Where to stay in New York City? That is one of the most important decisions when planning your visit. With so many options to choose from, it can be an overwhelming decision. Today we are sharing our recent stay and our Westin New York Times Square review.
We were provided accommodations for our stay. All opinions are our own. Read more.
We were very excited to find one of the best places to stay in NYC, the Westin New York Times Square.
A trip to New York City is on many family travel bucket lists. The energy of NY is unlike any other place we have visited and there is truly something for every type of traveler.
This was our second visit as a family to NYC. We made the visit in early 2021, you can read about our visit: New York in 2 Days: Tips for First Time Visiting NYC with Kids.
On our first visit we didn’t have a big plan and we were still working through traveling during the pandemic. Things looked a lot different for this visit. There are mandates and pandemic precautions in place, that I will go into details on later in this post.
For 2022 we plan on experiencing 22 new family experiences. The first thing on our list was to see a Broadway show. We wanted a location that was easy to walk to and family friendly.
The Westin Times Square was a perfect location for our first family adventure. Before I go into details on the hotel and what we did during our visit, there are a few questions you should ask yourself when determining where to stay in NYC.
Where to Stay in New York City
When deciding where to stay when visiting New York you need to determine three things for your trip. What do you want to see and Do? The location of your hotel? Your travel budget?
Once you determine these three things you can narrow down where you should stay in NY. We were really happy with our location at the Westin Times Square because of the location. It was so close to all the things we wanted to see and do.
What Do You Want to See and Do
New York City has a lot to see and do. Some of the attractions are spread out and you should plan accordingly.
If you are planning on spending most of your time in Brooklyn you might not want to stay in the middle of Times Square. If you are visiting the Upper East Side you may want to look for accommodations local to those attractions.
You might plan on exploring many different areas and a central location would work best.
This goes along with what you want to see and do, but location is really important when choosing a New York City hotel with a family. Once you decided on attractions look at a map to see what location would work best for you and your family.
If you are planning on visiting many areas of New York City the Westin is a great choice because it is centrally located and has easy access to the Subway station.
Determine Your Travel Budget
New York City is an expensive city to visit and I recommend setting a realistic budget for your visit. We try to find accommodations for the five of us under $300.00 a night. For a family of four you can expect to spend a little less.
Also be sure to include parking rates or transportation to/from New York City. Most hotels have contracts with nearby parking garages but be sure to check at time of booking.
The Westin New York Times Square
During my research I found The Westin New York Times Square and I started looking into it more. The Westin Times Square is located on West 43rd Street and is an awesome location if you plan on spending time exploring Times Square or seeing a Broadway show.
One of the reasons I loved the location was because it was so close to the theaters. We were going to see Aladdin as a family and my daughter and I would be attending a show together too. I wanted to feel safe that we could navigate the streets.
We could see the theater from our hotel window and that made it a lot easier for us. NYC can feel intimidating if you have never visited and knowing that we could easily walk to and from the places we wanted to see made our stay at the Westin that much better.
Parking at The Westin New York Times Square
The Westin New York Times Square offers parking to their guests at the ICON parking garage across the street from the hotel. The nightly rate is $50.00 and it doesn’t include in/out privileges.
We drove into the city from our home in Rochester, NY and having a place to park near our accommodations was very important. We didn’t need to use the car during our stay so it worked out great. I highly suggest parking your car for your stay and walking or taking other forms of transportation to get around.
Rooms at The Westin New York Times Square
The Westin offers traditional guest rooms with 2 double beds or 1 king bed, as well as suites for guests looking for more space.
We stayed in a 1 bedroom suite with panoramic views of the city and the Hudson river. It was gorgeous! Besides the views there was a dining table where we ate dinner each night, a sitting area, and a coffee maker and mini-fridge.
We also requested a roll-away bed so our family of five could fit comfortably. If you are looking to stay within a budget the traditional rooms are a great option.
Space is limited in NYC and rooms are not typically large, but most of your time is spent out exploring the city and the extra space is not worth going over budget.
Dining at The Westin New York Times Square
The Westin Times Square’s on-site restaurant and bar the Foundry offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Currently the Foundry is open for breakfast only but be sure to check the website for the most updated information.
We enjoyed the buffet style breakfast . There was something for everyone including hot and cold items, oatmeal, cereal, pastries, waffles, and specialty breakfast items.
Amenities at The Westin New York Times Square
The hotel has an on-site fitness center, spacious lobby and sitting area, as well as a small gift shop.
What We Did in New York City (Itinerary)
On our last visit to NYC it was early 2021 and the pandemic had closed a lot of attractions and restaurants. We spent most of the visit walking around and becoming familiar with the city.
This visit was much more alive and busy. Expect strict mask mandates in place at all indoor locations, and vaccines are required for restaurants, attractions, and most indoor venues. (As of February 2022)
Day 1: Arrive in New York City
We got an early start on the road around 6:00am to maximize our time once we arrived. The drive is a little over 5 hours from our home in Rochester and we wanted to arrive around lunch time.
I know a lot of people are nervous to drive in New York City and after doing it twice my husband always says it is not that bad. Expect a bit of congestion once you get in the city and it does take time to drive a short distance but it is not terrible.
We would not recommend driving often during your trip but if you are driving to your hotel, parking for your visit, and then driving home it is not too bad.
We arrived around lunch time and did sit in traffic for around 30 minutes but the Westin was only a couple of miles from the Lincoln Tunnel.
Once we arrived we parked at the ICON parking lot, collected our luggage, and walked across the street to the hotel. We checked-in and waited about 10 minutes for our room to be ready.
If your room is not ready because you arrive well before check-in you can leave your bags at the front desk and return once your room is available. This is a great perk so you can start your family adventure as soon as you arrive.
After we got settled our first stop was lunch! We had planned on visiting a pizza place but it was under construction so we stopped at the infamous street carts for our first meal in NYC.
The kids went with hot dogs and pretzels, I got a chicken platter, and my husband got a lamb gyro sandwich. Everyone loved their food! It was a great start to a busy afternoon.
Next up was a stop at the Harry Potter store. This store was cool but if you have visited Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter it is basically the same.
You can purchase butter beer and they do have a VR experience as an extra. If you are a big Harry Potter fan it is worth checking out but expect large crowds and at times lines to enter the store.
One of the places my daughter really wanted to visit was the 4 story Barnes and Noble. That was our next stop and we all picked up a few new reads before heading back to the hotel to rest before our big Broadway night.
Even pre-pandemic days we liked to eat dinner in our room. Take-out is usually what we opt for, and because of the space at the Westin we decided to order BBQ for dinner.
Dallas BBQ was a short walk from our hotel and we ordered online. It was good and had something for everyone on the menu.
Next up was our first Broadway show as a family: Aladdin. We were so excited to experience our first show together as a family of five. Everyone had to show our vaccination card to enter and anyone over 12 needs a form of ID. Masks are also required the entire time you are in the theater.
The show was visually stunning and the cast was very talented. All of us really enjoyed it and I would highly recommend it for families.
After the show we stood around the stage door waiting for the performers to exit. At this time performers are not allowed to sign autographs or take pictures due to covid but we were lucky enough to say hello to the actor who played Aladdin.
It was a very surprising and fun moment to end our night.
Day 2: Exploring, Broadway & the Knicks
This day had been planned since Christmas when the boys received NBA tickets and my daughter received Dear Evan Hansen tickets. We all had a lot to look forward to.
Our day started with breakfast at the Foundry at The Westin. Breakfast was delicious! I am a creature of habit and stuck with my daily oatmeal and fruit. The kids made waffles and pancakes with lots of chocolate chips.
Our first stop after breakfast was the Museum of Modern Art. Not to be confused with The Metropolitan Museum of Art…which is exactly what we did.
We thought we were going to a different place but made the best of it. The MoMA is a pretty cool art museum. Kids are free with adult admission. I wouldn’t say this is geared for kids and I would probably not recommend it for little ones but we enjoyed a few familiar pieces during our visit.
After the museum we headed to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for lunch. This diner is small, so be prepared for waits or to be seated close to people.
The food is okay and a bit pricey, but the atmosphere is fun, and that is why you visit! The wait staff take turns singing Broadway songs throughout your meal. Most of them are working on Broadway or trying to and if is nice to contribute to the local arts.
After lunch we wanted to walk around a bit more, the weather was pretty nice for February too. The sun was out and there was little wind making it easy to walk around for the afternoon.
We stopped at Rockefeller Center, the American Girl store, Nintendo Store, NBC Studio, and picked up cookies at Schmackary’s on the way back to the Westin. FAO Schwartz is also in this area if you are looking to visit the famous toy store.
We were really hoping to take the NBC Studio tour but it is still temporarily paused. Next time I hope!
For dinner we ordered pizza to the room from John’s Pizzeria and relaxed in the room until it was time to split up for the night. This is where the location of The Westin really helped.
My husband and the boys were headed to Madison Square Gardens for the Knicks game and my daughter and I were headed to the Music Box theater for Dear Evan Hansen.
Our walk was under 10 minutes and my husbands was under 20. We both felt like the location was excellent to see and do what we had planned for our trip.
Day 3: Time to Go Home
On our last day we enjoyed breakfast at The Westin before picking up our car and heading home. In true New York state in the winter fashion there was a big snow storm heading our way and we wanted to make it home before it got bad.
Thankfully we didn’t have any issues but the kids did have a snow day the next day!
Our stay in New York City was really great and it was because of the location and accommodations at The Westin New York. It is a great locations for families wanting to visit New York City and it offers amenities that enhance your trip.
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