by Amanda Geronikos
The largest city in America, New York boasts some of the country’s — and the world’s — most-visited attractions, including Central Park, Radio City Music Hall and One World Trade Center. That said, The Big Apple also offers hundreds of high-rise hotels, which typically come with the same price tag: EXPENSIVE. But if you’re going to pay high rates to stay in the city, you might as well be in the center of all the action, right? To do so, book a stay at The Muse Hotel, part of Kimpton Hotels and Resorts — it’s just one block from the center of Times Square and within walking distance to Broadway.
Upon entrance, the hotel seems uninviting for families — not because it’s over-the-top luxurious, but because your first impression comes from a dim-lit, intimate lobby, frequented by grown-ups during a complimentary wine hour, hosted 5 to 6 p.m. daily. The adjacent hotel bar isn’t exactly kid-friendly either.
Check in at the front desk, however, and your worries will suddenly be at ease — kids are warmly welcomed with a customized gift, which might include matchbox cars; coloring books; popcorn, along with a free in-room movie; candy; kid-friendly city guides; and more. Head to your room, where comfy beds and amenities — including free Wi-Fi and kid-sized bathrobes — await, and you’ll be hooked.
For more information, read about Kimpton Hotels.
Our Editor Loves
- Kimpton Kids Program
- Central location in Times Square
- Room service with kid-friendly fare
- Children Programs
- Connecting Rooms
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Similar to the lobby, each of the hotel's rooms and suites offers modern furnishings, accented by palettes of black, white and silver. And while they appear luxurious, they're quite comfortable at their core, offering families plenty of space and familiar amenities, such as complimentary Wi-Fi access, mini bars, leopard-print bathrobes (in both adult and kid sizes), safes, iPod docking stations and irons and ironing boards.
The hotel offers 118 rooms in seven different configurations, and family-friendly variations, best for families of four or five (with the use of a crib or playard, upon request; rollaway beds are not available) include an Executive Double Double Room, which offers two double beds, a flat-screen TV and anywhere from 280 to 350 square feet of space. The Double Double Premier Room is a viable option, too, with slightly more space, as well as a flat-screen TV.
Our preference for families, however, is an Executive Suite, which includes a separate bedroom with a king-size bed, flat-screen TV and sliding door for added privacy. Kids can sleep on a pullout sofa in the living area, which also has a work desk and flat-screen TV. Other suites, of which there are 19, include a Premier Suite Balcony with city views and a Spa Suite, best for adults.
Bathrooms include shower and tub combinations, but aren't nearly as nice as the rooms themselves -- they're rather bland in comparison, and feel like they belong at another hotel. With the deluxe, complimentary toiletry offerings, which include items you very well may forget to bring (cotton balls, razors, shower caps and more), we're hardly complaining though.
We had such a great stay at this beautiful hotel. Everyone was so nice and Christopher (the Manager) was extremely helpful and kind. We are definitely looking forward to another pop up trip, whenever next we visit NYC.
So this could be a long story.
I had reservations at Kimpton Washington DC. The Topaz.
On a lark called to confirm and was informed that the hotel had closed. (Though corporate IHG tells me now that they were open!?)
So the IHG people are totally unsympathetic to my plight.
Not what I’m used to.
You and the kids won't find much to do at the hotel, but you also won't want to be there during the day, considering you can get to a theater and see a Broadway show within moments, as well as the M&M Factory and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. And all of the city's other attractions are just a subway ride away. You can also get to them via bicycles, courtesy of the hotel on a first-come, first-served basis.
Room service from the onsite restaurant, NIOS, is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and kid-friendly options ($10 per plate) include chicken fingers and grilled cheese. Other options (also kid-friendly by default), served all day, include burgers, flatbread pizzas, grilled cheese sandwiches and salads. Dinner includes a minimal, but delicious menu, with sirloin strip steak, roasted chicken and a selection of soups and fish. And breakfast is an easy crowd pleaser, with standard omelettes, pancakes and the like.
Aside from that, there are a few family-friendly restaurants on the same block as The Muse, including O'Briens Irish Pub, a typical pub with burgers, wings, salads and a separate kids menu, located adjacent to the hotel. There's also a T.G.I. Fridays across the street.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The Muse Hotel offers accredited babysitting services; inquire at the front desk or in advance of your trip. Speaking of babysitters, The Muse hosts a nightly, complimentary wine hour from 5 to 6 p.m. (a favored perk at Kimpton Hotels), occasionally offering other cocktails, such as bourbon and cider. The event takes place in the lobby, which is rather small and fills up quickly -- if you can't find a seat, just take the wine back to your room!
Another Kimpton Hotel perk -- all pets are welcome! The hotel provides water dishes, food bowls, beds, toys, treats and more.
Nightly turndown service is offered, and usually includes chamomile chocolates. If you're lucky, it might also include the delivery of a candy taxi cab (white chocolate), filled with chocolate pretzel sticks.
The Muse continually offers deals and promotions, including one called Nothing Touristy About You, which includes a unique guide to NYC and day passes for Citi Bike.
The Art of Smart Timing
With a prime location in Times Square, The Muse Hotel is consistently packed, especially during the summer months, when many tourists flock to The Big Apple. The hotel is also quite popular during the winter holidays. For the cheapest rates and [almost] guaranteed availability, visit in the shoulder seasons, January through March and September through the week before Thanksgiving.
If traveling to The Muse Hotel and New York City by plane, fly into JFK International Airport. From there, you'll want to rent a car (all major companies have service desks at the airport) or hail a cab, as the hotel is at least 30 minutes from the airport. If traveling by car, be prepared to deal with traffic -- the hotel is located in the heart of the city, after all. Once you reach the hotel, valet parking is available for $55 per night. There are several other parking garages nearby, but you can expect to pay similarly high rates at all of them.
If you're able, leave the car in the garage and utilize public transportation. There is a subway station just two blocks from the hotel, and another within four blocks. If you'd like a taxi, the hotel's doorman will hail one for you, but be aware that it might take a while before one arrives, especially at night, since the hotel is located on a cross street.
For Mom and Dad
If you've hired a babysitter or have another guardian in tow, make a reservation (ahead of your trip) at Almayass, located in Gramercy Park. The sophisticated, yet unpretentious (casual dress code) restaurant serves delicious Mediterranean and Lebanese food in tapas-like form. Start with the Armenian Salad and Hummus Almayass, followed by Bereg Cheese, Kebbe Kras and Assorted Grill, a selection of kebabs with vegetables and pita bread.
If you can't sneak away for dinner, slip down to the hotel bar, NIOS, which offers cozy seating in a dim-lit room, complete with a wide selection of wines, beers and handcrafted cocktails.