When you’re looking for the best hotel, there are so many options out there. There are OTAs (online travel agencies), which typically offer deals the hotels can’t match; hotels’ own websites, which may offer perks like points and elite night credits if you book directly; and aggregators, which trawl both OTAs and hotel sites to return a compendium of results and then send you to your choice for booking. It’s a crowded field, and one that’s not always easy to navigate.
That’s especially true when it comes to hotel reviews. A new study by CivicScience found that a majority of people don’t trust any of the top review sites. And it’s not surprising: With no universal standard for rating properties, the ratings that appear on review sites are often wildly varying. In fact, a three-star property to one person might be a five-star property to another.
As a result, travelers aren’t sure which site to trust. If you’re loyal to a specific hotel chain, it’s generally best to stick with the brand website; this is where you’ll find the best deals and earn the most loyalty-style benefits, such as free nights and room upgrades. And for the rest of us, it’s helpful to know what to look for when searching.
When it comes to finding the best hotel, the most important factor is location. Choosing a hotel in the right neighborhood will make your trip feel more authentic and allow you to experience a slice of the local culture.
But the next most important factor is amenities and service. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing spa, an intimate restaurant or a well-appointed gym, the best hotels will have what you need and provide it with grace and style. And that’s particularly true for NYC, which offers the widest range of hospitality services and perks in the country.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of luxury and boutique hotels that fit the bill in every borough. From sleek, modern boutiques in the latest trendy neighborhoods to opulent luxury stays near the city’s most iconic landmarks, these hotels have something for every kind of traveler.
The Mercer’s minimalist Christian Liaigre interiors put it at the center of SoHo’s It-crowd when it opened in 1997, and the hotel continues to attract a celebrity clientele, from Kylie Jenner to Kaia Gerber to Jay Z and Kanye West. If you’re looking to stay in a piece of New York history, though, it’s hard to beat the Carlyle. This storied Manhattan icon was where Princess Diana stayed during her visit in the 1980s and John F. Kennedy spent his last days in the Big Apple, and it’s where Jackie O and her children later lived for three months after his assassination.
Located in the heart of Manhattan, the Ritz-Carlton is a 5-star hotel with everything from a luxe wellness suite to a swanky restaurant and rooftop bar. The hotel also offers a concierge and business services to help guests make the most of their time in the city.