When considering the best Four Seasons in New York, Downtown vs. Four Seasons Hotel New York, which should you choose? For business or leisure travel.
For the location, go for Four Seasons Hotel New York, located on “Billionaire’s Row” at New York’s most prestigious address, between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue. But if you want to explore One World Trade Center, the 9-11 Memorial Museum, and Brooklyn bridge, Four Seasons Downtown may be a better choice.
Families will love the thoughtful amenities at both hotels, from toys to child-size bathrobes, but for the best pool, it has to be Downtown, which has an incredible and large pool with loads of natural light. There isn’t a pool at the original Four Seasons Hotel New York.
The bar at the original Four Seasons Hotel New York is THE place to be seen. If you are looking for a bar scene, you must stay here. Restaurants are outstanding at both properties and should not be a deal-breaker, but the bar scene is definitely best at the original Four Seasons.
For rooms, I prefer the look and feel of the modern rooms at Four Seasons New York Downtown. I’m not a fan of the pine finishings of the Four Seasons Hotel New York, the rooms don’t feel as modern, but the views, many of which are over Central Park (see the picture above), are much better at Four Seasons Hotel New York.
As for price, on weekends, Four Seasons New York Downtown can come in cheaper, and because this hotel retains the standard Four Seasons luxury, ambiance, and service, I think that it is not worth paying a huge premium to stay in one of these hotels over the other on your next trip to New York. If one of these Four Seasons hotels is priced significantly cheaper than the other, that’s the one I’d pick.
Both hotels are great choices. I love the location and the “happening” nature of the Four Seasons Hotel New York, so this has won my heart regardless of the more dated rooms, but in an ideal world, I would stay at both to enjoy both sides of New York that each Four Seasons will show you.
Whichever Four Seasons Hotel or Resort you chose, get the following free benefits at no extra cost, by booking via our luxury travel concierge:
- Breakfast for two people per bedroom
- Food and beverage credit or spa credit of $100 USD per stay (where you can spend your credit depends on the hotel but the value is always $100 USD)
- Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (this usually excludes suites)
- Early check-in / late check-out (subject to availability)
- Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms
- Complimentary welcome gift (usually a box of chocs, bottle of wine etc)
1. Four Seasons Hotel New York
We love the older Grand Damme Four Seasons Hotel New York, not least for it being “Mr Big’s” base in Manhatten. It is probably the best Four Seasons hotel in New York, although it is tough to choose between these two hotels.
The Four Seasons opened in 1959, inside the Park Avenue skyscraper built by the Bauhaus architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. This ultra-luxury five-star New York hotel is a modern-deco landmark designed by famed architect I.M Pei, located on “Billionaire’s Row” at New York’s most prestigious address, between Park Avenue and Madison Avenue.
Infused with natural light and panoramic park and city views, you can live in serene luxury, high above Manhattan’s exhilarating whirlwind. Rooms have a classic pine design, and some have jaw-dropping views across Central Park. The Central Park Suite has a large terrace where you can eat out, high above Manhatten.
The hotel’s garden looks over its towering Grand Lobby. This creates an enchanted forest-like restaurant setting, both unique and unusual for the center of New York. This is where you can enjoy exceptional breakfast, lunch, and weekend brunch menus. Select a table between the twisting, undulating trunks of enormous African Acacia trees and enjoy the warm dappled sunlight that streams through.
For evening cocktails or beers, try the Ty Bar, an Art Deco après-work scene, and the place to see-and-be-seen. Enjoy a seat near the soaring windows, intimate fireplace, or overlooking the Grand Lobby.
The iconic restaurant at this Four Seasons has a more conflicted past and just a year after opening is once again set to close. Critic Jason Farago described the restaurant’s history in the Guardian: “The restaurant’s heyday was the 1970s. Outside, the city came within days of bankruptcy, and the streets were choked with crime. Inside, tycoons and socialites conducted a choreographed spectacle of dining and table-hopping worthy of France’s ancien régime… New York’s world of publishing gravitated to the Grill Room, as did magazine editors with expense accounts larger than the entire budgets of today’s viral content abattoirs, ‘I’ve hatched every one of my deals in the booths over that swordfish and salad,’ whirrs Tina Brown.
The Four Seasons dining scene wasn’t about the food. Back then, it was and is about doing deals and creating success. While one version of this restaurant has ended. The history of Manhatten has been absorbed into every fiber of this hotel. When you stay at this Four Seasons, you feel the soul of New York.
2. Four Seasons New York Downtown
Four Seasons New York Downtown is the only Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond property in Lower Manhattan. This high-end gem is located in the tallest residential tower in downtown New York. The Hotel soars above this NY neighborhood that’s rewriting itself.
Four Seasons New York Downtown is located on Barclay Street and Church Street, at the northern edge of the Financial District and the southern edge of Tribeca and minutes from Wall Street. The location is ideal for exploring Downtown landmarks, restaurants, shopping, and enjoying being a tourist. One World Trade Center, the 9-11 Memorial Museum, and Brookfield Place, a shopping complex with designer shops like Burberry and Louis Vuitton, are within a 10-minute walk. The Battery Park area south of the hotel is particularly nice to walk around, and this Four Seasons hotel is close to the subway and is also convenient for Uber/Taxis. From the hotel, you can also walk over the Brooklyn Bridge to DUMBO, then take the ferry back, which is a fun trip.
The first 24 floors of this tower are home to Four Seasons, where you can feel a part of Downtown’s energy. Designed by architect Robert A. M. Stern, the Hotel reflects the luxury of Manhattan’s most talked-about residences. Inside, global design stars Yabu Pushelberg have created chic, richly layered retreats in all 189 guest rooms and suites. Some suites feature balconies.
The residential-style accommodations are crisp, clean, and colossal by New York standards; a few suites feature rare outdoor terraces. Rooms have a very residential feel, and usefully for families, you can book rooms with two double beds. The rooms are fantastic. The bathroom has a stand-alone bath by the window, which is a real highlight, and although many rooms are billed at 425 sqft, they seem even larger due to their design.
Dine at CUT by Wolfgang Puck, the celebrity chef’s first restaurant in Manhattan. Escape to the peaceful spa or dip into Downtown’s newest lap pool. In New York City’s newest neighborhood, see and be seen, host your party, event, wedding, or meeting in these Four Seasons function rooms filled with natural light. The Four Seasons comforts and conveniences that you have grown to love will ease your urban experience, whether traveling for business or leisure.
Couples can indulge in the Four Seasons Spa. Business professionals will appreciate the convenient 24-hour business services and gym. And any traveler will enjoy our state-of-the-art lap pool featuring stunning city views. This pool is a huge advantage of this Four Seasons vs. the original one as it is large, at 75-foot (23-metre). It is indoors (with a lifeguard) with lots of big windows streaming lots of daylight and tends to be quiet and more or less empty.
By comparison to the original Four Seasons above, weekend rates can be cheaper at Four Seasons Downtown at around $500 USD, but this does depend on the dates you want to book.
What other hotels should I try in New York? The Ritz-Carlton has one of the best Club Lounges in New York, the Mandarin Oriental has some similarly fantastic views over Central Park, and the Aman New York will be opening soon and will confuse your choice even further. Located within the gilded grandeur of the Crown Building, one of the most expensive, if not sought-after, blocks in the world, making this will be THE place to stay for the luxury traveler. 83 rooms and suites will invite guests to experience the Aman way of life in harmony with the city’s heartbeat.
Rising 26 storeys from the boutique-lined street, the building’s windows and terraces look out over the vast sweep of parkland and survey the world’s most recognizable skyline. The fourth through tenth floors of the building will be occupied by the new Aman hotel, while the 11th floor and above will be transformed into 20, Aman-branded residences.
The new Aman will also encompass an extraordinary three stories Aman Spa, with a dramatic indoor swimming pool surrounded by fire pits and daybeds as its centerpiece. It will be Aman’s third property in the USA, after Amangani in Wyoming and Amangiri in Utah, and will shake up the New York hotel scene like never before.
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