The Best Hotels to Book Near the Rockefeller Center, New York

With perhaps the most iconic skyline in the world, New York City has countless treasures hidden within
With perhaps the most iconic skyline in the world, New York City has countless treasures hidden within | © Dorian Mongel / Unsplash
Photo of Debra Smith
20 September 2021

Spread across 22 acres (9ha) between 48th and 51st street, the Rockefeller Center is a recognisable cultural landmark and an essential stop for any visit to New York City. Book a hotel nearby with Culture Trip to continue exploring the Big Apple.

Featured on screens large and small, the Rockefeller Centre is home to New York’s giant, twinkling Christmas tree, the high kicking Radio City Music Hall Rockettes, and Jimmy Fallon and the Saturday Night Live gang from NBC Studios. From the 360-degree views at the Top of the Rock Observation Deck to fine dining in the famous Rainbow Room and ice-skating under the gaze of gilded Prometheus, there’s plenty to do here year-round. Book your stay nearby, from arty hotels to classic New York high-risers.

Hotel Elysee by Library Hotel Collection

Courtesy of Hotel Elysee by Library Hotel Collection / Expedia

The Hotel Elysee has been delighting guests since 1926 with its mixture of sophistication and wit. Rooms are cottage-comfy with overstuffed wing chairs, polished antiques and yards of chintz. Its artistic roots run deep, being a favourite with the crème de la crème of theatre stars such as Marlon Brando, Tallulah Bankhead and Tennessee Williams. Take the stairs to the spacious second floor lounge for tea and pastries and you’ll find charming hand-painted trompe l’oeil murals from the 1930s lining the hallway.

The Benjamin

Courtesy of The Benjamin /

If you’re in the mood for art deco, swing over to The Benjamin, where mirrored and crystal accents twinkle throughout. The presence of kitchenettes in every room are a welcome reminder of its past as a former residential hotel, with marble topped counters and refrigerators. Meanwhile, modern amenities are on-point like electric mirrors and rain showers in the bath. The hotel is surrounded by restaurants and cocktail lounges and also close to another art deco masterpiece, the Rockefeller Center.

Pod 51

Pod 51
Courtesy of Pod 51 / Expedia

Pod 51 is pared-down but practical: most pod rooms have a private shower and there are sparkly clean shared showers for the ultra-thrifty. Families will appreciate the bunk bed options, close proximity to the subway, and colourful murals in common spaces inside and outdoors. Walk to the Rockefeller Center, Central Park or take the Roosevelt Island Tramway that will lift you above Manhattan to a green, walkable island in the East River for the price of a subway ride.

The Lexington Hotel, Autograph Collection

Courtesy of The Lexington Hotel, Autograph Collection / Expedia

The Lexington takes its cues from the Jazz Age and adds a frisson of fun, by way of zebra-striped wing chairs, gilded mirrors and hallways adorned with prints of NYC landmarks. Suites are uniquely themed, like the Conservatory that offers a glass enclosed terrace, topiary trees and garden statuary. Former tenants Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio would have appreciated the Hawaiian Room’s tiki-themed barware, artwork made of shells, and the gilded and lacquered rattan and bamboo furniture. Step outside at night to see the illuminated Chrysler Building glowing in all its art deco glory, just up the street.

Baccarat Hotel and Residences New York

Courtesy of Baccarat Hotel and Residences New York /
Baccarat crystal has graced royal residences since it was founded under the auspices of Louis XV in 1764. Glittering echoes of that grand tradition can be found throughout the hotel, from the museum quality displays in the lobby to the twinkling scones in every room. Even the most modest room wraps you in luxury with linens by Mascioni, cashmere throws and a four-poster bed. A red lacquered mini-bar holds Baccarat crystal stemware. It’s conveniently located directly across from the Museum of Modern Art.

M Social Hotel Times Square New York

Courtesy of M Social Hotel Times Square New York /

Sleep well in The City That Never Sleeps with soundproof windows, a lighted headboard, and views of Times Square and the Hudson River. When you’re not snoozing, saunter around the huge lobby offering table games and foosball, enjoy a tipple at the rooftop bar, and make the most of its unbeatable location: a ten-minute walk to the Top of the Rock.

Sanctuary Hotel New York

Courtesy of Sanctuary Hotel New York /

Find your sanctuary here, in the heart of New York’s theatre district. The hotel is within easy walking distance of many major attractions, including Bryant Park and the Rockefeller Center. Recover from a day of sightseeing in one of the 115 guest rooms: cosy rooms are perfect for romantic couples, while families will enjoy the extra space in a Sweet Suite or double queen room. Continental breakfast is included with your stay.

The Iroquois New York

The Iroquois New York
Courtesy of The Iroquois New York /

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the Iroquois is waiting for you on a quiet street, a short walk from Madame Tussaud’s, Bryant Park and Grand Central Station. Let the concierge find you tickets to the latest Broadway play, or help you find your way to nearby Times Square. Rooms and suites have old world charm and up to the minute amenities, meanwhile the fitness centre has Peloton bikes and a sauna.

The Gotham Hotel

Courtesy of The Gotham Hotel /

Almost every room at the intriguing pencil-shaped Gotham has a balcony with a view of 46th Street. Décor is cutting-edge modern to match with black, white and red accents throughout. Plump for the standout 25th floor Penthouse – think a loft ceiling, two terraces with outdoor sofas, living area and a striking red lacquered ceiling accent. Located halfway between Grand Central Terminal and the Rockefeller Center, the hotel is just a New York minute away from all the major landmarks.

citizenM New York Times Square

Courtesy of citizenM /

Close to Times Square and next door to a subway stop, citizenM is an ideal base for touring Manhattan. Rooms are cruise-ship size but full of well thought out designs that make the most of the space, like underbed storage and a separate sink. Temperature, blackout blinds, television and bathroom lighting in several colours are all controlled by iPad – or ‘MoodPad’ in citizen-speak. The hotel also prides itself on being LGBTQ+ friendly.

Looking for more inspiration? With help from local insiders we’ve narrowed down the coolest hotels in New York City for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as well as the best cheap hotels in Manhattan for a more affordable option. Best of all, you can book right here on Culture Trip. For exploring, we’ve curated a New York food experience and a wellness tour of New York, each complete with local tips and can’t-be-missed experiences. We know that will all keep you very busy, so here are the best restaurants for lunch in New York City where you can grab a bite on the go.

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