On December 31 each year, New York swells with visitors. Some come to catch a glimpse of the huge, crystal-covered ball that famously signals the New Year in Times Square. Others pack into parties and bars and clink champagne glasses as the clock strikes 12. And still others give each other New Year’s smooches over extravagant meals at one of the city’s renowned restaurants. Truth is, you can’t really go wrong. But however you ring in the New Year in New York, the night will eventually end, and you’ll need a place to rest. Here are Oyster’s top hotel picks for New Year’s revelers. (Of course, some of these hotels may already be booked up for the big night. So here’s a New Year’s resolution for you: Reserve a room for next year now.)
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.
This 1,949-room behemoth in the middle of Times Square could not be more centrally located for the festivities (and scurrying home afterwards to warm up). Some rooms have views of the ball drop, though they can cost over a thousand dollars a night. For everyone else, the hotel often hosts a New Year's Eve soiree at which you can watch the ball drop from the hotel's windows (though this too will likely tread into four-figure territory).
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. Funky design, a solid in-house gym, friendly and attentive service, and great beds make for a memorable holiday stay.
The Best Western may get some street noise, but rooms are clean and contemporary, and for a hotel just off of Times Square, prices like these are tough to beat. Visitors who plan to partake in the Times Square revelry will be thankful that a reasonably priced hotel exists this close to the action.
A luxurious New Year's Eve awaits at the Carlyle, which spoils guests with classically decorated rooms and formal, white-gloved service. The Carlyle is perfect for a classy evening, or for well-heeled runners who want to be just steps from the starting line of the New York Road Runner's annual four-mile Midnight Run. A costume parade and dancing precedes the Central Park race, and when the fireworks explode at midnight the runners get on their way.