1. Rockefeller Center Hotel: As close to the action as you can possibly get. Literally step outside the hotel and go put on your skates. When you're done, head back to the hotel's downstairs joint Johnny Utah's (pictured above) for some bull-riding and shenanigans.
Starting room rate: $345 for a single.
2. The New York Palace: Not only is this the Gossip Girl hotel, it's also really close to Rock Center, about two blocks. A part of the Dorchester Collection, the hotel is offering a holiday package where you book four nights and the fourth is complimentary. Or if you book three, the third night is 50 percent off. Staring room rate: About $470 for a deluxe guest room.
3. Waldorf-Astoria: Yes, this hotel is a tourist trap. But it's the holiday season and this will hotel remind you of the olden days of Christmas in New York as not much has been changed over the years throughout the hotel. Check out the pink Ladies Rooms in the lobby to see what we mean. If you can, book early in the season as room rates get higher near Christmas and New Years.
Starting room rate: $659 for a queen (during peak holiday season).
4. Hotel Elysee: What we love about the Hotel Elysee is that it's a nice respite from the "bigger is better" mentality that pervades Midtown. The small hotel has a second floor Club lounge open to all hotel guests that has a wine-tasting hour in the afternoons and a complimentary breakfast in the mornings. Also, who doesn't love a hotel that Facebooks?
Starting room rate: $525 for a deluxe room.
5. Thompson LES: We're in a recession these days and we know not everyone can splurge on the Palace or the Waldorf. But up near Rock Center even the Holiday Inn Express has some jacked rates ($349 a night!) So we say book a room at the under $200 Thompson LES which has free WiFi and a brand-new restaurant. You can take the subway (the F is right outside the hotel and goes up to Rock Center) or just cab it. It will still be cheaper than the rooms near the tree.
Starting room rate: $179 for a queen superior room.
[Photo of Rockefeller Center: Glazaro]