18 of the best Airbnbs in California, including a Hollywood bungalow, a midcentury oasis in Palm Springs, and a mountain home near Big Sur

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best Airbnb Luxe listings - Oceanfront Home in Malibu, California

In response to COVID-19, many travelers have made safety their top priority, choosing close-to-home driving trips as opposed to flying off to a crowded resort. If you live in or near California, you’ll know that’s no big sacrifice.

That’s because the Golden State is a stunning example of raw natural beauty, whether you seek the sprawling hills of wine country, fancy a dip along sunkissed coastal shores, crave the cultural satisfaction of city centers, or want to hike among the Redwoods.

I’m a travel and entertainment writer who has covered some of the best places to stay in California for Insider. I was raised in Los Angeles and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly a decade. Overall, I’ve explored my beloved state of California widely – by car, by foot, by plane. And because experts told me that private vacation rentals are likely safer than hotels during COVID, I’m rounding up the best Airbnb vacation rentals in California.

From Monterey to Malibu and beyond, these are some of the coolest, most unique Airbnb homes you’ll find in California.

Browse all listings below, or jump to a specific area:

These are the best Airbnbs in California, sorted by region and price, from from low to high.

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Los Angeles

Beach home with pool and hot tub in Venice, $128

venice beach pool home airbnb

Book this studio in Venice Beach on Airbnb starting at $128 per night

Santa Monica and Venice are among LA’s most popular and central beach areas, and lodging in the area can be pricey. But this affordable option in Venice offers a lot of value before you even consider there’s also a pool. 

It’s technically a Spanish architecture pool house, but it’s totally private, and charming to boot, with room for two adults. The cozy space boasts a private outdoor bathroom, a sauna, three fire pits, a hot tub, plus loaner bikes and skateboards to hit the beach. There’s also a ping-pong table in the rec area. The laid-back California decor includes a framed map of Venice, distressed furnishings, and tile flooring. 

This home is popular, so book early: There are sporadic dates still available for summer, opening into wider availability in September and through the fall.

Luxury apartment in Downtown Los Angeles, $155

Downtown Los Angeles luxury apartment

Book this apartment in Los Angeles on Airbnb starting at $155 per night

This apartment is within easy striking distance of Staples Center, L.A. Live, Disney Hall, Little Tokyo — just about every sightseeing highlight of the downtown area. Free parking is a huge plus so you can come and go as you please.

The luxury apartment has a European look and feel, with fountains and columns throughout the building. There’s also a shared pool, hot tub, and fitness center (check for availability of these amenities during COVID).

Inside the apartment, furnishings are spare and minimal with a simple black loveseat, coffee table, and TV in the living space and a Queen bed in the living room. The kitchen is modern, with stainless appliances and granite countertops.

Plan ahead to stay at this popular listing: the apartment’s next availability is in October.

Private guest house in Larchmont Village, $224

Larchmont Village best LA airbnbs

Book this guest house in Larchmont Village on Airbnb starting at $224 per night

Non-locals may not know about the Larchmont area, which is not a household name like Hollywood, but it’s a beautiful, bustling, central, and safe area with its own charming walkable center with shops and restaurants.

This listing is for a private, two-story guesthouse with vaulted ceilings, well-curated furnishings, and an open layout. The downstairs living area has a flat-screen HDTV with premium channels, a compact but well-equipped stainless kitchen, dining area, powder room, and French doors that open to a landscaped backyard. There’s a Queen bed in the airy master suite upstairs, which also has a reading nook, desk, and spa-like bathroom.

This listing has limited availability starting in May. July through August is almost entirely open.

Bungalow in Hollywood, $225

Hollywood bungalow best LA airbnbs

Book this bungalow in Hollywood starting at $225 per night

Hollywood and its environs are as cacophonous and congested as they are lively and exciting. But this cozy Hollywood Hills area listing will make you feel like you’ve gotten away from it all while still staying within LA’s core.

This private guest unit nestled in the hillside makes for a peaceful retreat that allows for full relaxation or full focus on work or creative projects — ideal, perhaps, for an inspiring new work-from-home situation.

There are panoramic city views from Hollywood to the Pacific Ocean from the freestanding bathtub, as well as a sunny terrace with an inviting daybed swing, and a distinctly bohemian vibe. The listing has a Queen-sized bed and 1.5 baths, so come with a loved one, or check-in solo to work on your screenplay. 

This home has a few dates available in April. The calendar opens up in May, with most dates currently still available from that point forward.

Find more great Los Angeles Airbnbs

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner San Diego

Zen-like studio in San Diego, $125

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Book this zen-like studio starting at $125 per night

Experience the sprawling city that is San Diego without feeling overwhelmed by all the urban buzz. This calming, even zen-like studio is just steps to the bay and an easy walk to the beach. It’s great for a relaxed, car-free beach getaway — even just from the city’s more congested center.

Vaulted, beamed ceilings make the space feel airy, and a skylight makes it bright and cheerful. It sleeps two with a queen bed, and there’s a small patio with a grill for cozy home-cooked meals. For the active couple, travel light and make use of the two included boogie boards and beach cruisers for outdoor fun and exercise during your stay. There’s also private off-street parking for when more than a bike is required.

The home has limited availability starting in May, opening up to wider availability after mid-June.

Oceanfront condo in San Diego, $143

Oceanfront San Diego condo

Book this condo in San Diego on Airbnb starting at $143 per night

This oceanfront condo is located literally steps from the Pacific — and the sea sprawls down below for a spectacular view. This Ocean Beach apartment is an ideal launch pad for a San Diego visit; abundant dining and drinking options surround it.

Decor is inspired by a coastal palette for a bright and cheerful vibe. It has a full kitchen, fans to circulate the sea breeze, a Queen bed in the bedroom, and Queen-size sofa bed for kids or additional guests. It’s located on the ground floor, so no steps are required. And there’s free street parking available (even in peak season, you’ll probably find it within a block or two away).

The home has limited availability starting in July, opening up to wider availability after October (when it’s still warm in Southern California).

Find more great San Diego Airbnbs

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner San Francisco Bay Area

Remodeled home near Golden Gate Park, $164

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Book this home in San Francisco on Airbnb starting at $164 per night

With its palpable tech wealth, San Francisco and the Bay Area have become one of the most expensive places in the country. But you can still visit the city without going over your budget in this lovely, and affordable Airbnb located near Golden Gate Park and the beach in the Outer Sunset.

The home is chic, bright, and sparkling. There’s a Queen-sized bed with a memory foam mattress and a cool blue headboard under a nautical whale wall hanging. The bathroom gleams in crisp white, and the elegant furnishings and living room pieces lend a sophisticated, curated feel.

This listing has some availability in April and May. Availability is currently wide open into the summer months and beyond.

Modern apartment in Haight-Ashbury, $179

Victorian_apartment airbnb in san francisco

Book this apartment in San Francisco starting at $179 per night

This design-minded apartment in a Victorian Building near Haight-Ashbury offers quintessential San Francisco flair with views over a historic neighborhood. 

Lounge in Barcelona chairs taking in the light from the bay window, or switch on a gas fire and relax against the city’s frequent chill. This Airbnb Plus listing has a gourmet gas stove, plush neutral-toned bed linens, and laundry for guests.

This listing shows wide availability starting in July.

Find more great San Francisco Airbnbs

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Wine Country

Farmhouse cottage in Napa Valley, $150

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Book this cottage in Napa Valley on Airbnb starting at $150 per night

If you’ve longed to visit wine country for winery tours and barrel tastings, plan your stay in this fully renovated farmhouse cottage located in a tranquil neighborhood on Main Street, just a mile from the downtown area. The sweet 600-square-foot space has two Queen-sized beds, a couch, and a kitchenette. This home is best for a couple or friend getaway as children under 12 are not permitted.

Here, the amount of interaction is up to the guest — a key concern in the pandemic age. Hosts can make themselves available to talk about restaurants and wineries … or make themselves scarce, leaving you to enjoy a glass of wine on the patio after a day out touring the vineyards.

This listing has limited availability beginning in April. Come summer, dates open up widely.

Relaxing and pet-friendly home in Sonoma, $155

Relaxing and pet friendly Sonoma home

Book this pet-friendly home in Sonoma starting at $155 per night

This ideal wine country rental is within walking distance of Abbot’s Passage Winery, a three-minute drive to the town of Glen Ellen, and a 10-minute drive to Sonoma Square. 

The three-bedroom home has a large backyard with a bocce ball court and a Chinese Elm tree for shade. There’s room for a large group or family, with King bed in the master bedroom and Queen beds in each of the other two bedrooms, plus a Queen-size sofa bed in the family room.

There’s also a well-equipped kitchen and a gas barbecue in the yard. There are two full bathrooms plus a washer-dryer on site for guest use. A 56-inch smart TV in the family room comes with hundreds of movies, and there’s a library well stocked with books for the analog types.

This popular listing has availability starting in November, so book ahead.

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Beaches and Coasts

Cliffside cabin in Trinidad Bluffs, $168

Trinidad Bluffs cabin

Book this cabin in Trinidad Bluffs on Airbnb starting at $168 per night

Southern California’s beaches may be better known throughout the world, but high up in Northern California are more remote, rugged, and spectacular stretches of beaches and coastlines where you will find crowd-free tranquility and cooler air year-round. This cabin in Trinidad is located at the edge of the bluff above the sea, with full 180-degree ocean views. It has easy access to redwoods, beaches, lagoons, hiking, boating, and many more activities in the natural environment.

The rustic cabin is set up like a studio, with wooden walls and flooring. Inside is a fireplace, a basic kitchen, and sliding doors that open to a deck with chairs for admiring those views.

This popular listing has sporadic dates available throughout the spring and summer, opening up to wider availability in the fall.

Secluded retreat in Santa Barbara, $206

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Book this home in Santa Barbara on Airbnb starting at $206 per night

Take a romantic coastal drive to the Santa Barbara area and settle into this 717-square-foot ultra-posh Montecito retreat. It has a Queen-sized bed, a big living room with sleeper sofa, fireplace and kitchenette, private guest’s laundry room, and even a bathroom with steam. 

The home is located on the bottom floor of the host’s tri-level home with a separate entrance at the side yard, but it feels quite private. A seasonal creek surrounds the large wraparound wooden deck, fully ensconcing you in nature, and the home offers easy access to great nearby hiking trails, and beautiful Butterfly Beach is a five-minute drive away.

This listing has extremely limited dates available this spring, with availability opening up more widely in June.

Scenic mountain home near Big Sur, $379

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Book this home near Big Sur on Airbnb starting at $379 per night

The coastline around Big Sur is the stuff of screen savers, and the cliffs make for an awe-inspiring if harrowing road trip. Here, it’s all about the stunning views and the raw natural environment, and this rental lets you take savor both in serenity and privacy. View tons of stars at night, hear the birds sing, and watch the red-tailed hawks circling above.

Arrive via a private paved and gated driveway to this home with a full 365-degree view of redwoods and oak ridges; it enjoys full sun all day long. The listing is just right for a solo traveler or a couple with two bedrooms, each with a Queen-sized bed. There are also lawn chairs, an outdoor fireplace, and a distinctly indoor-outdoor vibe.

Available dates for booking this home begin in late June.

Find more great beach houses on Airbnb

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner Desert

Stardust Oasis guest house in Palm Springs, $182

Stardust Oasis guest house in Palm Springs

Book this house in Palm Springs on Airbnbs starting at $182 per night

A visit to Palm Springs is all about the midcentury modern lodging, and this tricked-out guest house fits the bill perfectly with ’60s-style curated furnishings and a palette of the era including turquoise, yellow, and olive green.

This LGBTQ-owned and operated, 270-square-foot listing is set up like a hotel room with a private entrance, patio, fire pit and lounge area, outdoor shower, and small kitchenette (no stove) — all private. It’s just right for couples or solo travelers but no kids are allowed.

You’ll get DirecTV on a 55-inch 4K Samsung, an open closet with drawers to unpack, and a bathroom with a large rainfall shower. The King-size bed has a memory foam mattress for great sleep quality.

This listing’s next availability is in June, opening up to wider availability in July through September.

Midcentury home in Palm Springs, $304

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Book this home in Palm Springs on Airbnb starting at $304 per night

Palm Springs is an easy road trip from Los Angeles — just about 100 miles from Downtown. And for the full Palm Springs getaway experience, you’re going to want to rent a home in the vibrant midcentury modern style for which the town is famous.

This two-bedroom, two-bathroom home is in the desirable Ruth Hardy Park/Movie Colony East neighborhood, with views of the dramatic San Jacinto mountains, and room for four adults. An additional two children can fit in the foldout sofa in the living room.

The entertainment setup includes Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming channels. But you’ll probably spend most of your time outdoors in the sleek saltwater pool, spa, and lounging area. 

This listing’s next availability is in July. From there, it remains wide open through Thanksgiving.

Find more great Palm Springs Airbnbs

Travel Hotel Reviews Banner National Parks

Tiny house in Yosemite, $107

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Book this tiny house in Yosemite on Airbnb starting at $107 per night

When visiting Yosemite National Park, the goal should be to spend as much time absorbing wide-open nature and the jaw-dropping beauty of famed peaks like Half Dome and El Capitan as possible — not cooped up in your lodging.

That’s why a tiny house is a perfect complement to such a trip. This one is located just about 30 minutes from the park entrance and is also a great launchpad to explore Bass Lake. And, there are llamas to boot.

With this listing, you’ll receive access to the whole tiny house, which includes a bathroom with a hot shower, flushing toilet, and a sink. The downstairs bedroom has a Queen-sized bed in a room done up in cozy farmhouse style that feels wholly welcoming despite the diminutive size. Plus, you can feel good about booking here: 15 percent of the proceeds from this listing will support three charities: Thistle Farms, Equal Justice Initiative, and Charity Waters.

This home has limited availability for dates in June.

See more great tiny homes for rent on Airbnb

Guest house near Sequoia National Park, $165

Mineral King guest house

Book this house near Sequoia National Park on Airbnb starting at $165 per night

This beguiling and tranquil cabin is situated on the way to the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park, with lodging and a fenced garden that overlooks spectacular scenery such as Moro Rock, Alta Peak, Great Western Divide, and Eagle Rock, plus horses and wildlife. 

This place isn’t suitable for kids, but there’s a King bed as well as a sofa bed for sleeping. Furnishings are rustic and cozy with abundant windows that showcase the dazzling natural environment. The place has central heat and air for year-round appeal, and if you’re thinking about a work-cation, consider that cell service is spotty.

This listing has limited dates still available for May and June. The calendar opens up more widely in July, when the parks are expected to re-open.

Minimalist home in Joshua Tree, $298

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Book this home in Joshua Tree on Airbnb starting at $298 per night

Admire and adventure through the wide-open spaces of Joshua Tree National Park with this home, located minutes from the park entrance and walking distance to the village. The idea here is to feel lost amid nature; it’s called the Lost House after all.

The two-bedroom, one-bath home is designed in a minimalist, industrial style. There’s a hot tub for soaking after hikes, and a covered patio for watching sunrises, sunsets, and oh-so-many stars. A hammock triangle in the back allows three to lounge together and the backyard also features a shade structure, seven-person outdoor couch, and coal barbecue. Bluetooth speakers, a record player, and various analog games like horseshoes and Frisbee will help keep you busy while remaining unplugged.

This home has no availability until May. After that, the calendar is open.

Find more great Airbnbs near national parks

FAQ: The best Airbnbs in California

Where should I vacation in California?

Where you visit in California entirely depends on your personal style, taste, and budget. Los Angeles is known the world over for its entertainment industry attractions in Hollywood and beyond; it’s also a multicultural dining and arts haven.

Southern California is home to family-friendly theme parks including Disneyland (Anaheim) and Legoland (Carlsbad). The San Francisco Bay Area is home to stunning bridges, parks, and cultural attractions.

World-class national parks throughout the state include Yosemite and Joshua Tree. Wine countries dot the central state (Paso Robles, San Louis Obispo) and, more famously, farther north (Napa, Sonoma). Spectacular beaches and coastlines span the length of the state — more than 800 miles.

What cities in California are the most popular Airbnb locations?

As noted above, expect to find many attractive Airbnbs around some of the most desirable attractions. In the north, this might include wine country in Napa and Sonoma, the mountains of Yosemite and Tahoe, or areas around cities such as San Francisco and San Jose. 

Follow the coast down to places like Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, and Santa Barbara. Near Los Angeles, popular rentals can be found throughout Malibu, Santa Monica, Venice Beach, and Hollywood. Venture into the desert and a wide variety of rentals await in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree. Or head down to Baja and explore the San Diego area.

How much does Airbnb cost in California?

Costs for vacation home rentals in California span the full gamut, from ultra-budget friendly to over-the-top celebrity-style spending. The cost will depend on factors such as house size, proximity to the beach, real estate prices in the area, added amenities such as a pool, and the time of year you plan to visit. Although, this last factor is less significant in California than it would be in some other destinations less known for year-round sunshine.

Expect to spend a few hundred dollars on a weekend getaway, and around a thousand for a week-long vacation, though, those figures will rise based on the above factors.

What should I look for in an Airbnb?

Of course, you’ll need an Airbnb that suits your party’s size, ages, and requirements for price and location. But you should also consider factors such as the ones we take into account when compiling our recommendations for readers. This includes positive recent reviews, Superhost status, participation in the COVID-era Enhanced Clean program, and amenities.

What is Airbnb’s cancellation policy?

Cancellation policies on Airbnb are set by each individual host and vary from listing to listing. For a more detailed summary of Airbnb’s cancellation policies, click here.

How do I book a vacation rental in California on Airbnb?

Filter your home search based on location, price, dates of stay, the number of bedrooms, amenities, pet-friendliness, and other qualities and features. When you find a listing you like, check its cancellation policies (as noted above) and the final price including fees.

For more info on how to book an Airbnb, click here.

Is it safe to stay in an Airbnb during COVID?

The CDC now says fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US.

Additionally, experts say that private Airbnbs are safe, and can be a reassuring lodging option compared to hotels amid the pandemic. That’s because these stays minimize interactions with other guests and staff.

Airbnb also recently released data underscoring these travel trends. They showed nearly half of 2,200 adult survey respondents in the US prefer their trips to be within 200 miles from home.

Plus, Airbnb hosts are required to follow enhanced cleaning procedures. That said, there remains an inherent risk to traveling and we recommend following CDC guidelines, practicing social distancing, masking, and washing hands frequently whenever you travel.

Find more great Airbnbs

The Old Spanish Consulate in Pensacola, Florida Airbnb
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The 25 best New York City hotels, including affordable Midtown stays, luxury downtown suites, and boutique Brooklyn gems

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Sister City: An affordable boutique hotel in New York

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • As vaccines roll out and warmer weather arrives, it’s time to reconsider a visit to New York City.
  • We chose the best New York City hotels in 2021 at a range of prices, from Manhattan to Brooklyn.
  • We personally visited, reviewed, and photographed every hotel on this list.

I review hotels for a living and lived in New York for over 10 years, so when friends and family plan a visit, they’re quick to ask, “where should I stay?”

It’s a loaded question. The city is filled with hundreds of hotels, from old-school Manhattan luxury to neighborhood-centric boutique Brooklyn gems. Big brands have flagships, and micro hotels offer small spaces for cheap.

To narrow the field, we stayed at, toured, and researched the city’s top-rated hotels to determine which offer the best value, guest experience, and location. We take all our own photos, too, so you know what you’re really getting. This list is updated regularly to reflect new additions and pricing.

Browse all the best hotels in New York City below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

Here are the best New York City hotels, sorted by price from low to high.

Arlo SoHo

1. Arlo SoHo shades open

Book Arlo SoHo

Arlo SoHo seeks to popularize the trend of micro hotels with sleek, tiny rooms measuring barely 150 square feet. And we mean tiny. You can likely reach the bathroom from your bed, and there’s little by way of privacy.

But, what it lacks in size, Arlo makes up for with bustling common spaces and a low starting price point of $79, which a great deal for typically expensive SoHo, though prices in the summer are often closer to $190.

COVID-19 procedures are available here

Read our full hotel review of Arlo SoHo

Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel

Gild Hall   Guestroom   King Premiuim
One of Gild Hall’s Premium King rooms.

Book Gild Hall

Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel from World of Hyatt, offers much more personality than the typical Financial District hotel. Warm and welcoming, the cozy decor is inspired by Aspen country houses for an overall rustic vibe. Details such as tufted leather, dark wood, and brass accents are woven throughout the property, as well as a lobby chandelier fashioned out of antlers.

It’s an interesting, out-of-the-box option for an otherwise corporate neighborhood.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review for Gild Hall

The Freehand New York

freehand hotel review 2

Book Freehand New York

The Freehand New York is a good pick for budget-conscious travelers who want convenience and personality from their accommodations, but also something nice to look at.

Art-filled accommodations are steeped in character with reasonable prices. From cheap bunk bed options to spacious suites, Freehand is a sleek stay for those seeking something lesser-known than Ace Hotel.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Freehand New York

Hotel 50 Bowery

Bowery hotel room 2

Book Hotel 50 Bowery

A World of Hyatt Joie de Vivre property, Hotel 50 Bowery brings boutique glam to the gritty Lower East Side. We like it for its well-appointed rooms, great views, rooftop bar, and overall design.

Plus, the LES location near Chinatown offers a fun base with prime access to dining and nightlife that many in Midtown miss.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Hotel 50 Bowery

The Evelyn New York

Evelyn New York

Book The Evelyn New York

The Evelyn is a historic NoMad hotel that recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. Everything feels brand new, while still maintaining the building’s roots in music and history through Art Deco design. Rooms are on the small side, making it ideal for a solo business traveler, or couples looking for an intimate, boutique stay. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full review of The Evelyn New York

 

Moxy Chelsea

Moxy Chelsea

Book The Moxy Chelsea

The Moxy Chelsea in Manhattan’s flower district is wedged between the popular Chelsea and NoMad neighborhoods. Part of the Marriott family, the Moxy Chelsea is a great option if you want to earn or redeem points. Some rooms can be small, but stunning views, the rooftop bar, and great location make up for it.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full review of Moxy Chelsea

MADE Hotel

Made hotel

Book MADE Hotel

MADE Hotel has quickly become popular with both tourists and business travelers for its central NoMad location, boho-chic design, and lush green-filled spaces. It’s the kind of hotel you should pick if you prefer experiential, one-of-a-kind properties that you’ll document on the ‘Gram. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review for MADE

Moxy East Village

Moxy East Village bed

Book Moxy East Village

Marriott’s boutique on a budget outpost in the East Village is a four-star hotel themed after the neighborhood’s vibrant local scene. There are clear nods to rock and roll, street art, and other East Village countercultures.

As part of the Marriott Bonvoy family, Moxy East Village is great if you want to earn or redeem points during your stay. Rooms are small, but comfortable, common areas are fun, and the location is pretty great.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full review of Moxy East Village

Sister City New York

Sister City: An affordable boutique hotel in New York

Book Sister City New York

Sister City is a new spin-off property from the creative studio behind Ace Hotel that caters to the experienced, and busy, traveler. Self-service tablets guide guests through check-in, while amenities and housekeeping are on demand.

It’s a smart approach for savvy guests looking to avoid the pain points of crowded, more traditional hotels and prefer an individualistic approach.

COVID-19 procedures are not yet available as this hotel is temporarily closed

Read our full hotel review of Sister City New York

The Knickerbocker

Knick bed
The King-sized bed in my deluxe room was outfitted in crisp Sferra linens.

Book the Knickerbocker Hotel

The Knick is one of the nicer hotels in Times Square. Rooms are spacious, with a minimal look, but feel significantly higher-end thanks to zen-inducing bathrooms and generous floor plans, especially when compared to many of the big brand counterparts in this tourist mecca.

There’s also good on-site food and drink, including a great rooftop bar overlooking the action. If you’re booking a room in Times Square, you’re likely spending most of your time outside of it, but The Knick is a great option for those who want a chic place to retreat.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of The Knickerbocker

The Williamsburg Hotel

Williamsburg Hotel King Terrace View
Golden hour from the terrace of a King Studio room.

Book The Williamsburg Hotel

Williamsburg in Brooklyn is much like the boutique concept itself, with local artisan wares, small-batch products, and whimsical intrigue spilling out from most restaurants, bars, and storefronts. The Williamsburg Hotel curates this approach with meticulous precision and offers panoramic city views and wonderful on-site food and drink that locals love, too.

The hotel channels the neighborhood’s cool factor, weaving it through guestroom offerings and products, pop-up shops in the lobby, and weekly programming that includes anything from basket weaving and flower arranging to music sets and facials. While other area hotels are overtly modern and luxe, the Williamsburg Hotel is both, but with a more intimate, laid-back vibe. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review for The Williamsburg Hotel

Ace Hotel New York

Ace Hotel New York  Hotel review

Book Ace Hotel New York

Ace Hotels have long established themselves as the cool kid, operating in hip cities like Portland, Palm Springs, Seattle and more. It’s the hipster, in hotel form.

The New York location has moody lighting, minimal rooms, and decor inspired by art and rock music. But it’s not all hype. We’d recommend Ace to anyone who wants to feel like one of the cool local kids spread out on the lobby’s leather sofas to co-work. Except unlike most of them, you’ll get to actually go upstairs and spend the night. Choose a small or bunk bed room and you might even land it for well under $200 per night.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Ace New York

Park South Hotel

King Bedroom Park South

Book Park South Hotel

Rooms at the Park South Hotel are relatively straightforward, but recent renovations have made it a highly-reviewed hotel in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood. It belongs to World of Hyatt’s Joie de Vivre boutique portfolio and has a standout culinary program that might very well upstage the tasteful rooms.

Aside from high season, it’s very reasonably priced for a well-appointed four-star hotel.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is currently closed until April 1, 2021.

Read our full hotel review for Park South Hotel

Sixty SoHo

Sixty SoHo Bathroom

Book Sixty SoHo

If you’re set on SoHo and have a budget for something more spacious than Arlo’s micro-sized rooms, look to Sixty SoHo. The hip hotel places you in style-minded accommodations right near equally fashionable shopping and dining.

The hotel is so cool, that some guests complain of staff members being snobby or unaccommodating, though we didn’t experience that at all. A basic Queen Superior starts at a very accessible price, but prices can fluctuate wildly.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review for Sixty SoHo

The Park Terrace Hotel

Park Terrace bed
My extremely comfortable bed in a Studio View Suite.

Book the Park Terrace Hotel

The Park Terrace is a great base for those who love boutique hotels and want to be near Times Square, but not actually thrust into it. Little details shine, from amenity closets available to guests on each floor to grab items you may have forgotten to pack, to the tranquil furnished terrace where you can grab a drink from the adjacent bar and linger with a view. There’s also a great breakfast buffet featuring locally sourced baked goods. This hotel has personality without feeling stuffy. 

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full review of the Park Terrace Hotel

Library Hotel by Library Collection

The Library Hotel   lobby

Book Library Hotel

The four-star Library Hotel, by Library Hotel Collection in Midtown, New York is a book lover’s paradise, but there’s plenty to adore even if you don’t consider yourself a bibliophile.

The highly-reviewed property consistently ranks within Trip Advisor‘s top 10 hotels in New York City. It has a charming, whimsical vibe thanks to themed floors and over 6,000 book titles available to peruse. Rooms tend to be small, but perks such as wine and cheese receptions, 24/7 snacks and refreshments, and breakfast included add value.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is closed for reservations until April 2021.

Read our full hotel review of Library Hotel

The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel

The Beekman levels

Book The Beekman

Behind a historic, yet unassuming facade, The Beekman Hotel is a jewel hiding in plain sight. Housed in a New York City landmark building dating back to 1881, the hotel features a breathtakingly preserved nine-story atrium. We spent the night in a suite, and while lovely, your money is just as well spent in a more affordable Superior Queen, which feels equally iconic.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Dumbo King
There’s a partition dividing the bed from the partially open bathroom.

Book 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

One of the best things about the rooms at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge are the stunning floor-to-ceiling views of Manhattan and, of course, the Brooklyn Bridge. But when you close the drapes, the abundant reclaimed wood, repurposed materials, living plants, and soothing neutral colors make it feel like you’ve escaped to a woodsy Scandinavian cabin. It’s a total respite with front door access to Brooklyn Bridge Park and is another top hotel for Brooklyn.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full review of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

The William Vale

William Vale Balcony
My balcony was a prime perch for the Manhattan skyline at sunset (and all day), and I particularly enjoyed lounging on the daybed.

Book The William Vale

The William Vale in Williamsburg is one of the best hotels in Brooklyn with sleek rooms, a popular pool scene, and the on-site rooftop bar Westlight and Italian restaurant Leuca, both of which easily warrant a visit on their own.

It’s one of the more expensive options on this list, but for good reason. All rooms have balconies with some of the best views of New York City. While holidays and weekends can start at upwards of $500 per night, flexible travelers looking to book midweek or in winter will find deals under $350. For a special occasion, consider upgrading to a suite or Manhattan view. Come sunset, you won’t regret it.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of The William Vale

The Conrad New York Downtown

Conrad New York
The bed in the aptly named Hudson River View King Suite was incredibly plush and comfy.

Book Conrad New York Downtown

Many visitors fixate on Midtown, but the Conrad New York Downtown offers a more local experience in a neighborhood where real New Yorkers actually spend time.

An all-suite offering, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more spacious accommodations in all of downtown Manhattan. The five-star hotel carries a higher price tag, but the added space makes staying here feel like you’ve landed a great New York apartment.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Conrad New York Downtown

Andaz 5th Avenue

Bedroom Andaz Fifth Avenue NYC

Book Andaz 5th Avenue

Andaz 5th Avenue, a World of Hyatt member, has an excellent Midtown location beloved by tourists and business travelers for the convenience it offers. The high-end hotel is known for being a dependable, fashionable brand, though, that solid reputation means rooms feel a bit generic. But they’re recently renovated and spacious. We stayed in a suite but solidly stand behind their Standard King Room as the best choice.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review for Andaz 5th Avenue

Loews Regency New York Hotel

Loews regency manhattan suite living room
The Manhattan suite comes with a spacious living room, kitchenette, and two bathrooms.

Book Loews Regency New York

Loews is a posh five-star hotel in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, close to Central Park and Midtown, and is popular with travelers in search of something a bit more mature (aside from the Real Housewives of New York City antics that have taken place in the lobby bar, of course) with a mix of older couples and business types, as well as families seeking more room for their brood. 

Rooms are spacious with elegant, but traditional decor, and suites are apartment-style with terraces and marble bathrooms. It’s not as splashy as some hipper counterparts, but this luxury property delivers on a classic hotel experience you can count on to be elegant, well-styled, and more than comfortable.

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full hotel review of Loews Regency New York Hotel

Conrad New York Midtown

conrad atrium
The Atrium Suite comes with a gorgeous terrace.

Book Conrad New York Midtown

Where the Conrad New York Downtown in TriBeCa might be considered straight-laced and traditional, the brand’s newer outpost in Midtown is contemporary and youthful, with a design-heavy approach favoring rich gem-tone velvet upholstery, modern light fixtures, and prominent art.

Like its downtown sibling, all rooms are suites with standard entry-level offerings that feel more pied-a-terre than a generic hotel room. It’s a great option for newcomers eager to explore from a well-placed, five-star base that is steps from Central Park, Rockefeller Center, MoMA, and the Theater District. 

COVID-19 procedures available here.

Read our full review of Conrad New York Midtown

The Chatwal

The Chatwal Hotel bed

Book The Chatwal

The Chatwal is another higher-end property we’ve deemed worth the cost given its coveted Midtown location, old school Manhattan glam, five-star service, and sizeable rooms.

Rooms start at $500 per night, which isn’t cheap but is accurately priced for such a top-tier hotel in Manhattan. It’s actually cheaper than other ritzier counterparts. As a Marriott Bonvoy property, it’s a good place to cash in on points if the price tag still seems out of reach, too. 

COVID-19 procedures: The Chatwal is not currently open and has not stated when they will be reopening.

Read our full hotel review of The Chatwal

Baccarat Hotel

Baccarat Hotel

Book Baccarat Hotel

Baccarat Hotel is regarded as one of the best hotels in New York City, if not the world, and it’s easy to see why. The elegant property, owned by the French fine crystal brand of the same name, is teeming with dazzling crystal fixtures, glassware, and chandeliers from the high-end line, which are found everywhere from common areas, guest rooms, and even elevators.

The opulent look also delivers on substance as well as style, with impeccable service, painstaking attention to detail, and gleaming rooms that feel like the kind of place James Bond might stay (truly, there are even doors fashioned out of wall panels).

COVID-19 procedures are available here.

Read our full review of Baccarat Hotel

Our methodology for selecting hotels

Much of travel is, in truth, subjective. One person might love city hotels and another will loathe the noise and crowds. Similarly, one traveler might simply seek a place to rest their head and another will want to be dazzled and delighted by luxury at every turn. Others have kids to entertain, business to tend to, and an itinerary to work around. Of course, all of these people do have in common: they all set a budget, whether it’s looking for a cheap hotel or five-star luxury at an expected price.

For these reasons, this list of hotels offers a mix of all of these factors including:

Price: We chose budget, mid-range, and luxury hotels in New York City ranging from bare-bones bunk rooms to standard hotel rooms and indulgent suites. We only accepted starting room rates in low season under $800 per night.

Value: Price is one thing, but value is another. We chose hotels in New York City that offered strong value for the money such as large rooms, great views, good on-site amenities, excellent service, central locations, and more.

Location: The best hotels in New York City represent a wide range of neighborhoods across Manhattan from the Upper East Side to TriBeCa and the Financial District in lower Manhattan. We also reviewed hotels in Brooklyn.

Guests: We always think, “who stays here?” when reviewing hotels and chose the best hotels in New York City for families, couples, solo travelers, business travelers, groups of friends, and more so you can pick the best base for your particular trip.

Reviews: We read and consulted past guest reviews and ratings on sites such as Trip Advisor, Hotels.com, Booking.com, and others to ensure that the majority of past guest experiences were overwhelmingly positive.

Experience: We also visited and personally stayed at every hotel on this list. Included hotels were chosen based on first-hand experience considering every factor on this list rather than solely researching what others have said. We then visited to back up those claims.

Cleanliness: Travel won’t be the same post-pandemic for quite some time, so we only selected hotels that prioritize the health and safety of their guests either by imposing strict new cleaning policies in light of COVID-19 or temporarily closing until they can safely address all concerns.

More of the best hotels in New York City

the high line hotel new york

These aren’t the only hotels we’ve reviewed in New York City. We stayed at many others, too,  included in the lists below for the best luxury, boutique, or affordable hotels in New York City. 

Additionally, we’ve reviewed other New York City hotels that we liked, but didn’t deem worthy of a spot on this list, at this time.

And, we are in the process of reviewing and considering other New York City hotels and will regularly update this list based on those stays. 

 

FAQs: Everything you should know about booking a New York City hotel

What is the best time of year to visit New York City?

This answer is dependent on what you intend to do. If you’re planning on doing lots of sightseeing, consider visiting in the spring or fall when the temperatures are mild and it’s comfortable to explore the city without worrying about extreme weather.

However, some people think visiting New York around the holidays is a magical time, and others like the summer when the city feels less crowded.

What are the best neighborhoods to stay in when visiting New York City?

If you’re a first-time visitor who wants to see the lights of Broadway and stay in the center of the action, you’re probably looking at Times Square. However, to feel more of a local, neighborhood vibe, consider staying in atmospheric neighborhoods such as Chelsea, Flatiron, NoMad, or adjacent areas of Midtown such as Bryant Park to experience fewer crowds.

If you’ve been to New York before, or are open to other areas, we recommend heading downtown to TriBeCa or across the bridge to Williamsburg or DUMBO in Brooklyn, all of which have great hotels (featured on this list).

What are the cheapest times of year to visit? The most expensive?

You’ll often find the cheapest hotel prices in New York in the winter, right after the holidays and until early spring. Prices may dip again in late summer when high heat and humidity keep crowds low.

Expect prices to surge the highest from early September through the end of the year, when events such as New York Fashion Week and the holiday season pack in visitors and tourists consistently, year after year. During those times, even the cheapest budget hotels will see their base starting rates at least double in price.

Is it safe to stay in hotels right now?

With vaccine rollouts underway, many travelers are now looking to book postponed trips. And while vacation rentals continue to be very popular, hotels are open during COVID-19 and poised to make a big comeback as more people become fully vaccinated. 

However, in hotels, you’re more likely to encounter other people in common spaces such as lobbies, check-in desks, and on-site venues including pools, spas, restaurants, and bars. Thankfully, the experts we spoke to said that with added caution, it is safe to stay in a hotel

Of course, there’s no guarantee of safety when it comes to travel. We recommend following CDC guidelines and wearing a mask in public, using hand sanitizer, and following social distancing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 25 best hotels in New York City, including budget micro rooms, skyline views from Brooklyn, and five-star indulgence

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Sister City: An affordable boutique hotel in New York

  • As vaccines roll out, many are starting to book future bucket list trips to places like New York City.
  • With hundreds of hotels in New York City from Manhattan to Brooklyn, the options can be overwhelming.
  • We narrowed the field and carefully chose the best New York City hotels in 2021 at a range of prices.

With vaccine rollouts underway, many travelers are finally looking to book trips that had to be put on hold for the past year. And while remote getaways and vacation rentals continue to reign supreme, it’s likely that hotels and cities will make a comeback as more people become fully vaccinated.

However, if you’re planning a trip for sooner rather than later, keep in mind that hotels have common spaces where you’re likely to run into other guests and places like check-in desks can be potential problem areas. We’ve noted new cleaning policies where applicable below, but for any hotels you may be considering, it’s worth reading up on their specific policies yourself too. You may also want to consider home rental companies, which experts and the CDC note are safer than hotels right now.

If you’re wondering if it’s safe to travel right now, we talked to experts about the risks of travel and the necessary precautions you should take when flying, driving, and yes, staying at a hotel.

Of course, there’s still no guarantee of safety when it comes to travel just yet. We always recommend following guidelines from organizations like the CDC and WHO, wearing a mask in public, using hand sanitizer, and practicing social distancing. Before making any travel plans you should also consider your own health risks, as well as those of others in the location you’re traveling to.

All that said, if you are planning a trip to New York now or in the future, there’s no shortage of hotels to choose from. As a longtime New Yorker, when friends and family come to visit, I’m often asked, “where should I stay?”

It’s a loaded question. The city is filled with so many great hotels throughout many neighborhoods and boroughs, from old-school luxury in Manhattan to contemporary boutiques in Brooklyn dripping in neighborhood charm. The big brand names all have flagships, and cheap (and some not-so-cheap) micro hotels are rapidly popping up.

Much like the city itself, there’s something for everyone based on what you like and how much you’re willing to spend.

To help narrow the field, we hit the New York streets to stay at, tour, and research the city’s top-rated hotels to determine which are truly the best.

Every hotel was personally reviewed, vetted, and selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Hotels are located in New York City, with a primary focus on Manhattan and Brooklyn, and are considered a four- or five-star hotel, for an elevated experience that won’t disappoint, or a three-star that’s a total standout.
  2. Holds a Trip Advisor rating of four or above, as many tourists check and use it.
  3. It starts between $79 to $745 per night, a common range in New York depending on the time of year and advance booking. While that higher-end might seem, well, high, it’s not uncommon in New York in popular seasons or for those seeking a luxury property.
  4. Boasts amenities and features that are visually interesting with unique design, architecture, food, or other experiential elements that add value.

Here are the best New York City hotels, sorted by price from low to high.

Arlo SoHo

1. Arlo SoHo shades open

Book Arlo SoHo starting at $79 per night

Arlo SoHo seeks to popularize the trend of micro hotels with sleek, tiny rooms measuring barely 150 square feet. And we mean tiny. You can likely reach the bathroom from your bed, and there’s little by way of privacy.

But, what it lacks in size, Arlo makes up for with bustling common spaces including four bars, an on-site restaurant, co-working space, rooftop lounge, and a seasonal Instagrammable courtyard. It starts at just $79, which a great deal for typically expensive SoHo, though prices in the summer are often closer to $190.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 59 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Pros: Cheap room prices and cool SoHo location.

Cons: The room sizes can feel shockingly small and bathrooms lack privacy.

COVID-19 procedures: All Arlo hotels have a Rest Assured policy that includes:

  • Mobile check-in/check-out via the Arlo app.
  • Housekeeping services will only be provided upon request in stay-over rooms.
  • Guest rooms will remain vacant a minimum of 24 hours.
  • Clorox360 Antimicrobial fogging sanitizing & cleaning system will be used in all guest rooms just prior to releasing the rooms for sale.
  • Read more here

Read our full hotel review of Arlo SoHo

Hotel 50 Bowery

Bowery hotel room 2

Book Hotel 50 Bowery starting at $109 per night

A World of Hyatt Joie de Vivre property, Hotel 50 Bowery brings boutique glam to the gritty Lower East Side. We like it for its well-appointed rooms, great views, rooftop bar, and overall design.

Plus, the LES location near Chinatown offers a fun base with prime access to dining and nightlife that many in Midtown miss.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 47 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: The hip, style-minded vibe with cool views and a trendy rooftop.

Cons: While some may love the LES/Chinatown location, others might find it noisy and far from tourist sightseeing.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel has implemented new policies that include:

  • Limits on the number of people in an elevator and fitness center at one time.
  • Frequent cleaning of high traffic public spaces and touchpoints.
  • More frequent replacement of HVAC filters in guestrooms and public spaces with HEPA filters.
  • Revised guestroom setups and the removal of high touch items.
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures of all guestrooms.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review of Hotel 50 Bowery

Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel

Gild Hall   Guestroom   King Premiuim
One of Gild Hall’s Premium King rooms.

Book Gild Hall starting at $109 per night

Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel from World of Hyatt, offers much more personality than the typical Financial District hotel. Warm and welcoming, the cozy decor is inspired by Aspen country houses for an overall vibe that feels rustic. Details such as tufted leather, dark wood, and brass accents are woven throughout the property, as well as a lobby chandelier fashioned out of antlers.

Mid-tier rooms typically start at $369 per night, but nightly rates for smaller rooms start around $200, making it an interesting, out-of-the-box option for an otherwise corporate neighborhood.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 57 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Pros: Intricate design and decor that stands in sharp contrast to neighborhood surroundings, but in a good way.

Cons: Starter rooms can be small, and on-site amenities as well, in particular, the gym.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is reopened with the following policies in place:

  • Hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the hotel’s public areas.
  • Mobile check-in and keyless entry via the World of Hyatt app allow for guests to bypass the front desk and head straight to their guest room.
  • Each guest receives a personal Wellness Kit, which includes a single-use mask, sanitizing wipes, and remote control sleeve.
  • All hard and soft surfaces in the guest rooms are cleaned and sanitized, and guest rooms are sealed for a minimum of 24-hours prior to arrival.  Electro-static sprayers are used for enhanced measures.
  • Housekeeping services can be scheduled or declined based on guest’s preferences.
  • Deliveries to the guestroom, including amenities and room service, are offered via knock-and-drop.
  • Fitness Centers are open, though reservations are required and can be made through the Front Desk.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review for Gild Hall

MADE Hotel

Made hotel

Book MADE Hotel starting at $109 per night

MADE Hotel has quickly become popular with both tourists and business travelers for its central NoMad location, boho-chic design, and lush green-filled spaces. It’s the kind of hotel you should pick if you prefer experiential, one-of-a-kind properties that you’ll document on the ‘Gram. 

Trip Advisor Ranking: 65 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Pros: Standard entry-level rooms are just as nice as more expansive suites, and the lofted beds in the smaller rooms are cooler, making it an easy decision to save money.

Cons: While they look nice, some bathrooms aren’t designed in the most efficient way.

COVID-19 procedures: All MADE hotels have rolled out new procedures that include:

  • Guest rooms will be left un-entered for 24 hours.
  • Rooms will only be serviced upon request.
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in public spaces.
  • Following cleaning and disinfecting protocols to clean rooms, with particular attention paid to high-touch items.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review for MADE

Ace Hotel New York

Ace Hotel New York  Hotel review

Book Ace Hotel New York starting at $109 per night

Ace Hotels have long established themselves as the cool kid, operating in hip cities like Portland, Palm Springs, Seattle and more. It’s the hipster, in hotel form.

The New York location has moody lighting, minimal rooms, and decor inspired by art and rock music. But it’s not all hype. We’d recommend Ace to anyone who wants to feel like one of the cool local kids spread out on the lobby’s leather sofas to co-work. Except unlike most of them, you’ll get to actually go upstairs and spend the night. Choose a small or bunk bed room and you might even land it for well under $200 per night.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 163 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.4 out of 10

Pros: The Ace brand cool factor, a NoMad location, and on-site stores and eateries that are so good, you might not want to leave the property.

Cons: Some rooms show wear and tear and the lobby can feel crowded.

COVID-19 procedures: The Ace Hotel is temporarily closed and has not yet stated when they will reopen. 

Read our full hotel review of Ace New York

Moxy East Village

Moxy East Village bed

Book Moxy East Village starting at $115 per night

Marriott’s newer outpost in the East Village is a four-star boutique hotel themed after the neighborhood’s vibrant local scene. There are clear nods to rock and roll, street art, and other East Village countercultures.

As part of the Marriott Bonvoy family, Moxy East Village is great if you want to earn or redeem points during your stay. Rooms are small, but with a starting price of $116 midweek, it’s a great deal. Rooms are comfortable, common areas are fun, and the location is pretty great.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 52 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: Marriott Bonvoy earning potential, cool Moxy brand clout, and East Village location.

Cons: Room rates can seem expensive considering many rooms are on the smaller side.

COVID-19 procedures: Moxy is part of the Marriott Bonvoy brand and follows Marriott’s new ‘Global Cleanliness Council’ policies that include:

  • New cleaning technologies that include electrostatic sprayers for touchless disinfecting capabilities and cleaning processes. 
  • Surfaces are treated with hospital-grade disinfectants and cleaning is done with increased frequency. 
  • In guest rooms, Marriott has added detailed cleaning practices, requiring all surfaces be thoroughly cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectants. The company will also be placing disinfecting wipes in each room for guests’ personal use.
  • Signage in lobbies will remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols.
  • Added partitions at front desks provide an extra level of precaution for guests and associates.
  • More hand sanitizing stations around Marriott’s hotels particularly near the entrances and front desks, elevator banks, fitness areas, and meeting spaces.
  • Read more here.

Read our full review of Moxy East Village

The Evelyn New York

Evelyn New York

Book The Evelyn New York starting at $119 per night

The Evelyn is a historic NoMad hotel that recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. Everything feels brand new, while still maintaining the building’s roots in music and history through Art Deco design. Rooms are on the small side, making it ideal for a solo business traveler, or couples looking for an intimate, boutique stay. 

Trip Advisor Ranking: 12 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: Art Deco style and NoMad location.

Cons: Can be expensive for rooms that tend to be small.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel has implemented new policies that include:

  • Contactless check in/out kiosk terminals and safety plexiglass between you the front desk service team.
  • Masks, alcohol wipes, and hand sanitizer always available. Safety Welcome Kit provided to all guests.
  •  Pre-shift temperature checks for all staff on arrival.
  • HEPA filter vacuum cleaners.
  • Disinfected and occupant-free rooms for 24 hours.
  • Electrostatic sprayer with hospital grade EPA registered products that continuously disinfect for 24 hours.
  • Read more here.

Read our full review of The Evelyn New York

 

Moxy Chelsea

Moxy Chelsea

Book The Moxy Chelsea starting at $119 per night

The Moxy Chelsea in Manhattan’s flower district is wedged between the popular Chelsea and NoMad neighborhoods. Part of the Marriott family, the Moxy Chelsea is a great option if you want to earn or redeem points. Some rooms can be small, but stunning views, the rooftop bar, and great location make up for it.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 60 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Pros: Views for days, Marriott Bonvoy earning potential, and the Chelsea location.

Cons: Can be expensive for what may seem like a quite standard offering.

COVID-19 procedures: Moxy is part of the Marriott Bonvoy brand and will be following Marriott’s new ‘Global Cleanliness Council’ policies that include:

  • New cleaning technologies that include electrostatic sprayers for touchless disinfecting capabilities and cleaning processes. 
  • Surfaces are treated with hospital-grade disinfectants and cleaning is done with increased frequency. 
  • In guest rooms, Marriott has added detailed cleaning practices, requiring all surfaces be thoroughly cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectants. The company will also be placing disinfecting wipes in each room for guests’ personal use.
  • Signage in lobbies will remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols.
  • Added partitions at front desks provide an extra level of precaution for guests and associates.
  • More hand sanitizing stations around Marriott’s hotels particularly near the entrances and front desks, elevator banks, fitness areas, and meeting spaces.
  • Read more here.

Read our full review of Moxy Chelsea

The Freehand New York

freehand hotel review 2

Book Freehand New York starting at $125 per night

The Freehand New York is a good pick for budget-conscious travelers who want convenience and personality from their accommodations, but also something nice to look at.

Art-filled accommodations are steeped in character with reasonable prices. From cheap bunk bed options to spacious suites, Freehand is a sleek stay for those seeking something lesser-known than Ace Hotel.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 309 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Pros: Hip and cool with excellent on-site food and drink.

Cons: Street noise bleeds into rooms and may make sleep difficult if you’re sensitive to it.

COVID-19 procedures: The Freehand hotel brand has implemented new policies across all properties that include:

  • Online check-in options.
  • All food and beverage offerings will be grab-and-go.
  • Masks and other hygiene products are available for purchase in travel shops and vending machines.
  • Deep cleaning increased throughout the hotels.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review of Freehand New York

Sister City New York

Sister City: An affordable boutique hotel in New York

Book Sister City New York starting at $134 per night

Sister City is a new spin-off property from the creative studio behind Ace Hotel that caters to the experienced, and busy, traveler. Self-service tablets guide guests through check-in, while amenities and housekeeping are on demand.

It’s a smart approach for savvy guests looking to avoid the pain points of crowded, more traditional hotels and prefer an individualistic approach.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 42 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: Affordable prices and a self-service approach helps things to run smoothly. Check-in is a breeze.

Cons: Some might find the self-service stand-offish. Rooms can feel small for two people.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is not currently open and has not yet stated when it expects to reopen.   

Read our full hotel review of Sister City New York

Park South Hotel

King Bedroom Park South

Book Park South Hotel starting at $158 per night

Rooms at the Park South Hotel are relatively straightforward, but recent renovations have made it a highly-reviewed hotel in Manhattan’s NoMad neighborhood. It belongs to World of Hyatt’s Joie de Vivre boutique portfolio and has a standout culinary program that might very well upstage the tasteful rooms.

With prices in low season starting at $150s, it’s very reasonable for a well-appointed four-star hotel.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 69 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10

Pros: Excellent on-site food and drink with competitive pricing for a four-star hotel.

Cons: Pricing is unstable and can surge hundreds higher than is typical otherwise.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is currently closed until April 1, 2021.

Read our full hotel review for Park South Hotel

Sixty SoHo

Sixty SoHo Bathroom

Book Sixty SoHo starting at $162 per night

If you’re set on SoHo and have a budget for something more spacious than Arlo’s micro-sized rooms, look to Sixty SoHo. The hip hotel places you in style-minded accommodations right near equally fashionable shopping and dining.

The hotel is so cool, that some guests complain of staff members being snobby o unaccommodating, though we didn’t experience that at all. A basic Queen Superior starts at a very accessible price, but prices can fluctuate wildly.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 98 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.7 out of 10

Pros: Fancy digs with a SoHo address.

Cons: Rooms prices can be expensive and fluctuate.

COVID-19 procedures: All Sixty Hotels are implementing new procedures that include:

  • Check-in/check-out kiosks available for contactless service.
  • UV lights are used on guest’s luggage and HVAC systems to promote filtration.
  • Rooms are left to “rest” between guests according to health expert guidance.
  • Rooms are only serviced and sanitized before check-in and after check-out unless requested otherwise by guests.
  • The front desk has been equipped with a plexiglass screen.
  • Compressed spray cleaners and electrostatic spray cleaners have been implemented.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review for Sixty SoHo

The Knickerbocker

Knick bed
The King-sized bed in my deluxe room was outfitted in crisp Sferra linens.

Book the Knickerbocker Hotel starting at $168 per night

The Knick is one of the nicer hotels in Times Square. Rooms are higher-end than what you’ll find at some of the big brand counterparts in this tourist mecca, with good on-site food and drink, including a great rooftop bar overlooking the action. If you’re booking a room in Times Square, you’re likely spending most of your time outside of it, but The Knick is a great option for those who want a chic place to retreat.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 56 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: Luxury-leaning hotel in Times Square with nicer rooms than many nearby counterparts for roughly the same price.

Cons: It’s Times Square, so it can be noisy both from outside traffic and inside from fellow guests.

COVID-19 procedures: The hotel has implemented new policies that include:

  • Touchless hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the hotel
  • More frequent cleanings with EPA-rated hospital-grade disinfectants.
  • Guests receive sealed safety kits containing a face mask, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
  • All hotel workers and guests are required to wear face masks and gloves.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review of The Knickerbocker

The Park Terrace Hotel

Park Terrace bed
My extremely comfortable bed in a Studio View Suite.

Book the Park Terrace Hotel starting at $189 per night

The Park Terrace is a great base for those who love boutique hotels and want to be near Times Square, but not actually thrust into it. Little details shine here, from amenity closets available to guests on each floor to the tranquil terrace, and great breakfast buffet. I also liked how it had personality without feeling stuffy. The hotel’s published rates start at $300, but I spied deals on Booking.com as low as $195 per night.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 19 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 9.1 out of 10

Pros: The low-key boutique vibe across from Bryant Park, self-serve amenities, and New York-inspired breakfast buffet.

Cons: It’s expensive in high season and standard rooms are small.

COVID-19 procedures: The Park Terrace Hotel has a new ‘Certified Safe & Clean’ program based on expert advice and guidance that includes:

  • Contactless check-in options via the mobile app or website.
  • Plexiglass shields installed at front desks.
  • Once cleaned, rooms will be sealed by the cleaning staff and only broken by the guest entering the room.
  • All amenities provided will be single-use.
  • Increased cleaning of all HVAC systems.
  • Read more here.

Read our full review of the Park Terrace Hotel

Library Hotel by Library Collection

The Library Hotel   lobby

Book Library Hotel, starting at $195 per night

The four-star Library Hotel, by Library Hotel Collection in Midtown, New York is a book lover’s paradise, but there’s plenty to adore even if you don’t consider yourself a bibliophile.

The highly-reviewed property consistently ranks within Trip Advisor‘s top 10 hotels in New York City. It has a charming, whimsical vibe thanks to themed floors and over 6,000 book titles available to peruse. Rooms tend to be small, but perks such as wine and cheese receptions, 24/7 snacks and refreshments, and breakfast included add value.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 3 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 9.2 out of 10

Pros: Perks such as happy hour, lounge access, and breakfast included in room rates.

Cons: Rooms feel dated and not as stylish as other NYC hotels.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is closed for reservations until April 2021.

Read our full hotel review of Library Hotel

 

The Williamsburg Hotel

Williamsburg Hotel King Terrace View
Golden hour from the terrace of a King Studio room.

Book The Williamsburg Hotel starting at $199 per night

Williamsburg in Brooklyn is much like the boutique concept itself, with local artisan wares, small-batch products, and hip intrigue spilling out from most restaurants, bars, and storefronts. The Williamsburg Hotel curates this approach with meticulously-curated style, panoramic city views, and wonderful on-site food and drink that locals love, too.

The hotel channels the neighborhood’s cool factor, weaving it through guestroom offerings and products, pop-up shops in the lobby, and weekly programming that includes anything from basket weaving and flower arranging to music sets and facials. While other area hotels are overtly modern and luxe, the Williamsburg Hotel is both, but with a more intimate, laid-back vibe. 

Trip Advisor Ranking: 4 of 89 hotels in Brooklyn

Hotels.com Rating: 8.2 out of 10

Pros: Guests receive priority access to the popular rooftop water tower bar and trendy pool scene. Rooms are well-designed and the gem-toned tiled bathrooms are gorgeous.

Cons: Entry-level rooms are very small and not soundproofed from other hotel guests. Splurging on a suite is really the only way to avoid both pain points.

COVID-19 procedures: The Williamsburg Hotel has implemented new policies that include:

  • All bed linens are changed daily and washed at a high temperature. They have also increased the frequency of air filter replacement.
  • Common areas are sanitized every hour.
  • All venues will be at 50% capacity until WHO guidelines are lifted. 
  • Sanitizing safety kits are given to all guests.
  • Rooms are cleaned with hospital-grade cleaning supplies including a virucide and hand sanitizer agent which is used on all surfaces.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review for The Williamsburg Hotel

The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel

The Beekman levels

Book The Beekman starting at $224 per night

Behind a historic, yet unassuming facade, The Beekman Hotel is a jewel hiding in plain sight. Housed in a New York City landmark building dating back to 1881, the hotel features a breathtakingly preserved nine-story atrium. We spent the night in a suite, and while lovely, your money is just as well spent in a more affordable Superior Queen, which feels equally iconic.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 32 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 9 out of 10

Pros: Incredible architecture, friendly service, great on-site food and drink.

Cons: Many previous guests have complained of noise.

COVID-19 procedures: The Beekman has new policies in place that include:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols using EPA-registered disinfectants throughout the property.
  • Guestrooms remain vacant for a minimum of 24 hours prior to the next guests’ arrival for the foreseeable future.
  • They have removed certain high-touch items from guestrooms.
  • Guests have the option to schedule housekeeping service at their preferred time should they wish. 
  • New in-room fitness and wellness experiences have been designed.
  • The Hotel’s fitness center abides by limited capacity guidelines and is available to guests by appointment only.

Read our full hotel review of The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge Dumbo King
There’s a partition dividing the bed from the partially open bathroom.

Book 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge starting at $257 per night

One of the best things about the rooms at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge are the stunning floor-to-ceiling views of Manhattan and, of course, the Brooklyn Bridge. But when you close the drapes, the abundant reclaimed wood, repurposed materials, living plants, and soothing neutral colors make it feel like you’ve escaped to a woodsy Scandinavian cabin. It’s a total respite with front door access to Brooklyn Bridge Park and is another top hotel for Brooklyn.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 15 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: Cool rooms make thoughtful use of the size so standard offerings don’t feel like a compromise, plus the waterfront location and city views.

Cons: The bathroom provides little, if any, privacy.

COVID-19 procedures: All 1 Hotels are implementing new policies that include:

  • Properties sanitized using hospital-grade EPA approved agents and virus-eliminating UV technologies.
  • High touchpoints sanitized multiple times per day using UV technologies.
  • All guests will be given wellness kits upon arrival and luggage and packages will be sanitized using UV technology.
  • Guestrooms will be thoroughly sanitized and sealed prior to guests entering.
  • Read more here.

Read our full review of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

The William Vale

William Vale Balcony
My balcony was a prime perch for the Manhattan skyline at sunset (and all day), and I particularly enjoyed lounging on the daybed.

Book The William Vale starting at $260 per night

The William Vale in Williamsburg is one of the best hotels in Brooklyn with sleek rooms, a popular pool scene, and the on-site rooftop bar Westlight and Italian restaurant Leuca, both of which easily warrant a visit on their own.

It’s one of the more expensive options on this list, but for good reason. All rooms have balconies with unparalleled views. While holidays and weekends can start at upwards of $500 per night, flexible travelers looking to book midweek or in winter will find deals under $350. For a special occasion, consider upgrading to a suite or Manhattan view. Come sunset, you won’t regret it.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 8 of 89 hotels in Brooklyn

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: All rooms boast balconies with unbeatable views, and the on-site food and drink scene is worth a trip on its own.

Cons: It’s expensive and starter rooms will feel very small for what is still an expensive price. Consider an upgrade to a suite to feel more worth it, but it will cost you.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel has implemented new policies that include:

  • Assigning every other guest room to ensure plenty of space in rooms and on balconies.
  • All hard and bathroom surfaces are disinfected with EPA list cleaners between guests.
  • Turndown service is by request only.
  • Lobby seating has been rearranged for social distancing and you must make reservations to use the gym to avoid overcrowding.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review of The William Vale

The Conrad New York Downtown

Conrad New York
The bed in the aptly named Hudson River View King Suite was incredibly plush and comfy.

Book Conrad New York Downtown starting at $269 per night

Many visitors fixate on Midtown, but the Conrad New York Downtown offers a more local experience in a neighborhood where real New Yorkers actually spend time.

An all-suite offering, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more spacious accommodations in all of downtown Manhattan. The five-star hotel carries a higher price tag, but the added space makes staying here feel like you’ve landed a great New York apartment.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 24 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 9.1 out of 10

Pros: All-suite rooms offer more than double the space of typical NYC hotel rooms for similar pricing.

Cons: Not everyone will love being in TriBeCa, which can feel far from uptown neighborhoods and attractions.

COVID-19 procedures: Conrad is part of the Hilton family and will be following Hilton’s new ‘CleanStay with Lysol protections’ that include:

  • Hilton CleanStay Room Seal indicating guest rooms haven’t been accessed between cleaning and when guests enter.
  • Extra cleaning in rooms of high-touch surfaces and increased cleaning frequency of public areas.
  • Enhanced cleaning for fitness centers.
  • Contactless check-in/check-out options.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review of Conrad New York Downtown

Andaz 5th Avenue

Bedroom Andaz Fifth Avenue NYC

Book Andaz 5th Avenue starting at $371 per night

Andaz 5th Avenue, a World of Hyatt member, has an excellent Midtown location beloved by tourists and business travelers for the convenience it offers. The high-end hotel is known for being a dependable, fashionable brand, though, that solid reputation means rooms feel a bit generic. But they’re recently renovated and spacious. We stayed in a suite but solidly stand behind their Standard King Room as the best choice.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 91 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10

Pros: A central location near all major tourist activity and business hubs without being thrust in the frenzy of crowds, plus spacious rooms.

Cons: Room design feels a bit generic, and housekeeping could pay better attention to detail.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is has new policies in place that include:

  • Hourly cleaning and sanitization of frequently touched surfaces.
  • Hyatt hotels are conducting guest and staff temperature checks.
  • Guests are required to wear face masks or coverings in hotel indoor public areas.
  • All room service orders will be delivered to the door.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review for Andaz 5th Avenue

Loews Regency New York Hotel

Loews regency manhattan suite living room
The Manhattan suite comes with a spacious living room, kitchenette, and two bathrooms.

Book Loews Regency New York starting at $459 per night

Loews is a posh five-star hotel in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, close to Central Park and Midtown, and is popular with travelers in search of something a bit more mature (aside from the Real Housewives of New York City antics that have taken place here, of course) with a mix of older couples and business types, as well as families seeking more room for their brood. 

Rooms are spacious with elegant, but traditional decor, and suites are apartment-style with terraces and marble bathrooms. It’s not as splashy as some hipper counterparts, but this luxury property delivers on a classic hotel experience you can count on to be elegant, well-styled, and more than comfortable.

Trip Advisor Ranking: 55 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10

Pros: Rooms are generously-appointed, whether you opt for a standard room or a suite, and a large gym, and on-site spa and salon from a celebrity stylist sweeten the deal.

Cons: Some rooms have little to no view, or come with street traffic on lower floors.

COVID-19 procedures: All Loews properties have implemented new policies that include:

  • Hand sanitation stations added to front desks, spas, fitness centers, and other high traffic areas.
  • Contactless experiences via a hotel app for access to in-room TVs, ordering room service, and communicating with the concierge or front desk.
  • Team members and guests will be required to wear masks in public areas.
  • Read more here.

Read our full hotel review of Loews Regency New York Hotel

The Chatwal

The Chatwal Hotel bed

Book The Chatwal starting at $500 per night

The Chatwal is another higher-end property we’ve deemed worth the cost given its coveted Midtown location, old school Manhattan glam, five-star service, and sizeable rooms.

Rooms start at $500 per night, which isn’t cheap but is accurately priced for such a top-tier hotel in Manhattan. It’s actually cheaper than other ritzier counterparts. As a Marriott Bonvoy property, it’s a good place to cash in on points if the price tag still seems out of reach, too. 

Trip Advisor Ranking: 89 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 9.1 out of 10

Pros: The five-star service with personal butler and Broadway concierge is excellent and will make you feel like Upper East Side royalty.

Cons: Room prices are expensive and might be out of reach for many.

COVID-19 procedures: The Chatwal is not currently open and has not stated when they will be reopening.

Read our full hotel review of The Chatwal

Conrad New York Midtown

conrad atrium
The Atrium Suite comes with a gorgeous terrace.

Book Conrad New York Midtown starting at $508 per night

Where the Conrad New York Downtown in TriBeCa might be considered straight-laced and traditional, the brand’s newer outpost in Midtown is contemporary and youthful, with a design-heavy approach favoring rich gem-tone velvet upholstery, modern light fixtures, and prominent art.

Like its downtown sibling, all rooms are suites with standard entry-level offerings that feel more pied-a-terre than a generic hotel room. It’s a great option for newcomers eager to explore from a well-placed, five-star base that is steps from Central Park, Rockefeller Center, MoMA, and the Theater District. 

Trip Advisor Ranking: 296 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 8.2 out of 10

Pros: All rooms are spacious, offering great value for families or those on a longer stay who want apartment-style accommodations without sacrificing comfort or style.

Cons: Suites are pretty incredible and also pretty costly, and may seem redundant when all rooms are some sort of suite.

COVID-19 procedures: This hotel is not accepting reservations until May. It will be following Hilton’s new ‘CleanStay with Lysol protections’ that include:

  • Hilton CleanStay Room Seal indicating guest rooms haven’t been accessed between cleaning and when guests enter.
  • Extra cleaning in rooms of high-touch surfaces and increased cleaning frequency of public areas.
  • Enhanced cleaning for fitness centers.
  • Contactless check-in/check-out options.
  • Read more here.

Read our full review of Conrad New York Midtown

Baccarat Hotel

Baccarat Hotel

Book Baccarat Hotel starting at $745 per night

Baccarat Hotel is regarded as one of the best hotels in New York City, if not the world, and it’s easy to see why. The elegant property, owned by the French fine crystal brand of the same name, is teeming with crystal fixtures, glassware, and chandeliers from the high-end line, everywhere from common areas, guest rooms, and even elevators.

But the opulent look is substance as well as style, with impeccable service, painstaking attention to detail, and gleaming rooms that feel like the kind of place James Bond might stay (truly, there are even doors fashioned out of wall panels).

Trip Advisor Ranking: 23 of 511 hotels in New York City

Booking.com Rating: 9.2 out of 10

Pros: Rooms are immaculate, and so is every nook and corner of the hotel, for that matter. The hotel is exceptionally elegant and refined, while still remaining warm and welcoming. On-site food served in the Salon is not to be missed.

Cons: The entry-level price is very expensive for what’s still a standard room that would go for far less at other luxury hotels on this list. Plus, even the purported best hotel in New York isn’t perfect — the noise from the TV in the next room was quite audible during my stay.

COVID-19 procedures: The Baccarat Hotel has new policies in place that include:

  • The hotel will be completely sanitized using EPA-approved sanitizing agents and disinfected by an accredited third-party company.
  • All accommodations will remain unoccupied at least 24-hours between guest arrivals.
  • Everyone entering the building must undergo temperature checks, and masks are required to be worn in all public areas and outside of your guestroom. 
  • Only two guests are allowed in each elevator at any given time, with exception given to larger parties traveling together.  
  • In-room dining’s limited hours are from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Read more here.

Read our full review of Baccarat Hotel

More New York hotel inspiration

the high line hotel new york
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6 safer, expert-backed vacation ideas during the pandemic, whether you’re taking a last-minute spring break trip or planning ahead for summer

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All our ideas on safer summer travel 4x3

  • Despite the pandemic, many US travelers are eager to take a spring break vacation, but safely.
  • For safer vacation ideas during COVID, we compiled options based on expert advice and research.
  • From remote hotels near beaches to vacation rentals and road trip essentials, consider these ideas.

Table of Contents

With vaccine rollouts well underway, it finally feels like there might soon be light at the end of the tunnel. However, the pandemic continues across the country, and some are worried that spring break trips could lead to new spikes in cases. Though pandemic fatigue may be setting in, it’s still vital to seek safe vacation ideas for closer-t0-home getaways right now.

For those of us wondering if it is safe to travel right now, the answer depends on many variables, namely, how you plan to do so, where you want to go, the rates of infection in your chosen destination, and your anticipated behavior once you arrive.

To help determine the risks associated with each mode of travel during COVID, we reached out to experts including infectious disease and ER doctors, cleaning specialists, travel industry professionals, and representatives from major rental cars, hotels, Airbnb, and transportation organizations, to reveal both the risks and best practices associated with various forms of lodging and safe travel during COVID. We’ve also taken into account the latest guidance from the CDC.

Of course, it’s impossible to guarantee any place other than your home is safe right now. The pandemic is an evolving situation and it’s crucial to follow guidelines set forth by organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practice safety measures, no matter where you go, including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. Additionally, consider quarantine mandates for your destination, as well as your own level of risk and whether you’re traveling from or to a hotspot, so as not to increase the rate of infection.

However, if you’re fully vaccinated, Dr. Thomas Russo, chief of the division of infectious disease at the University at Buffalo, does note that “flying, travel, and life, in general, is significantly safer.”

But that doesn’t mean you’re totally in the clear. “The vaccines are very good, but they’re not perfect. While you’re much less likely to transmit the disease or get it, there is still a chance,” says Dr. Russo.

The CDC advises that even those who are vaccinated should continue to wear masks in public areas. Additionally, keep in mind that you need to be at least two weeks out from receiving your final dose to be considered fully vaccinated.

If you do want to take a safe vacation during COVID and are seeking safer spring break ideas, we compiled several options based on expert insight that suggests travel this year will stick close to home, with travelers choosing safer travel alternatives to traditional choices. Think regional road trips over far-flung flights, lodging that prioritizes hotels with stringent COVID policies, and private vacation rentals instead of crowded resorts. Both Airbnb and Vrbo have seen an uptick in bookings compared to last year and, according to Airbnb, domestic vacation rentals will continue to be a trend throughout 2021.

From beaches and mountains to lakes and islands, as well as private vacation home rentals, remote hotels, and how to prepare for a road trip, the following list includes close to home vacation ideas during coronavirus. Additionally, if a spring ski trip is on your list, start with this guide where we break down if skiing is safe, all the changes to expect at ski resorts this year, plus expert-backed recommendations for precautions to take.

Travel looks different right now, but it’s still ready and willing to welcome you as safely as possible.

Here are 6 ways to take a safe vacation during COVID:

Book a socially distant hotel stay

We already know that most major hotel chains have announced wide-reaching new cleaning policies made in combination with health experts. These policies focus on social distancing and contact-free transactions such as virtual check-in and out, digital keys, limited dining, and more.

However, the experts we interviewed still feel that the answer to the question ‘Are hotels safe during coronavirus’ is highly subjective and depends on whether an individual also takes proper protective measures like wearing a mask, distancing, and disinfecting.

best santa fe hotels four seasons rancho encantado

If you swear by staying in hotels, make sure the property has announced rigorous new cleaning measures, and look for signs they are implementing such procedures, from check-in to common spaces like the elevator or pool, and of course, in your room. Some are even promoting COVID-friendly WFH – work from hotel – travel deals aimed at the socially distant traveler. Also, consider more remote properties with plenty of wide-open spaces and outdoor-friendly amenities.

If you’re worried about flexibility, many hotels are offering more generous cancellation policies right now than usual.

To help facilitate a socially distant hotel stay, the following destinations and hotels all detail new COVID policies and are well-suited for a domestic getaway. Think wide stretches of beaches, remote mountain retreats, idyllic island escapes, and other places that embrace the great outdoors.

Book a private vacation rental to limit interactions with others

After breaking down the risks of both hotels and vacation rentals such as Vrbo or Airbnb, the doctors and experts we spoke with agreed private vacation homes are likely safer than hotels because they come with fewer person-to-person interactions.

“While there is no question hotels are working diligently to keep their hotels clean and sanitized, Airbnb has a huge advantage given that the renter is generally the only one occupying the property,” said Dr. Neil Brown, K Health’s chief diagnosis officer. “With Airbnb’s new Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, the company provides a better option than public hotel spaces,” he said.

Additionally, the CDC’s current lodging guidelines note that private vacation rentals with members of your own household are a safer option than hotels or staying with family.

Airbnb

For those who like social distancing of aspect of vacation rentals, but prefer the comforts of hotels, consider in-between options like Sonder or Marriott Homes & Villas, which offer professionally managed vacation rentals with hotel-like amenities.

We detailed everything to know about vacation rentals, from what to know about Airbnb’s new cleaning protocol to the platform’s COVID cancellation policies and Airbnb Plus program, plus key differences between Airbnb and other vacation home rental sites such as Vrbo.

If you’re ready to hit the road, these are some of the best places in the US to rent a vacation home right now:

Nationwide

Northeast

The South

Midwest

West

Hawaii

Plan a socially distant road trip during COVID

Remember when planning a road trip simply meant queueing up a great playlist and stocking up on snacks?

These days, they’re one of the safer-seeming ways to travel while limiting exposure, especially compared to planes, trains, and other mass transit. And should you feel any discomfort, or worse, become sick, you can hop back in the car and drive home.

road trip

From expert-recommended precautions to take and products to pack, to getaways that are close to home, scenic drives, and more, here are our top tips and ways to hit the road right now:

Camp somewhere remote

If you want to get away and embrace nature, but feel uncomfortable checking into a hotel or private lodging, there are plenty of other outdoor options from camping to glamping that make it easy to avoid crowds.

Book a home on wheels or pack your gear into the car and pitch a tent. These ideas all afford a charming level of rustic charm where you can control just how much, or little, you encounter the rest of the world. Even in colder areas, camping can be a cozy option, provided you bring plenty of warm supplies and a heavier sleeping bag. You may also want to consider car camping or truck camping to help ensure you’re plenty warm.

Consider safer alternatives to traditional travel

Ultimately, if you plan to head out on a trip, consider adapting your vacation plans in ways that provide safer alternatives that can help can reduce your risk of virus exposure while away from home.

To come up with a list of safer approaches to air travel, ground transportation, lodging, activities, and more, we culled the advice from our interviews with experts – including medical, sanitization, and travel industry professionals.

travel during the coronavirus

Do note, however, that many public health and medical professionals (including some of those we talked to) still advise limiting nonessential travel in the pandemic, as it poses inherent risks.

Here are four safer travel ideas based on expert advice – public charters over commercial flights, private home rentals overcrowded resorts, and much more

Work with a travel agent

While many travelers previously booked travel independently, some are returning to travel agents. These seasoned professionals have spent years in the business and are well-equipped to help clients identify viable locations with vetted, flexible policies. They may also have better insights into new practices at specific hotels to help determine how clean and safe they will be, and whether facilities and amenities may be impacted.

Their advice is to plan now, travel later (most of their clients are looking to travel between March and May of 2021), book refundable options, be aware of cleaning policies, try to travel domestically or close to home, opt for socially distant places, take advantage of deals, and assess your own comfort level with risk before booking.

Read the full story on key takeaways to learn from travel agents and tour operators about how to book travel right now, and into next year.

For more reporting on whether it’s safe to travel right now, click a link below to jump directly to related coverage:

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 15 best Airbnbs in Maine, from an apartment in Portland to a cottage inside Acadia National Park

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best maine airbnbs trenton oceanside cottage

  • Maine offers East Coasters a scenic seaside getaway, scenic fall leaf-peeping, and a cozy winter escape.
  • Maine is especially ideal for easy access to the outdoors, picturesque scenery, and plenty of lobster.
  • We found top-rated Maine Airbnbs for various budgets, ranging from $65 to $395 per night to start.

Though vaccine rollouts are underway, many travelers are still seeking safe vacations within driving distance. For East Coasters, Maine is a charming coastal getaway ideal in every season.

Whether you want to snap a photo of the iconic Portland Head Lighthouse, hike in stunning Acadia National Park, watch the waves roll in, or explore downtown Portland, Maine has it all and then some.

For those worried about whether Airbnbs are safe, consider that experts say staying at an Airbnb as opposed to a hotel is actually one of the safest travel options right now due to fewer interactions with others. Airbnb also rolled out the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol, which all hosts must now adhere to that includes strict policies on personal protective equipment, approved disinfectants, and requires all hosts and guests to agree to a new safety mandate.

However, it’s important to note that there is still no guarantee as to safety right now. We recommend following guidelines and advice from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and practicing safety measures including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining social distancing. 

If you do decide to head north to Maine, be sure to read their local guidelines for the most up-to-date info. Currently, travelers from visiting from anywhere besides New Hampshire or Vermont will require a negative COVID test or a 10-day quarantinte. 

If a trip to Maine is still on your radar, there are plenty of affordable and beautiful Airbnb options to consider.

I chose the best Maine Airbnbs based on the following parameters:

  1. All listings are for entire homes, in line with current expert recommendations for safety.
  2. All are highly-rated Airbnb listings with a rating of 4.8 or higher.
  3. Decor isn’t run of the mill. All properties incorporate unique furniture, accents, and exceptional attention to detail. 
  4. The properties range in price from $65 to $395 per night to start, though peak seasons may see higher rates. 
  5. Homes have availability in the coming weeks and months, as of the time of publishing, or are so special, they’re worth booking far in advance.

These are the best Airbnbs in Maine, sorted by price from low to high.

Lakefront cottage in Waltham, $65

best maine airbnb lakefront cottage

Book this lake cottage starting at $65 per night

I’m not sure what’s more alluring — this cottage’s serene lake setting or its incredibly affordable price point.

The waterfront listing is set on Graham Lake in the middle of a small working farm. During warmer months, guests can fish, kayak or canoe, while a gas fireplace creates a cozy atmosphere for chilly nights. In any season, the closed-in porch is a relaxing setting for catching a stunning sunset.

This listing has a few scattered dates open over the next several months. More dates open up in the fall.

Beachy bolthole in Lisbon, $67

best maine airbnbs beachy bolthole

Book this beach apartment starting at $67 per night

It’s extremely rare to find a vetted Airbnb Plus listing for such an affordable price, but that’s what is waiting here in Maine along the Androscoggin River.

This beach-themed hideout is expertly designed with pops of breezy turquoise, white decor, and seashell accents.  This property is ideal for those seeking to get out of town and enjoy nature as both beaches and scenic walking trails are within easy driving distance.

One recent reviewer gave the property five stars, saying  “Close to restaurants and close to Topsham, which is a good shopping area. The apartment is very clean, comfortable, and very well decorated. It had everything we needed for our stay.”

This Airbnb still has scattered dates open over the next few months, including a few summer weekend dates still available. There is wide-open availability starting in the fall.

Village cottage in Camden, $73

best maine airbnbs camden cottage

Book this Camden cottage starting at $73 per night

Enjoy a cozy couple’s getaway for well under $100 per night with this quiet cottage near the coast. Its secluded location may appeal to those looking for a place where social distancing is possible, but it’s also within easy walking distance to the nearby village for those who do want to explore the town. While the kitchen is small, it comes with all the basics, and the porch area is a cheerful place to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.

One recent reviewer found it to be “super cozy,” continuing on to say, “My girlfriend & I stayed here and had a wonderful time — it’s the perfect size for a couple. I found myself enjoying the little front porch the most. Close to some great hikes and the town of Camden is very charming. Great for a getaway!”

There are still some dates including a few summer weekends available in the next few months, but this listing is filling up quickly.

Kettle Cove apartment in Cape Elizabeth, $115

best maine airbnbs kettle cove

Book this cove apartment starting at $115 per night

Situated between Kettle Cove and Crescent Beach State Park, this home comes with water views and a great location. Two Lights State Park is less than a mile away, iconic Portland Head Lighthouse is right nearby, and Portland’s acclaimed local restaurants are just a short drive into the city. Ice cream lovers can also satiate their sweet tooth with a walk to Kettle Cove Creamery before falling asleep to the sound of gentle waves. 

While guests do have the entire first-floor apartment to themselves with a separate, private entrance, the apartment is attached to the main house and sits below the upstairs apartment, it might not be a good option if you’re looking for complete seclusion.

This property has limited availability until the fall, but inventory is subject to change.

Cozy cabin in Freeport, $126

best maine airbnbs freeport cottage

Book this cabin starting at $126 per night

You may know this northern coastal spot as the home of L.L. Bean and its famous giant boot photo op, and if you plan to explore the area or check out the Adventure Schools of L.L. Bean, consider making this cute cabin your home base.

The four-season abode is open in all seasons, but during warmer months, guests can enjoy eating or relaxing on the outdoor patio. The owners also implement a fun “Take a Beer-Leave a Beer” policy: guests are welcome to an assortment of free beers in the fridge, and are invited to leave one behind to replenish the stash. The space is quaint and on the small side, so it’s best for couples who want to cozy up together or solo adventurers. 

April still has a few open dates and May is wide open.

Camp Wigwam lake cottage in Greenwood, $139

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Book this cottage starting at $139 per night

This is a solid option for families since the property features two bedrooms, one of which is outfitted with bunk beds. Despite being inland, the lakefront location means you can still be on the water, which is fun in every season for outdoor activities ranging from skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing to hiking, boating, and swimming. Guests also have access to kayaks, so getting on the lake is easy. 

There’s still plenty of open dates over the next few months, though summer is already quickly filling up.

City nest in Portland, $143

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Book this city apartment starting at $143 per night

This spacious two-bedroom apartment has a cozy vintage vibe with high ceilings, a brick fireplace, and crown molding.

Close to all that Portland has to offer, it’s a short five-minute walk to the start of downtown and 15 mins to the Old Port. There’s a small, makeshift yoga room next to the balcony with two yoga mats, a foam roller, and two meditation cushions. Guests also have access to a coin-operated washer and dryer in the basement.

This property has plenty of availability for the next several months.

Tree house in Georgetown, $192

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Book this tree house starting at $192 per night

If you’ve always wanted to sleep among the pine branches, here’s your chance. Part tree house, part tiny house, this spot is 25 miles from Portland and features two elevated structures connected by a rope bridge.

One area includes the King-sized bed and idyllic river views, while the second structure houses the small kitchen and dining area, as well as a screen-in porch complete with rocking chairs. Use of kayaks and canoes are included with the rental and the 21-acre property is shared with one other one-bedroom treehouse.

This Airbnb is extremely popular and has limited availability.

Oceanside house in Trenton, $195

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Book this oceanfront home starting at $195 per night

Just a 15-minute drive from the beauty and splendor of Acadia National Park, this oceanfront cottage offers panoramic views of the waves, Mount Desert Island, and Cadillac Mountain. For lobster fans, three premier lobster pounds are within walking distance.

A large deck outfitted with a gas grill, fire pit, and roasting sticks makes for a nice spot to enjoy dinner, roast marshmallows, or watch a sunset. The property is also pet-friendly, so four-legged friends can join the trip.

There are still scattered dates and weekends available over the next few months, with full availability starting in September.

Historic home in Portland, $202

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Book this historic home starting at $202 per night

This chic two-bedroom property is an Airbnb Plus listing, which means it’s been vetted for exceptional quality and design, and includes one-of-kind details and curated amenities to ensure a comfy, above-average stay.

Original pumpkin pine floors, nine-foot ceilings, exposed brick, and sunny rooms are just some of the charms found in this 177-year-old Greek revival home. Plus, the lively city of Portland is right at your fingertips and many of the best spots are within walking distance.

This listing has a few dates open in March and April with plenty of open dates starting in May.

Timber-frame cottage in Pownal, $229

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Book this timber-frame cottage starting at $229 per night

This upscale Airbnb Plus listing is an idyllic spot to post up in a woodsy inland setting. The loft-style cottage is a true cozy retreat with its A-frame, wood-burning fireplace, and chic but rustic decor. A fire pit outdoors completes the feel.

One recent review raves, “This is the perfect Maine getaway cottage. The location could not be better with a 15-minute drive to Freeport and a 25-minute drive to Portland. Vianna offered many ideas for things to do and made us feel at home with a bottle of wine and a note upon arrival. There was no detail spared, everything about the cottage was thoughtfully picked out and placed to give it a well put together look. Once we left, the first thought that crossed our minds was “when will we be back?” this place leaves you wishing your stay was longer.”

There are scattered dates open over the next few months and full availability starting in September. It may be worth booking a fall getaway now.

Charming country cottage in Boothbay Harbor, $234

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Book this cottage starting at $234 per night

This romantic escape features carefully curated antique furnishings in an idyllic natural setting. Lucky guests might even catch a glimpse of deer eating apples in the garden from the second-floor bedroom.

An Airbnb Plus listing, the home sleeps up to three guests and features calming all-white interiors with pops of fresh flowers. The balcony and large backyard are both ideal spots for enjoying a cup of coffee or winding down at the end of the day. The outdoor shower and fire pit are additional perks that set this listing apart. 

The hosts have a perfect 5.0 rating and consistently go above and beyond for guests. One recent reviewer raved, “Suzie left us a bottle of wine (sanitized!) and the most insane cheese to welcome us to the home. The design and decor was so charming and unique, and the location was excellent for hiking/outdoor activities and of course for eating some delish lobster. We loved the fire pit, which they graciously supplied ample wood for (and even refilled for us!). At the end of the stay, Suzie left us with some lovely fresh grown lavender to take home.”

This popular property has limited availability, but there are still a few scattered dates available in April and June.

  

Classic Maine house in Phippsburg, $238

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Book this classic home starting at $238 per night

This recently built house is just an hour north of Portland and right by beautiful Popham Beach. Great for large groups and families, the four-bedroom home sleeps up to 10 guests.

Standout features include the eat-in kitchen with breakfast nook, cute decorations such as lobster pillows, and the screened-in back porch with rocking chairs. The home is stocked with everything from kitchenware and a washer/dryer to kayaks and beach toys.

This property is very popular and has very limited availability, but there may be cancellations.

Seaside cottage on Somes Sound, $364

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Book this seaside cottage starting at $364

This seaside cottage actually sits inside the borders of Acadia National Park and overlooks the impressive Somes Sound. Completely surrounded by wilderness and ocean, the four-season home is full of windows for watching sunsets and includes a wraparound deck, a private yoga platform, and swimming rocks. 

While this is a newer listing, the hosts are highly-rated on other properties they’ve listed and all recent guests have given the property glowing reviews. My recommendation? Snag this listing while it’s still new before the price goes up.

This popular spot is a rare find within Acadia National Park and books up fast. There are still a few dates open in May and June with more dates available starting in the fall.

Luxury canopy tree-house in Sanford, Maine, $395

maine treehouse

Book this luxury canopy tree-house starting at $395 per night on Airbnb

Perched atop a spiral staircase, you’ll enter a tree-house with a luxe feel thanks to soothing timber walls, a farmhouse-inspired full kitchen with a vintage fridge, and a Queen-sized bedroom with a custom maple headboard.

The full bathroom guarantees there’s no roughing it, with a spa-like rainfall shower that even comes with a hint of forest views. Natural light pours in through multiple windows, lighting up a cute dining nook and a sleeping loft with an additional Queen bed.

Other perks include a hide-away projector and screen to stream movies on high-speed internet, a wood stove, and a deck with a grill and private hot tub.

This listing is very popular and books up fast. Most dates are booked up until November, so it’s worth booking this listing well in advance of a future fall or winter trip.

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