New York, there’s so much to say about this place, but since you’ve landed here I’m going to assume you already know you want to visit and have a plan of all the wonderful things you can do, see and eat with the family.
So let’s jump right in and reveal the very best family friendly hotels in New York City.
1. The Whitby Hotel – New York
The Whitby Hotel is a rather unique and eclectic boutique hotel, situated in the Upper Midtown area of Manhattan. It is colorful, loud, and luxurious, all in one.
The hotel is designed according to the Firmdale Hotel group’s beliefs, which is that hotels should be celebrations of architecture, design, and art, and that is certainly visible all throughout the Whitby.
Fabrics are rich and textured. Gallery-like displays of sculptures, murals, interesting wallpaper choices, and surprising art pieces are littered around the property. If you’re interested in knowing about individual art pieces, you can seek out the brochure at the reception that will tell you about each one.
You’ll be placed in one of 87 bedrooms spread across the 16 floors of the colorful building. Each one is unique thanks to a huge mix of fabrics and a special, individual design, and they’re all spacious with comfortable beds, windows that arch from floor to ceiling, minibars, ottomans, and armchairs, and even a mannequin, which is the signature gimmick of the hotel.
Bathrooms are welcoming with two big sinks and products from RikRak, and most have silver tubs and marble showers. If you’re shelling out for a suite, you’ll even gain fireplaces, terraces, and living rooms.
The Firmdale Hotel group’s touch can also be clearly felt in another aspect: the service. The Whitby Hotel is not the kind of establishment that provides fussy service. It instead focuses on attentiveness that isn’t stuffy or invasive, allowing for a space that feels like a true living location. Wi-Fi covers the entire building and room service is easily available.
For further utilities and rooms, check out the 24/7 gym that is fitted with modern machines for all your workout needs. If you need your gym clothes – or any clothes – laundered quickly, you can make use of the same-day laundry service. There are also two floors of basements, dug specifically by the Whitby up to 60 feet underground.
These basements hold great entertainment options: a reading room that has a collection of 2,500 books and two different screening rooms that each seat 130 people.
But what about food options? The main go-to spot for food and drinks in the Whitby is the Whitby Bar, which serves all standard meals, afternoon tea, and cocktails, and is frequented not just by hotel guests but by those working in the neighborhood.
There’s also a fancier dining location called the Orangerie, which uses convertible china designed by Firmdale Hotel founder and interior designer Kit Kemp and has a much more “formal”, airy vibe. However, both establishments provide a similar menu, which is upscale and inspired.
In terms of location, the Whitby is located in a fairly strategic spot. It’s a few blocks away from a number of iconic sights, with a two-block distance from the Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, and lots of department stores that are fairly famous. Just one block more and you’ll also chance upon all manner of fine, well-rated restaurants. Go as far as six blocks, and you’ll stumble on Broadway theaters and The Rockefeller Centre!
2. NobleDEN Hotel – Little Italy
The NobleDEN Hotel is a boutique hotel situated in Little Italy, a hotbed for tourists and residents alike. Relatively affordable for its location, it is simple but stylish with compact spaces and a minimalist yet classic style.
Upon entering, you’ll notice that the hotel has a very contemporary design and that its minimalism is gently supplemented with small historical touches. The lobby that welcomes you is small but fashionable, with comfortable tufted armchairs, a television that plays the news, a modern clock and table, and even a single simplistic chandelier.
Rooms aren’t extremely spacious, to begin with, so rowdy kids might not enjoy having to sit still in them, but they’re a better-than-decent size for any similarly priced boutique hotel in Manhattan. Just like the rest of the hotel, the rooms are designed with a modern and simple style, with a few pops of primary colors and some more artistic accents to add some charm and edge.
Beds have small drawers at their feet to provide extra storage, and stuffed monkeys are a standard welcome gift on each bed when you arrive. You can make use of the safe, the ironing equipment, or the mini-fridges, and it goes without saying that there is Wi-Fi and air-conditioning, though the latter works on an energy-saving setback moe.
Don’t expect to have huge windows in any of the rooms, but do expect a nice city or courtyard view, and even a small balcony in more expensive rooms and full-sized balconies with loungers in the Penthouses. Depending on the room you opt for, bathrooms range from tiny to quite small. Individual doors lead past the open sinks to walk-in showers or toilets, and hairdryers and toiletries are all provided.
As a boutique hotel, the NobleDEN doesn’t exactly offer a ton of lounging room. It is not really a space for mingling or relaxing for hours in a seating area. However, there is a place to sit up on the roof, and when it’s warm but not too hot (as there isn’t any shading), you can bring your kids up to get a stunning panorama of the lively, bustling city.
There are also no breakfast or dining establishments, but there is a little drinks bar in the lobby where you can enjoy coffee, a lot of kinds of teas, hot chocolate, soda, and fruit. The lobby also has a microwave and a computer that you can use.
Location-wise, you can expect to be within walking distance of tourist hotspots. Though technically situated in Little Italy, the NobleDEN Hotel very closely borders Chinatown, making it quite a strategic place to be in the Lower Manhattan area. There are plenty of boutiques and cafes right where you’re staying, and you only need to walk for 5 minutes to get to SoHo and shop till you drop and even less time to get to the Museum of the Chinese in America.
Walk a little further – for about 10 minutes – and you’ll get to spots like the Tenement Museum, or to buzzing nightlife locations. If you plan to go further, subway rides of 20 minutes or less get you to Times Square, Wall Street, or the Empire State Building. Within half an hour, you can also get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or Central Park, and airports are just a 40-minute drive, at most, from the hotel.
3. Casablanca Hotel by Library Hotel Collection – New York
The Casablanca Hotel is yet another boutique hotel, themed after the two sources that give it its name: the Moroccan city of Casablanca and the famous classic film of 1942. It has a cozy feeling and is situated right in the middle of the busy metropolitan Time Square, making its aesthetic a far cry from what you’d usually see just outside.
Upon entering, you’ll find that the hotel is charmingly decked out in period decor. Most of the visitors to this stylish joint are tourists as opposed to businessmen, and the target demographic can be a bit older than you might expect, but families aren’t unusual patrons of the hotel, either. The unique design, marked by rattan furniture, a gas fireplace, classical-style paintings, and even an upright piano, set the tone for this Boggart-inspired accommodation option.
The rooms in the Casablanca hotel are small but quite comfortable. Decorations are fresh and homey, allowing for cozy comfort with a hint of Moroccan – or, rather, Moroccan-influenced – furniture. Woven chairs with plush cushions and lavish beds with red-and-gold accents, as well as plenty of wooden items, make for a clear aesthetic.
Because of how small the rooms are, the hotel is likely better for smaller families, or for those who have not-too-rowdy kids. Bathrooms are also quite small, and certain cheaper rooms may only have showers instead of bathtubs. The room is virtually all no-frills, with no fridges or coffeemakers, though you can still enjoy the use of iPod docks, complimentary Wi-Fi, and the usual flat-screen televisions.
There are a couple of downsides you may notice; the hotel is surrounded by taller buildings, meaning that most windows have no real view of the city, and the soundproofing isn’t strong enough to keep city noises out.
The rest of the hotel keeps up with the no-frills theme. The main common area is Rick’s Cafe, which is decorated with warm wooden tones throughout, as well as many interesting works of art. The cafe provides free continental breakfast to guests, and in the evenings you can head here for a free wine and cheese hour.
There isn’t any gym in the hotel, but New York Sports Clubs has free passes you can avail of as a patron of the Casablanca. You may wonder how you can avail of room service in a hotel with no restaurant and kitchen, but it’s quite simple! Tony DiNapoli’s family-style Italian restaurant is housed in the same building and handles all room service calls.
As previously mentioned, the Casablanca Hotel is sitting in Times Square – or barely off of it – and is therefore in quite a busy part of Manhattan. Luckily, that does mean it’s in a fairly good location. You can walk for two blocks to get to the subway station of Times Square or walks for 15 minutes to arrive at Grand Central Terminal.
4. Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West – Hudson Yards
Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West is a relatively nondescript hotel that sits on a block resting between the bustle of Times Square and the busy Port Authority. Its location is not particularly attractive due to the less popular block that the hotel exists on, but it is a decent option for tourists and business travelers alike.
With a very generic appearance, you wouldn’t be the first person to judge the Four Points on its lackluster aesthetic and turn a blind eye to it. But as an option for families, it can be quite good, provided you don’t have a huge number of kids or relatives tagging along.
Rooms at Four Points are, much like the rest of the hotel, very simple, but they are also modern with plenty of technological devices and a good level of comfort. Bigger rooms have sleeper-sofas in the living area and also boast a mini-fridge.
All rooms have down comforter beds, work desks, coffeemakers, and standing shower bathrooms that are done in marble and clean white. Hairdryers, 48-inch HDTVs, Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, USB charging ports, iPod docking stations, and coffee makers are also among the features, and you can open the windows, too.
Room service is offered throughout the hotel, and an all-day restaurant and bar, Gotham Bistro, offers meals and cocktails. The fitness center at Four Points is also quite impressive, with free entrance for all, 24 hours a day. It is also fitted with a ton of modern, technologically advanced equipment, including ellipticals and treadmills with TVs built into them. Weights, yoga mats, and medicine balls are also waiting to be used.
There is also a business center in the Four Points, but it’s not much to shout about – it’s one computer and a printer near to the lobby. Still, it’s available 24 hours a day, which is a bonus. There’s also one additional feature of the Four Points that can make it attractive – it’s pet-friendly to pets weighing 35 pounds or less. You need to pay an extra fee and they cannot stay alone in rooms, but it’s a nice way to include the furry members of your family in your escapades.
In terms of location, Four Points is just five minutes away from Time Square, Bryant Park, and the Theater District. The block is abuzz with new hotels and also has a lot of parking space in a huge parking complex. You can walk two blocks to get to a number of subway lines and opt to walk three or four blocks to get to others.
Once you’re there, there are multiple subway rides that can take you to attractions. 15-minute rides lead to the American Museum of Natural History, Rockefeller Center, and Empire State Building. 20-minute rides take you to the ferry terminal that brings tourists to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and a similar length ride brings you to Central Park. For art museums, ride for 10 minutes to arrive at the Museum of Modern Art and 25 to get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
5. LUMA Hotel – New York
The LUMA Hotel is a contemporary accommodation option located on 41st Street, just slightly off of the rush that comes with 42nd Street. Still, its location on Time Square means it isn’t too far removed from the hustle and bustle that comes with the streets of New York City, and it’s still quite a convenient area to stay in.
The aesthetic of the building can seem quite impressive, with an all-glass wall out front with curtains draping to cover up rooms. Within, a well-lit lobby fitted with color-shifting LEDs provides a modern atmosphere with the gentlest touch of drama. Its reception area also doubles as a bar area, with two desks for the front office reception, complemented by a lounge with a comfortable bar and high top tables nearby, just outside the elevator. The staff is friendly and calm for a smoother check-in process.
The LUMA hotel houses 130 rooms, and all of them are well-outfitted and designed with the same contemporary, sleek style. Bed linens are Frette brand and robes are provided for added comfort. There are plenty of technological features, too, such as Smart TVs, fast and free Wi-Fi, Nespresso machines, USB ports aplenty, and sheer and blackout shades that are electronically controlled. There are also minibars.
More expensive rooms have L-shaped sofas for relaxing, and a few have nice city views that may even give you a view of the ball that drops when the New Year hits. But that’s not all. Rooms are also designed with the environment in mind. The floors are made from automobile tires that have been recycled!
The LUMA hotel doesn’t have its own fitness center, but you can receive free passes to a gym that’s just two minutes away if you like. A free glass of either white Sangria or signature red wine from the restaurant downstairs is offered in the evenings during a certain time, and you’ll receive free access to digital versions of newspapers such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
But one of the hotel’s biggest draws is its restaurant, which waits on the ground floor beckoning from behind a wall of glass. The restaurant is known as Ortzi and it is run by a famous and award-winning chef: Chef Jose Garces. The cuisine is primarily Basque-inspired and is served all day, though breakfast can be quite limited (but still delicious!).
Appetizers are available, small bites are great to order, and the menu is well-rounded with salads, seafood, and meats. For those who are off to see shows on Broadway, there is even a pre-theatre menu available during a certain time of the evening. Plenty of alcoholic and virgin beverages are also available.
Location-wise, the LUMA Hotel lives between two old buildings dating back to pre-war times, as stark and somewhat jarring contrast with all its modern, streamlined glory. It’s not too noisy or crowded but is still close enough for a quick walk to areas such as Bryant Park.
Across the street from the hotel, you’ll find Grace Plaza and a lot of places to drink, eat, and shop. You can get to the Rockefeller Center and Empire State Building fairly quickly – even just within 10 minutes – and there are 17 subway lines across two train stations that you can get to with five minutes of walking.
6. The Assemblage John Street – Wall Street, Financial District
The Assemblage John Street is located in an unlikely area: the financial district of New York. Though clearly aimed at professionals and business travelers and not specifically at children, its overall focus on relaxation and peace allows for a calming accommodation location that’s great for smaller families who are seeking a home-away-from-home type of deal.
The Assemblage prides itself on promoting wellness and health, and whether you believe in that or not, it’s difficult to deny the serenity that its aesthetic evokes. When you first enter through the double doors in the front, you’ll find yourself in front of an electric gong that you can press. The gong matches up with your heartbeat and focuses on removing your mind and body from the bustle of the outside world.
You then walk through a tunnel of moss to get to reception, where another surprise awaits: an “intentions bowl” full of water. Guests may drop dried flowers into the water while affirming to themselves their goals and plans for the day.
Of course, a cynic may not have much belief in these gimmicks, but there’s more to the hotel than these things! The hotel itself is quite technologically advanced and modern, and it focuses on a sparse, minimalist style that is surprisingly environmentally friendly. Furnishings and decor are very sleek and modern, but they all share a relaxed ambiance. The kind and friendly staff also help with the tranquil feeling.
There are 79 rooms in the Assemblage, and rooms are never just beds and nothing else. Even the simplest rooms are studios at their least elaborate, and they go all the way up to suites that come fitted with kitchenettes that have what you need for cooking. Essentially, the rooms are almost like apartments, with plenty of space and Art Deco-style furnishings.
Rooms come fitted with moss panels, weaving art from the Shipibo tribe of the Republic of Peru, coffee table books that discuss the health of the soul, and there are large bathrooms that make use of a special soap by Dr. Bronner that is 18-in-1 – yes, really! It’s worth noting that the Assemblage isn’t typically aimed at families with young children, and there is only ever one normal bed per room with only additional sofa beds for more sleepers, but the rooms are more than spacious enough for a family and can provide a homey, comfortable feeling that isn’t too far removed from the convenience of what you have at home.
Facility-wise, the hotel offers lots of spaces for socializing and collaboration, private meeting rooms, study areas, sound rooms, and meditation rooms. Throughout the year, events focusing on culture and wellness are held for guests to attend and enjoy. Free Wi-Fi, a laundry service, and room service are all available.
The restaurant on-site is called the Ayurveda, serving supposedly high-quality meals that provide odd but healthy meals. Food is served for all three meals. But if you’re seeking out alcoholic beverages, you won’t find any here – the hotel prides itself on being alcohol-free. However, the hotel bar does offer plant-based mixed drinks they refer to as “elixirs” which are healthy and yummy alternatives.
Let’s talk about location. With its position in the heart of the financial district, you only need to walk for a few minutes to get to the Staten Island Ferry, the World Trade Center, the South Street Seaport, and Battery Park. You can go farther uptown to see more of Manhattan’s sights and tourist hotspots through the subway via the Fulton Street station right nearby.
7. Merrion Row Hotel and Public House – New York
This boutique hotel is relaxed and down-to-earth, with a stylish design that provides a flair of good taste and reserved calmness on 45th Street, right in Times Square. The building is a low-rise one and staff are very hospitable, and you can expect an easygoing, no-frills stay here that contrasts the bumbling crowds outside. When you arrive, you’ll be given a free pint of drink, too.
Rooms at the Merrion Row Hotel are relatively small, but they’re cozy and don’t feel too cramped. The beds are soft and rooms are tastefully decorated with a simple and slightly old-fashioned style. Expect fast internet, warm water, and cushy, comfortable furnishings. The overall aesthetic of the room may even make you feel like you’re not quite in New York City at all!
There aren’t many frills when it comes to facilities and amenities, which is part of the reason that Merrion Row Hotel is still affordably priced despite its location. The onsite restaurant, Public House, serves Irish cuisine – a bit of a jarring surprise in New York, but clearly, thematic based on how everything else about the hotel looks like it’s from across the pond. You can enjoy comfort food and simple drink fare here.
When it comes to location, Merrion Row Hotel sits in the center of Times Square. It’s only half a block away from 7th Avenue, though, so if the bustle is getting to you, head in that direction for a little peace and quiet. You’re also just 10 minutes of a walk away from Broadway theaters, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, and plenty of subway lines. You’re also close to The Town Hall and New York Public Library, if those are the kinds of attractions your family likes!
8. Gild Hall – Wall Street, Financial District
Gild Hall is a Thompson Hotels creation located in the Financial District. The best way to describe the style of Gild Hall is rustic, and there’s an almost “masculine” vibe to it, which makes it feel like a cabin in the countryside, or perhaps in the woods.
When you enter, you’re greeted by a big, open ground floor with a lobby that easily flows into the restaurant and bar area. To lounge, you can sit in leather seating areas with bookshelves, backed by brick walls painted white. These seating areas are peppered all throughout the property. Doors are barn-style, floors are wooden and accented with nails, rugs are made of cowhide, and the chandelier over the top of the ground floor area is fitted with rustic antlers.
There are 126 rooms in the hotel, all accessible through bold red hallways decorated with wood panels and vintage art and pictures. Each room is spacious and continues this rustic vibe, with sconces mounted on the walls, headboards made of leather, and wall coverings of a designer style. In the larger suites, there are even large brass fixtures for lighting hanging from a ceiling with a 12-foot height.
Rooms are relatively dim due to the palette and a lack of natural light, but that can add to the relaxing atmosphere. Despite the old-fashioned aesthetic, Gild Hall offers some great modern features in its rooms. LCD televisions are huge at 55 inches, there’s a docking station for music, there’s Wi-Fi, and linens have a 400 thread-count. There are also robes for relaxing in and even a minibar. Baths are made with marble floors and glass brick tiles, as well as complimentary toiletries.
In terms of amenities and facilities, there are three small gyms good for a maximum of two people each scattered throughout the building, allowing for a more private, calm workout experience. If that’s not your scene, you can purchase discounted passes to a gym close by. There’s also a 24/7 business center for you to use.
The restaurant and bar in Gild Hall is called Felice and it serves genuine Tuscan cuisine for all three meals, including appetizers, simple entrees, and hearty desserts. You can also opt for Italian wines or wine by the restaurant itself. If you truly love wine to the extreme, check out La Soffita, which is a private space within the hotel that is entirely wine-themed!
Location-wise, Gild Hall’s spot on Gold Street is a decent one. Liberty Street and the Brooklyn Bridge are on either side of the street, and you can get to a lot of the sights in Lower Manhattan on foot. Stone Street, the World Trade Center, the State Island Ferry, the South Street Seaport, and Battery Park.
If you were in this area a decade ago, you may remember that it wasn’t extremely lively in terms of nightlife or restaurants, but that’s changed recently, so you can find tons of places to eat around the area. You can also walk for about five minutes to get to a wide range of different train stations and train lines.