New York Hotels
New York is one of the world's leading cities, the most populous in the United States and among the largest globally. New York City's influence can be felt in culture and commerce,entertainment and finance, politics and fashion worldwide.
New York City is located in the state of New York next to a great harbour on the Atlantic Ocean, spread over several islands and a section of mainland. There are over 100 sq kilometres of parkland including Central Park in Manhattan, Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and Flushing Meadows in Queens, as well as more than 20 kilometres of beaches in the city.
New York enjoys a subtropical climate, with hot and humid summers and cold winters though the proximity of the ocean makes them warmer than in the inland cities.
The area was inhabited by Lenape Native Americans by the time Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano became the first European to discover it in 1524. He called it the New Angouleme. The Dutch fur trading settlement which was founded in 1614 was named New Amsterdam. Following the English conquest in 1664, the town was renamed New York. The nicknames for New York include the Big Apple, The City that Never Sleeps, The Capital of the World, and Gotham.
Its importance as a trading centre grew, while the Native American population diminished - the Lenape numbers plummeted to 200 by the 18th century. Following the end of British occupation and American Revolutionary War, New York served as the capital of the United States between 1785 and 1790.
It was an important port, so much of the agricultural products of North America went out through New York, and most of the immigrants arrived there. The Great Irish Famine led to a great growth in Irish migration which was then followed by other waves of migration from Europe, Asia and South America. After 1835 it has become the largest city in the United States.
The city's role as a gateway for immigration was acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. In the fin de siècle era the modern city of New York appeared as an administrative entity after several nearby areas were incorporated, and the New York City Subway opened bringing them closer together.
In the 1920s New York saw the influx of African Americans which led to Harlem Renaissance highlighting their role in the literature and arts. Other important cultural movements started in New York include abstract expressionism, hip hop, Broadway theatre, punk rock, and disco.
New York overtook London as the most populous urban area in the world around 1925. That was the era when the number of skyscrapers skyrocketed transforming the Manhattan skyline with some of the world's tallest buildings like the Empire State Building. Some of the architecturally significant skyscrapers in New York City include neogothic Woolworth Building (1913), Art Deco-styled Chrysler Building (1930), and the modernist Seagram Building (1957).
Today's New York has over 5,000 highrises, of which several dozen exceed 200 metres. Most of the city is built on three islands, Manhattan, Staten Island and Long Island, so the land is scarce and population density is high.
New York City hasn't been damaged in either of the world wars, and emerged with Wall Street as the world's dominant economic centre, and the United Nations headquarters as the planet's political focal point. The population reached an all-time high by 2000; it is currently estimated to exceed 8 millions, while the urban area is close to 20 million.
The twin skyscrapers of World Trade Center were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in which over 2,000 people died. It is considered a highly traumatic event for New York but the process of urban regeneration has not stopped. Since 2005 New York has the lowest crime rate among the 25 largest USA cities, having grown considerably safer in the last few years.
The city is famous for its food which is strongly influenced by Italian and Eastern European cuisines, with bagels and New York-style pizza being famous local specialties. The range of culinary options in New York is stunning, ranging from mobile food outlets serving falafel or hot dogs to numerous ethnic restaurants and fine dining options. Some of the best gourmet restaurants in the USA are hosted by the four- and five-star hotels in New York.
New York City's iconic image is to a large degree thanks to its cultural importance. It has one the world's largest museums, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and there are over 500 art galleries of all sizes. One of the largest perfoming arts centres in the USA, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, includes Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. New York is home to the country's second largest film industry as well as the prominent Tribeca Film Festival. One in three US independent films is produced in New York.
New York is a global centre for the TV, advertising, music, newspaper and book publishing industries with some of the major media conglomerates headquartered in the city. World's largest advertising agencies and United States' most popular newspapers and broadcast networks are based in New York.
There are locally based teams in major North American professional leagues for baseball, hockey, football and American football. One of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, U.S. Tennis Open, is held in Queens. The New York City Marathon is the world's largest. Some of the other popular sports include boxing.
New York is the largest financial centre in the world, and Manhattan is home to the largest central business districts in the USA. Many of the New York City hotels offer excellent accomodation to business travellers, often including conferencing facilities. Despite the city's real estate including some of the world's most valuable office and residential space, the hotels in New York offer many discounted options.
The population is very diverse; more than a third is foreign-born yet no single ethnic group dominates. Hundreds of languages are spoken here. It is home to the world's largest Jewish community, and many hotels in New York include Kosher dining options in their restaurant menus. There are also at least 6 Chinatowns as New York has the largest ethnic Chinese population anywhere outside of Asia.
It is estimated that about 47 million tourists visit New York each year. The 2001 terrorist attacks provoked a steep fall in tourist numbers. With the emphasis on "patriotic tourism," there were more domestic visitors in the city.
Historic immigration sites of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, as well as the various ethnic enclaves attract 1st and 2nd generation migrants from the East Coast and elsewhere. Tourist shopping is encouraged by the city authorities which eliminated sales tax on clothing and footwear.
New York has a highly developed system of public transit most of which operates 24 hours a day. The New York City Subway is the largest rapid transit system in the world by track length and number of stations which nears 500. There is also a huge public bus fleet and a commuter rail network. Double decker tour buses, boats with tour guides and horse cabs provide for sightseers.
Pennsylvania Station provides rail link to various destinations in North America including Boston, Miami, Montreal and Chicago. The Port Authority Bus Terminal is the busiest bus station in the world. New York City area is served by three major airports, and the city is the top international air passenger gateway to the USA.
The city consists of five boroughs, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island, all of which include dozens of distinct neighbourhoods.
- The Bronx is home to the Yankee Stadium, the large cooperatively owned housing complex Co-op City and the huge Bronx Zoo.
- Manhattan has most of New York's skyscrapers, corporate headquarters, United Nations, Broadway theatre district, luxury shopping on Fifth and Madison Avenues, Madison Square Garden, the bohemian Greenwich Village famous for its Halloween Parade. The city's largest theatres are collectively known as the Broadway after The Great White Way crossing the theatre district near Times Square. The Broadway musical as an art form is very obviously an NYC thing. Central Park in Manhattan with its gardens, lakes, theatres, woods, ponds, ice-skating rinks, and playgrounds attracts some 30 million visitors each year. It is the first landscape park in any American city.
- Brooklyn was an independent city until 1898 and is remarkable for its cultural, social and ethnic diversity. Historic Coney Island amusement grounds and a sizable beachfront make it a popular leiure destination.
- Queens is largely residential and middle class. LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport are both in the borough so many of the hotels in Queens are designed to serve transit passengers and airline personnel.
- The largely suburban Staten Island connects to Manhattan via the free Staten Island Ferry, the busiest ferry in the United States which is also a popular tourist attraction providing excellent views of the iconic Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan.
Some of the famous buildings in New York include
- The city's tallest skyscraper Empire State Building (1931) which in its 40 years reign as the world's tallest building has become the world's most famous skyscraper, with its observation deck among the world's most visited.
- The GE Building (1933) is a fine Art Deco skyscraper, one of New York's most recognized.
- The Seagram Building (1957) is extremely influential architecturally, with its look replicated in cities around the world.
- The iconic Citigroup Center (1977) is recognisable thanks to its angled top and unique facade.
- The modern Conde Nast Building is an example of environmentally friendly design.
Hotels in New York
Being a popular tourist destination, there is a highly developed network of hotels in New York. The Hotel Association of New York City includes over 200 properties which represent nearly 70,000 guest rooms and over 30,000 hotel workers. The majority of hotels in New York are located in various parts of Manhattan although the other boroughs are also represented.
Many of the NYC hotels are huge, and the likes of Hilton New York and New York Marriott Marquis have thousands of beds on offer. There is however a number of boutique hotels in New York while some of the more suburban based ones offer extra space and amenities. The four- and five-star accomodation in New York is supplemented by a number of cheap hotels some of which offer little more than proximity to the tourist sites.
Many of the hotels in New York are historically significant, like the Hotel Chelsea where the hundreds of musicians, writers and artists have been short- or long-time residents, or the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel which is almost proverbial for the luxuries it offers.
The great range of accomodation means that anything from luxury hotels in Manhattan to cheap discounted hotels in New York suburbs is available.