There are few places as romantic as New York at holiday time. The ice rink at Rockefeller Center, the lights of Broadway, the carriages in Central Park, the chill in the air as muffled-up strangers exchange glances on the street. It sounds like the stuff of romantic comedy, but it’s as real as the steam coming out of the subway grates.
If you go to New York this fall, where will you stay? There are many choices, so let’s look at something new, something old, and a mainstay with a deal.
That mainstay is the 51-story, 1966-room New York Marriott Marquis. The Marriott Marquis is in the heart of Times Square. One of the largest hotels in New York, it has a special offer for families this year.
Their Family Connector Rooms sleep up to seven guests, so the pack can rest after a long day of sightseeing. The suites consist of two rooms complete with one king-size bed, two doubles, two bathrooms, a pullout sofa, and other amenities. Guests who stay between now and December 31 get up to 10% off connecting rooms with Mariott’s Family Fun package.
The view form high atop the Marriott Marquis can be amazing. If you can tear yourself away, the restaurant Le Petit Chef delivers an immersive dining experience for the family, with the “world’s smallest animated French chef” preparing a 4-course meal right in front of you.
The Marriott is ideally located for seeing Broadway shows and getting tickets at the TKTS Booth in Times Square. Or you could just take the elevator downstairs. The musical comedy Beetlejuice is playing at the Marriott Marquis Theater through January.
If you’re looking for something even higher-end than the Marriott Marquis, Sherman’s Travel recently did a slideshow feature on the Best Luxury Resorts in Every U.S. State. For New York, their pick was the Baccarat Hotel in Manhattan, designed to feature the famed French crystal manufacturer’s masterpieces. Across the street from the Museum of Modern Art, the hotel has 114 stunning guest rooms and suites.
A chef with two Michelin-stars is behind the dining experience. And if you insist on leaving luxury to hit the city streets, you could do so without mingling with pedestrians by renting one of the hotel’s “house cars.” They will take you shopping, to museums or other destinations within 15 blocks of the Baccarat. We checked The Baccarat for a Grand Classic King with a mid-week arrival in November. We found a “best available” rate of $1780 per night. But if you have to ask…
While New York is known for its classic (and costly) hotels, a new study from Inkifi ranks NYC third in the world (behind London and Paris) in active Airbnb rentals, with 22,586. The study says New York ranks eighth among world cities for the most expensive Airbnb rates, honoring its “reputation of being one of the most expensive cities in the world.”
A brand-new New York alternative is the colorful Radio Hotel and Tower in upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood. The full-service 221-room hotel, which opened in September 2022, pays tribute to the surrounding neighborhood now know as “Little Dominican Republic.”
The architects and designers of Radio Hotel found inspiration in architectural patterns found in the neighborhood. They also adopted the vibrant colors of local storefronts. Designers MVRDV and Stonehill Taylor designed Radio Hotel and Tower to resemble a vertically built Washington Heights, with the Lego-like colorful “blocks” of green, yellow, blue, orange and magenta.
Inside, The Radio pays tribute to the local community with hair roller-infused chandeliers and traditional carnival masks throughout. The hotel has more than 13,000 square feet of meeting space for everything from corporate events to weddings, with parking for 170 vehicles.
The Radio is also home to the first US outpost of the famous Santo Domingo Restaurant, Jalao, co-owned by Dominican restauranteur Antonio Espaillat.
Highlights of the Jalao menu include signature dishes such as Pecao’Frito (boca chica style deep fried red snapper), Chuleta Cancan (pork tomahawk), Paila Jalao (a palomilla onion-steak with crispy pork belly and longaniza-sausage) and the Mofongo Mar y Tierra (the ultimate Dominican Surf and Turf of shrimp and crispy pork belly with garlic mojo). Other Dominican offerings include tostones, sancocho, and La Bandera Dominicana.
If you’re willing to leave Manhattans for ‘upstate,’ the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, in New York’s famed Catskills, brings back Victorian Holidays. These include Victorian carolers, gingerbread house tours, Christmas tree tours, and even graham cracker house decorating sessions. You can also book “Victorian High Tea,” an array of fine teas served in an elegant tea set, house-made scones with jam, chocolate truffles, petit fours, and tea sandwiches.
That is what you would expect from a Victorian castle resort in the Hudson Valley and situated on a private glacial lake with views of the Catskill Mountains. Couples can rekindle their romance on the ice-skating rink, cozy up by one of the many fireplaces or indulge in a spa treatment at Mohonk’s Spa.
If you insist on going outside, the resort boasts a plethora of winter programming, including winter forest bathing sessions, winter hiking on eighty-five miles of trails, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating in the Pavilion.
The hotel is accessible by car, bus, or train, with self-parking complimentary with an overnight reservation. Overnight rates at Mohonk Mountain House include accommodations, three meals and Afternoon Tea and Cookies.