Don’t be overwhelmed by the vast array of hotels in New York, here is where to stay in NYC at the Hotel Beacon on the Upper West Side.

It might be the city that never sleeps, but exploring New York is exhausting, and you certainly will want to rest your head and the rest of your body in the best bed for you before another day in this blow-your-mind city.

As a first time New York visitor I was a little overwhelmed by the vast accommodation options. After a week in residence, my opinion the best bed is the one that suits both you and your budget. 

What I appreciated most was somewhere that was very comfortable to relax in after a hard day’s sightseeing which for me was Hotel Beacon on the Upper West side.

Staying at Hotel Beacon, NYC

It’s not hard to get anywhere in New York, and you’ll be travelling widely to enjoy all the city has to offer. If you are new to the town, you might look at a map and think it’s all very walkable.  While this is definitely a city where you should pack your comfortable shoes, unless you are really, really into walking, the distances between destinations are vast, and there are easier ways to get around including the subway.  Luckily the Hotel Beacon is only four minutes’ walk from the closest subway entrance.

An establishment that seems to be particularly well known by Australian travellers, this is a hotel where it’s all about comfort and feeling at home.  The oversized rooms welcome you like a long-lost cousin and with views of Central Park on one side or the Hudson River on the other, offer a gentle introduction into the New York lifestyle. The tree-lined streets of the Upper West contain some of New York’s most expensive real estate, and the surrounding brownstones are a joy to view.

The bedroom came with plenty of storage space including a walk-in wardrobe and a separate television.

If you feel like cooking or even just whipping up a quick breakfast, the mini kitchen in my room (1808) has everything you need, including a coffee maker. It would also be ideal if you were planning a more extended stay.

Stock up at Zabar’s Deli, and you may not even want to dine out – no promises on that.

The Beacon’s bathroom

The bathroom is not the biggest or most luxurious I’ve seen, but it’s very comfortable with everything you need plus plenty of style.  Check out the amenities range, with a dental kit, shaving kit, mending kit, shoe shine and more, there’s nothing left to chance there.

Outside the hotel

Beacon Bar, located on the ground floor to the right of reception, is a place to catch up over a glass of wine or from their selection of interesting wines and boutique beers.  The menu includes coffee and light options.

Right next door to the hotel is the Beacon Theatre.  It was just our luck that Steely Dan was playing the week before we arrived.  It’s worth checking out the theatre’s schedule which when I last looked included acts such as Bryan Ferry, Cyndi Lauper and George Thorogood & The Bad Seeds. Take me back now!

It’s a seven-minute walk to the American Museum of Natural History, a place made even more famous by its starring role in the film A Night at the Museum. The hotel is also very close to the Lincoln Center, American Museum of Natural History, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Perhaps my favourite attraction close by is Central Park. It’s a quick 10-minute walk to the park which takes you past the Dakota Building where John Lennon lived and died.  His memorial, Strawberry Fields, is just inside the entrance to the park located adjacent to the building.

There are plenty of good eating options close by including Fairway Cafe, just on the otherwise of the road, where you’ll find an excellent breakfast.  The bottom level is a market filled with groceries but head up the stairs to find the cafe.

Also, within walking distance, Shake Shack has many fans who love its burgers.  I have to admit to being not so impressed, especially when served by staff who were not particularly helpful and jipped by a local who jumped the queue for tables.  However, your children might love it.


Staying at Hotel Beacon 

The Beacon Hotel an upscale hotel in New York’s Upper West Side about a four-minute walk from the subway station, a mile from Central Park and 10 minutes’ walk from the American Museum of Natural History – make sure you visit here.

The elegant rooms have kitchenettes, marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. The one- and two-bedroom suites add separate living rooms with sofabeds. Upgraded suites are available with furnished terraces.

Bottom line:  The best online rate for Hotel Beacon I could find was $373.59 including taxes and fees. My room was 1808,

Best tip: When pricing hotels in New York always check whether taxes and fees are included. Weekend rates here offer significant savings. Best rate I found was $463 a night ( April 19).

What to do in New York

One of the best things I did in this fabulous city was take a Big Apple Greeter Tour.  It’s a free service offered by the city and well worth exploring. 

Disclaimer: EdbK stayed as a guest of Hotel Beacon.