Best for old-fashioned luxury: Upper East Side
The Upper East Side has been home to dynasties such as the Rockefellers, Whitneys and Astors since the 1890s. A world aptly portrayed in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sex and the City and Gossip Girl, it still boasts the plushest hotels, the most elegant cafés and the swankiest shops.
Elegant and tasteful: The Sherry-Netherland. Absolute luxury since 1927. The ornate lobby is modelled after the Vatican Library and room service comes from the in-house Harry Cipriani restaurant.
A step back in time: The Surrey. This plush Relais & Châteaux hotel has hosted guests such as Bette Davis and JFK since 1926, sports its own modern art (including a Kate Moss portrait by Chuck Close), and contains the Coco Chanel-inspired Bar Pleiades.
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Best for sightseeing: Midtown Manhattan
Midtown Manhattan is the most obvious area to stay in New York City, and it’s where most of the city’s accommodation is located – all within walking distance of key attractions such as Times Square, MoMA and Central Park. You’ll be sharing the sidewalk with plenty of other tourists but the proliferation of hotels means there are lots of bargains to be had (in New York terms, anyway).
Quirky, mid-budget gem: Pod 51. This hotel features top value “pods” (solo, double, bunk, queen and “double double”), each reminiscent of colourful ship's quarters.
Eco-luxe: 1 Hotel Central Park. The eco-friendly hotel chain with a three-storey living wall, reclaimed rustic-chic furniture, cardboard clothing hangers and everything organic.
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Best for value for money: Long Island City
This up-and-coming neighbourhood in Queens lies just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan (effectively a short subway ride away). Long Island City itself boasts one of the city’s best flea markets, the highly rated MoMA PS1 gallery and Silvercup Studios.
Pick of the hostels: Q4 Hotel. Hip hostel with neat, clean dorms, small but stylish doubles, a shared kitchen and some of the cheapest rates in New York City.
Steampunk style: Paper Factory Hotel. Former radio manufacturer and paper factory with eclectic décor, original polished concrete floors and reclaimed materials giving it a retro vibe.
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Best for nightlife: Lower East Side
Historically the epitome of multiculturalism, the Lower East Side is today one of Manhattan’s most exciting neighbourhoods, with the city’s best vintage-clothing stores, restaurants and especially happening spots for drinking, dancing and live music.
Traditional meets modern: Blue Moon Hotel. Lower East Side tenement transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel, with rooms named after 1930s and 1940s starlets and decked out with period iron-frame beds and the odd antique.
Best boutique: The Ludlow. Chic boutique hotel with gorgeous terraces, black and cream silk rugs, white-marble tables and round brass chandeliers from Morocco.
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This feature contains affiliate links; you can find out more about why we’ve partnered with booking.com here. All recommendations are editorially independent and taken from The Rough Guide to New York City.
Top image: Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn, including Brooklyn Bridge © Taiga / Shutterstock