Whether it’s because Queens is home to New York City’s two major airports or because the borough has long been overshadowed by Brooklyn, the best hotels in Queens, NY have been mostly made up of no-frills hotel chains catering to business travelers. But Queens, the largest of the five boroughs, is rapidly rising as a destination in its own right. The secret’s out: the borough is one of the most culturally diverse places in the world, and has everything from trendy bars and beautiful beaches. While in town, check out our best things to do in Queens, knock these Astoria restaurants off your list, and don’t forget about laid-back Rockaway Beach in NY — Queens’ very own beach town. Add to that several recently opened hotels, especially in the boutique category, and you’ll see why Queens rules as a standalone destination or as a jumping-off point to Manhattan and beyond.
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Best hotels in Queens, NY
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 Q 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 cement 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 guestroom 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.
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 ensuite 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.
To eat your way through New York’s other (and many say better) Chinatown, at the end of the 7 train in Flushing is a true local experience. The Parc Hotel puts you a block from White Bear for wontons, the New World Mall for everything from dim sum to pork belly buns and the Michelin-recommended Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao for soup dumplings. The hotel’s style decidedly fits its location; there are 96 minimalist rooms and suites with large floor-to-ceiling windows, Asian artwork and Chinese food options at breakfast. The hotel also has a rooftop bar called A+ perched above the bustle of the neighborhood, and it’s within walking distance of Citi Field and Arthur Ashe.
On the other side of downtown Flushing as The Parc Hotel—a little removed but still within walking distance of the top restaurants and bars—The One is a boutique hotel from the same owners as Spa Castle in College Point (there’s a free bus between the two for guests). Rooms have rain showerheads and tubs, Bvlgari bathroom amenities and black and metallic accents in the decor.
For layovers and overnights before very early flights, the Hilton New York JFK Airport offers a comfortable crashpad, with 356 rooms and suites, a 24-hour complimentary airport shuttle and an indoor heated pool. The rooms are unadorned—white linens, taupe walls, wood headboards—and overall the property heavily caters to the business traveler with ample desk space, free printing, meeting rooms and a business center. For an upgraded experience, book one of the Executive Level rooms to gain access to the Executive Lounge, which serves complimentary breakfasts, drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
Like the Hilton at JFK, the 330-guestroom Crowne Plaza has meeting spaces, a business center and a complimentary 24-hour shuttle. But it has a few additions, small and large, that make for a more interesting stay, from the in-room safes that are big enough to hold laptops to the “zen room” in the fitness center for yoga and meditation. The rooms are designed with red accents and modern art that are a departure from the monotonous, inoffensive decor you usually get an airport hotel.
There are far fewer standout stays close to LaGuardia Airport compared with JFK, but this hotel in Flushing, three miles away, offers a free shuttle and convenient location. Greys and browns dominate the decor of the rooms, and the hotel overall caters heavily to the business traveler, with large in-room workspaces, a business center, gym and indoor pool.
Though this just-opened hotel has LaGuardia in its name, it’s not right next to the airport but in Queens’ Rego Park neighborhood four miles away. It is a good stopover location for the airport though there is not a free shuttle, but the reason to book is for its proximity to Citi Field, Arthur Ashe Stadium, the New York Hall of Science and Flushing Meadows Park. (It’s also a 30-minute subway ride to Midtown.) For a chain hotel, the rooms and dining areas have a lifestyle hotel vibe, with yellow pillows, grey-brown wood furniture, subway tiles and de-rigueur industrial lighting. Guests also have access to the 24-hour Retro Gym in the same building, perfect for workouts between matches at the U.S. Open.