What are the best hotels in Manhattan?

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The best hotels in Manhattan just so happen to double as some of the best accommodations in New York City’s five boroughs. Whether you book a luxuriously appointed guest room or an opulent suite, your stay at any of these Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotels in Manhattan is guaranteed to be nothing less than perfect.

You can’t beat the location of Four Seasons Hotel New York on 57th Street between Park and Fifth avenues, where the city’s best high-end shops and cultural institutions are just a short walk from the hotel entrance. If you score a guest room or suite with a terrace, however, you might find it difficult to tear yourself away from the sweeping views of Central Park and the New York City skyline — views that are particularly spectacular since this Five-Star hotel is the tallest hotel in Manhattan. If you want 360-degree views, be prepared to pay a hefty $35,000 a night to stay in the exclusive Ty Warner Penthouse suite, which features a private rooftop Zen garden for taking it all in.

For a different kind of visual entertainment, snag a seat at Calvisius Caviar Lounge — the only one of its kind in the world — and nibble on caviar small plates prepared with two types of Italian roe while sipping on a glass of bubbly in a 1930s art deco-inspired setting. Finally, to rejuvenate dehydrated skin or relax aching muscles, pay a visit to Four-Star The Spa at Four Seasons New York for one of its unbelievable signature treatments, which include the Vitamin Infusion, a hydrating facial made of vitamins A and C to help replenish moisture loss, and the Four Seasons New York Custom, a massage specifically catered to your individual needs that’s available for anywhere from 25 to 110 minutes.
As its name suggests, the Five-Star The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park has an amazing location right on world-famous Central Park — but that’s just one of many reasons why we think this is one of the top hotels in Manhattan. We love the Old World luxury seen in gilded mirrors, crown and picture molding, silk drapes, and white-gloved service.

We can’t think of a better way to kick off your stay than by visiting the second-floor La Prairie at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, which in addition to a full menu of standard body treatments and facials also has therapies catered to jet-lagged travelers, including a two-hour Travel Therapy package that includes an aromatherapy massage and hydrating facial. If relaxing in your guest room is more your speed, the plush accommodations feature amenities such as deep-soaking tubs, Frédéric Fekkai toiletries, French sateen linens, and a choice of seven pillow types to ensure you enjoy a good night’s sleep. If bird (or people) watching is of interest while you’re relaxing, book one of the Parkview rooms overlooking the city’s famed 2.5-mile long stretch of green.

The dimly lit Star Lounge is the hotel’s cozy gathering place for afternoon tea or for noshing on an eclectic assortment of cuisine such as a classic Caesar salad, miniature crab cakes, truffle macaroni and cheese or a hearty hamburger. The real draw here, however, is legendary bartender Norman Bukofzer, who according to hotel doctrine can recall drink orders from a decade ago.

The fact that Trump International Hotel & Tower New York takes up an entire city block should give you some indication as to how this luxury Five-Star hotel does things.

The hotel’s 167 guest rooms and suites, which were renovated in 2010 under the guidance of Ivanka Trump, feature extravagant touches such as European-style kitchens stocked with china, crystal glassware and Christofle serving trays, marble bathrooms, Schonbek crystal chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows affording unobstructed views of Central Park and the iconic city skyline. Those more interested in technology and convenience will appreciate the 55-inch flat-screen television, Blu-ray player and access to an iLive system, which allows you to play your iPod through a surround-sound system. For those looking for a more physical form of entertainment, the hotel’s health club covers all the bases — even if you’ve forgotten your shoes or headphones — or you can do a few laps in a 55-foot heated indoor lap pool.

When you’re ready to relax, we suggest visiting recently renovated 6,000-square-foot The Trump Spa New York for an advanced skin care treatment by celebrity skin specialist Sonya Dakar. We also recommend making dinner reservations at the hotel’s Five-Star restaurant Jean Georges, widely considered one of the best French restaurants in the world. Opt for legendary chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s special namesake tasting menu, which features several of his signature dishes such as young garlic soup with thyme and sautéed frog’s legs and a rich lobster tartine. Trust us, every single calorie is well worth it.

Though we wouldn’t blame you for making a beeline directly to your well-appointed guest room or suite after checking in at The Peninsula New York we think the perfect way to ease your way into Peninsula-style luxury is to start with a visit to 35,000-square-foot The Peninsula Spa New York, the largest hotel spa in New York and one of only two Five-Star spas in the city. We were blown away by amenities that include saunas, aromatherapy steam rooms, a glass-enclosed pool and plush relaxation areas. You’ll first unwind in the cozy Asian Tea Lounge, then be led to one of twelve treatment rooms for your scheduled treatment. You can’t go wrong with just about any service on the menu, but we particularly enjoyed the tension-relieving signature Jade Hot Stone Massage and Thai Inspired Peninsula Ceremony, which includes a relaxing foot ritual, full body wrap, dry body brushing, full body exfoliation, Thai poultice body massage and scalp massage.

After your visit you’ll go from one relaxing hideaway to another after heading back to the comfort of your guest room or suite — perhaps retreating to your spacious bathroom to take a bubble bath in your deep-soaking tub. If you’re looking for excuses to upgrade to a suite, consider the fact that you’ll gain access to one of the Peninsula’s chauffeured Mini Cooper S Clubman cars that’s available to whisk you around the city for up to three hours per day. Another bonus: Deluxe and Grand suites feature even better views of the cityscape — especially the 3,300-square-foot Peninsula Suite, which has its own Jacuzzi tub, library, dining room and baby grand piano.

The diverse dining options at The Peninsula New York are just as opulent as the spa and accommodations. Fives is the hotel’s premier restaurant, an elegant space where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner surrounded by contemporary art and be serenaded by classical music. For a twist on the old bacon and eggs, try Fives’ signature Chinese breakfast of dim sum, rice porridge and egg noodles. Like many other Five-Star hotels in New York City, The Peninsula New York also offers an afternoon tea service— and heartier fare such as an Angus sirloin burger — in The Gotham Lounge. If it’s an evening drink you’re after, head to the popular rooftop lounge Salon de Ning for killer views and cocktails with a kick.

You don’t need to be a celebrity to be escorted up to Mandarin Oriental, New York's 35th-floor lobby — that’s just one of many “standard” features of this hotel that’ll leave you feeling like a star. Due to its elevated location on floors 38 through 54 of the Time Warner Center, every one of the 202 guest rooms and 46 suites have prime views of Columbus Circle, the Hudson River and Central Park — the latter’s landscape is best appreciated in the grandiose 800- and 820-square-foot suites bearing its name.

If that’s not an option, you’ll still enjoy similarly striking panoramas in the Lobby Lounge — perhaps over afternoon tea — or the Four-Star Asian-inspired restaurant Asiate, where you can indulge in hamachi, Wagyu beef and a glass of wine from one of 1,300 bottles deliciously decorating the wall.
Another scenic spot in this Five-Star hotel featuring floor-to-ceiling windows is Five-Star The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, New York — but as you probably guessed, the views are not the only reason to pay a visit. Here you can work up a sweat in an amethyst-crystal steam room or take a dip in one of the vitality pools that’s pumped full of oxygen. Even a 15-minute soak in the pool will promote circulation and promises to increase the effectiveness of other spa services such as the signature Thai yoga massage. We fell in love with the VIP Spa Suite, which replicates some features of an Asian-style home and includes a fireplace, elevated bath and platform bed.

A New York icon open since 1904 The St. Regis New York. still holds on dearly to many old traditions such as its signature English-style butler service and potent Red Snapper (Bloody Mary) cocktail in its legendary King Cole Bar. That said, this Five-Star luxury hotel has also evolved over the years with a number of progressive additions such as Adour Alain Ducasse, the renowned chef’s onsite Four-Star restaurant. Limited seating only adds to the exclusive ambience, all dim lighting and opulent burgundy-and-gold décor. The seasonal tasting menu features French favorites like escargot and roasted rack of lamb, and can be paired with one of more than 500 choices of wine.

When it comes to accommodations at The St. Regis New York — and when money is no object — you can’t beat a stay in one of the hotel’s 10 designer and specialty suites that sport name such as Fifth Avenue, Christian Dior, Tiffany, Royal and Presidential, the latter of which features a marble foyer, dining room fit for eight and two terraces overlooking Fifth Avenue.

When it comes to providing both a pristine location and effortless elegance, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel tops the list. The Five-Star hotel is a lesson in all things classic luxury, whether you're dining at the onsite Italian eatery, Sirio Ristorante (think Mediterranean branzino or saffron risotto) or making arrangements through a Taj Royal Attaché, who's there to beckon to your every need.

Rooms at The Pierre are outfitted in a soothing palette of ivory and taupe with pops of coral and soft blue, and feature dark wood furnishings and plush beds with tufted headboards and rich fabrics. A variety of large suites have kitchens, and dining rooms, and some have large terraces with views of Central Park. One of the undeniable standout aspects of this New York City hotel, however, is it proximity to some of the area's best attractions, including prime shopping on Fifth Avenue.

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