A revamped Times Square classic
297 Rooms / 33 Suites
For those inclined to brave the wild refuge that is Times Square, check into The Knickerbocker Hotel. Here, you can revel in every delight that NYC has to offer.
Built by business titan John Jacob Astor IV, the hotel reigned as a testament to early 20th century opulence (it’s rumored to be the birthplace of the martini). The Knickerbocker helped make Times Square into a destination, until Prohibition hurt business and forced its closure.
Since its reopening in 2015, the New York City hotel has reacquired its lofty standing and remains one of the places to stay in Times Square.
Perhaps you’ll notice that the check-in desk is in the rear quadrant of the first floor. It’s designed that way to allow more space in the lobby and to provide a level of tranquility as a shield from the bustle of the sidewalk just outside the entrance.
If you’re in Times Square, you’re there for a reason — and that’s to indulge. The best advice is to plan strategically, because it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
Want to check out a Broadway show? Productions like The Lion King, The Color Purple and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical are all blocks away. There are also smaller plays and musicals dotting nearly every street in the immediate vicinity.
Need something for the kids? Try the M&M’s World store or amaze the little ones with wonders from Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! or Madame Tussauds wax museum.
There’s an excess of restaurants near the Times Square hotel as well. Everything from famed chef Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin to chains like Ruby Tuesday mark the immediate landscape.
Times Square has a reputation as the city’s entertainment epicenter, and while that’s accurate, people are also here for business. There are major law firms and corporate headquarters nearby, and the luxury hotel has a hefty roster of business clientele during the week.
To this end, rooms at the Knickerbocker value functionality as much as aesthetics. Accommodations are equipped with blackout shades and 14-inch-thick walls to help block out the sound, and the minimalist décor aims to soothe. Several of the rooms have direct views of Times Square.
The Knickerbocker has several meeting rooms (for the aforementioned business crowd) and a 2,200-square-foot multipurpose event space.
There’s also the smartly designed Saints & Sinners Fitness Center. The cutting-edge, 24-hour facility offers space for yoga, mat Pilates, cardiovascular training and heavy lifting. Most impressively, there’s a stretch cage and boxing system that was outfitted in collaboration with former New York Knick star Larry Johnson.
Charlie Palmer at The Knick, the hotel restaurant led by head chef Palmer, specializes in progressive American cuisine. The menu is approachable, but it sparkles with confidence and panache. Try the fried chicken with chipotle and paprika or the slow-roasted short rib with fingerling potatoes, lovage aioli and marinated watercress.
With 120 seats overall and 80 in the main dining room, the restaurant can accommodate a variety of party sizes, but make a reservation just to be safe.
Lastly, it should be noted that St. Cloud, the expansive rooftop bar that is open all winter, has a direct line of sight to the Times Square Ball. On New Year’s Eve, it becomes a prime location for next-level extravagance.
Inside, you’ll find a 35-foot bar turning out fine cocktails like the Pineapple Punch (Cruzan aged light rum, yellow chartreuse, lime, pineapple). The design is all black and sensuous with slate walls and open spaces. While the large space is great for crowds, there are also separate pods for private parties and a cigar bar for an added treat.
But even if you're at the hotel when Ryan Seacrest isn't in town for the countdown, St. Cloud is a popular address because of its seasonal weekend rooftop brunch.