Situated between Columbus Circle to 110th or 125th street (depending on whom you ask) and Central Park West to Riverside Park in Manhattan, the Upper West Side is primarily known as a thriving residential community. It is home to Columbia University and such renowned cultural organizations as Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and the American Museum of Natural History—both of which also serve as popular Upper West Side meeting venues.
Visitors can travel to and from New York City's three major airports with relative ease, as they are a short driving distance away from the Upper West Side: LaGuardia Airport (10 miles), John F. Kennedy International Airport (19 miles) and Newark Liberty International Airport (19 miles). Getting around the city can be achieved thanks to convenient Air Link trains, MTA subway stations and bus stops and the non-stop cabs ready to pick up passengers.
While the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Piers 92/94 (both in Midtown) are the largest meeting venues in New York City, most Upper West Side venues can accommodate groups of all sizes. Music lovers can mix and mingle at Jazz at Lincoln Center, which offers seven event areas, such as the 1,233-seat Rose Theater, the 2,300-square-foot Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and The Allen Room, ideal for groups of up to 420 for banquets and 600 for cocktail receptions. The multi-functional Landmark on the Park has a total of 13,000 square feet in meeting space spread out among its conference rooms, gymnasium and neo-Gothic cap main hall. Historic Beacon Theatre provides a gorgeous Art Deco design and accommodates parties of 3,000 or intimate screenings for 300.
Planners will find the area is also home to many top hotels, including the Mandarin Oriental, New York in the Time Warner Center, Trump International Hotel and Tower and the Empire Hotel. More idiosyncratic accommodations can be found at the 260-room Hotel Beacon, the 92-room Comfort Inn Central Park West or the 57-room Phillips Club.
For group dining, the wide range of Upper West Side venues satisfy all cravings. Stunning skyline views and savory cuisine are part of the experience at Asiate, a 90-seat restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental known for its Eastern influences. Foodies often flock to Jean Georges, known for such accolades as winning AAA 5 Diamonds and 3 Stars from the Michelin Guide. A colorful event venue is the David Rockwell-designed Rosa Mexicano, which accommodates 110 for banquets and 200 for cocktail receptions.
While spending time in Central Park can be the sole activity on any group itinerary, the Upper West Side has other worthwhile points of interests like St. John the Divine, the world's largest Gothic cathedral; and Fort Tryon Park, home to the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval collection.