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How to Find the Best Hotels in NYC When You’re Traveling on Business

March 2nd, 2017 /

When you first enter New York City as a business traveler, it may feel as though you’ve entered a whole different world. Somehow, currency doesn’t buy as much as it did in Jersey. Between the Upper East Side and Soho, you’ve got an almost unlimited choice of hotels on every single block. How on earth do you choose?

As a New York City native, I’m lucky that I don’t have to worry about this conundrum. However, I’ve also learned the best places to recommend my colleagues stay when they come to the city. Regardless of which neighborhood you need to be close to, you can find a high-quality and out-of-the-way hotel to make your business trip experience that much calmer (or as calm as NYC ever gets—let’s be honest). Moving from north to south of the Midtown area of the island, here are my best picks for your business trip lodging enjoyment.

How do you choose a hotel in NYC?

Image by Flickr user Andres Nieto Porras.

Central Park South

If you’re in NYC on business, you’re probably heading straight for Midtown after landing at JFK. However, this area is a bit complicated to navigate because it covers such a large space, so pinpoint the location of your meetings. If your business lies in the North Midtown range, close to the southern end of Central Park, you may want to stay in one of these hotels. My general rule is that I like to be a 5-minute cab ride away from most of my meetings.

The southeast corner of Central Park is sometimes considered part of the Upper East Side—and if you’re looking for prestige with a price tag to match, this is where you’ll want to bed down for the night. For gorgeous park views and the quintessential ritzy NYC feel, you’ll want to check out the Ritz-Carlton (see what I did there?) on Central Park South. If you’re a rewards member, you’ll score a far better deal on these expensive rooms. The Plaza offers a similarly luxurious experience less than a block away at a slightly lower price point, but if you’re looking for a quieter “budget” option, I’d recommend the 5-star Quin Hotel on 57th.

If you stay at The Quin, you’ll not only be within sight distance of beautiful Central Park (which can help those of you who are used to seeing more green in your daily life), but you’re also within one block of Carnegie Hall. On your off time, you’ll definitely want to relax by the pond or catch a Mahler performance.

Central Park is beautiful year-round, but especially during summer business trips.

Central Park is beautiful year-round, but especially during summer business trips. Image by Flickr user nancy smith.

Midtown East

Ah, Midtown East. The home of bustling NYC office workers, this is a relatively quiet and peaceful place to stay. It’s close to the touristy theatre district but far enough removed to be less of a drag. It’s easy enough to find luxury in this beautiful neighborhood, and you’re lucky indeed if your business brings you here. Plus, those of you who depend on Starbucks and cafe lunches will find plentiful cheap options.

I’d honestly stay in Midtown East anyway, regardless—but that, of course, depends on your tolerance for subway travel or taxi hailing. Grand Central Station is here, which means you can easily jet away to anywhere else in the city without too much trouble. Taking the subway also helps you avoid the tourist taxi rush.

When in Midtown East, take the subway.

When in Midtown East, take the subway. Image by Flickr user Shinya Suzuki.

If you’re going to stay in this neighborhood, I’d pick St. Regis for its awesome location and unbeatable luxury. You’re just steps from the MoMA, which is a fantastic place to hang out during an afternoon off, and right in the middle of the premier luxury shopping area, with easy access to Tiffany’s and Saks and a short taxi ride away from the touristy glitz of Times Square. This is a fantastic place for a leisurely walk because there’s a lot to see.

If you have to stay near the crowded, touristy Times Square (which I would avoid at pretty much all costs), I would book your stay in the Royalton—a 4-star beauty right next to Bryant Park and the best Public Library on the planet. Take care of your sleep with a handy white-noise machine and you’ll be all set to enjoy the bright lights and car horns during your free hours.

If you’re feeling presidential, you might prefer a stay in the Waldorf Astoria, one of NYC’s grand hotel landmarks and the home of some of the most luxurious hotel tech I’ve experienced. Or, for an East Midtown budget option, you could choose the Omni Berkshire Place. However, I always prefer the beautiful chandeliers of the Regis.

If you’re in New York on business, this is exactly the place to avoid.

If you’re in New York on business, this is exactly the place to avoid. Image by Flickr user Michael Thuemmler.

Murray Hill

Moving a little further south, we’ll focus on the neighborhoods on the east side. That’s saying nothing about Chelsea, which is a great place—but most travelers aren’t likely to hang out in this residential area during the week. In contrast, Murray Hill has easy access to the active area of Third Avenue while being quieter and full of locals to chat with. The charming brownstones make this area great for those who like to feel at home while on a business trip.

I’d recommend staying at Morgans, a luxury 4-star and our only boutique hotel suggestion for this part of NYC. You get beautiful rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, immediate access to the gorgeous Morgan Library (which is a great option for grabbing a cup of coffee between meetings), and you’re only four blocks away from Grand Central Station.

Just a little further south, you’ll also find our final recommendation, the 5-star Gramercy Park Hotel. Five blocks from Union Square, this artistic hotel option was designed by Julian Schnabel and incorporates pop art originals and a private garden in Gramercy Park. Be sure to ask for a room with a park view so you can spend time in that gorgeous little square of green in the middle of your bustling day.

Gramercy Park is a great green space that you can relax in during the afternoons.

Gramercy Park is a great green space that you can relax in during the afternoons. Image by Flickr user Dennis Yang.

A Good Choice At Every Turn

Besides the fact that this crossroads of the world is full of business opportunities for all industries, NYC is a place where each business trip can involve memories that will last a lifetime. Take advantage of the city by exploring options off-the-beaten-path and getting to know some local favorites.

If you’d like to make the choice even simpler, try asking your personal reservationist with JetLux Hotels. They can recommend the perfect hotel with the amenities, price range, and location that fits your needs—and they’ll even book it for you at a discount of up to 40% off what you find online. There’s no easier way to explore New York.

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