The Kimberly Hotel in New York is a grand, European-style hotel with large suites and private balconies — and it's surprisingly affordable

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  • The Kimberly Hotel in New York boasts large suites with private balconies, a Manhattan rarity.
  • Rates typically start at $350, but Luxury One-Bedroom Suites are as low as $279 per night right now.
  • It’s one of many US luxury hotels seeing dramatic price reductions amidst the pandemic. 

An affordable and spacious suite with a private balcony in central Manhattan might seem like a pipe dream, but The Kimberly Hotel makes it possible.

Although its exterior blends into the relatively nondescript architecture of Midtown Manhattan, classical aesthetic treats await guests at this European-style boutique hotel. While it’s not an all-suite property, it has just 40 guest rooms compared to 154 suites. Adding to the allure, nearly all of the suites come with private balconies. This an almost unheard-of amenity in New York City unless your willing to spend serious money, and a major perk given that a private spot to enjoy fresh air is the ultimate luxury right now.

During non-pandemic times, the hotel has a price tag closer to what you might expect, with rooms typically starting around $350 and suites going for upwards of $450 during the peak season. But, like many luxury hotels right now, The Kimberly has recently significantly reduced its rates, making it a serious steal. I recently booked a Luxury One-Bedroom Suite for just $279 per night, plus taxes and fees, and basic rooms start as low as $229.

The hotel’s draws stretch further than just its accommodations and prices, though, and its rooftop restaurant is a local favorite that visitors would do well to visit, even if they’re not staying here. Additionally, the property’s location on East 50th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue, just a few blocks from Midtown landmarks such as St Patrick’s Cathedral and the Rockefeller Center, ensure there are plenty of city highlights that are walkable from the hotel.

In addition to the low suite rates that drew me in, I was also personally interested to see how a hotel in the heart of New York City was implementing COVID-19 protocols. Plus, the hotel’s three restaurants, including two on the ground floor and its rooftop outlet, Upstairs at the Kimberly, were billed as open, albeit with understandable new hygiene and distancing protocols in place.

I enjoyed the thoroughly high-end experience and also felt welcome and safe throughout my stay thanks to experienced staff and the diligent implementation of all new COVID-19 safety standards. Given the current prices especially, I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone planning a visit to New York.

  • The first impression
  • The room
  • On-site amenities
  • What’s nearby
  • What others say
  • What you need to know
  • The bottom line
  • COVID-19 policies
  • Book The Kimberly Hotel starting at $229 per night

Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by The Kimberly Hotel.

The Kimberly Hotel wasn’t immediately striking as I approached, but its functional, high-rise exterior quickly gave way to a grand entrance. As soon as I stepped into the newly refurbished lobby, any misconceptions I had harbored about this being another boring Midtown hotel were quickly put to rest.

A red carpet led me through gold-trimmed revolving doors into a palatial space brimming with classical paintings, marble and gold leaf decor, fresh flowers, and chandeliers.

The staff was clearly just a skeleton crew and consisted solely of a uniformed doorman and a besuited front desk assistant. But both welcomed me very politely, and I later found out that many of the staff have worked here for years, if not decades.

The staff were masked and the lobby had hand sanitizing stations, plastic screens at the desk, and a digital temperature-reading station that even non-guests were required to use before going into any of the food and beverage outlets.

I had arrived an hour before the official 4 p.m. check-in time, but my suite was already ready. The lobby staff could not have been more pleasant, and I felt like a favorite returning guest rather than a first-timer. I was also in good company — a framed letter from President Jimmy Carter hung at the reception letting me know that he had been a former guest. 

The front desk attendant gave me a brief rundown of the on-site restaurants and their current availability before handing me my keys. I was given a suite on the 29th floor, just one floor short of the very top, which I was very appreciative of.

As I approached my Luxury One-Bedroom Suite, I noticed immediately that the door had a seal to ensure nobody had entered the room since it had been cleaned, which was in keeping with the promised protocols on the hotel website. The room also smelled fresh and newly cleaned.

With 550 square feet of space, I was also impressed with the size of the room, especially for a central Manhattan hotel.

I looked out on the balcony almost straight away and was pleased to find it was not a tiny Juliet balcony, but a decently large outdoor space. However, it did not have any furniture. Although that wasn’t much of a problem in the colder weather, it would have been a bigger disappointment during the warmer season.

The Midtown views were excellent, with the Chrysler Building glowing in the dusk, and I could even glimpse the river through some of the high-rise towers.

The decor of the room definitely skewed traditional, with lots of patterned fabrics. The reds and yellows of the statement furniture pieces popped against more muted greens and golds. The living space was large and comfortable with a velvet sofa, and there was a handsome period-looking writing desk with detailed staining on the wood and a small dining table.

The large TV screens in both the living room and the bedroom proved useful for watching movies during and post mealtime.

So far, so regal, and in addition to this was a small, but well-equipped kitchenette with everything you might need to self-cater, including a large fridge, a microwave, and a Nespresso coffee machine, as well as cutlery, plates, and glassware. Other welcome additions included umbrellas and some complimentary bottles of water.

All of the storage was in large closets around the main living space, freeing up room in the bedroom, which was plenty big enough to accommodate the King bed and have ample walking around space. The Frette linens had a luxe feel and there was an ornate, miniature chaise longue at the end of the bed. There was also an electric shoe polishing machine plugged in near the bed, an amenity that you don’t see too often and that not everyone might necessarily make use of.

The bed was firm and spacious and the sound insulation was excellent, making for a very sound night’s sleep with no city noise that evening. 

Still more exploration turned up a vanity sink and mirror just outside the bathroom. Inside the actual bathroom, I was met with lovely, dappled black marble and tiling on the walls and countertops. The bathtub was deep and the L’Occitaine products maintained the high-end feel.

A beauty kit had an array of useful items, such as earplugs and individual tooth flossers. I treated myself to a decadent soak, but a quick test of the water pressure from the shower didn’t disappoint.

Standard guest rooms run a wide range anywhere from 160 to 320 square feet and start as low as $229 per night. so for an extra $50 per night, I was getting much more space and a private balcony, which seemed like a great deal.

I suppose if I was on a tighter budget with little use for the extras, I might have considered booking an entry-level guest room. But with suites currently starting at just $50 a night extra, I would advise most guests to splurge for the upgrade and indulge in the significant additional space that comes with it. For Manhattan, my suite felt like an absolute steal, especially given the access to a good size private balcony.

Compare room types and prices for The Kimberly Hotel

Standard guest rooms run a wide range anywhere from 160 to 320 square feet and start as low as $229 per night. so for an extra $50 per night, I was getting much more space and a private balcony, which seemed like a great deal.

I suppose if I was on a tighter budget with little use for the extras, I might have considered booking an entry-level guest room. But with suites currently starting at just $50 a night extra, I would advise most guests to splurge for the upgrade and indulge in the significant additional space that comes with it. For Manhattan, my suite felt like an absolute steal, especially given the access to a good size private balcony.

Compare room types and prices for The Kimberly Hotel

The Kimberly Hotel was doing a good job of keeping many of its facilities open to guests, save a couple of activities that just don’t work during COVID-19.

Just off the lobby, the hotel’s Italian restaurant, Bistango, welcomes guests with a striking aquarium that dominates the room. The colorful tank is teeming with fish of all stripes, which makes for a fun and unique setting.

Also open for business while I was there were the hotel’s other restaurants, Empire Steakhouse, and the rooftop spot, Upstairs at the Kimberly. Both looked to be well-attended by walk-in customers, though all diners had to pass a temperature assessment before entering.

However, I opted to order take-out from Bistango to eat in my room and the food deserves the plaudits that it receives. Though I might get flack from locals for this opinion, it was honestly some of the best Italian food I’ve had in New York. While the restaurant was open with reduced capacity when I visited, New York is currently back to no indoor dining, so current visitors would also have to follow my lead and dine in their rooms, or brave the chilly weather and dine outdoors at a nearby restaurant.

The hotel also just rolled out a brand new en-suite dining program, allowing diners to book separate empty suites in the hotel as private dining rooms for groups of up to four people. Diners will be able to choose from prix-fixe menus at Bistango or Empire Steakhouse for a $150 minimum spend, with a 20%t discount for hotel guests.

The Kimberly Hotel also usually offers guests a $30 buffet dinner on their private yacht and complimentary use of any New York Health and Racquet Club for the duration of their stay, but these have been suspended during COVID-19. The hotel’s own small exercise room was open, with a reservation system and notices for guests to respect distancing rules.

The Kimberly Hotel enjoys a great location in Midtown Manhattan. It’s just a couple of blocks from the 51st Street Metro station and a couple of minutes’ walk from Grand Central Station, so public transportation is highly convenient.

The Rockefeller Center, the Museum of Modern Art, Radio City Music Hall are close by, and it’s not too far of a walk to Central Park, around 20 minutes on foot. You can also be in the Broadway/Theater District in about the same amount of time.

Check flight prices to New York City on Expedia

The Kimberly Hotel receives a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Trip Advisor and is ranked 20 out of 509 hotels in New York City with just over 2,500 reviews.

The professionalism of the long-time staff really shines out in the reviews, with comments such as this being typical: “The staff was kind, friendly, attentive, informative, and always went the extra mile to help us with our bags, bring requested amenities to our rooms, and assist us!”

That said, some guests are not impressed by the classical style, so fans of sleek, high-tech minimalism might want to consider alternatives and may find this hotel somewhat stuffy.

Read reviews, compare prices, and book The Kimberly Hotel on TripAdvisor

Who stays here: It’s a good bet for business and leisure guests who want a bit more space for a little more outlay. Fans of old-school, European-style properties will especially appreciate the decor. 

We like: Having a balcony space that you can walk out onto is such a luxury in downtown Manhattan.

We love (don’t miss this feature!): The Italian food at Bistango is truly outstanding, and the huge aquarium is a striking feature. Even with the dining room closed, you can order in fro the on-site restaurants to your room.

We think you should know: The rooftop bar is a very popular spot and reservations are a good idea.  

We’d do this differently next time: When it’s open again for indoor dining, I’d eat breakfast at Upstairs at the Kimberly. It also has good reviews and after being blown away by dinner, I’d love to try the on-site breakfast option.

The Kimberly Hotel has its COVID-19 policies laid out in a video on its homepage.

In summary:

  • The hotel has implemented new cleaning and social distancing protocols to address guests’ safety concerns.
  • Employees and guests will have their temperatures checked on entering the hotel.
  • Sanitized room keys will come with PPE packs of masks, sanitizer and wipes.
  • Staff and guests to wear masks at all times in public spaces.
  • A seal is placed across the door of guest rooms post-cleaning for reassurance.

I did not receive a PPE pack on checking in, but otherwise, the protocols and hygiene practices of the hotel staff were very good. With the digital temperature-reading facility, hand sanitizing stations, and notices to social distance, I felt that the hotel was doing a nice job of maintaining hygiene while keeping some of its amenities open for guest enjoyment. 

With a current starting rate of $229 for rooms and $279 for suites with private balconies, The Kimberly offers exceptional value, especially when compared with other luxury Manhattan mainstays. While entry-level rooms are plenty nice, I would highly recommend spending the additional $50 per night for the upgrade, especially for couples or families.

While I really loved the traditional decor and old-school touches like the in-room shoe-shining machine, those seeking a more modern minimalist or high-tech hotel should look elsewhere. Additionally, the Midtown location is great for first-time visitors and those staying over for business, but younger travelers looking for a hip nightlife scene might prefer a downtown stay.

That said, the staff members truly went above and beyond and made me feel like a beloved repeat guest rather than a first-timer, which gave the hotel a homier touch. 

The take-out service at Bistango was superb and the hotel was diligent about enforcing COVID-19 protocols. I felt very safe during my safe thanks to room seals, temperature checks, enforced mask and distancing measures, and more.

The Kimberly is currently one of the best deals you can find in New York, and I would gladly stay here again. 

Book a room at The Kimberly Hotel starting at $229 per night

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