Most over-the-top hotels in NYC
It’s only fitting that a hotel by the French crystal company would be opulent in the best way. Every element pays homage to Baccarat, from the prismatic glass exterior of the 50-story tower to the 17 custom crystal chandeliers in the Grand Salon and public areas. There’s an entire wall made of 2,000 Harcourt glasses at the entrance of the hotel, and of course, in every room guests use Baccarat stemware. Each of the 114 rooms is reminiscent of a Parisian pied-à-terre with four-poster beds, Mascioni linens and crystal fixtures. Skip a yellow cab and take the hotel’s red Citroën DS, lounge in a cabana by the indoor pool and book a facial with diamond-powder exfoliation at the spa.
For a hotel that describes itself as New York’s “most boldly lavish,” it comes as no surprise that The Mark Penthouse is next-level. At 12,000 square feet, including a 2,500-square-foot rooftop terrace, the Jacques Grange-designed Penthouse takes up two floors and has five bedrooms, six bathrooms, four fireplaces, a living room with ceilings stretching 26 feet high, a kitchen, a library and a dining room that seats 24 people. The $50,000-a-night, 4,300-square-foot Ty Warner penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel New York used to reign supreme as the most expensive suite in NYC, but The Mark took the title of largest and priciest when it debuted its version in September 2015. The price tag? $75,000 a night.
Exhibitionists love the Standard, High Line. The 338-room Meatpacking hotel, which, quite literally, straddles the elevated park, has crystal-clear floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city and Hudson River, and glass-enclosed rain showers. The hotel’s app, One Night Standard, is made for spontaneous bookings like say, when you meet someone at the Boom Boom Room.
Though Yotel is a small European chain of hotels, it feels straight out of Japan. Drawing inspiration from the country’s kapuseru hoteru, or “capsule hotels,” Yotel has 699 intelligently designed “cabins” with adjustable queen beds, small work desks and technowalls with phone docks, flatscreen TVs and tons of outlets. Taking tech savviness to another level, the Yotel has a large robotic arm called “Yobot” that will store your luggage, a mobile concierge and airport-style check-in.
Originally built in 1908 as a home for sailors, the Jane eventually turning into a YMCA and then a derelict flophouse. It was restored 100 years after it first opened by Sean MacPherson of the Marlton, Bowery and Maritime hotels and feels a little more like a turn-of-the-century luxury ocean liner than a hotel (an especially fitting theme because the hotel once housed Titanic survivors). The Bunk Bed and Standard “cabins,” all about 50 square feet in size, share bathrooms on each floor, while the Captain’s Cabins have their own. The commitment to quirk extends to the Ballroom, which has worn-in velvet armchairs and sofas, oriental rugs and taxidermy animals, while the check-in desk and bellhop uniforms look straight out of Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel.
The Beaux Arts-style Plaza is inarguably one of NYC’s most stunning hotels. All 282 rooms have opulent fixtures plated in 24-carat gold and mosaic bathrooms, and suites come with white glove butler service. The storied hotel has been a backdrop of films and TV shows and has had countless famous visitors over its 100 years, from John Lennon and Yoko Ono to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. And then, of course, there is Eloise. The rambunctious child in Kay Thompson’s children’s books has her own bubblegum pink and black suite designed by Betsey Johnson. There’s a neon Eloise sign on the pink-and-white-striped walls above the bed, and Eloise books and dolls throughout. Little Eloises can order cookies and milk to be sent up to the room or head to the Palm Court for a $50 themed high tea complete with pink teacups.
In the former National Maritime Union headquarters, the Dream Downtown’s exterior has portholes that resemble a ship’s, but that’s where the resemblance ends. The decor throughout is bold. In the lobby, which goes all out for the holidays, look up and you’ll see the hotel’s 50-foot, glass-bottom pool, while in the rooms, guests will find a mix of whites and silvers with pops of pink. But the best room at the Dream is the two-story, 2,500-square-foot GuestHouse. This penthouse has a terrace (with Jacuzzi) and fireplace, and should you want a cappuccino or pair of hard-to-find sneakers, you can call your private barista and sneaker concierge (seriously).
This is a book lover’s dream hotel. Not only does the 60-room Library Hotel have more than 6,000 books in its collection, but it’s also near the flagship branch of the New York Public Library and laid out according to the Dewey Decimal Classification system (each of the 10 floors is named according to DDC categories including Literature, History and Philosophy). Guests can further nerd out at the hotel’s 24-hour Reading Room on the 2nd Floor and on the 14th Floor rooftop Writer’s Den and Poetry Garden.
The Night Hotel is one of NYC’s most dramatic hotels because it’s decorated entirely in monochrome furniture, wallpaper, carpeting and drapery. You’ll find the occasional burst of color with fresh flowers, but otherwise a lot of black and white everything. The blackout curtains and soft linens make for a great night sleep in total darkness near Times Square of all places.