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The Beacon Hotel: An Insider’s Guide blog image

The Beacon Hotel: An Insider’s Guide

February 28 2022

Hotels and secrets go hand in hand. Whether it’s what to ask for at the front desk to get an upgrade or which famous Hollywood Celebrity left a mess in the executive suite – every hotel has its stories, and The Hotel Beacon is no different.

Luckily, we don’t have too many ghosts in the attic, but at almost 100 years old The Beacon Hotel has a rich and vibrant history. It has seen New York transform from a young and prosperous place into the most famous city in the world.

Hotel History

The Hotel Beacon was designed by architect Walter Ahlschlager in 1928, in the popular beaux-arts style. At the time of construction, it was the tallest building in the neighborhood, towering some 24 stories above the streets – something that previously had only been seen in Midtown Manhattan.

Named after the air beacon installed on the rooftop, the hotel was one of three in all of Manhattan to have one – considered a modern marvel at the time. The beacon on the roof of the hotel was believed to be the biggest in the world, at 5 feet in diameter with 1.2 billion candles in power. Unfortunately, the beacon was turned off not long after the hotel's opening, due to changes in white light regulations – but the name stuck.

large_beacon marquis with hotel beacon sign and american flag in the background.

Notable Guests

The Hotel Beacon is located next to the Beacon Theater – a landmark theater that hosts different shows and events throughout the year. Thanks to our close proximity, we are sometimes very lucky to welcome the stars of the show as guests – and if you time it right, you have every chance of meeting one in the corridors!

Aside from The Beacon Theater we are located just minutes from Broadway – and a number of notable writers, musicians, actors, and others working in theater have lived or stayed in the hotel over her 100 year history.

If you’re a fan of jazz, the hotel is frequented by some of the world’s best jazz musicians throughout the year, many of them taking advantage of our apartment-style suites to create a home from home when visiting and performing at famous jazz venues throughout the city – including the Lincoln Theater.  

The Unofficial Dalai Lama Suite

It’s a lesser-known fact that the Dalai Lama has stayed in the Hotel Beacon on multiple occasions – so often he has a preferred suite during his stays, naturally the suite is now internally and eternally dubbed “the Dalai Lama Suite ''. We would never give away a guest’s secrets, but we will tell you it’s one of our largest one-bedroom suites and offers 360-degree views across the city.

Best Room Tips

No two hotel rooms are the same – even in the same building. Views, layouts and square footage are often impossible to replicate perfectly throughout apartments in any given building – and we are no different. The Beacon Hotel offers a range of different rooms and suites, and if you know where to look you can score the best of what we have to offer - whether its a better view or a bigger room that interests you. 

Hotel beacon room with a view across new york city sky line.

Best Views

Love the sunset? The Queen Studio rooms in the Hotel Beacon are smaller than our other studios – but they offer the best view of the sunrise across Central Park. The Queen Studios are perfect for anyone traveling alone who wants to make the most of an early start. 

Making the Most of Upgrades

Upgrading at the Hotel Beacon is affordable and improves on our already impressive rooms and suites. Our executive studios and suites are much larger than your average New York City hotel rooms and if you’re staying more than a night or two, you will really feel the difference - especially if there is more than one of you.

private terrace at the hotel beacon, tables with iron chairs and green umbrellas with a view over a grey new york sky line.

A Penthouse with a View

We wouldn’t be a New York City hotel without an impressive Penthouse Suite – and the Hotel Beacon boasts more than one! One of our penthouses suites offers its own private 550sq terrace with views over Central Park, whilst another spans from one side of the hotel to the other offering views across Broadway, as well as views across South and East Manhattan. 

Family Friendly

One of the biggest perks of staying in the Beacon is the option to stay in a large suite. With two kitchens, two bathrooms and a kitchen our apartment-style suites make it easy for families and friendship groups to stay together, comfortably. Offering two king size beds in the first bedroom, a second in the second bedroom and a queen-sized pull-out sofa bed in the living room there is ample space for even the biggest groups to relax. 

Thinking about visiting The Upper West Side this Spring? Take a look at the extensive range of rooms and suites The Hotel Beacon has to offer.