Sure, New York City is a place of grand skyscrapers and even grander ambitions — but it is also a town that lives and dies by its smaller neighborhoods, each with its own personality and charm. And it’s no surprise that our readers’ favorite places to stay in the city are also full of character, just like the various neighborhoods they represent.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
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Consider the Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, No. 10 on this year’s list. The Stanford White–designed Neo-Georgian building, formerly the home of the Lambs theater group, retains its historic bones. Its 76 rooms have copies of The Great Gatsby, and the bellhops wear pillbox hats, but Thierry Despont’s interior design gives a modern nod to its early 20th century past. One reader notes, “The staff, service, and ambience are outstanding.”
The Chatwal’s midtown location is a plus for those who like being close to the action. That’s also true of the Lotte New York Palace, which has its own attractions. Guests can take in a show by renowned magician Steve Cohen, and sip fine wines at Rarities, an intimate salon decorated in the style of the original Villard Mansion (part of the Palace inhabits the 19th-century space). The Knickerbocker, located in Times Square, receives raves only three years after a thorough renovation of the 1906 spot where John D. Rockefeller is said to have ordered the first martini. Speaking of cocktails: one fan praised the rooftop bar for its remarkable views.
Another great spot with a buzzy rooftop scene is Hotel 50 Bowery, the first luxury property in Chinatown. Down on the second floor, there’s even an exhibit that displays artifacts unearthed during construction. In the nearby Financial District, the Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown has become a true destination for wellness, offering a hushed, 75-foot lap pool; custom facials designed by London-based beauty guru Alexandra Soveral; and consultations with a certified herbalist.
Indeed, finding an oasis of calm in the Big Apple is important to our readers. This year’s top choice is located on the relatively quiet Upper East Side and embodies the very best of both the Establishment and modern luxury. In the city that never sleeps, this spot has guests looking forward to bedtime. Read on for the full list of winners.
15. Sofitel New York
14. Baccarat Hotel
13. Lotte New York Palace
12. Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown
11. The Surrey
10. The Chatwal, New York, a Luxury Collection Hotel
9. Langham, New York, Fifth Avenue
8. Hotel Elysée
7. The Knickerbocker
6. The Iroquois
5. The Quin
4. Archer Hotel
3. Hotel 50 Bowery
2. The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel
1. The Lowell
This newly renovated Upper East Side favorite is perfumed with old-money elegance, while its Michael S. Smith–designed interiors add a chic update to the public spaces. New Yorkers flock to the hotel’s new hot spot, Majorelle, for dinner, but the hotel’s siren call is strong enough to convince even those with apartments nearby to call it a night here. “My staycation go-to!” said one reader.
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2018.