There are many compelling reasons to visit New York City during the holiday— and this year marks the 200th anniversary of Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, first published in 1823, and written in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood.
There’s the tree at Rockefeller Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 20-foot blue spruce, and the annual Origami Holiday Tree in the American Museum of Natural History. The 32-foot-high menorah, the world's largest, goes up every year across the street from The Plaza Hotel in the Grand Army Plaza; this year the menorah is lit on December 7 to celebrate Hanukkah and a lighting takes place daily throughout the eight-day holiday. Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire on practically every corner in midtown, a perfect grab to snack on while admiring the Fifth Avenue-decorated window displays.
Open-air holiday markets at Bryant Park and Union Square are festive. And for that memorable, special holiday meal, there’s Rolf’s in Gramercy Park, celebrated for its schnitzel and Christmas decorations on steroids. The Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular runs through Jan. 1 and “The Nutcracker,’’ performed by the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, runs through Dec. 31.
The High Line Hotel
Once upon a time, this handsome red brick hotel in Chelsea was a dormitory in the former General Theological Seminary—and where poet Clement Clarke Moore wrote ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Guest rooms feature throwback items like embossers and rotary phones and there are handsome fireplaces, too (non-working). Guests can channel the poet in I’m The Writer’s Nook, a suite on the top floor, decked out with a vintage typewriter—a nod to what is imagined to be the very spot where the poem was written 200 years ago this year.
Martinique New York on Broadway, Curio Collection
The 1920s landmark hotel, listed on the registry of Historic Hotels of America, has celebrated many holidays in NYC and this year it celebrates its 125th anniversary. The 504-room recently renovated hotel is in the heart of midtown. The menu at The Press Club Grill, the hotel’s signature restaurant helmed by Chef Franklin Becker, shows off classic dishes like the beef Wellington for two, which is one of the city’s best.
NH Collection New York Madison Avenue
This year, the European-inspired 288-room boutique hotel (this is the NH Collection brand’s only US property) features a Holidays with a Heart program—hand-crafted, hand-blown recycled glass red heart ornaments hang throughout the lobby as well as are on sale for guests of the hotel and MAD Bar & Lounge (inspired by Mad Men era). All proceeds are donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The Hotels with a Heart program was started by NH Collection properties 20 years ago, and over 32,000 room nights to over 5,400 families with children undergoing treatments in hospitals have been donated so they can spend time during the holiday season. Also, guests at the NY property can view the ORIGINAL Charles Dickens Manuscript of The Christmas Carol at the nearby Morgan Library & Museum.
The terrace guest rooms feature huge furnished terraces with views of NYC. There’s a decorated Christmas tree by the fireplace in the lobby, and just a couple blocks away is Bryant Park Ice skating. The cocktail lounge and restaurant are local favorites, and while the rooftop bar is closed for the season, guests can still visit to see the city’s holiday sparkle. And there’s a breakfast included package for the holidays.
The 195-room boutique hotel is a snowball throw from Macy’s decked-out holiday windows in Herald Square, and the city’s best row of Korean restaurants in Koreatown are just outside the door. The Lookup rooftop bar has views of the Empire State Building (the bar is closed for winter but guests can still visit the rooftop for views of the ESB). And on-site Black Tap is celebrated for its fun-loving milkshakes. This year, the hotel is offering the Kix-mas in the City package—brownies from Greyston Bakery, a New York state-based company with a mission of inclusive employment so guests can learn more about the cause while enjoying delicious treats from the brand; a Kixby throw blanket; insulated mugs, and gourmet cocoa.
Kimpton Hotel Eventi
Rudolph and gang would be more than welcome at this extremely pet-friendly, stylish Chelsea hotel with a trifecta of restaurants and bars. And this holiday season, guests can check into a suite and get their own personal wardrobe stylists at Style Made Simple. The offer can be redeemed during the holiday season this year or shared as a holiday gift to be redeemed in 2024. The Kimpton Hotel Eventi x Style Made Simple offer lets guests choose between two styling sessions—Shop like a Stylist: a four-hour custom shopping itinerary accompanied by a professional stylist guide or the Foundations of Style: six-hour experience, clients try on pre-selected pieces. Also included are accommodations in a Kimpton Hotel Eventi suite, $100 credit to dine in one of the property’s restaurants, and a welcome gift.
Located at JFK Airport in Queens, this hotel was designed to recreate all the feels of 1962. This season, it features a ‘60s-inspired Runway Chalet, adjacent to the Rooftop Pool—which is transformed into an outdoor “pool-cuzzi” with temps jacked up to 95 degrees creating a steamy environment. Also a themed restaurant and bar (Ginger Sna, spiked House-Made Hot Cocoa) and vintage fireplace. From the pool's 10,000-square-foot observation deck, guests watch all the action on the tarmac just beyond the hotel—and maybe spy Santa and his reindeer taking off and landing, too.
Tempo by Hilton New York Times Square
Guests can watch the ball get ready (yes, that ball) for New Year’s Eve from many of the guest rooms at this lively, towering hotel in the middle of Times Square—and all the revelry of Times Square on New Year’s Eve as the hotel hosts its first NYE party. It’s a front-row seat to all the bling of Times Square, with floor-to-ceiling windows—there are also wellness rooms outfitted with Peloton bikes. And handsome Highball restaurant, a quiet oasis from all the Times Square revelry just outside—to sip a highball and toast the New Year’s Eve ball.
The "A Very Merry Smythmas” package at this hotel in cool Tribeca, includes a Curated Tribeca Holiday Shopping Guide at check-in, cookies from Chip City welcome amenity, evening hot chocolate available, holiday specialty cocktail (for two) at Galerie Bar and two tickets for 60-minute ice-skating at The Rink at nearby Brookfield Place.
Pendry Manhattan West
The Skate & Stay Package a this 164-room boutique hotel in Hudson Yards near the High Line includes an ice-skating session at the NHL ice skating rink located in the Manhattan West plaza, just outside the hotel.
This Washington Heights hotel near Yankee Stadium is all about giving back this season. The colorful hotel has partnered with Toys for Tots the season to help make a difference in the lives of children in need. In the lobby, the hotel has set up a donation box encouraging hotel guests and the community to drop off donated toys. Also, guests can get a taste of local flavor—Hispanic culture is celebrated at the hotel’s award-winning Jalao NYC restaurant and a Christmas prix fixe dinner will be served on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day served family style.
Loews Regency New York Hotel
The iconic Park Avenue hotel’s lobby is professionally decked out and festive meals at The Regency Bar & Grill for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day will be served. Complimentary bubbles and hot cocoa on Friday and Saturday afternoons will be served and holiday ornaments for sale, too. Also, access to photos with Santa Claus at Bloomies. Two holiday packages are available: Winter Suite Savings and Stay & Play.
Lotte New York Palace
Following a multi-year restoration of the Villard Mansion (the façade of the hotel), this iconic Madison Avenue courtyard Christmas tree is back. There’s also an outdoor bar with warm drinks, specialty cocktails in the Gold Room, weekends with the Rockettes and Santa, and a $100K holiday experience package for charity. Also, The outdoor Winter Bar at the Palace—hot cocoa, hot buttered rum, Hennessy Hot Toddy, and holiday cookies. The Gingerbread Palace, a miniature architectural masterpiece, is on display in the Grand Lobby.
Hilton New York Times Square
The hotel and Hallmark Channel’s “Countdown to Christmas” Themed Suites, are offered through January 2—the rooms feature a curated Christmas Tree with candy garland and DIY candy ornaments. Other holiday programming at the hotel includes Cookie Decorating Kits, and the “Dear Santa, All I want is my favorite Cocktail/Mocktail” program at the bar, with a holiday shaker and spirits, juices, rim flavors, garnishes). Also, a NYC Skyline Gingerbread Village is displayed in the lobby.
The Plaza Hotel
Santa is hanging out at the Plaza in the festooned lobby and restaurants throughout December, and on Christmas Eve he’ll swing by for a ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas reading. A storied holiday tradition, The Palm Court’s themed Holiday Afternoon Tea menu will also be served all month. And the latest Plaza’s Home Alone 2: Escape to New York experience lets guests “live out all their Kevin dreams.” Also, the Suitest Season of All package includes a holiday-themed suite, a festive holiday welcome amenity, and a seven-foot-tall twinkled-out Balsam Hill tree.