Best Marriott Category 6 hotels in New York City for families

Jan 3, 2021

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The Big Apple is on many families’ lists of dream destinations, and while the fancier hotels get much of the attention, there are family-friendly deals hidden here and there. Luckily, you can find several solid Marriott hotel options in New York City if you have a Marriott up to an annual up to 50k award night at your disposal from the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card.  

If anything, the trouble with Category 6 Marriott properties is digging through the plethora of options that look similar on paper. We’re here to help you sort through the list.

View of the skyline of New York. Photo by Getty Images
View of the skyline of New York. (Photo by Getty Images)

Things to Consider Before Booking a Stay

Planning a trip to New York City with a family can be a complicated endeavor that depends on what part of town is your focus and what attractions are most important for your family to experience. Here are some things to ponder before booking your trip.

Are you staying peak or off-peak?

The time of year you visit New York City can plan a big part in deciding what hotel options work for you. If you happen to be traveling off-peak, your options expand greatly as 50,000 points could get you into a Category 7 hotel on off-peak dates. Conversely, if you are traveling during a peak season, this list will not apply to you at all. You’ll want to browse from the Category 5 hotels we’ve selected.

Are you staying for five nights?

If you have both award night certificates and points to burn, you may want to save your certificate and book five nights using points because then the fifth night would be free. If you need more points to get you to the necessary amount, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Marriott Bonvoy account. However, on paper Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth more than double a Marriott point so I would only suggest this if you need to top up.

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Apply for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card for the opportunity to earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

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Beware of taxes and fees

The daily hotel tax rate is comprised of several different taxes and totals a whopping 14.75% plus $1.50 each day. Award rates aren’t taxed, which could make a big difference between paying cash and using an award. However, there is an increasing (and nasty) trend for some properties to charge “destination fees,” which are essentially resort fees by another name. These fees will be charged even on award stays. The higher the category, the more likely the hotel charges a destination fee. In fact, the St. Regis New York (which is at the top of the award chart) tacks on a $50 destination fee per day.

Statue of Liberty
Maybe you’ll have a view of the Statue of Liberty. (Photo by Tetra Images / Getty Images)

Small rooms are the norm

New York City hotel rooms are small, even at many of the luxury hotels. At a Category 6 property, you’ll be lucky to find rooms larger than 250 square feet. Most Category 6 hotels in Manhattan that sleep four people offer two double beds as opposed to two queen beds.

My Family’s Criteria for Booking a NYC Hotel

Here are the things that are important to me when booking a stay for my family in the Big Apple.

Rooms that sleep four

My No. 1 criteria for any family trip to NYC is finding rooms that sleep four. Many rooms with two double beds, and even two queen beds, are sometimes only listed for two or three people. I know families that regularly “sneak” their kids into rooms that are not technically rated for four people, but it’s not a practice I personally recommend. The one time you get caught could cost you thousands in last-minute hotel fees or worse: no place to stay. If you’ve got more than two kids, check out these tips for booking hotel rooms for large families.

Location, location, location

With over 20 Category 6 Marriott properties in Manhattan, the options are varied. You’ll want to pick the location that best appeals to you and your family. If you don’t yet know which NYC attractions to put on your to-do list, read up on these affordable and family-friendly activities.

Here’s where I admit my bias: I’m not a huge fan of the atmosphere in the area between Penn Station (West 34th Street) and Times Square South (West 42nd Street). Many midrange properties are in this area but rank lower on my list. There’s nothing wrong with this neighborhood safety-wise, I just don’t feel it represents the best of what New York City has to offer.

If you want to stay in the Theater District or near Times Square, I suggest north of West 42nd Street. If you want Times Square proper, it’s between 42nd and 47th, but I’m a bigger fan of staying in the West 50s. You’re still close enough to Midtown attractions but are also within range of Central Park and Columbus Circle. I should note that this neighborhood is called “Hell’s Kitchen,” but don’t let the name scare you. It’s perfectly family-friendly.

When you think “West” or “East” in New York City, the starting point is Fifth Avenue. Most of what you want to see is likely on the West Side. There’s nothing wrong with staying on the East Side, just keep in mind that while walks between numbered street blocks are short, walks between avenues are longer.

Alternatively, you could go for more of a neighborhood vibe in Chelsea, SoHo or Tribeca. This is where Mommy Points’ often prefers to stay. You’ll have to take the subway to get to most attractions, but you’ll have a more classic New York experience.

A third option is to stay downtown. Doing so provides proximity to downtown attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial and neighborhoods such as Little Italy or Chinatown.

Real-time availability

I see a lot of this when I search Marriott.com for New York properties rated for four people:

Screen shot via Marriott.com
Screenshot via Marriott.com

With that in mind, I’m only recommending properties that show a reasonable amount of bookable dates open in the next six months.

The Best NYC Category 6 Marriott Hotels for Families

In no particular order, here are my top Category 6 Marriott properties for families in NYC:

Moxy NYC Chelsea

The Moxy New York is a new outlet of Marriott’s “too-cool-for-school” brand. I really like the way they’ve utilized every inch of the rooms’ limited 195 square feet, with features like a fold-down desk and sliding doors separating the bathroom vanity from the sleeping area. Those doors help everyone get ready and out the door much more quickly.

Image courtesy of Moxy NYC
Image courtesy of Moxy NYC

Springhill Suites New York Midtown Manhattan/Park Avenue

I don’t really understand why they’re calling this location “Midtown” as the hotel is at 24th between Park and Lexington Avenues. That said, with the Springhill brand offering free breakfast and larger rooms, it could be a good choice. My experience is that new hotels are often under-categorized for a short period of time after opening, so watch this space.

Courtyard and Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Central Park

These two hotels share a building on 1717 Broadway just south of Columbus Circle. The Residence Inn has a unique distinction: the highest hotel in the United States. Both hotels offer jaw-dropping views of Central Park or Manhattan. The Residence Inn is my go-to for personal stays, but the Courtyard often has better availability on points. Rooms sleeping four offer two doubles.

(Photo courtesy of Residence Inn by Marriott, Manhattan/Central Park)
(Photo courtesy of Residence Inn by Marriott, Manhattan/Central Park)

Sheraton New York Times Square

If you want to stay in Midtown, the Sheraton’s location on 53rd and 7th makes it a good choice. Even traditional rooms offer two doubles so you shouldn’t have a problem finding rooms for four on points. The hotel also has a club level so could offer good value for elites. The annoying $25 resort fee includes a $30 restaurant credit.

(Photo courtesy of Sheraton New York, Times Square)
(Photo courtesy of Sheraton New York, Times Square)

Fairfield Inn and Suites Manhattan/Central Park

At 57th Street between 10th and 11th avenues, the Fairfield feels more like an apartment setting than a hotel. It’s only two blocks from Columbus Square subway station and Central Park. Free breakfast is another nice perk.

(Photo courtesy of Fairfield Inn and Suites Manhattan)
(Photo courtesy of Fairfield Inn and Suites Manhattan)

 

Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Midtown East

This Residence Inn at Lexington and 48th Street is a winner due to its room size of 300 square feet and for the rooms for four offer queen-sized beds. Residence Inns also offer free breakfast and a (very basic) in-room kitchenette, which can save on meals.

Photo courtesy Marriott

Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East

The Courtyard New York Manhattan/Midtown East is conveniently located near the 53rd and Lexington Avenue subway station, which would be enough to get it in the list. However, it also offers rooms with either a king and sofa bed or two queen beds on points that come in at an enormous 348 square feet. That’s larger than some Manhattan Apartments.

Image via Marriott
Image Via Marriott

Bottom Line

I’d love to hear if your family has a favorite Category 6 Marriott property in New York City. If so, please share your experiences. And, if you don’t have a Marriott free night certificate at your disposal, here are some other options for other family-friendly points hotels in NYC.

Featured Image by Getty Images

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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