New York City is the metropolis that needs no introduction. The Big Apple has gripped the world’s imagination for generations: The never-ending bustle; the unparalleled wealth of cross-cultural offerings; the indisputable world leadership in every major industry. The fashion, the music, the art – even the city accent.
From Frank Sinatra to Jay Z, to be a global citizen is to either live in New York City or be a degree of enraptured by its magnetism. And the skyline itself has eclipsed that of the city and come to stand as a symbol worldwide for ultimate cosmopolitanism; the towering skyscrapers, the bright lights, the reflection upon the Hudson.
Even the most cynical of New Yorkers – there are a few! – will admit there is something extraordinary about their city skyline. Looking up at it is great; looking across, even better. Fittingly for the City That Never Sleeps, some of the best vistas of the concrete jungle can be found in the city’s many excellent hotels. This is Elite Traveler’s guide to the NYC hotels with the best views of the world’s city.
The Langham, Fifth Avenue
Located right on Fifth Avenue in the epicenter of Midtown New York, The Langham – which was previously The Setai Fifth Avenue before it joined the Langham Hotels collection in 2013 – has already established a niche for itself among Manhattan’s many luxury hotels for presenting its guests an experience that combines all the best of a hotel stay with the space, amenities and comfort of a residential.
Luxury flourishes do not go unnoticed in this hotel. The multi-million-dollar collection of art placed throughout the hotel bursts with color, and the restaurant offering, Ai Fiori, is a Michelin-starred experience that encompasses a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and a perfectly picturesque sky terrace.
Which is, naturally, a great spot to watch New York City from. The best place in the hotel, however – if not one of the best places across the city – is The Langham’s Empire State Penthouse Suite. Able to accommodate up to five guests, the bright modern art and lush interior design already feel very New York chic, but it’s the urban vistas, framed by copious floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the suite, that is truly remarkable.
The Bowery, The Village
When it comes to the hotels with the best views of NYC, many tourists thrust themselves into the shopping bustle and urban mania of Midtown, in the belief that proximity to the center of Manhattan is the best way to see – both from within and outside the hotel – the city. Dear reader, overlook East Village and its most iconic hotel, The Bowery, at your own loss. From Bob Dylan and the Beatniks to Carrie Bradshaw herself, the Village is somewhat of a world epicenter for culture and cool, and The Bowery effortlessly combines the neighborhood’s vibe with flawless luxury.
Located on the Bowery in between East Village and Greenwich Village, The Bowery is perfectly placed for tenement building silhouettes and even celebrity spotting; everyone from Keith Richards to Gigi Hadid has been spotted here. For the best views across the whole of the Big Apple, do not miss out on the one-bedroom Penthouse Terrace Suite, which boasts brilliant city vistas from the hotel’s 14th floor.
Mandarin Oriental, New York
New York City is no stranger to big displays of wealth and grandeur. If anything, the city is a traditional stomping ground of such extravagances, from the Gilded Age right up to the modern reboot of Gossip Girl. And yet even then, the lavish glitz and vivid East Asian glam of the Mandarin Oriental in New York still manages to surprise and delight even the most jaded of high-fliers.
This is a hotel that knows exactly what its guests want from their experience, from its futuristic MO dining lounge to its state-of-the-art spa. Both spaces – which are absolute treasure troves of luxury offerings – also feature extraordinary vistas across the city that render the Mandarin Oriental one of the leading hotels with the best views of NYC. Floor-to-ceiling windows of the MO Lounge grant guests brilliant views of Manhattan and Central Park; the spa similarly offers up the city to its guests from the comfort of the pool or the treadmill.
To fully maximize the full extent of what the Mandarin Oriental New York can offer, stay in the New York Skyline Suite. Located on Floor 54, at the very top of the hotel, the decadent room allows guests to fall asleep and wake up with the world’s most iconic skyline right beside them.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Gazing at New York City from outside the island of Manhattan rather than within might sound, at first, somewhat unorthodox, but that is just everything we love about new kid on the luxury hotel block, 1 Hotels. Standing proud in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge merges industrial chic with modernist glam for a hotel experience that totally captures the senses and sensibilities of the 21st-century luxury tourist, and its eco-credentials is perhaps the biggest testament to the latter.
Big and bold views of the city abound throughout the hotel; we like the rooftop pool for its expansive vistas of the city’s most beloved icons, from the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty. While most rooms come with floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing this fabulous new way to see the city, we like the Bridge Studio Suite for its NYC apartment vibe.
Ritz Carlton Central Park
It’s one thing staying in a hotel that provides unparalleled views of the city; it’s a whole other experience stepping into an establishment in which the building itself has come to form part of the iconic skyline. The Ritz Carlton Central Park rises handsomely into the city heights and holds its own in a forest of buildings more modern, but by no means as classic: This is old-school New York City, through and through.
And positioned right upon Central Park, the legacy hotel (which is all the prettier after its 2019 radical renovation) offers not only brilliant views across the city, but a rare opportunity for some greenery and birdsong right outside your bedroom window. The hotel website neatly asserts what view is offered by each room or suite, and if you can’t pick, that’s fine: The Grand Park View Suite is high enough to include the skyline beyond the iconic park.
The Peninsula New York
There’s more than just a touch of the vintage New York we all know and love at The Peninsula; akin to its hotels in Paris and Istanbul, The Peninsula New York leans into the gild and glamour of a more sophisticated generation gone by for a vacation experience that doesn’t feel out of place with romantic notions of the city that gave us F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton.
Situated right in the heart of Manhattan, the rooftop bar and terrace is a particularly beloved haunt amongst New Yorkers (is there a better line in the English language to sell a vacation experience?) and one of the best spots to enjoy a cocktail amongst the skyscrapers. Try and get there for golden hour; the way the amber sunrays hits the glass buildings brings fairytale magic to this epicenter of cosmopolitan living. Otherwise, the Salon de Nige invites a resident DJ up every Friday night over the summer season for some seriously chic dancing.
Aman New York
As is the case with many of the globe’s finest offerings, we once again find ourselves turning to the quiet and understated for the ultimate experience of ‘if you know, you know’ for our last of the hotels with the best views of NYC. Aman Hotels & Residences is the ultimate adventure of great luxury with unflinching privacy, and its New York offering is true serenity and total splendor in the heart of the city.
The city’s most expensive hotel, accommodation is exclusively suites, in which guests can look forward to sweeping city vistas, state-of-the-art amenities, and even butler service. The 25,000-sq-ft spa is, perhaps, the most peaceful spot across the whole of the city; otherwise, the warm and minimalist tones used in the decor of the rooftop bar and restaurant mimic the surrounding skyscrapers for an overall effect that feels gorgeously immersive. And as for the infinity pool overlooking Central Park – how could we resist?