If you want to book a night’s stay outside the realm of a typical boutique hotel, then you might consider Paper Factory Hotel in Long Island City. The spot stands as a beacon of youthful cool in the middle of the industrial ’hood to tempt both local residents and Manhattan visitors alike.
The building, a former industrial warehouse, was bought in 2012 and renovated, with much of the original characteristics kept to highlight the structure’s history. The floors remain bare, gray concrete, and each room features oversized windows (which allowed for more natural light for workers of the actual paper factory). The industrial theme continues in the hotel’s choice of wrought-iron bed frames and repurposed wooden furniture but gets a bit of an upgrade with deep, rich brown leather couches in the hallways and velvet armchairs in the rooms.
In the lobby, half of a London phone booth protrudes from the floor, and a small café brews local coffee from Queens’ For Five Roasters. Paper Factory’s restaurant, Mundo, is accented by a circular staircase that winds around a central column decked out with hardcover books. Hotel guests and diners can enjoy a well-made Mediterranean-inspired meal in the dimly lit space, including nicely browned pan-seared scallops over polenta and topped with vegetables ($20) and oven-roasted rack of lamb with a huge helping of cabbage confit ($29).
Paper Factory offers a much cheaper alternative to hotel stays in Manhattan and yet is equal to them in most ways. While the subway will get you close to Central Park in just 15 minutes (the hotel is just around the corner from the M and R at 36th St and a few blocks farther from the N and W at 39th Ave), a weekend night in a standard king room at Paper Factory will set you back only about $139, considerably less expensive than its Manhattan equivalents.
TIME OUT TIP: Just two avenue blocks away is the Museum of the Moving Image, which has the United States’ largest collection of artifacts relating to film. It features rotating exhibitions and regular movie screenings and series.