Best design hotels in NYC: Where to stay in glossy-mag style

These New York design hotels make a statement, from cool minimalism to mixed-up vintage and fairy-tale fantasy.

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  • Ace Hotel New York

    Photograph: Wendy Connett

    Best design hotels in NYC: Ace Hotel New York

    Ace Hotel New York
  • Hôtel Americano

    Best design hotels in NYC: Hôtel Americano

    Hôtel Americano
  • Crosby Street Hotel

    Photograph: Simon Brown

    Best design hotels in NYC: Crosby Street Hotel

    Crosby Street Hotel
  • The James New York

    Best design hotels in NYC: The James New York

    The James New York
  • Mondrian SoHo

    Best design hotels in NYC: Mondrian SoHo

    Mondrian SoHo
  • The NoMad Hotel

    Photograph: Benoit Linero

    Best design hotels in NYC: The NoMad Hotel

    The NoMad Hotel
  • Yotel New York

    Best design hotels in NYC: Yotel New York

    Yotel New York

Ace Hotel New York

Photograph: Wendy Connett

Best design hotels in NYC: Ace Hotel New York

If you like the idea of staying in a cool designer crash pad, these design hotels feel like the pages of a glossy interior-decoration magazine come to life. It’s not just guests who come to soak up the stylish surroundings—some of these spots are also hip hangouts with hot restaurants attached. After admiring the striking yet comfortable digs at Ace Hotel New York, you may be inspired to recreate the look at home.


RECOMMENDED: Full guide to New York hotels


Ace Hotel New York

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Bourgeois hipsters tired of crashing on couches will appreciate the New York outpost of the cool chainlet founded in Seattle by a pair of DJs. The music influence is clear: Many of the rooms in the 1904 building boast playful amenities like functioning turntables, stacks of vinyl and gleaming Gibson guitars. And while you’ll pay for the sprawling loft spaces, there are options for those on a lower budget. The respectable "medium" rooms are outfitted with vintage furniture and original art; even cheaper are the snug bunk-bed setups. Should you find the latter lodging stifling, repair to the buzzing hotel lobby, where DJs or other music-makers are on duty every night; have a drink at the bar, sheltered within a paneled library salvaged from a Madison Avenue apartment, or sip coffee from the Stumptown café—the first in the city from the artisanal Oregon coffee roasters. Guests can also score a table at chef April Bloomfield’s massively popular restaurants, the Breslin Bar & Dining Room and the John Dory Oyster Bar. There’s even an outpost of one of the city’s hippest boutiques, Opening Ceremony, in case you find you haven’t a thing to wear.

  1. 20 W 29th St, (at Broadway), 10012
Book online

Hôtel Americano

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4

You won’t find any Talavera tiles in Grupo Habita’s first property outside Mexico. Mexican architect Enrique Norten’s sleek, mesh-encased structure stands alongside the High Line. The decor evokes classic midcentury American style, interpreted by a European (Colette designer Arnaud Montigny). The minimalist rooms have Japanese-style platform beds, iPads and, in one of several subtle nods to U.S. culture, super-soft denim bathrobes. After a day of gallery-hopping, get an even more elevated view of the neighborhood from the rooftop bar and grill, where a petite pool does double duty as a hot tub in winter. There’s also an airy ground-floor eatery and two subterranean bars.

  1. 518 W 27th St, (between Tenth and Eleventh Aves), 10001
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Crosby Street Hotel

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 4/4
  • Critics choice

In 2009, Britain’s hospitality power couple, Tim and Kit Kemp, brought their super-successful Firmdale formula across the Atlantic with the 11-story, warehouse-style Crosby Street Hotel. Design director Kit Kemp’s signature style—a fresh, contemporary take on classic English decor characterized by a sometimes audacious mix of patterns, bold colors and judiciously chosen antiques—is instantly recognizable. Like its British cousins, Crosby Street has a carefully selected art collection, a guests’ drawing room in addition to its public restaurant and bar, a slick, 100-seat screening room and a verdant garden. The latter inspired the bath products’ exclusive scent, created by cult London perfumer Lyn Harris.

  1. 79 Crosby St, (between Prince and Spring Sts), 10012
Book online

The James New York

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Art is the new hotel buzzword, but displays are usually limited to some eye-catching lobby installations or forgettable in-room prints. Not so at the James, which maintains a substantial showcase of local talent. The corridor of each guest floor is dedicated to the work of an individual artist, selected by a house curator and complete with museum-style notes—which makes waiting for the elevator a lot less tedious. This is one of many thoughtful touches at the stylish Chicago import. Instead of merely replicating a successful formula, the owners have given the property a distinctly Gotham vibe—even the door staff sports rakish uniforms (designed by NYC-based Brit Andrew Buckler) that look straight out of Gangs of New York. Although compact, bedrooms make the most of the available space with high ceilings, wall-spanning windows, and glassed-off bathrooms (modesty is preserved by an artist-embellished, remote-controlled screen). Natural materials (wooden floors, linen duvet covers) warm up the clean contemporary lines, beds are piled with eco-friendly pillows, and bathroom products are courtesy of Intelligent Nutrients (the organic line created by Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher). Although the attractions of Soho and Tribeca beckon, the hotel offers tempting facilities: a seasonal three-level “urban garden,” which houses an outdoor bar and eatery (one of two restaurants on site), and a rooftop bar that opens onto the (tiny) pool.

  1. 27 Grand St, (at Thompson St), 10013
Book online

Mondrian Soho

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Designed by Benjamin Noriega Ortiz, who created cool cribs for Lenny Kravitz and gave the Mondrian Los Angeles a glamorous makeover in 2008, Mondrian SoHo has a distinctly un-Gotham vibe. An ivy-covered passageway leads to the 26-story glass tower, set back from the Crosby Street. Inspired by Jean Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête, Ortiz has created a fanciful interior in which lobby coffee tables have talons and floor lamps are shaded with petite parasols. Trippy, saturated-blue hallways lead to rooms that combine white minimalism with classic elements such as china-blue arabesque-print upholstery and marble-topped vanity sinks that perch outside the bathroom. Floor-to-ceiling windows give rooms on higher floors spectacular vistas, especially in suites, where double banks of glass provide a panoramic sweep. Going one better than Wi-Fi, every room is equipped with an in-room iPad that also connects to hotel services. The Italian restaurant, Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar, offers seating in an adjacent greenhouse, fitted out with crystal chandeliers, ferns and ficus trees, while the dimly lit, cushion-strewn bar, Mister H, looks like a 1930s Shanghai opium den by way of Casablanca.

  1. 9 Crosby St, (between Grand and Howard Sts), 10013
Book online

The NoMad Hotel

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Like the Ace Hotel, which shares a developer, the NoMad is a self-contained microcosm encompassing destination dining and the first stateside outpost of Parisian concept store Maison Kitsuné. Struck by the Haussmannesque facade of the 1903 limestone building (a former corporate HQ), owner Andrew Zobler enlisted Jacques Garcia, known for designing celebrated rue Saint-Honoré A-list crash pad Hôtel Costes to create the opulent interiors. Original features in the public spaces, such as elaborate ceiling moldings and mosaic tile floors, have been meticulously restored. After seeing a photograph in a design book of a Paris apartment Garcia occupied in his twenties, Zobler encouraged him to bring the same lived-in bohemian style to the hotel’s guest quarters. Vintage Heriz rugs soften the weathered maple floor, salvaged from a 1905 factory. In keeping with the residential aesthetic, the wall concealing the loo and shower cubicle is dressed up as a damask “screen.” Many rooms feature old-fashioned claw-foot bathtubs, and each room has its own art collection, amassed from French antique shops.

  1. 1170 Broadway, (at 28th St), 10001
Book online

Yotel New York

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The British team behind this futuristic Midtown West hotel is known for luxury airport-based capsule accommodations that give long-haul travelers just enough space to get horizontal between flights. Yotel New York has ditched the 75-square-foot cubbies in favor of “premium cabins” more than twice the size. Adaptable furnishings, like motorized beds that fold up futon-style, maximize space, and the bathroom has streamlined luxuries such as a heated towel rail and monsoon shower. If you want to unload excess baggage, the 20-foot-tall robot (or Yobot, in the hotel’s playful lingo) will stash it for you in a lobby locker. In contrast with the compact quarters, the sprawling public spaces include a wraparound terrace so large it’s serviced by two bars. If the property recalls the retro jet-set world of Catch Me if You Can, there’s good reason: David Rockwell, who codesigned the hotel with the U.K.’s Softroom, also created the sets for the Broadway adaptation of the 2002 film. There are also ironic nods to swingin’ London in this transatlantic design collaboration, including groovy colored ceiling lights in the lounge and rotating round beds in the VIP suites.

  1. 570 Tenth Ave , (at 42nd St), 10036
Book online


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