July 20, 2023

For a city that claims to never sleep, there are hundreds – over 500 according to – of places to rest your head for the night. Some are much more than just places to sleep; a special few are even integral to the city’s identity, with historic addresses such as the Plaza and the Waldorf Astoria playing starring roles in New York’s cityscape, plus some of the most beloved TV shows and films. The grand dames may last the test of time, but much of New York’s hotel scene is in a state of constant flux. New addresses pop up regularly and old ones are revamped to keep up with the changing trends. The scope of the best hotels in New York grows wider too, branching out well beyond the usual Time Square addresses, venturing downtown and even over the bridges.

What’s the best part of New York to stay in?

Locals will tell you to skip staying near Time Square, the soulless midtown monstrosity is a classic tourist trap with much hype but little to offer. If it’s your first time in New York or a whistle-stop trip, a hotel in midtown could be your best option for ease of getting around. But if you’re looking for a glimpse of real New York and its many personalities, some of the best hotels in New York are found outside of Midtown, like The Carlyle on the Upper East Side or PUBLIC hotel on the Lower East. Some of the city’s hottest addresses have even started to pop up outside of Manhattan, with Ace Hotel and 1 Hotel now with locations in Brooklyn and even Boro Hotel in Long Island City.

Every hotel on this list has been selected independently by our editors and written by a Condé Nast Traveller journalist who knows the destination and has stayed at that property. When choosing hotels, our editors consider both luxury properties and boutique and lesser-known boltholes that offer an authentic and insider experience of a destination. We’re always looking for beautiful design, a great location and warm service – as well as serious sustainability credentials. We update this list regularly as new hotels open and existing ones evolve.

The Wall Street Hotel, Financial District

These days, there’s pleasure as well as business to be had in the Financial District – and The Wall Street Hotel points to a more layered identity than the stereotypes of Goldman-issue puffer vests, charging bulls and Ellis Island ferries. Its owners, the Paspaley pearling family, hired multi-hyphenate designer Liubasha Rose (The Well Manhattan, The Madeline Telluride) to turn their former company HQ – an exquisite Beaux Arts corner building – into a refined Art Deco-accented 180-room hotel, heavy on brass, velvet and apt mother-of-pearl. As well as gems and oysters, Rose was inspired by timeless New York hotel spaces like The Carlyle’s Bemelmans Bar. Hence, a playfully art-directed elegance prevails, from rooms with brass-and-mirror bar carts and oyster-inspired watercolours to the clashing colours and textures of the double-height Lounge on Pearl bar. John Fraser, a prolific chef-restaurateur known for his Michelin- starred vegetarian restaurant, Nix, oversees La Marchande brasserie, with Long Island oysters and vanilla-cured snapper at the raw bar, and not a hedge funder in sight. A rooftop bar with precious river views is in the pipeline.