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Instead of the hotels in Times Square, stay in Hell's Kitchen when visiting NYC

The Best Hotels Near Times Square: Stay in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC

Most tourists who visit New York City will stay in hotels near Times Square. This makes sense, as it is a central location with easy access to public transportation to nearly everywhere in the city. Nearly every subway line runs through or near Times Square. Plus, its near many of NYC’s most popular sights, including Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Broadway shows, and just a short distance to Central Park.

Hell’s Kitchen is located just a couple blocks to the west of Times Square and offers more of a neighborhood feel. Here are the best hotels in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.

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Where is Hell's Kitchen in NYC?

Hell’s Kitchen is the neighborhood directly west of Times Square, running from 8th Ave to the Hudson River. The northern boundary is 59th St, where you will find Columbus Circle and the southernmost part of Central Park. The southern boundary is technically 34th St, but the further you get below 42nd St the more people start saying they live in/near Hudson Yards.

Why Stay in Hell's Kitchen?

There are a few very good reasons why you might choose to stay in a hotel in Hell’s Kitchen vs a hotel in Times Suare.

Location: While Hell’s Kitchen lies west of the touristy area of Times Square, it’s still typically just a couple blocks to public transportation. The A-C-E subway line runs along 8th Ave and the 42nd St station is a hub for several subway lines (this is the one I walked to every weekday when I lived in Hell’s Kitchen). It is also just steps to most of the Broadway shows.

Neighborhood Feel: Hotels in Hell’s Kitchen allows you to stay in a residential area outside of Times Square, which is very busy with tourists, hustlers, and chain restaurants. Plus, 9th Avenue is lined with bars and restaurants where locals actually go. There is also a large LGBTQ population in this area, including many bars that cater to this crowd.

Safety: This is a very safe neighborhood with a mix of older Brownstone and low-rise walk-up buildings and newer luxury high rises.

Best Upscale Hotels in Hells Kitchen

#1 Ink 48

Ink 48 at a Glance

Pros

  • One of the nicest rooftop bars in NYC that isn’t as busy as rooftops in other areas

Cons

  • Pretty far west so further from public transportation
  • 11th Ave doesn’t have the neighborhood feel nor as many restaurants, but is just a short 2 block walk to 9th Ave for that.

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Ink 48 is a great hotel. It’s new, upscale, has a decent restaurant, and has one of the classiest rooftop bars in the area. The only drawback is that it’s a bit far west so it’s a bit of a walk to the subway if you are relying on public transportation to get around. Plus, this immediate section of 11th Ave doesn’t still has a more industrial feel without as many neighborhood bars and restaurants. Though more and more of these large buildings are converted into residential each year. But in the immediate vicinity is Landmark Tavern (one of the oldest taverns in the city, and Gotham Market, which has one of my favorite Italian restaurants (dell’anima) and pizza shops (Corner Slice).

#2 Arlo Midtown

Arlo at a Glance

Pros

  • Brand new & trendy boutique hotel (opened 2021)
  • Close to the Javits Convention Center, Hudson Yards, and a short walk to Madison Square Garden.

Cons

  • The neighborhood isn’t the prettiest area, located just outside the Lincoln Tunnel. But some new and excellent restaurants have been improving the area.

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The Arlo Midtown hotel is one of the newest hotels in New York City. It opened in May of 2021 while the city was still facing a low point in tourism during the pandemic.

Now the third hotel under the Arlo name, this lives up to the trendy reputation of the others. The restaurant and bar are nice, the lobby cafe is very convenient, and the rooftop is fantastic in the summer months.

Nearby Restaurants: This area is experiencing a dining revitalization with the opening of French bistro Steak Frites and upscale Chinese restaurant Chi. Scallywags around the corner is a local bar that has live music every night of the week. And for Italian restaurants, Tavola has been a popular since it opened in 2012 and Mercato has a cozy atmosphere.

Best Value Hotels Near Times Square

#1 Pod Times Square

Pod at a Glance

Pros

  • Excellent rooftop area (the restaurant is just ok)
  • Location is close to bus and subway stations for convenient public transportation

Cons

  • Small guest rooms
  • No king beds (queen is the largest)

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Like the Yotel, the Pod utilizes very small guest rooms to keep costs lower than at luxury hotels. But it’s one of the hotels closest to Times Square and the subway station for public transportation.

As the name suggests, the rooms are designed to look like pods. Rooms are furnished either with a bunk bed, double bed, or queen sized (there are no room with king beds). All rooms are 125 sqft or smaller, so they truly are cozy!

The Italian restaurant, Serafina, is on the 3rd floor rooftop. The restaurant now has many locations around the NYC area as well as some international ones and isn’t anything special. But during the summer months tables are set up on the rooftop toto create a nice atmosphere.

#2 YOTEL

Yotel at a Glance

Pros

  • Great value for your money
  • Has small single rooms or suites for up to 4 people
  • Rooftop is large & rarely busy
  • Located right on 42nd St, just a couple avenues away from Times Square and the subway

Cons

  • Rooms are very small (by intent to keep costs lower)

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The Yotel is my pick for one of the best NYC hotels for the money. This hotel near Times Square keeps costs low in two ways. First, by utilizing small guest rooms, so that the building can house more customers. And second, automation such as the use of self-check in kiosks keeps labor costs down. This NYC location is even home to the YOBOT, a robotic luggage concierge that holds your luggage before check-in or after check-out. A couple other locations even have delivery robots that deliver things directly to your room.

Rooms are designed to look like cabins, with a lot of purple lighting and setups that range from full bed up to suites for 4 people with a king plus bunk beds to maximize the compact space. A parking garage is available in the building on 41st St for an additional fee.

Hotels Near Port Authority

40th Street used to be very sketchy (the entire area around the bus station still is). But about 15 years ago they started building new hotels, which has added tourist traffic and starting to make the area better. Several of the hotels have rooftop bars, such as the Aliz Hotel with a nice cocktail bar at the top. These aren’t necessarily cheap hotels in Hell’s Kitchen, but they do tend to be reasonably priced hotels. These hotels are near Times Square as well as steps away from the subway and the Port Authority bus station (the latter is what creates the sketchiness). But don’t worry, it’s still a safe area.

#1 Aliz Hotel

Aliz is one of NYC's best hotels near Times Square, and is right beside the Port Authority bus station

Aliz Hotel

Built in 2018, Aliz is my top pick of these hotels all near Times Square. Rooms are small but clean. The best part is that Dear Irving, one of NYC’s best cocktail bars, opened a location on the top two floors. Locals will say it’s not as good as the original near Union Square, but this rooftop bar has a great view of the NYC skyline.

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#2 Distrikt

Distrikt Hotel is one of the best hotels near Times Square in NYC and is beside the Port Authority bus station

Distrikt

Distrikt Hotel opened in 2010, making it one of the older hotels on this strip. But it is one of the best. Rooms are larger than many of the other boutique hotels.

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#3 Four Points by Sheraton

Four Points by Sheraton is one of the best hotels in NYC near Times Square and is beside the Port Authority Bus station.

Four Points by Sheraton

Built in 2009, Four Points is an older and more basic hotel than other choices in the area but tends to be a cheaper hotel than the other two.

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