Summer may be long over, but with fall unmistakably in full swing, there’s no better time to start planning the next big getaway. It is, of course, Thanksgiving, when American families across the world come together to celebrate the very heart of the American story.
Nothing quite beats apple pie in grandma’s house, and yet there’s a lot to be said for swapping out the porch lamp for the bright lights of New York, whether New York City or upstate. The Macy’s Day Parade has long positioned the Big Apple in the center of American living rooms, whilst the vivid colors of the autumn foliage have locked the city in the global imagination as the quintessential fall destination for generations.
With the kids out of school for a long weekend, and – if you’re lucky – a day or two off yourself, there’s no better time to experience the city at its most beautiful, just right before the Christmas frenzy. What’s more, the state’s hotel scene is all too happy to enable the fun, with hotels offering specialized amenities that range from Thanksgiving dinner to little treats for the children. Here are our best hotels in New York for Thanksgiving.
The Ritz-Carlton Central Park
Perfectly positioned right upon the world’s most famous park, The Ritz-Carlton Central Park is a bastion of timeless luxury that, to its credit and our gain, doesn’t let old world stuffiness get in the way of delivering a good time.
The elegant façade and subtle glamor are perfect for those desiring a more refined hotel experience in the center of the urban bustle, whilst its unrivaled location is excellent for those seeking to maximize the city experience on a short trip. It’s also an excellent destination for children, too; kids will love their welcome toy, and dedicated games in the Club Lounge frees up considerable personal time for mom and dad.
Be sure to book a room overlooking Central Park to catch the Macy’s Day Parade from the comfort of your own suite; it passes down West 59th Street during its three-hour slot. Otherwise, Thanksgiving dinner is provided at the Contour restaurant on Thanksgiving Saturday for guests, with complimentary canapes and hot beverages provided in the lobby throughout the day.
The Plaza Hotel
From North by Northwest to Sleepless in Seattle, has a hotel ever featured so prominently in cultural canon? Thanks to Home Alone 2, The Plaza Hotel, one of the city’s flagship hospitality locations, is perhaps more associated with Christmas than Thanksgiving.
Yet take this at face value at your own loss. The Plaza, indisputably one of the best hotels in New York, proves itself to be a destination for all festivities with its Thanksgiving Day grand buffet at its illuminating The Palm Court, open to guests and New Yorkers alike.
It goes without saying that we’re not recommending The Plaza based on this alone; although of course, a good turkey always helps. The multi-room suites are excellent for families – the Royal Suite is great for in-room dining, whilst the Eloise Two Bedroom Suite even comes with an adjacent Nanny Suite – whilst its iconic grand entrance and lobby is true New York City glamor that even the most jaded of visitors will struggle to get bored of.
Lake Placid Lodge
Little compares to the dramatic beauty and the awe it inspires than the forests, mountain ranges, and lakes of the Upstate New York terrain. Magical and majestic, the best time of year to visit the region is during the fall, and the end of the season is great for maximum foliage.
Lake Placid Lodge, located right upon the lake the hotel derives its name from right under the Adirondack Mountains, seamlessly combines an international level of luxury with Upstate charm for an unforgettable vacation that is perfect for festivities that carry on into the weekend. The furnishings of the interior are all crafted by hand by local artisans; outside, the mesmerizing vistas remain totally untouched.
Its main restaurant, the Artisans Restaurant, features a menu of produce curated in the hotel’s own backyard; its accommodation, from the smaller cabins to the spectacular Buck Cabin, is peak old world cabin glory. Overall, at the Lake Placid Lodge, it’s its warmth and generosity that renders it one of the best hotels in New York for an unforgettable Thanksgiving experience.
Aman New York
One of the best hotels in New York is the perfect destination for those seeking a mini vacation away from the Thanksgiving madness. We get it; pilgrims and potatoes aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean one should miss out on a good time in New York City at a time when the city really comes alive at its peak cosmopolitan buzz.
Perfect for couples and solo travelers alike, the Fifth Avenue location exudes a chic slickness headed by designer Jean-Michel Gathy so characteristic of the Aman brand, which is considered one of the most luxurious in the world. The high-rise positioning allows guests to enjoy a serenity and tranquillity difficult to find in the city, whilst the amenities – especially the spa spaces – are second to none.
But this is New York City after all, and when staying at Aman New York, one would be amiss not to experience its excellent Jazz Club, which feels reminiscent of the city’s jazz age without feeling at all gimmicky. Otherwise, Broadway and the Met opera are a picturesque walking distance away for those seeking a more refined and cultured stay in the city.
The 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
You don’t need us to tell you that vacationing with teenagers is never easy. Too young to be fully independent – especially in a city as thriving as New York City – but too old to be mollycoddled the entire time, whisking them away for a weekend in the world’s capital sounds great in theory, but logistically horrifying in practice.
Thank god for 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, a space that manages to somewhat magically combine all the amenities adults can look forward to – faultless service, an excellent spa by British brand Bamford, and exquisite dining options – a nature program for children, and a seriously cool ambiance that’ll impress even the most cynical of teenagers.
The complimentary robes are more street tracksuit in style, whilst the rooftop pool with its vistas across the city skyline is an Instagram dream. Fully outfitted with true sustainable practices, the hipster Brooklyn location is perfect for young people seeking a scene more akin to their own fantasies of the Big Apple, without ever branching out too far from vacation headquarters.
A bonafide classic of the luxury hotel scene in New York, this Thanksgiving spend it at The Carlyle, who are pulling out all the stops for an utterly unforgettable celebration of the All-American holiday. The hotel’s culinary director and executive chef are uniting for a three-course menu that grants guests an experience in which home comforts are cheerfully married with Upper East Side luxury.
And it’s not just the Thursday itself that The Carlyle pulls out all the stops for its beloved guests. Babysitting facilities organized by professional nannies allow parents to explore the city throughout the weekend, and the little ones will absolutely love their personalized child-sized bathrobes and slippers and various events designed just for them.
Operated by Rosewood Hotels since the beginning of the century, the hotel is still gleaming from its recent three-year renovation which has truly brought the Art Deco hotel into the new era, without once compromising its historical glitz and glamor. Meet friends downstairs at the Bemelmans Bar, a city watering hole, and recover from the festivities at its Valmont Spa, which takes its cue from Switzerland.
The Sagamore Resort
Back out of the city and into the upstate wilderness once more with The Sagamore Resort. Tucked right upon Lake George in the Adirondack Park of mountains and forests, the region is known for being the birthplace of the American vacation, where the Roosevelts, Vanderbilts, and Rockefellers holidayed in great serenity amongst extraordinary natural beauty.
We’re not the first to recommend The Sagamore Resort for Thanksgiving; its vivid fall palette, wondrous vistas and easy access to the region’s hiking and exploring opportunities, alongside its turkey dinner in the hotel’s ballroom has rendered it a staple of the Thanksgiving vacation away. Over 140 years old, the hotel is not quite as old as the pilgrims, but the ambiance of warmth during the festivities leaves one thinking otherwise.
The rec center is excellent for children, although they might be more tempted to take advantage of the hotel’s other amenities, including horseback riding, fishing, waterskiing down Lake George or even white water rafting down the Hudson River. Food, family, and the great American outdoors; this really is one of the best hotels in New York for an All-American Thanksgiving.