These days, Queens, NY, is less a “hidden gem” and more a destination in its own right, with the best hotels in Long Island City putting you in the heart of it all. Locals and visitors alike are drawn to their trendy bars and restaurants, thriving comedy clubs, waterfront parks, and art museums. The rewards for overnighting in Long Island City and Astoria include access to eight subway lines (N, W, R, F, M, 7, G, E) for easy trips to other boroughs, a 5- to 20-minute commute to Manhattan, and tremendous value. But the best reasons to choose a hotel here are the neighborhoods themselves. Eat your way through the best Long Island City restaurants and take in cultural institutions like MoMA PS1. And don’t miss nearby Astoria’s bars and beer gardens.
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Best hotels in Astoria and LIC
The closest a Queens hotel can come to a true luxury experience is this 108-room property in Long Island City, two stops from Manhattan on the N or W subway lines. Designed by the firm Grzywinski + Pons (also behind the Hotel on Rivington in the Lower East Side) the minimalist rooms and suites start at 200 square feet and feature Frette linens, Hay Studio and Tom Dixon furniture, cement tiles in the bathroom and Apivita amenities. The Manhattan View Balcony options are the standout for their private patios. Boro doesn’t have a full restaurant for dinner yet—a rooftop bar with skyline and Queensboro Bridge views is projected to open this fall—though it has a cafe with breakfast and all-day menus, as well as a lobby bar for cocktails, wine and beer. We also love the library in the lobby, which has books curated by Strand Books in Union Square.
The design-minded will love the industrial-style concrete floors and reclaimed wood furniture used throughout this 122-room hotel in an old paper factory, as the name suggests. Its address is in Long Island City, though the neighborhood’s boundaries have started to blur with Astoria. There’s not much happening in the blocks around the hotel, but two avenues north of the property is the Museum of the Moving Image and Kaufman Studios, plus the bars and restaurants along Broadway and 30th Avenue in Astoria. Midtown is only a 20-minute subway ride away. Rooms are on the smaller side, but feel larger thanks to 12-foot-tall ceilings and enormous windows. The lobby has serious bragging rights, from the morning coffee bar serving Forty Five Roasters beans to the outdoor garden for sipping evening cocktails. Book a table at the restaurant, Mundo, which blends Latin and Mediterranean cuisines.
This Long Island City hotel isn’t located in the most desirable part of the neighborhood—it’s near Silvercup Studios and under the Queensboro Bridge, but otherwise surrounded by warehouses—but it makes up for this with a complimentary shuttle to Manhattan, decorated to look like a school bus, and free bikes for all guests. The real selling point is its rooftop, with killer views overlooking the bridge and Midtown (4th of July, anyone?). Summer on the roof lends itself to cocktail hours and yoga. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, red leather chairs and large murals of starlets. Standard rooms can feel a little cramped with furniture, so opt for the larger King Deluxe Room. No need to request Manhattan views, because all rooms face west.
Opened in 2008, this 63-room hotel overlooking the East River was the neighborhood’s first real boutique option. The location is less ideal compared to newer offerings in the borough—it’s at least a 10-minute walk through warehouses to the nearest subway stations—but the hotel has some amenities to make the trek worth it, notably its rooftop bar and restaurant Penthouse808. This sprawling space, with glass enclosures for year-round views, serves Asian fusion dishes like yellowtail tacos and sushi rolls, plus cocktails with a Tiki bent (order the rum or vodka punches that serve 3-6 people). Ravel’s rooms mix reclaimed wood furniture with accents of orange and dark brown leathers, and those in the Superior and Double Queen categories, plus the Penthouse, have private balconies.
Five minutes from CitiBank’s Queens headquarters and the bars and restaurants along Jackson Avenue in Long Island City, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ affordable design brand Aloft will be the latest hotel to open in the borough when it soft-opens in November. Like the three other Aloft properties in New York (Harlem, Brooklyn, Downtown Manhattan), there’s a W XYZ bar for cocktails, beer and wine in the lobby and 24/7 Re:charge gym. The rooms are basic with pops of color on the carpeting and pillows, plus modern art. Reservations are open for December 1.
The reason to stay at this Long Island City hotel? Location, location location. It’s within three blocks of six different subway lines that get across the river to 59th Street in about five minutes. Because the hotel is only a year old (it opened in April 2015), the 183 rooms, as well as public areas, feel contemporary, mixing Mid-Century modern-inspired furniture with a palette of greys, light browns and whites. Request a room facing Manhattan for views of the skyline, or upgrade to the Presidential Suite - the only guest room in the hotel with a balcony. While there’s a fitness center, guests can also request a Stay Fit Kit, which includes a yoga mat, straps, blocks, hand weights and resistance bands for in-room workouts.
Another chain player near Long Island City’s 39th Street station, this all-suite hotel offers an affordable option for families and extended stays. Every suite has a kitchenette with a refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and cooking supplies, and guests also have access to laundry facilities. The 657-square-foot, one-bedroom option, with a king-sized bed and pull-out couch, is the best bet for parents and kids. The other studio-sized rooms work well for couples and solo-travelers. This Home2 Suites is also the most pet-friendly hotel in the area. For a cleaning fee of $100, guests can bring a pet under 50 pounds.
Though The Local is a hostel with shared and private 4-person dorm rooms catering to students and young travelers, there are also double rooms with queen- and twin-sized beds for budget-conscious couples and singles. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, and the dorm rooms have underbed lockers, reading lights and outlets for each bunk, and free towels and linens. The Local’s brick walls are painted white and industrial lighting is used throughout so the hotel feels more elevated in its design than a traditional hostel. The hotel’s LIC neighbors head to its cafe for Gimme! Coffee in the morning and Singlecut IPAs from nearby the Astoria brewery at night. Don’t miss the movie screening area in the lobby too.
Visitors like this hotel for its affordability and location in the cluster of hotels by the 39th Street subway stop on the N or W lines. Inside the striking blue and orange exterior of the building, the 32 small rooms have more of a chain hotel look—white linens, patterned rugs, orange walls and economic black furniture—than a design-forward boutique feel, but they’re efficient and a good value for your money. We’d spring for the rooms with private balconies on the west side of the building, which have either king or twin beds for around $200 a night or less.
Chains still dominate the hotel scene in Queens, but many of the budget and midmarket options feel more expensive because they’re new, including this Courtyard Marriott property next to Long Island City’s Hilton Garden Inn on Queens Plaza North. The 160 rooms, spread over a 10-floor tower, are sleeker than many of Queens’ “boutique” offerings. Think floor-to-ceiling windows, abstract NYC art, Eames-inspired leather desk chairs, and a color mix of whites, greys, and dark woods. For a $100 cleaning fee, the hotel allows up to two pets under 25 pounds, where others only allow one dog or cat.
Don’t get confused by the name; this is a hostel, not a hotel. The decor is more generic (yes, those are the ubiquitous Malm dressers and Ung Drill mirrors from IKEA) compared with LIC’s other hostel, The Local. But the prices are lower, especially for private rooms with en-suite bathrooms. If room decor isn’t a priority, then budget travelers will find the rooms clean and the location convenient for getting to Manhattan. For those who want to mingle, there’s a communal space in the basement (complete with an old bank vault you can sit in) and activities every night of the week from karaoke to “drink and draw” parties.