Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The Renaissance New York's intimate, exclusive New Year's Eve party is not for the light of wallet -- prices start at $2,500 per person. So what exactly do the 100 lucky guests get for that kind of oney? Open bar access, passed hors d'oeuvres, a five-course dinner, wine pairings, dancing, and an incomprable view.
Casablanca Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Any spot from which one can watch the 12-foot-tall, six-ton ball drop above Times Square is a coveted one. But a spot where you don't have to jockey with the millions that throng the area? Many people spend thousands for that -- but the cozy, 43-room Casablanca Hotel makes it possible at a fraction of the cost. The hotel doesn't offer rooms with a view, but at 11:45 p.m. the staff gathers guests and heads to the hotel's roof, which affords a perfect view of the 12 o'clock ball drop.
Marriott Marquis New York Rating: 3.5 Pearls
This 1,949-room behemoth in the middle of Times Square is pretty much as close to the action as it gets. Some rooms have views of Times Square, and the hotel also hosts a soiree with a DJ and open bar -- but you'll have to pay significantly more for views of the ball drop (prices in 2009 ranged from $800-$1200). Midnight festivities aside, top-notch beds, clean, quiet rooms, reliable service, and a ton of amenities make this a premier midrange Times Square pick.
W New York Times Square Rating: 4.0 Pearls
The young and young at heart are drawn to the trendy vibe of the W Times Square, perfectly situated for those braving the Times Square cold on December 31. The hotel's suites and some of its corner rooms overlook the cheering crowds on Broadway (although not the ball itself). Funky design, a solid in-house gym, friendly and attentive service, and great beds make for a memorable holiday stay.