There is nothing like visiting New York City at Thanksgiving and Christmas time, when it seems like the entire world descends on Rockefeller Center, Macy’s and other decked out city landmarks. The most budget-friendly way to visit the city at any time, but especially the holiday season, is to rent an apartment or swap homes with a city dweller looking to get away from the holiday crowds.
But New York City hotels put their best foot forward between Thanksgiving and New Year with long-coated doormen, festooned lobbies and seasonal dishes and drinks at the restaurants. With the hotel business booming there is less of an incentive to offer really good deals this year. But if you can save up and make the most of a hotel’s perks and packages, a stay will be highly memorable.
Here are a few special offers and deals that we think will make any family’s holiday visit especially merry and bright. We tried to include at least one for every budget. Maybe the ones that don’t quite fit yours will still inspire your city adventures.
10 Christmas Season Hotel Packages in NYC
1. Hurray for pumpkin pie
Or apple or pecan pie (or all three) if you prefer.
Stay at the Sofitel New York (check for the lowest rates) for some portion of Thanksgiving weekend and see the Broadway hit Waitress, about a pie-making diner waitress, for $10-$60 off the regular price. The offer includes room rates starting at $369. Show tickets can be for Wednesday, Thursday or Friday nights or a Friday matinee.
If your stay includes Thanksgiving you can book a reservation for the hotel’s holiday buffet which includes a dessert table offering up plenty of pie (not included in the package).
2. Room Service with a Parade
If you come to New York to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade once, this is probably the way to do it. Book a two night stay at the Kimpton Muse (check for the lowest everyday rates) starting on November 21.
Upon arrival ask for backpacks filled with goodies for your kids to look through while you enjoy a glass of something sparkling. Watch the parade from your suite over a room-service breakfast. Binoculars and hand warmers will help enjoy the scene below you.
For the day after Thanksgiving, the $2,000 package includes two $12 Metro cards, free admission to the Museum of Natural History and a personal shopper appointment at Bloomingdales. Book by calling 212-485-2729
3. Holidays with ice hockey
Hockey fans will want to plan a NYC getaway over Thanksgiving weekend. The Renaissance New York Midtown, right near Madison Square Garden is offering its Ultimate Fan Experience package. It included two tickets to the Rangers-vs-Washingto-Capitals game on Saturday, November 24th
Have cocktails a the Thread Lounge before heading to the Garden to meet New York Rangers Alumni. Then enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks while watching the game from the Garden Lounge. Head home with a Rangers gift bag and autographed merchandise. But not before having breakfast the next day a the hotel’s new Versa restaurant.
4 and 5. Holidays on ice
• The Loews Regency (check for the best rates) is offering guests free hot chocolate and marshmallows in the hotel lobby every Friday and Saturday afternoon in December from 3:00 to 5:00. Guests can also enjoy discounts to ice skating at Wollman Rink in Central Park (the best place to ice skate in Manhattan, IMO).
If the hot cocoa isn’t enough of a treat, warm up with seasonal drinks and desserts in the hotel’s Regency Bar & Grill.
• Stay at the Luma Hotel (check for the lowest regular rates) between November and February and book the winter Explore New York package. It includes a VIP pass, ice skate rental and locker rental at the Winter Village skating rink in Bryant Park.
The package also includes a scarf, hat, gloves and pocket warmers, and two winter cocktails to help you stay warm. The package is for two, as is often the case, call the hotel to find out adding a child or two.
6 and 7. NYC holiday bucket lists
• The Supreme Travel Services travel agency is offering a NYC holiday package that includes 4 nights at the Sheraton New York Times Square.
The package also includes a guided tour of the Macy’s giant balloons being inflate on Wednesday, viewing spots for the parade Thursday, Thanksgiving dinner, a nighttime tour of the city’s holiday lights and windows, and an afternoon or evening showing of the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City. The price is $1829 per person, not including some optional extras.
• Or book a room at one of 40 hotels in the Hilton portfolio (including Doubletree, Homewood Suites and Embassy Suites) through early January and you’ll have access to their Holidays in NYC officer.
It includes discounts on tickets to the Radio City show and Dr. Sesuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, a VIP, skip-the-line reservation package for ice skating at Bryant Park (and that line can be long!). The package included discounted airport shuttle service and discounts to several other unique New York City Activities.
Note: You receive vouchers for the Radio City and Grinch shows at check-in. So you might want to look into availability before you book if the shows are a top reason to do so. A spokesperson for Hilton said there are a good number of other things you can book in advance, including the ice skating.
8 and 9. Holiday shopping fun
• The Warwick NY Hotel (check for the lowest everyday rates) has a Macy’s Herald Square package that includes a 25% discount on your room rate. Get a VIP Passport with a 15% Discount at the department store, a 3-Minute Mini-Makeover at your counter of choice (the teen with you will love that), and a free MyStylist Personal Shopping Appointment. To make a reservation, call 800-223-4099.
While you’re at Macy’s visit the Santa Claus made famous in Miracle on 34th Street. Read our tips for avoiding the line.
10. Feliz Navidad!
Book a room at Luma Hotel (check for the lowest regular rates) over Christmas and a special package includes a three-course Christmas dinner from Spanish chef Jose Garces. Dinner starts with a glass of sparkling cava for the adults and a soft drink for the kids, then goes on to include Jamón Iberico, suckling pig, lamb and a Basque custard tart. Room rates start at $645 a night.