Hotel at a Glance: Empire Hotel
The Empire Hotel and its iconic neon sign have occupied a prime location on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for more than 50 years. The boutique property sits directly across the street from Lincoln Center, a world-renowned performance facility, and just one block from Central Park. In 2007, a $50-million renovation added new life to the hotel, which now has a seasonal rooftop bar and pool that’s become a favorite among locals looking for craft cocktails and incredible views of the skyline.
- Close to Midtown: The hotel is a 10-minute cab or subway ride from the Rockefeller Center, Times Square, and Broadway shows.
- Contemporary guest rooms feature Italian bed linens, animal print chairs, and flatscreen TVs.
- Ed’s Chowder House specializes in East Coast seafood such as tuna steak frites, lobster rolls, and five kinds of chowder.
- Notable neighbors: the Shops at Time Warner Center, Columbus Circle, American Museum of Natural History
- Sophisticated amenities include complimentary fitness center, complimentary WiFi in public areas, two-hour rush laundry service, and overnight shoe shines.
Manhattan’s Upper West Side: Tony Residential Neighborhood with 19th-Century Townhomes and Waterfront Parks
Set between Central Park and the Hudson River, the Upper West Side is one of the toniest neighborhoods in New York City. Classic brownstones and prewar buildings line streets that are recognizable from innumerable movies and television shows, including Seinfeld, Sex and the City, and Woody Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters. The neighborhood is a favorite address of the rich and famous—the Ansonia building, to take just one example, has been called home by everybody from Babe Ruth to Angelina Jolie.
Carousels, bike paths, and manmade lakes fill the iconic, 843-acre Central Park, which you can access via the entrance at 72nd Street. For a quieter alternative, head west to Riverside Park, where you’ll find beautiful flower gardens and waterfront picnic spots.
Nearby cultural landmarks include the American Museum of Natural History, where you can stroll past lifelike dioramas, a full-size model of a blue whale, and a Tyrannosaurus rex made up of fossils up to 65 million years old. Another classic New York institution is just southwest of here: Lincoln Center, home to the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. Midtown Manhattan is just a short cab ride south. Head there to check out the legendary 5th Avenue shopping, tour the Rockefeller Center, or catch a Broadway or off-Broadway show.