The Knickerbocker got its start in 1906 as the opulent St. Cloud Hotel, which was founded by one of the Titanic’s wealthiest victims, John Jacob Astor. Located on the edge of Times Square, it’s a New York City icon with a historic guest list that ticks off names such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Enrico Caruso. After a stint as an office building, the property underwent a $250 million reinvention, catapulting it back into the New York luxury firmament as one of the finest hotels in the neighborhood. Today, it continues to be a fine retreat from the pulsing lambent energy of Times Square.
The hotel’s 330 guest rooms (including 27 Junior Suites and four Tribute Suites) are impeccably understated with modern sleek lines, bespoke furnishings, and a warm but muted color palette. The 12-foot ceilings and oversized windows double down on the sense of spaciousness — and in some rooms, the impressive Times Square views. They property also provides top-of-the line bedding, all-important noise-proof windows, and automated blackout drapes, which are essential to sleeping over the glow of Times Square.
The vibe is decidedly sexy, smart, and sophisticated with a dash of retro that pays homage to the hotel’s history. Guests are a mix of affluent tourists and business travelers who appreciate luxury, and there’s a steady stream of New York City locals who come for the superior rooftop bar and stylish meeting venues. You’ll also see theatre-goers pop in for a pre-show dinner at Charlie Palmer’s eponymous restaurant. And, with such prime access to Times Square, it’s an obvious choice for families, too. Bartender Martini di Arma di Taggia is rumored to have invented the martini in this very hotel.
Who Will Love It
Anyone who appreciates the vibrancy of New York City enjoyed through a sophisticated lens.
Who Might Not
If you want a quiet hotel in a hip part of the city, then property's Times Square location is not ideal.
St. Cloud, the hotel’s rooftop bar, has some of the best Times Square views all snug in the embrace of New York’s glittering energy. It is a destination bar for New Yorkers and a stylish retreat for hotel guests. For the ultimate splurge, book one of the bar’s ultra-luxe private corner Sky Pods for you and a few of your closest friends ($1,000 food and drink minimum). You can also reserve the private Waterford Crystal Lounge and sip on Dom Perignon (served up in a Waterford crystal glass). Plus, The Knickerbocker is the first and only hotel with diptyque amenities in every room, and the hotel offer in-room beauty treatments (blow-outs, make-up, massages) via NOMI Beauty.
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All rooms include plush linens, bedding, and mattresses; diptyque bath amenities; Turkish towels and bathrobes; and a fully stocked minibar.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
The hotel charges a Residency Fee of $40 per night plus tax. This includes wifi, long-term wardrobe storage and nightly shoeshine, 24-hour access to fitness center, two bottles of water per room (replenished daily), and and evening turndown service.
How to Get a Deal
The hotel offers several promotions throughout the year, including the "Cozy Up in Luxury" package, which includes one $25 dining credit per stay, and either a 2 p.m. late check-out or complimentary one room category upgrade (based upon availability). They also offer an AAA membership rate and an AARP senior rate.
In the Neighborhood
The hotel sits at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and Times Square. The neighborhood is dense with shopping options and the nearby Theater District makes for an easy walk to most Broadway shows. Bryant Park and Hell’s Kitchen, (the latter of which is home to some amazing restaurants), are both nearby.
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The property is about a 30-minute drive from JFK Airport and a 25-minute drive from LaGuardia Airport. It’s also easily accessible via the E train. The best bet is an Uber from LaGuardia, but expect some chaos due to recent construction at the airport.
Nearest Public Transit
The hotel is located right next to the Times Square train station, which has eight subway lines running through it. Essentially, every NYC neighborhood is easily within reach.
The Knickerbocker is a welcome sanctum of smart, cosmopolitan luxury surrounded by the buzz of Times Square and with prime access to the best of New York City.