New York City is a family-friendly town. You’ll have no problem finding attractions, culture, food and shopping to suit the interests of you and your kids—and the same goes for scoring a comfortable place to stay. Indeed, the City's variety of hotels has never been greater, and establishments increasingly provide special services and incentives tailored to families: larger rooms, discount packages and all kinds of cool technology. The selection spans a range of styles and budgets—luxury to affordable, big chain to boutique—and can provide a suitable home base for just about any itinerary you might envision. Read on for more info, and be sure to contact hotels directly for more information about specialty packages and experiences mentioned below.
The Kitano New York
66 Park Ave., Murray Hill, Manhattan, 212-885-7000
This Japanese-owned hotel in NYC strikes an uncommon balance between sophistication and family friendliness. The soothing, well-appointed rooms include neat Japanese gadgets and dressing gowns; the hotel has a collection of original art (the lobby's big bronze dog sculpture is a real kid pleaser); cribs are provided free of charge; and the staff can arrange child care for an additional fee. Its restaurant, Hakubai, serves traditional Japanese fare in cool private tatami rooms. The hotel's Jazz at Kitano lounge offers mellow live music, classic American breakfast, lunch and dinner menus and a Sunday jazz brunch. There are a variety of special packages; the Family Time in New York City deal includes a special price on your choice of two room types, a free breakfast buffet and discounted dinner at Hakubai. With this option, kids also get a rubber duck and free cookies and milk during their stay.
Kitano's concierge service can help you plan family outings. The hotel is a short walk from the Empire State Building, whose observation deck opens at 8am and stays open late (kids under 6 get in free), and Grand Central Terminal. Also within walking distance are Times Square, Broadway's theaters, Bryant Park and the beaux arts main branch of New York Public Library.
New York Marriott East Side
525 Lexington Ave., Midtown East, Manhattan, 212-755-4000
When traveling with children, space is a priority, and the Marriott East Side offers a number of family-friendly room configurations. Family Connecting Rooms have two bedrooms (one with a king bed and the other with two doubles) and two baths, while Terrace Suites have a king bed, sofa bed, living area and outdoor balcony. (Booking the latter will give you access to the hotel's M Club Lounge, which has complimentary breakfast, snacks and beverages.) The on-site 525Lex restaurant dishes up straightforward American fare that will please kids' palates. Package deals include the Best of NYC Family, with a guidebook, breakfast and free passes to three City attractions; and the Bloomingdale's Shopping Experience, which features a variety of discounts plus a $50 gift card for use at the nearby iconic department store.
The Marriott East Side is blocks from Grand Central Terminal (which offers self-guided audio tours and a once-daily walking tour); Rockefeller Center's shopping, ice rink (in season) and Top of the Rock Observation Deck; and the Chrysler Building. An ideal place for a walk, Central Park begins at 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, less than a mile away.
Eventi, a Kimpton hotel
851 Sixth Ave., Chelsea, Manhattan, 212-564-4567
This hip and stylish high-rise hotel, best known for details like marble rain showers and outdoor art projections, isn't just going after grown-ups. Its newest amenity, the Tween Trap, is a selection of gadgets to keep kids technologically mollified: borrow Instagram printers, iPad Minis, PlayStation Vitas and night-vision goggles during your stay. In terms of accommodations, two- and three-room suites are available, some with terraces. The hotel's two restaurants cover a number of bases: Humphrey is situated on a second-floor patio and offers hearty riffs on family favorites like burgers, grilled cheese, fish and chips, and salads, while the Portuguese-themed Lupulo is overseen by George Mendes of NYC's acclaimed Aldea and supplements its menu with a wide range of craft beers for Mom and Dad.
The Eventi is just a few blocks away from Herald Square's bustling shopping corridor (which includes Macy's), Koreatown's restaurants, Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building. Within walking distance is the High Line's elevator entrance at 30th Street and Tenth Avenue; strolling the park's length to Gansevoort Street will leave you at the newly relocated Whitney Museum of American Art.
The Plaza Hotel
768 Fifth Ave., Central Park South, Manhattan, 212-759-3000
Who can think about the Plaza without envisioning Eloise, the classic children's book character who made it her home? Today, the luxurious hotel is happy to keep you in that mind-set. Its Palm Court restaurant offers an Eloise teatime menu; a variety of Eloise-themed birthday parties are available to book year-round; and events like Eloise-inspired cooking classes and dance parties dot the calendar. On the luxe end, the hotel has experience packages including the Eloise Suite, which was designed by Betsey Johnson; and the Knights of the Plaza, which includes a stay in the Tower Suite, a picnic lunch and medieval-themed trinkets for the little ones. Other kid-oriented amenities include children's menus, kid-size robes and rentable bikes. In-room pizza parties and babysitting services are also available. The whole family will enjoy the hotel's two gourmet, concourse-level food halls, which encompass just about every cuisine imaginable.
The Plaza sits on the edge of Central Park, a short distance from Rumsey Playfield, the Central Park Zoo and Lincoln Center. A raft of museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hayden Planetarium, the American Museum of Natural History and the Children's Museum of Manhattan, are also within relatively easy reach.
Shelburne NYC, anAffinia Hotel
303 Lexington Ave., Murray Hill, Manhattan, 212-689-5200
This stylish, yet homey, boutique hotel has launched a new family-friendly program called Affinia Junior, which will include a slew of perks and activities for kids. Along with your room, you'll be able to reserve a box full of games, plus coloring paper and crayons, colorable pillows, cupcakes and snacks, cribs and strollers, and walking-tour kits. (Aside to those whose families include furry friends: the Shelburne not only welcomes pets, it also provides a special deal for them—a $50 VIPaws add-on that includes a bed, toys and treats.) As rooms go, two-bedroom suites are ideal for families and include kitchens; larger Terrace Suites can sleep up to six people. Extending the residential vibe, the hotel offers FreshDirect grocery service and complimentary bike rental (for up to four hours at a time).
This location is close to the Asian restaurants of Koreatown and so-called Curry Hill, the Empire State Building, the shops of Herald Square, the Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal.
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