In the heart of Manhattan, the New Year's Eve celebration is an annual spectacle in New York City's Times Square that's been a popular draw since 1907. The event known as the ball drop is followed immediately by confetti and fireworks. It attracts more than one million spectators plus another billion people watching a live broadcast as midnight approaches. An illuminated crystal ball descends 141 feet in 60 seconds beginning at 11:59 p.m. from the rooftop of One Times Square to mark the new year's beginning. The famous six-ton geodesic sphere measures 12 feet in diameter, easily seen from one of the few hotels in and around Times Square that's located just right for a view.
New York Marriott Marquis
Steps away from One Times Square, the Marriott Marquis hotel throws a party with live streaming of the ball drop. Despite not having a view, revelers can ring in the New Year with open bar, dinner and dancing on the 48th floor restaurant and lounge starting at about $750 per person. The hotel also throws a New Year’s Eve party in one of the ballrooms where the windows have a full or partial view over the live television broadcast's main stage at Times Square. Prices are from about $500 to $3,500 per person. New Year's Eve hotel packages for overnight stays, some with a two-night minimum, are additional with rooms featuring a ball drop view starting at $3,000 per night.
Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel
The New Year's Eve party at R Lounge is in a hotel with ideal views of the ball drop. You don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to buy tickets to the New Year’s celebration, but be prepared to pay dearly for the privilege. Private VIP terrace tables with a front row seat are sold at $16,500 and include three nights' accommodation. Alternatively, standing-room only tickets to the party are $1,500, giving access to the bar with unlimited champagne and hors d'oeuvres. A table for two starts at $3,500.
Named for its Moroccan-style decor, the rooftop of the 48-room Casablanca Hotel overlooks Times Square from its West 43rd Street address. The Library Collection hotel has a four-night minimum stay for its New Year's accommodation package with drinks, dinner, music and dancing. The evening's festivities take place in the hotel's upstairs club, Rick's Café, where a cozy fireplace sets an intimate mood.
The Knickerbocker Hotel
Laying claim to the world's closest view of the ball drop at just 150 feet from its corner at Broadway and 42nd Street, New York City's landmark Knickerbocker has several offers for New Year's Eve partygoers. Each package includes accommodation, hors d'oeuvres, an open bar and a midnight champagne toast at an outdoor rooftop party with food catered by Charlie Palmer Restaurant. There's an excellent ball drop view from the outdoor terrace; some pricey packages are offered complete with reserved seating, heaters and blankets for prices starting at more than $6,000 per room.
Hyatt Centric Times Square
At Bar 54, guests watch the ball drop from New York City's tallest rooftop lounge. A five-hour black tie optional party with open bar and passed hors d'oeuvres has general admission standing-room only tickets starting at approximately $1,200 per person; tables and seats command a significantly higher premium. Accommodation at the hotel can be arranged separately.
Choose your budget for the hotel's five-hour New Year's Eve party with open bar and food service plus a ball drop view. Millennium Broadway on West 44th Street has options ranging from $1,000 for general admission for standing room only to $50,000 for a private room for up to 15 people. Total capacity is 140 people. Overnight accommodations are additional.
The Premier Hotel Times Square by Millennium Hotels
On West 44th Street, the Premier Hotel's penthouse has direct views over the New Year's Eve ball drop countdown. With a room capacity for 60 guests, the five-hour party with open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres begins at 8 p.m. for those with tickets priced from about $1,200 per person.
From the 30th floor on West 39th Street, a contemporary multi-level, open-air rooftop terrace at The Skylark has skyline and direct ball drop views that include the Empire State Building. General admission to the New Year's Eve party with open bar and hors d'oeuvres starts at more than $300 per person.
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel
On Broadway, the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel New York City Times Square is an all-suites property where 40 of the 460 rooms face Times Square for a view of the ball drop. Accommodation packages for a minimum of two nights are offered in two-room suites without the view and also in two-room suites that overlook the midnight event from floors 20 through 43. Expect to find rates running more than $5,000 per room per night for that special view.
Hilton Garden Inn New York/Times Square Central
Moments from One Times Square where the ball drops, the Hilton Garden Inn is one of Manhattan's newest hotels. The property states that some of its guest rooms overlook the ball drop, and that the lobby, restaurant and bar and other public spaces have direct views. However, the hotel on West 42nd Street may close for private events on December 31, so be sure to check before you make plans to stay there.
Hilton Times Square
Also located on 42nd Street, this Hilton hotel has some guest rooms with "a limited side view." The New Year's Eve Rooftop Package includes king-bed accommodation, dinner for two, a champagne toast and breakfast for two on New Year's Day.