Listen, if you want a quintessential NYC experience, you have to stay in the best hotels in Manhattan. Easily some of the best hotels in NYC, period, these spots range from idyllic bed-and-breakfasts in NYC to swanky skyscrapers right out of the movies. Whether you want the best views of the skyline at hotels near Central Park or a unique boutique (say that three times fast), there’s something here for you. Welcome to New York.
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Best hotels in Manhattan
This reasonably priced hotel truly deserves the boutique title. Nearly everything about it is exquisite yet unshowy, from its power-blasted brick exterior to the modern color scheme in the rooms that pairs gray headboards and red accents. Rooms are equipped with fridges, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, the bathrooms are immaculate, and a working gas fireplace in the lobby is a welcoming touch.
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).
The Dream Downtown’s first selling point is its obviously spectacular location. Just around the corner from Chelsea Market, a block from the High Line, and a stone’s throw from the Meatpacking District and West Village, this hotel is literally everywhere you want to be. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s ’hood home of Chelsea is a mecca of world-class art galleries. But the highest compliment to give the 12-story Dream Downtown is that to experience the city’s standard of cuisine and nightlife, guests needn’t leave the property.
Two young real-estate developers have transformed a 1927 Bowery flophouse into a stylish take on a hostel. History buffs will get a kick out of the original wainscotted corridors leading to cubicles (singles are a cozy 35 square feet, and not all have windows) with latticework ceilings to allow air circulation. It might not be the best bet for light sleepers, but the place is hopping with pretty young things attracted to the hip aesthetic and the location (across the street from the New Museum and close to Soho and the Lower East Side).
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.
The city’s second Pod occupies a 1918 residential hotel for single men—the space that was once the gentlemen’s sitting room is being reinvented as the Great Room, opening in early 2013, which will feature a fireplace, projection wall and ping-pong table. As the name suggests, rooms are snug, but not oppressively so; some have queen-size beds with room underneath to stash your luggage; others feature stainless-steel bunk beds with individual TVs and bedside shelves inspired by airplane storage.
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 wood-paneled, 50-square-foot rooms were inspired by vintage train sleeper compartments—there’s a single bed with built-in storage and brass hooks for hanging up your clothes, but also iPod docks and wall-mounted 23-inch flat-screen TVs. If entering the hotel feels like stepping on to a film set, there’s good reason: Inspiration came from various celluloid sources, including Barton Fink’s Hotel Earle for the lobby.
The high-ceilinged lobby of the expansive Manhattan NYC, An Affina Hotel retains its historic art deco design, while a recent David Rockwell Group renovation added in contemporary notes. The new lobby seating area is designed to represent the Manhattan landscape and a sparkling chandler mirrors the city’s eponymous skyline. The 28-floor property includes a variety of modern, spacious room types.
This Meatpacking District pioneer is now known for its rooftop-pool-lounge playgrounds at two NYC locations (Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC opened in Gramercy/Flatiron in 2010). By day, you can soak up the sun, and the Hudson River panorama, on a lounger by the 45-foot heated open-air pool. After dark, the wraparound terrace bar becomes a deejayed outdoor party with a glittering Manhattan backdrop.