Q: Hi Playground! We are starting to plan a family weekend get away in NYC with our 10-yr-old son in November. What would you recommend for cool, family friendly hotels? I want something with a true New York vibe, where we could take him to the hotel’s bar or restaurant and feel grown up, but not a party scene. What do you think? ~ Thanks, DC
A: Hi DC! A tween-trip to NYC in the fall sounds great. I have a few thoughts for hip hotels with true Big Apple vibe around the city where you won’t feel out of place with your son.
The Conrad New York, an all suite property with views of the Statue of Liberty, has some of the largest rooms in the city (it used to be an Embassy Suites when it was first built) with every unit a two room suite. There’s a cool rooftop bar and restaurant with amazing view of the Statue and “Loopy Doopy” drinks for adults (think frozen ice pop cocktails). The Battery Park City location puts you just steps away from the World Financial Center, Freedom Tower, 9/11 Museum, and ferries to Ellis Island and Lady Liberty. You’ll also be within a block of a Shake Shack, Pick a Bagel, Payard Bakery, and Parm — for a foodie tween heaven.
The Ace Hotel is where all the cool kids hang out in the NoMad (North of Madison Park) neighborhood, which is oddly a bonus for tweens and hip parents since there’s always something going on in the lobby of this swank hotel. The retro-chic lobby has an all-day coffee bar vibe, and you can grab a cocoa or a cappuccino from the perennially popular Stumptown Coffee off the lobby or a cocktail at the lobby bar. Two cozy and cool restaurants, the John Dory and The Breslin, are both attached to the hotel. Grab a table at either with your son and you’ll have some of the tastiest cocktails and eats in town within steps of your hotel room. For kids who love music, the The Ace is tops; rooms have old-school record players and you can ask for your specific vinyl style to be sent up and you can also request an in-room electric guitar to jam out with (speaking of music, request a room above the second floor so you don’t hear the DJ in the lobby on weekends). One of our favorite quirky museums for kids is nearby, MoMath, right on Madison Square Park, where you’ll find the original Shake Shack for a quick lunch Eataly for all day Italian bites.
Le Parker Meridien has pretty much everything your tween could want in a hotel: A huge indoor rooftop pool with views of the city, a hidden Burger Joint in the lobby, and Norma’s for mile high breakfasts including the “Mom Can’t Make This” section of the menu that includes donut french toast and nutella pancakes (it’s vacation, right?). For you, there’s the cool Knave lounge, a spa, and even a DryBar for a quick blowout after you go swimming. The location is great for Broadway shows (your son is the perfect age for School of Rock), midtown museums, and Central Park.