New York City best places to say: Top 10 hotels reviewed by experts

Four Seasons Hotel

New Yorkers will tell you that Downtown – home to Wall Street – used to be dead as a doornail come 6pm. Not any more. In the new New York, Downtown, with its historic waterfront, ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island and Brooklyn Bridge on its doorstep, is pumping. Bars, galleries and restaurants are full, and apartment towers are springing up everywhere.

For those with limited time in Manhattan, this hotel offers a slice of the best of the Big Apple from a classic cocoon.

Our rating: ★★★★★

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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The Plaza Hotel 

The Plaza in New York where Charlie Sheen threw furniture against walls and demolished a chandelier in a drunken, cocaine-fuelled bender.

The Plaza in New York City.

The Plaza is only one of two New York hotels on the National Historic register (the other is the Waldorf Astoria) and its imposing French-chateau-like edifice has been a landmark on Fifth Avenue and Central Park South since 1907. The location on Central Park and right next to Bergdorf Goodman can't be beaten.

When you enter the hotel via the formal entrance off Grand Army Plaza, it's easy to mistake the Palm Court for the lobby. For many decades the place for Manhattan society to take afternoon tea. It remains a breath of yesteryear with its beautifully colonnaded, leafy setting under a stained glass ceiling, where the formal service is exemplary.

Our rating: ★★★★★

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TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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AKA Central Park

Central Park Lounge AKA Central Park hotel, New York City

AKA Central Park hotel lounge.

Just one street back from New York's famous green centre, the AKA Central Park is a short walk from some of the city's most famous icons, such as Times Square, the Rockefeller Centre, Broadway and the Museum of Modern Art. Tiffany and Co. is right around the corner.

It might not be the Plaza, but it's doubtful you could find a room as spacious and well-appointed as AKA's for the price in that iconic hotel. The kitchen and laundry make this perfect for those looking to stay in New York for a week or more (if you can afford it), and in this location a week will not be long enough.

Our rating: ★★★★½

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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The Smyth Hotel

Smyth Hotel New York.

The Smyth Hotel features mid-20th century furniture.

Smyth (pronounced Smith) is in the beating, thumping heart of New York City's Downtown. Its corner position on West Broadway and Chambers Street has it straddling the creative hub of Tribeca and the newly revived Financial District, in Lower Manhattan. 

Smyth's relaxed vibe, stylish aesthetic and thoughtful design make it an ideal place for both leisure and business travellers to get a feel for New York. Guests in creative industries or with a design bent especially will find it ticks all the boxes.

Our rating: ★★★★½

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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The Jade Hotel

Jade Hotel lobby.

Jade Hotel lobby.

Guests can be forgiven for thinking they are calling on a rich New York pal when they check into this most discreet of hotels. 

Designed to resemble a pre-war apartment building, the hotel is easy to overlook from street level. With simple green doors, flanked by gas lamps and pot plants, the exterior's only hints of opulence are stained glass windows and an ornate portico. Even the uniformed doormen don't give the game away in a city where such staff are found in many residential properties.

Sipping on cocktails served by a retro-styled bartender under a gold ceiling, you can forget (and can't hear) the drone of modern life outside. But for all its Great Gatsby glamour and long-standing neighbourhood feel, it turns out the 113-room building was built from scratch in 2012. 

Our rating: ★★★★½

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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The Peninsula New York

The Peninsula New York.

The Peninsula New York.

One of the best-located luxury hotels in Manhattan. You're on 5th Avenue, just a couple of blocks away from Central Park to the north, Times Square and Broadway to the west, with the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and Radio City Music Hall on the adjacent block.

Stays at hotels such as the Peninsula don't come cheap, but the location, the comfort, the service and the amenities make this a top-notch place for visitors to experience in one of the world's greatest cities. Combined with the food of Clement and drinks on the rooftop, this is a perfect place for a blowout couple of nights to finish your visit to New York.

Our rating: ★★★★½

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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The Greenwich Hotel

The Greenwich Hotel's lobby.

The Greenwich Hotel's lobby.

The Greenwich is not, as the name may suggest, in Greenwich Village, but on Greenwich Street in Tribeca (a district most people have probably heard of, but might be unaware its name is a shortening of "Triangle Below Canal"). A former industrial area on the edge of the Hudson River, Tribeca is now known for its dining and nightlife, art galleries and performance spaces. It's also home to the eponymous Tribeca Film Festival in April.

The Greenwich exudes cool. It's boutique, it's stylish and every room is different. Add this to the fact that co-owner De Niro's influence is apparent and you've got yourself an extremely classy stay in one of the greatest cities on earth.

Our rating: ★★★★½

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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1 Hotel Central Park

The Greenwich Hotel's lobby.

The hotel's three-storey facade is covered in ivy. 

Located one block south of Central Park on the corner of 58th Street and Sixth Avenue, the hotel is ideally positioned not only for visits to the park but also for excursions to Carnegie Hall and the Museum of Modern Art. Fifth Avenue's high-end stores are one block east; the frenetic bedlam of Times Square is a 15-minute stroll downtown. 

1 Hotel Central Park is an impressive fusion of innovative design, superlative service and class-leading sustainability. 

Our rating: ★★★★½

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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The Beekman

It took Thompson Hotels three years to refurbish this 1881 New York landmark

The Beekman, New York.

Located in the heart of Lower Manhattan, the hotel is walking distance from the Brooklyn Bridge, City Hall Park and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. It took Thompson Hotels three years to refurbish this 1881 New York landmark, finally opening it as The Beekman in August 2016. They've managed to preserve the building's architectural legacy (it was one of New York's first skyscrapers and has an impressive red brick Queen Anne-style facade) while giving it an elegant, residential feel.

This is Lower Manhattan's new luxury benchmark. An impressive refurbishment that's transformed a historic landmark into an artistic and culinary hotspot.

Our rating: ★★★★

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★★

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Hyatt Times Square

The T-45 Diner offers classic American fare.

The T-45 Diner offers classic American fare. 

Nestled between two Irish pubs, the relatively new Hyatt Times Square, offers a simple, stylish décor with a splash of vibrant colour. If you wish to be amongst the hubbub of the theatre district, it's a perfect Manhattan location between Broadway and Sixth Avenue. Just metres from the entrance, for instance, is The Lyceum theatre, with the likes of Toni Collette and Marisa Tomei treading the boards. It's not ostentatious, brimming with welcoming, smiling staff with super-sized name tags to assist with queries and luggage. 

It's the perfect spot for a city experience. It's a tad noisy, crowded and chaotic outside but that's New York. Many major attractions are either within walking distance or there are numerous main train lines nearby, including the 1, 2, 3, 7, N, Q, R and S lines. Staff couldn't be more helpful.

Our rating: ★★★★

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

Arlo Soho

The Good Story bar atop the Arlo Soho hotel.

The Good Story bar atop the Arlo Soho hotel. 

Just off New York's Canal Street in the city's Soho district in Downtown Manhattan, the hotel is in a quiet neighbourhood just a short walk from the Hudson River to the east and Chinatown to the west. The Arlo Soho offers 325 rooms across with various layouts including king, queen or bunk beds. Downstairs is home to a bar and restaurant, along with a 24-hour bodega (grocery). There's also a rooftop bar where yoga and fitness classes are held in the mornings.

The rooms are very small, but given you're in one of the greatest cities on Earth, you probably aren't planning to spend much time in your room anyway. The hotel offers a cool, youthful vibe for those looking for a hip place to stay.

Our rating: ★★★½

TripAdvisor rating: ★★★★½

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