You're just getting around to cleaning up the remnants of the full-blown graduation bash and it feels like the big "move-in" day is eons away. But in actuality, you have just a couple of months left to buy a futon, pack up the car, and remind your soon-to-be freshman what's really going on college boys' minds. It's easy to leave hotel reservations 'til last minute, but the time to do it is now--orientation week is a field day for New York City hotels and rooms book up early and fast. Fortunately, we here at Oyster have done the leg-work and have found the best hotels near a handful of NYC colleges. So whether your pride-and-joy is Ivy League-bound or about to join the swarms of hipsters who make up the NYU student body, we have a hotel where you can stay as you move them in and say your goodbyes.
Barnard College and Columbia University
On the relaxed, upscale Upper West Side, the 250-room Lucerne is within close proximity to Columbia University and its all-female sister school, Barnard College. The hotel offers small but classically styled, comfortable rooms (all renovated in April 2009), prompt, dedicated service, and is mere blocks from attractions like the Museum of Natural History and Central Park.
Fashion Institute of Technology
Less than a five-minute walk from FIT, this 122-room boutique in midtown Manhattan is a full-service hotel in miniature, with plush rooms, excellent views, a gym, a business center, an elegant restaurant and lounge, and a 19th-floor rooftop bar. The 240-square-foot rooms are extraordinarily comfortable and well equipped.
Steps from Fordham University, Central Park, and five subway lines, the 807-room Hudson has a prime location. It's actually a remodeled Y.M.C.A. with very tiny rooms, but its amenities (a modern gym, business center, and four hip, see-and-be-seen bars) and surreal, Philippe Starck design make it worth the cramped space.
- Hotel: The Empire Hotel
- Average Price: $291/night
- Pearls: 4
- Location: Upper West Side, New York City
For the price, you'll be hard-pressed to find this level of on-site amenities at any other New York hotel--and with it's proximity to Julliard, it's the perfect pick for your stay during Freshman Orientation. The Empire's rooftop bar and pool, both with excellent views of the upscale Upper West Side, make this 420-room hotel one of the city's best values, despite the small rooms.
New York University
Hovering above the High Line on concrete pillars, this one-of-a-kind Meatpacking District hotel offers 337 light-flooded, ultra-mod rooms with panoramic views of the city; one restaurant, several popular bars; and excellent service. It might just be the hippest hotel in New York City. It's close to NYU, but if you're looking to be steps from the center of campus, check out the Washington Square Hotel.
Parsons School of Design
- Hotel: W New York - Union Square
- Average Price: $379/night
- Pearls: 4
- Location: Gramercy and Murray Hill, New York City
W Hotels' 270-room Union Square property greatly resembles other W's in New York: comfortable beds, modern rooms, an excellent gym, and plenty of business travelers in the butterfly-decorated, techno-soundtracked lobby. The difference: this one's downtown, near the bar-filled East Village and media-mecca Flatiron -- which means street noise -- but you are conveniently close to Parsons.