It’s quite possibly the most kid-friendly hotel chain we know of
The Loews Regency New York may be a luxury hotel with a posh Park Avenue address (it’s nestled between scores of ritzy residences and high-end shops), but step inside and it’s as down-to-earth as you can get.
Consider this: When we arrived at the hotel on a recent afternoon, the four of us bleary-eyed after a cross-country flight, the bellman handed my kids “Loews Loves Families” balloons and initiated an impromptu game of balloon-style hackey sack. Right there in the lobby.
And that’s the kind of place this is: Upscale, but friendly. Fancy—but not so much that you feel unwelcome when you walk in with a mom bun and a gaggle of kids all shouting, “Pass it! Pass it!” while they abandon their bags on the marble floors so they can play balloon-ball with the bellman.
So if you were ever intimated at the idea of taking your kids to New York City, here’s where that worry stops. From its family-friendly location (playgrounds galore!!) to the special perks for kids and pets (snacks and treats for both!), here’s everything you need to know about the Loews Regency New York—and how the “Loews Loves Families” program makes it the perfect home base when visiting the Big Apple.
Rooms That Let You Have Your Space (with great views)
All of the Regency’s 379 guestrooms are spacious… at least, for New York City standards, (this is Manhattan, after all). Standard King rooms start at 250 square feet, with suites and apartments going up to 5,520 square feet. All guest rooms have elegant furnishings, city views, and uber-comfy beds with crisp white linens, and overstuffed pillows. There are smart TVs, personalized temperature controls, electronic window shades, plenty of built-in power outlets, bath and body products from the posh Julien Farel spa downstairs, and 24-hour room service.
Of course, nothing impressed my kids as much as the flat-screen TVs built into the bathroom mirrors (these come standard in all rooms). Suffice it to say, my kids spent a lot of time in the bathroom.
The Suite Life: If you want to splurge (no understatement, since larger suites can cost upwards of $1,500 a night during peak season), Loews’ one and two-bedroom suites will have you feeling like New York royalty, with spacious apartment-style accommodations boasting full living rooms, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, and upscale furnishings.
There are also six themed “Signature Suites” that feel more like opulent Upper East Side apartments than standard hotel rooms. These include the “Uptown Bohemian Suite,” the “Nate Berkus Apartment,” the “Bespoke Suite,” the “Classic 1970s Apartment,” the “Glamour Suite,” and the “Pop Art Suite.” Insiders say these suites—which feature furniture, art, and decor to reflect the various themes—are often booked by locals who need a luxe home-away-from-home while their Manhattan townhouses are renovated.
Fun Fact: The Loews Regency New York is the first Loews hotel in the country, opening in 1963.
“Loews Loves Families” Perks for Kids
Traveling with kids takes planning, and the Loews Loves Families program—which is available in all 26 Loews hotels and resorts across North America—wants to make that part a bit easier by supplying things that you know you’ll need but don’t want to pack. The hotel also prides itself on its family-friendly atmosphere, and this is reflected all over the hotel, including the dining rooms, where kids are always welcome.
Families at the Loews Regency (or any Loews, for that matter) can expect:
Baby & kid supplies: This includes complimentary cribs and baby bath amenity kits as well as night lights, bed rails, playpens, baby bathtubs, humidifiers, stuffed animals, kettles, and noise machines.
Complimentary baby proofing: If you’d like the hotel staff to cover the outlets before your arrival, just let the hotel know before you check in.
Welcome amenities: Upon check-in, kids will get a welcome amenity (balloons and snacks for us, but smaller kids may get stuffed animals, coloring books, and locally-themed goodies). You can also request cookies and juice be delivered to your room upon your arrival.
*Above items are subject to property availability.
Food kids will eat—in an environment grown-ups appreciate: If you want to dine in, there are kid-friendly menus at the restaurant (and in-room dining) that include fresh organic baby food for your smallest foodie, as well as kid faves like burgers, pancakes, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Good to Know: Breakfast at the Regency Bar and Grill is a veritable Who’s Who of Manhattan’s social and business scene (it’s the home of the original “Power Breakfast,” which Forbes magazine described as a place “at which the city’s movers and shakers get in an early morning meeting before limo-ing off to Wall Street, City Hall or some media conglomerate.”). So if you want to dine at the hotel, we recommend breakfast.
Free coffee and tea in the lobby: This one’s all for Mom and Dad. But, you know you’ll need it.
Insider’s Tip: Use the concierge! When we needed to find a kid-friendly restaurant that would be good for the grandparents, the concierge found the perfect place and made the reservations for us. He also helped us even before we got there by recommending the best way to get to the hotel from Newark Airport. Be sure to reach out before you embark on your trip by emailing regencyconcierge@loewshotels.
And… Bring your Dog!
Want to bring your dog with you (we did)? No problem! The “Loews Loves Pets” program will treat your furbaby like the VIP she is, with silver bowls, treats, doggie bags, and pet placemats in your room when you arrive. You’ll also get a doorknob hanger that notifies the cleaning crew not to come in (or to come in carefully, if that’s what you prefer) when your dog is left behind.
The hotel can also provide everything your pet needs, including plush pet beds, litter boxes, scratching posts, pet toys, leashes, collars, and more. Want to take your dog with you on your adventures? Ask the front desk for a dog-walking map plus a list of pet-friendly restaurants nearby. Or, if you need someplace for your pooch to play while you’re away, the hotel has connections to nearby pet-walking and pet-sitting services.
Note: The pet fee is $50 and the hotel can only accommodate two pets per room.
Location, Location, Location!
If you’re not from here, you might think Manhattan would be a scary place for littles—The noise! The crowds! The bumper-to-bumper traffic that makes catching a cab a bonafide skill! But in this largely residential neighborhood filled with designer stores and swanky brownstones, you’ll find nothing of the sort. Instead, there are wide open sidewalks, tree-lined streets, and nobody anywhere trying to sell you a double-decker bus tour (save that for Times Square).
The best part? Central Park is just two blocks away, and it’s the perfect place to let your kids stretch their newfound city legs. So put on your walking shoes and check out these nearby spots:
Central Park’s Billy Johnson Playground (5-minute walk): Stroll into the park to find this magical playground inspired by the natural landscape of Central Park, featuring a miniature rock bridge, numerous water sprinklers, and a 45-foot granite slide built into the existing hillside.
Central Park Zoo (5-minute walk): A 7-acre zoo nestled into the southeast corner of Central Park (just two blocks from the hotel!), featuring animals from tropical, temperate, and polar zones from around the world. Don’t miss the Tisch Children’s Zoo, where kids can get up close and personal with the goats, sheep, cow, and pot-bellied pigs. For visiting information, click here.
Heckscher Playground (10-minute walk): This is Central Park’s oldest and largest playground, and it’s a must-see! The sprawling playground features multiple swings, slides, and an extensive water feature with elevated walkways connected to the ground via ladders and slides. Even cooler, all of it is set against Umpire Rock, one of Central Park’s most dramatic rock outcrops that kids will love scurrying up and around.
Subway to… the rest: Of course, Manhattan is a small island, so anything you want to see is always just a few subway stops away (there’s a subway stop three blocks from the hotel, or you can ask the bellman to call you a taxi). Iconic spots such as the Empire State Building, FAO Schwartz toy store, Rockefeller Center, and the Theater District are all less than 2 miles away, or you can take the E Train from the Upper East Side to Lower Manhattan to check out One World Trade Center Observatory, which offers a spectacular view from the 100th through 102nd floor—and a 47-second, LED projection-assisted “Sky Pod” ride to get there that will be the highlight of your trip.
Loews Regency New York
540 Park Ave., New York, NY
Rates: Standard rooms start at $399 in the winter (Jan-March) and go up to $739 per night in the fall. Kids under 18 stay free.
—all images courtesy of the author
Editor’s note: This trip was paid for by Loews Regency New York but all opinions belong to the writer.