When you’re trying to choose from the overwhelming array of New York hotels, one strategy is to narrow it down by area. Many of the city’s best restaurants, bars, shops and small arts venues are downtown. Soho makes a good base for a shopping spree, Chelseaor the Lower East Side are great for galleries, and the East Village is packed with restaurants and bars.
The Ludlow Hotel has the feel of a downtown bachelor’s pad—but it’s one a modern bachelorette wouldn’t mind waking up in. Nestled in the nightlife haven of the Lower East Side, the hotel’s clean lines and somewhat gothic interiors are a fitting tribute to the neighborhood. Though many of the rooms scarcely fit more than a bed (a large, heavenly one), the bathrooms are queen-sized, and views of One World Trade and on down to Brooklyn on a clear day are visible from your terrace. You should explore the bustling neighborhood around you (the New Museum and Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral are streets away, as well as hot spots like Beauty and Essex and Back Room), but you don’t even have to leave the hotel for excellent libations. Have a more casual drink and bite in the leather-bound Lobby Bar lounge—and step into the garden during nice weather—but be sure to make time for a sumptuous dining experience at Dirty French. This French restaurant with a decisively friendly-but-firm New York City vibe serves up buttery meals of substance, beginning with memorable, airy house flatbread and smooth ricotta drizzled with olive oil; the smell of which alone will bowl you over. Gorgeously plated tuna tartare, tender pork chops and delicious sea bass and wine pairings followed by the Opera peanut butter and chocolate cake—topped with dreamy banana ice cream—made us fall silent from satisfaction and gluttony. Call for 24-hour room service if you’re much too full to order that last glass of win
If there were one word to sum up the vibe at the Greenwich Hotel it would have to be “cozy.” Located on Greenwich Street between N Moore and Franklin Streets in Tribeca, the Greenwich Hotel is not known for its skyline views, but that’s definitely not a problem. Once inside, its dimly lit atmosphere and warm wood surroundings, far remove you from the frenetic NYC chaos right outside its door. The guest rooms are impeccably sharp, from the furnishings to the overall design: high ceilings, floors planked with thick slabs of what looks like refined barn wood, plush leather chairs, beautiful paintings and sculptures; the bedroom area was fitted with a king-size bed and fully-stocked bookshelves—the perfect getaway for the traveling reader. The hotel boasts a pool and spa on the lower level. After weaving in and out of the Tribeca cobblestone streets burning holes through your shoes, it’s nice to come back and take a dip in a serene atmosphere. Upon entering the area, past the glass-encased gym, and through the locker room, meet the floor’s focal point: a tranquil lantern-lit pool, surrounded by a 250-year-old wood and bamboo Japanese farmhouse that was actually imported from Japan and reconstructed for the hotel. Down in the tucked away guests-only Drawing Room bar and courtyard on the street-level—yes there’s an outdoor courtyard nestled in the middle of the hotel—sip potent cocktails while listening to the crackle from the fireplace. Head over to the hotel’s restaurant
Nobody does chill quite like Standard hotels, and the East Village iteration is no exception. It’s the embodiment of low-key luxury, reflecting the grit and cool factor of its home with just the right amount of understated finesse—the perfect combination for guests in search of a true contemporary New York experience.
Opened in 1907 as the American Seaman’s Friend Society Sailors Home, the 14-story landmark was a residential hotel when hoteliers Eric Goode and Sean MacPherson, of the Bowery and the Maritime, took it over (some long-term residents remain). 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 "ballroom," decorated with mismatched chairs, oriental rugs and a fireplace topped with a stuffed ram, evokes an eccentric mansion. Rooms: 208.
Known for its killer rooftop pool, the James draws crowds all summer long as an al fresco hangout stories above the buzz of the streets below, and throughout the rest of the year, the hotel continues to shine even without warm weather activities. The room views are unbeatable, as are the dining and drinking scenes—particularly at Jimmy.
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. The hotel itself is a weekend affair, young and sceney, with a club atmosphere that resonates throughout the design and decor. The lobby’s high-backed chairs and button-tufted banquette settees are scattered on a lushly carpeted floor before a well-stocked half-moon bar and wall of stacked Tecate and Modelo cans. The ceiling dazzles up-lookers who find themselves peering directly into the 50-foot heated glass-bottom pool of the hotel’s sand-filled “beach” courtyard. The velvet-roped PHD Rooftop Lounge in the north tower draws such big, exclusive crowds that not even hotel guests are guaranteed access. The space boasts gorgeous panoramic views of the skyline, an outdoor landscaped terrace and glass chandeliers, plus resident DJ Big Ben spins every Tuesday, with more music makers playing other nights. Conversely, the mellower Cool Britannia and Gothic-inspired Electronic Room serves craft cocktails and spirits on the hotel’s lower level. If you’re feelin
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. Rooms: 56.
This New York City hotel is located in Manhattan’s trendy Tribeca neighborhood, next to the Chambers Street Subway Station. It features massage services, a restaurant, free WiFi access, and rooms with iPod docking stations. The spacious modern rooms and suites at Smyth – A Thompson Hotel provide a flat-screen cable TV with DVD player and iPod dock. Minibars and bathrobes are also included. Free newspapers are available. Little Park Restaurant is located on-site and serves a seasonal menu. Cocktails and wine are also available at the Evening Bar, which features original artwork and a fireplace. 24-hour room service is available. City Hall Park is within a 5 minute walk from the hotel. Brookfield Place is less than a 15-minute walk away. The Brooklyn Bridge is 1.2 km away.
Visiting the Crosby Street Hotel can be a grueling endeavor: stumble into the sleek glass-and-brick structure off the picturesque cobblestone streets of Soho, and into a warm front desk area, decked white walls and woods, and adorned with modern art, sculptures and photographs. Mosey on over to the Drawing Room, guests-only, lounge for cocktails and small bites, equipped with fireplaces, plush couches and chairs with access to a private garden. Throw in a friendly and completely attentive staff and, well, you have the makings of an exceptional stay. We think you can survive. The Crosby is not short on detail. The lobby level pops with color—reds, oranges, blues, greens and pinks to name a few. The design is orderly and neat, but with exceptional style. There’s an air of sophistication when you enter the hotel and it carries through to each area. Right off the lobby lies the Crosby Bar, the hotel’s resident restaurant, and it is as cozy as one can imagine: dimly lit with striped bench seating; colorful round chandeliers hang throughout and off-set a heavy dose of oranges and browns, colors that pattern and continuously complement one another at every turn. Running a seasonal menu, we were fortunate enough to try the milk chocolate brûlée, with toasted house-made mallow and gingerbread men, which was nothing short of spectacular. The restaurant also leads to an outdoor garden. That’s the thing about the Crosby—a plethora of outdoor seating for those warm days. Between the scul
Hello there, tons of natural light and sweeping views. The super chic rooms here feature wall-to-wall windows. But be warned: The views infamously go both ways, so be careful of giving an inadvertent peep show—unless you’re into that. The Standard sits on giant concrete stilts above Manhattan’s famous High Line. It feels a little bit like floating above the city as you soak in the view of the Hudson River, all the way to the World Trade Center. (You can also literally soak in your bath while you admire the view.)