partake in the Peninsula Academy, offering cooking classes for kids, the art of afternoon tea, or private tours of MoMA and The Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum.
Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Midtown East — Midtown East
148 East 48th Street at Lexington Avenue
Rooms with two beds, plus a sofa bed, full-size refrigerators, in-suite kitchenettes, and a FREE hot breakfast make this Midtown hotel a favorite among families. Kids can also enjoy board games in the hearth room, and tots a gratis rubber ducky for bathtime. Parents might especially like the 24-hour grocery delivery, FREE pack-and-plays, and overall value. It's located a short walk from Grand Central and a short shuttle ride from Times Square.
Staybridge Suites Times Square — Midtown West
340 West 40th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues
These spacious suites are equipped with kitchenettes and a workspace, making it a roomy choice for families. The hotel is just a short stroll from the heart of Times Square, and also offers complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast, social receptions, and a fitness center. Families might also appreciate the 24-hour pantry snack station and laundry facilities.
Bunk beds at TRYP By Wyndham allow families to stay together in one room.
TRYP By Wyndham Times Square South — Midtown West
345 West 35th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues
Family rooms at this hotel, conveniently located near Penn Station, offer bunk beds, a separate queen or king bed, and sleeping sofas in oversize rooms outfitted with refrigerators—and, in some cases, two bathrooms! Enjoy free Wi-Fi throughout, flat-screen TVs, and, in the Samsung rooms, gaming options. Kids can scoop up complimentary gifts (like coloring books) and dental kits, and the hotel also stocks bottle warmers and baby kits for guests. Easy train access means you can head uptown or downtown quickly, and Times Square attractions are just a few blocks away.
The Watson Hotel — Midtown West
440 West 57th Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenues
Formerly a Holiday Inn, this recently rebranded hotel packs a punch when it comes to location and spacious digs. Southern Central Park, Carnegie Hall, and New York City Center are all steps away, and Lincoln Center and Broadway theaters are within walking distance. It's a comfortable if not fancy hotel with very clean rooms on the larger size for NYC at 320-square-feet. Families will likely want to reserve the double guestroom. Another major perk? There's a rooftop swimming pool that's open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Z NYC Hotel — Long Island City, Queens
11-01 43rd Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets
This trendy boutique hotel in Long Island City, Queens boasts 100 rooms and sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline from its rooftop lounge, which also hosts free events. There's an on-site art gallery and it's just one subway stop from midtown Manhattan, or you can try the complimentary car service. Parents can request cribs and might want to scope out the picnic package, too. Queens is the city’s most diverse borough, ripe for exploration, and the hotel is walking distance from some fine tourist attractions like Socrates Sculpture Park, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Noguchi Museum, and MoMA PS1.
Find out about the best places to explore, play, eat and experience with kids in New York City in our jam-packed Visitors Guide.
Top image: The Bunkbed Room at the NU Hotel in Brooklyn offers plenty of space for families. Unless otherwise noted, photos courtesy of the hotels.
A version of this article first published in 2014, but it has since been updated.