New York City is the setting for roughly ten thousand romantic movies. Let one of these 22 hotels — Old World luxury icons right on Central Park, uber-hip Downtown properties, sleek hotels in Times Square — be the backdrop for your very own New York love story.
Perhaps New York's most iconic hotel, the Plaza is synonymous with old New York elegance. Amormous couples will appreciate the phenomenal, round-the-clock service -- a 24-hour concierge, 24-hour room service, and a 24-hour hallway butler -- as well as the 8,000-square-foot Caudalie Vinotherapie spa, where crushed cabernet scrubs can be followed up with a glass of wine. Cozy horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park launch on 59th St. -- right outside the door.
One of the most recognizable and respected luxury properties in New York City, The Palace lives up to its hype. The 909-room hotel completed a massive renovation in 2013, and features numerous property features, including a large, modern fitness center, a fine dining restaurant, and two intimate lounges. The lack of a full spa at such a large hotel is surprising, however, and there's an annoying Wi-Fi fee for guests not staying in the Tower suites. Nonetheless, The Palace remains a grand New York icon; Tiffany stained glass windows and gilded ceilings remain from its days as a private mansion.
Pillow-top mattresses, luxuriously heavy comforters, and velvet throw blankets make these beds perfect for spending lots of time in. The Old World, boho-chic decor accentuates the romantic vibe, and the English drinking cabinet -- essentially a flip-down bar -- allows couples to enjoy stylish cocktails without going anywhere. But the hotel's best features are outside the room: an excellent spa, a first-class Italian trattoria (Maialino by Danny Meyer), a number of cozy, popular bars (including the Gramercy Terrace, which has strings of lights and crawling green vines), and private access to beautiful Gramercy Park.
From large rooms with views of the Hudson to a VIP spa suite that couples can book for private treatments, the Mandarin Oriental provides couples with ample opportunities for intimate relaxation. For those who want to splurge on a fancy date, some of the best fine dining restaurants in the city, like Per Se and Masa, are in the same building.
You've probably heard the terms "city escape" and "romantic getaway" thrown around a lot, but at this intimate, 88-room boutique they truly do apply. The Greenwich feels like a lush oasis in the middle of the once-industrial TriBeCa, with a plant-filled courtyard, the luxurious Shibui spa, and an underground, lantern-lit pool beneath a 250-year-old Japanese farmhouse roof. The exceptional rooms, each uniquely designed to evoke an Italian home, and the hip rustic Italian restaurant, Locanda Verde, complete the romantic experience.
It's hard to find fault with the St. Regis. Built in 1904 by John Jacobs Astor IV, the great grandson of the country's first multi-millionaire, the St. Regis is a Beaux Arts landmark (meaning that even the standard guest rooms feature elaborate chandeliers -- not just the ornate lobby). The grand hotel is known for its extraordinary, white-glove service (24-hour butlers go above and beyond to assist guests), but it has many other outstanding features, including 229 elegant rooms with spacious bathrooms and the legendary King Cole Bar, where guests can enjoy both the famous Maxfield Parrish mural and a famed Bloody Mary, here called the Red Snapper.
With a boho-chic hot-spot restaurant, 24-hour room service, free bike rentals, and a velvet-filled lobby (with a super-hip, tucked-away bar), the Bowery Hotel redefines class in a gentrified downtown neighborhood where punk rock and squalor once ruled. The 135 loft-like rooms -- drenched in natural light from the large factory-style windows, which provide superb city views -- are bright, immaculate, and beautifully appointed, with antique Turkish rugs, wool blankets, high-definition plasma flat-screen TVs, and marble bathrooms.
The sleek and stylish Hotel on Rivington is a secretive hot spot for well-heeled travelers who like their neighborhoods cool and their thread counts high. Guests include a mix of celebrities, hedge-fund types, European thrill-seekers, and elite members of the creative class who expect their hotels to be as cool as their careers. There always seems to be scene in progress at the Hotel on Rivington: The hotel's three-level rooftop Penthouse is a popular event space and wedding venue, complete with a hot tub and panoramic views of New York City. The guest rooms are appropriately swank and luxurious. Highlights include fantastic beds with form-contouring Tempur-Pedic mattresses, 500-thread-count Frette linens; huge steam showers; and superb views of New York City through the floor-to-ceiling glass walls in rooms on the seventh floor and up.
One of New York's sexiest boutiques, conveniently sandwiched between Grand Central and Times Square, the Bryant Park Hotel caters to fashion and entertainment types and discerning Europeans. The combination of friendly, personalized service, a great bar and restaurant, and cool, comfortable rooms -- all within a 128-room Art Deco building -- makes it a distinctive pleasure.
This one-of-a-kind Meatpacking District hotel is architecturally striking, and hovers above the High Line on concrete pillars. The 338 ultra-mod rooms look a bit like ship cabins and feature wall-to-wall windows, which flood them with natural light and present staggering views (and can also result in a bit of a peep show, so consider yourself warned). Several trendy eateries and bars make this one of the hippest hotels in New York City.
The 316-room Dream Downtown is a futuristic-looking hotel located directly behind the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea, near the border with the trendy Meatpacking District. The hotel blends public spaces together in a unique way: The fitness center has portholes overlooking the pool, and the pool itself has a glass bottom that looks down into the lobby. The overall scene is decidedly hip, especially at rooftop PH-D lounge (a popular celeb haunt). The ultra-modern rooms come with with automated features, contemporary artwork and decor, and city-view porthole windows.
Details like turndown chocolates, rotating local art exhibitions, and free lobby snacks (don't miss the lobby wine and cheese daily reception) are the sort of intimate touches that make the James a true boutique hotel experience. This 114-room hotel -- with its stunning rooftop bar and pool, great freebies (including free Wi-Fi), and restaurant by David Burke -- embodies the hip, creative neighborhood it inhabits. Its bright, minimalist rooms are smaller than those at some of its luxury competitors, but they're full of enough thoughtful details to make up for it.
What's more romantic than an iconic, luxury hotel on Central Park? How about one that's willing to pack a picnic with Champagne. The stately neo-Georgian exterior and an ornately detailed interior draw a large number of high-profile weddings to this recently-revamped classic -- it's arguably the most visually stunning hotel in New York City.
Tucked away on a quiet cobblestoned street in SoHo, the 86-room Crosby Street Hotel is perfectly positioned for exploring the hip restaurants, boutiques and galleries of one of Manhattan's most charming neighborhoods. The hotel itself -- a U.K. import -- is cozy and whimsical, with understated, beautiful rooms full of new and vintage design pieces, fine Frette linens on the bed, a rooftop vegetable garden, a screening room, and a relaxing outdoor "sculpture garden." All in all, it's a superb choice for trendy, sophisticated couples.
This quaint hotel in Midtown East channels the romance of France in its marble-floored lobby with a crystal chandelier, gold sparkling brocade wallpaper, and fresh cut lilies by the entrance. In the rooms, fleur-de-lis emblems mark the bathrobes, the stationary, the bathroom wall, and even the toilet paper. So if you can't make the trip all the way to the city of love, at least you can feel like you have. The glamorous decor has inspired numerous marriage proposals, silver anniversary celebrations, and a notable hook-up scene on "Sex and the City."
This chic 60-room boutique hotel opened its doors in 2013, taking up residence in a section of a still-working theological seminary dating back to the 1800s. In the warmer months, guests can enjoy champagne and oysters on the outdoor terrace restaurant, and Intelligentsia Coffee (from Chicago) serves serious caffeine fixes and local pastries in the lobby year-round. Luxurious rooms and suites have plush king beds, pine wood floors, antique furnishings, bathrobes, and C.O. Bigelow bath products. There are a series of meeting and event rooms next door at Hoffman Hall, including the Harry Potter-esque "Refectory" -- a big draw for weddings and fashion runway shows.
The Standard, East Village is one of the hottest properties in the newly hip Bowery area of Manhattan's East Village. The hotel's crown jewel may be the fact that is it home to one of the city's most sought-after restaurants, Narcissa, but great city views, a lovely garden for cocktails, and freebies such as Wi-Fi and bicycle rentals are all pluses. Rooms, albeit sleek with brand-new everything, are small -- even by New York standards -- and the hotel has few on-site amenities; there is no spa or fitness center, but guests do get free access to the Crunch gym across the street.
Surround yourself with the romantic poets of the past at this literary-themed boutique hotel a block from New York's famous public library and Bryant Park. The six rooms per floor are dedicated to themes within one of the 10 major classifications of the Dewey Decimal system, so ask for the love room, a junior suite on the 11th floor with a balcony, or the erotic literature room, a deluxe queen on the seventh floor which gets a shout-out in "Do Not Disturb: Hotel Sex Stories." Evening wine-and-cheese receptions are the perfect prelude to a night of snuggling up in the Egyptian cotton sheets.
Thorough attention to detail and Old World charm set this quaint boutique hotel apart. Its 12 rooms have been individually decorated with period antiques and fireplaces, and feature modern amenities, such as flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi. The property lacks most of the amenities of larger hotels, including a fitness center and a full restaurant -- but it does offer an elegant tea salon, a central location a block from Union Square, and an intimate feel that's hard to come by in New York.
The Knickerbocker has a storied history. The beautiful Beaux Arts-style building made its debut in 1906 and a famous destination for celebrities in the early 1900s and is even rumored to be the birthplace of the martini. Today it’s one of New York City’s elite luxury hotels, with a historic exterior that has French Renaissance-style details. The sleek, hip property has 330 spacious, but not overly luxurious, rooms with bedside tablets that control lighting and temperature. Stand-out features include a popular rooftop terrace with great views, a high-end restaurant headed by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer, and an excellent fitness center, but there's no pool or full spa (in-room treatments can be arranged).