by Amanda Geronikos
Surely, you know of the Beacon Theatre in New York City. But have you heard of Beacon Hotel NYC, located next door?
The theater and hotel are located in New York’s Upper West Side, a less congested, yet centrally located area of the city. Central Park is just three blocks away, and the American Museum of Natural History is a six-block walk from the hotel. If your high school student is looking at potential colleges to attend, Hotel Beacon NYC is a great place to stay — Fordham University is less than a mile away, and Columbia University is just over a mile from the hotel. And if you’re planning to see a Broadway show while you’re in town, Hotel Beacon is another good bet — it’s only a mile from New York City’s Theater District.
Beyond its pleasant location, the hotel provides other family vacation essentials, such as spacious rooms and suites with kitchenettes.
Our Editor Loves
- Fully equipped kitchenettes
- Close proximity to Central Park
- Family-friendly diner next door
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Hotel Beacon NYC provides 270 spacious rooms and suites with fully equipped kitchenettes. In-room amenities include safes, complimentary coffee and tea, individually controlled air conditioning and heating, irons and ironing boards, direct-dial phones, iPod docking radio/alarm clocks, movies and 32-inch, high-definition TV's. Bathrooms provide shower and tub combinations, hairdryers and Gilchrest and Soames amenities.
For families of four with young children, we suggest the Double-Double Room with two double beds. Maximum occupancy includes two adults and two children under the age of 12.
For more space (and no age limits), book a One-Bedroom Suite with a king or queen bed, in addition to a sofa bed, which comes standard in all suites. You can also opt for a One-Bedroom Suite with two double beds. But since the maximum occupancy is four people, a One-Bedroom Suite with a king or queen bed and sofa bed makes more sense, in our opinion.
The Two-Bedroom Suite accommodates six guests (eight if there are two children in your group); there's a master bedroom with a king bed and a second bedroom with two double beds.
Not listed on the hotel's Web site is the King Executive Suite. This spacious unit -- which has a king bed, sofa bed and oversized walk-in closet -- also features a large outdoor terrace with several tables, chairs and city vistas. You could easily host a family party here!
Cribs are available upon request, and can be used in any room variation. Due to a lack of extra space, only one crib is permitted in the Double-Double Room, but more than one crib can be ordered for other units. Rollaway beds are also available.
My niece and I stayed here recently for 3 nights. The location was perfect for activities anywhere along the 1 Red Line subway. It is just a few stops from Lincoln Center. The line leads straight to 42nd Street and the 9/11 Memorial. It feels like a small hotel and one reason is the 3 elevators are fast. The reception staff is efficient and courteous. Our room was clean and comfortable and we appreciated the kitchenette. The Fairway grocery across the street is a great 24 hour store and we bought breakfast foods there. I loved the neighborhood and would love to stay here again.
When traveling in NY, many hotels are small and challenging for wheelchair users. Not Hotel Beacon. We spoke with the front desk to confirm the room and upon arrival were pleased. No furniture had to be moved for the wheelchair to turn. The roll in shower had plenty of room. The bed was the right height and very comfortable. There are no stairs to get in the hotel and a ramp gets you right to the elevator. The lobby is a great spot to sit and people watch while waiting to attend a show at the Beacon. Nice and warm instead of waiting in a line in the cold. Great experience.
Hotel Beacon NYC doesn't provide specific programs or activities for families, but it's located near several attractions and areas you'll want to visit, including Central Park, the American Museum of Natural History and the Theater District.
There's a better-than-average diner -- Viand Coffee Shop -- located right next to the hotel. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers a children's menu with grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers, hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and pasta.
There's also a grocery store across the street, where you can stock up on food for your in-room kitchen.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The hotel doesn't provide babysitters, but will refer you to The Babysitting Guild, an outside service with a good reputation.
Amenities include coin- and credit card-operated laundry machines, a fitness center, business center and complimentary copy of USA Today delivered to your door each morning. Free Wi-Fi is also available throughout the hotel, though we weren't able to access it in our room.
The Art of Smart Timing
You'll get a deal in January and February, when hotel rates are lowest. March, July and August are the next best months for budget-friendly rates. The hotel's peak season and consequent highest rates apply September through December.
La Guardia International Airport is about 10 miles from Hotel Beacon NYC (25 minutes); Newark International Airport is about 18 miles (35 minutes) from the hotel and John F. Kennedy International Airport is about a 40-minute drive (20 miles). You can rent a car at the airport and park it at a garage (for a hefty fee) near the hotel. We strongly suggest a taxi ride for your trip to and from the hotel and airport though.
If you're traveling by train, you'll be happy to know New York Penn Station is two miles from the hotel, and Grand Central Station is just over two miles away.
The 72nd Street subway station is just two blocks from the hotel.
For Mom and Dad
Sneak downstairs for a beer or cappuccino and some "lite bites" at The Beacon Bar, open to hotel guests and the general public.
If time and a babysitter allow, catch a show at the Beacon Theatre, located right next to Hotel Beacon NYC.