Family Travel

The Best Family-Friendly Hotels in NYC for a City Getaway

written by LINDSAY COHN

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best family hotels in nyc"
best family hotels in nyc
Source: Roberto Vivancos / Pexels
Source: Roberto Vivancos / Pexels

New York City is a dynamic destination that’s quite literally brimming with museums, restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Don’t forget about Central Park with its fields, carousel, and zoo. Meanwhile, the 4.5-mile Hudson River Greenway boasts ample grassy lawns and playgrounds to let the kiddos run free.

Like pretty much every place on the planet, some hotels are great for families, and others… Well, let’s just say the days of getting any rest with a nightclub below you are long in the past for most parents. Space is another major consideration, as NYC famously doesn’t provide spacious rooms without a sky-high price tag. Speaking of budget, it’s worth noting that staying in the Big Apple isn’t cheap. However, it’s certainly not impossible to score a deal. Our list of the best family hotels in NYC includes accommodations all over Manhattan at a variety of price points, so you can pick the hotel that best fits your family’s needs and budget.


1. The Peninsula New York

Oh-so-luxurious and unmatched in virtually every respect, The Peninsula New York treats guests of all ages like VIPs. Parents will love the five-star service and world-class spa. Given the robust kids’ programming, there’s bound to be time to relish a Biologique Recherche facial and take a dip in a glass-enclosed indoor pool. The LOs will stay busy playing games, eating s’mores with a babysitter in the in-suite tent, and partaking in activities like a hotel-wide scavenger hunt at Camp Peninsula. Because the need to maintain a solid nap schedule doesn’t stop while traveling, flexible check-in/check-out is a major bonus.


2. Thompson Central Park New York

A travel stroller is necessary for navigating the Big Apple with infants, toddlers, and even some older children who will no doubt be worn out by the pace of things. But lugging around a giant pram isn’t ideal if you’re traveling by train or already have a full car. The solution? Thompson Central Park New York, the newly-opened luxury flagship property from Hyatt, has partnered with Bugaboo to loan ultra-compact travel strollers to guests for use at no additional charge. The complimentary service also includes a themed map with kid-friendly attractions. Swish high-floor rooms are the perfect place to crash after an action-packed day.


3. Freehand New York

NYC hotel for families The Freehand

Source: The Freehand

Situated in Flatiron, a five-minute straight shot from Madison Square Park (you don’t even have to cross the busy street, which might feel slightly perilous with LOs and taxis whizzing around), Freehand New York earns our pick as a top contender for the most fun and lively hotel to visit with the whole family—including pets! It’s filled with personality, creative decor, and custom-commissioned artwork that’s super eye-catching. Book one of the spacious rooms with bunk beds and you’ll definitely earn some extra cool cred with the kiddos.


4. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

Topping the list of concerns shared by many parents traveling to the Big Apple with children is the desire to ensure active kiddos have access to nature and other venues to let out some energy. Overlooking the city’s largest green space, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park also makes taking a luxury vacation as a family so much easier and more enjoyable thanks to spacious rooms and suites (many of which connect). Other amenities include a fun-filled assortment of age-appropriate toys, bubble baths, tents, Ritz-Carlton Leo the Lion activity guides, maps, coloring books, plush animal pals, turndown service with milk and cookies, and craft classes.


5. Arlo SoHo 

Arlo SoHo features bunk beds with adjoining rooms for the ultimate slumber party vibes while maintaining enough separation to guarantee everyone sleeps soundly. There are common areas on the first and second floors to play around in as well as two adorable rustic wood cabins in the exterior courtyard, which families can hang out in during the day or book for private dinners in the evening. Younger guests will have a blast scoping sweets at the Dylan’s Candy Bar outpost in the lobby. To remember a slice of pre-kid life, sneak up to the buzzy rooftop for cocktails or mocktails.


6. InterContinental New York Times Square

For travelers who want a home base that’s surrounded by the excitement of Broadway shows, themed restaurants, big-name tourist attractions like Madame Tussauds™, and retail stores that kids will drag you into (ahem, Line Friends and the Disney Store), few places compare to the InterContinental New York Times Square . Connecting rooms as well as spacious suites are ideal for families. The hotel offers fun packages to help visitors embrace the energy of New York City. Also, it’s hard to oversell the convenience of overnight parking in such a busy area.


7. Loews Regency New York Hotel

The Loews brand has an extremely well-established reputation for catering to families with its cross-portfolio Loews Loves Families program. For guests checking into the Loews Regency New York Hotel, that translates to staying in comfort and style. Nearly 40 percent of the 379 rooms and suites have connecting capabilities. Cribs, rollaway beds, baby bath amenity kits, child-proofing kits, and night lights are always complimentary. Need to rent extra gear? Simply contact the concierge team. The property partners with local companies to supply equipment that makes traveling with LOs easier. Don’t forget about the special menus designed to appeal to younger palettes.


8. Gansevoort Meatpacking

An unexpected choice given its grown-up atmosphere and position in the middle of the trendy Meatpacking District, the Gansevoort Meatpacking is surprisingly family-friendly (though the surrounding cobblestone streets will put your stroller to the test). The rooms and suites feel larger than many downtown hotels, allowing you to fit everyone and everything without feeling squished. Some even have pull-out sofas. Kids’ bath amenities, stuffed animals, and pack-and-plays are up for grabs. If you forget activities, rest easy knowing it’s possible to purchase coloring books and colored pencils without leaving the premises. 


9. Conrad New York Downtown

Battery Park City stands out as an exceedingly kid-friendly part of the Big Apple that’s home to tons of families. Staying at Conrad New York Downtown puts you just a couple of blocks from the Hudson River Greenway. Forget cramped quarters, every guest room in the hotel is a spacious suite with separate living and sleeping areas! Some also have connecting capacity. One of the cutest amenities ever is the “Little Kid Big City” travel guide, a self-guided tour showcasing must-see sights such as the Statue of Liberty and the Bronx Zoo, plus the best spots for pizza and bagels.


10. Motto by Hilton New York City Chelsea

best NYC family hotels

Source: The Motto

The Motto by Hilton New York City Chelsea is a great launch pad for families looking to explore Manhattan. It’s a short walk to fun stuff like the High Line and Chelsea Market. One big gripe many parents have with staying in NYC is limited square footage, but that’s not a problem here. The hotel provides 19 sets of connecting accommodations that give groups the ability to book up to three different room types together. Options include Murphy beds, “Bunkies,” and king-size digs to give everyone enough space to spread out comfortably. Pack-and-plays and rollaway beds are also available free of charge.


11. The Plaza Hotel

While it might not be possible to live at The Plaza Hotel indefinitely à la Eloise, you can certainly spend a weekend turning childhood fantasies into reality at this iconic New York landmark located at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South. Afternoon tea in The Palm Court as well as sleepover parties in sprawling multi-room suites (or even the adorable pink room that’s dedicated to the hotel’s most famous resident) are sources of endless joy and amusement. And the seasonal events calendar is always jam-packed with fun events for the entire family.

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