A Big Apple vacation is sure to be anything but ordinary, so why not start it off right by picking one of the NYC hotels with the weirdest perks? Forget hotels with Jacuzzis or your run-of-the-mill spa hotels. With any great hotel stay, it really is all about the perks. And the weirder, the better. Sure, the most bare bones hotel can throw you the promise of intriguing toiletries, exotic coffee, or, you know, basic WiFi. And we’re not opposed to luxury hotels that up the ante with in-room snacks (hey, free Toblerone!), welcome beverages upon arrival, and 24-hour room service. But then there are New York hotels with amenities that you never even knew you wanted, from curated vinyl collections and on-demand Olympic athletes to a plethora of fireplaces and pink feather boas. We can call these perks “weird,” but we’re certainly not complaining. It’s New York. Thrill us. Delight us. We relish the weird. Normal is for the Midwest.
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NYC hotels with the weirdest perks
iPod docks are so 2005. So let’s turn back the clock to 1975, instead. Head to hip Ace Hotel in trendy NoMad where turntables with curated vinyl collections and acoustic Martin guitars are part of the cool in-room perks. Check out some of the other cool amenities like SMEG refrigerators in select rooms, a photobooth, and clawfoot bathtubs.
A funky newcomer in North Greenpoint, Brooklyn, this boutique hotel has a retro NYC vibe, with contemporary lofts, bright contemporary art, and one crazy perk: rides in an old school yellow Checkered Cab. Stretch out in style while you’re chauffeured anywhere you want to roll, free of charge (within a mile radius, that is).
If you always wanted to learn skate, but can’t stomach the idea of a run-of-the-mill group lesson, the Conrad has just the unusual perk for you: private lessons at the nearby Ice Rink at Brookfield Place with U.S. Olympic ice skaters Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. That’s right, Olympic skaters at your disposal, but only if you stay at the Conrad—gold medal not included.
Some hotels have concierges that simply make dinner reservations or book tickets to Broadway shows. The Royalton, on the other hand, has a special “Fireplace Concierge” whose job it is to not just to tend the hotel’s 55 fireplaces (quite a nice way to warm up in the winter), but to supply them with a choice of woods to complement your mood, such as apple, maple, pecan, or hickory. But that’s not all. The concierge will also match them with cocktail and food pairings for “bespoke fireplace package,” for a weird and wonderful evening.
Remember Eloise and her Plaza adventures? You can relive the impish heroine’s exploits in a themed suite at this posh hotel. But if you’re expecting American Girl, or dainty pastels, move on. Legendary New York punk star and scene-stealer Betsey Johnson designed this pink-on-pink paradise. Hot-pink candy stripes, a chandelier of pink bulbs and custom prints adorn the Plaza Hotel's Eloise Suite, inspired by the children's book character who lives in the "room on the tippy-top floor." Up to four children can stay in the suite and enjoy weird perks such as pint-size hot pink feather boas courtesy of Ms. Johnson.
Pet lovers who can’t take their animal friends to NYC with them don’t have to be lonely for long: with Kimpton’s Guppy Love program a pet goldfish will be delivered to your room for your stay, and the hotel staff will even feed and take care of your new fish roommate. (Note: You can also get a finned friend at Kimpton Eventi and Muse hotels).
The only Japanese-owned hotel in Manhattan offers an authentic Japanese experience down to the bottom, well, down to your bottom that is, with TOTO washlets in all of their rooms. These “highly advanced” commodes add a futuristic edge to your bathroom routine with auto opening and closing lids, heated seats, self-clean wands, a misting cleaner function, and a blow dryer.
For the impulsive overnight guest, The Standard, High Line offers a One Night Standard app only good for night of bookings. Use it to grab a last-minute room, and not only will you get a room at a great rate, but at check-in you’ll get a wink-wink, nudge-nudge amenities kit that includes a toothbrush, a condom, and a stick of gum.