My wife and I will be bringing our teenage kids on their first trip to NYC and I'm looking for a nice hotel in/near an interesting neighborhood. We'd like to be close to good neighborhood restaurants for dinner and a small cafe for breakfast. Subway access is important as well.
We like the vibe at the Gansevoort Meatpacking and the views at The Standard East Village. What else should we be looking at?
I'm assuming you want to stay in Manhattan? Luckily it's compact and the transport links are pretty good throughout. Everyone has their favorite areas and it's hard to give advice without knowing a bit more about your family. If we go top down, I'd say the Upper West Side has a nice family feel to it; much better vibe than the Upper East Side and central park is easily accessible. AVOID Midtown east/west and Times Square! Ugly, bad restaurants and mostly offices. I've lived in Chelsea (New York) and Gramercy Park and they're just ok. Wouldn't recommend them either, not great restaurants. Murray Hill-no! Greenwich Village is my fav...it's still got a neighborhood feel and lots of cute restaurants. The East Village is a little bit more alternative but I've had friends stay in airbnb's (cheaper rates) and they love it. Go to Vbar&cafè on St. Mark's and first if you do! SoHo is very cool but becoming very commercial. Avoid the Lower East Side, still sketchy especially for a family and I've lived in TriBeCa. It's very clean and nice but devoid of a soul. It's a little death by stroller down there! You can't go wrong with either of your choices really.
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You must Check out Eventi - A Kimpton Hotel in Chelsea. You won't be disappointed. If you call for reservations ask for Kevin or Victoria. They are both wonderful. The hotel is in close proximity to a lot of local neighborhoods as well as the theater district. Tell them Ben from Tampa recommended the hotel.
If you don't mind crowds the Theater District - Times Square has lots to do. It's easy to get around and there are tons of restaurants.
But it is very crowded!