For a city that never sleeps, New York sure seems to have a lot of hotels. Every month, either a new one opens up in a trendy, up-and-coming part of the city or an old one, in a well-known area, is rejuvenated. With all the options available, it may be hard to settle on one place. Luckily, here’s a guide to the coolest hotels in the Big Apple.
1. The Standard
Considered an iconic building, The Standard has all the ingredients of a cool hotel. It’s set in a great location, the rooms are modern, the views are unbeatable and the party scene is always fresh. It is located in one of the city’s trendy (if not the trendiest) neighborhoods and is nearby popular bars, cafes, restaurants and sights – not to mention the amazing High Line Park. This area embodies the jetset life and taking in all that this hedonistic city has to offer. This is a hotel where you can live out your designer fantasy, chill out or party hard and keep up with the pulse of the city – just make sure to draw your blinds. Or not.
2. The Carlyle
The Carlyle is old school cool—it’s Frank Sinatra if he were to magically transform into a hotel: a classic, a legend in its own right, and a well-known and established figure in the city. From politicians to famed rock stars and royalty, this hotel has seen it all. In other words, if this is where you lay your head to rest in the city – and where everybody knows your name – then you have certainly made it.
Art deco at its finest, the rooms have a distinct English rose style to them. Everyone knows The Carlyle, and one of its most famous residents was JFK himself who had Marilyn Monroe snuck up to his 34th-floor apartment through the service entrance on East 77th Street. If only its walls could speak, oh the stories they would tell – but unfortunately for us, its famously known as the Palace of Secrets.
3. The Crosby Street Hotel
This little gem is hidden away in a quiet backstreet in a popular area of SOHO, and like a Bonsai tree, it is small but perfectly formed and beautiful. It’s also just a hop, skip and jump to the galleries, boutiques and famous streets where many movies and shows are filmed in the city.
Its luxury interior was designed by owner and designer Kit Kemp – a lady who undeniably knows a thing or two about transforming spaces. She owns the hotel along with her husband, Tim, and together they have built an empire of iconic hotels throughout London and New York. The rooms are gorgeous, with immaculate attention to design detail, statement art pieces and beautiful fabrics. Not to mention, did you know it has a suite that has its own meadow? Yes, you can have your own meadow and skip in it too.
If Guardians of the Galaxy opened a hotel, it would probably be Yotel. With Japanese space age designed rooms that they call Cabins which are practical yet stylish, their reception is known as “Mission Control.” Plus, they guarantee super strength free WiFi and free muffins, coffee and tea every morning in their ‘Galley’ – what’s not to love? Extra cool points for their luggage storing system, the Yobot where you pick a bin, pick a pin and watch Yobot store your bags away. Most importantly, you don’t even have to fork out too much money to stay in these trendy digs, which is also what makes it so cool. The future is here!
5. Wythe Hotel
Ok, technically this hotel is in Brooklyn, but Williamsburg is currently one of the hottest places to be and be seen when visiting NYC – so why not stay in its coolest hotel, The Wythe? It has all the hallmarks required, such as a trendy neighborhood, gorgeous roof terrace, and design-led rooms that are comfortable, stylish and spacious – plus a prized waterfront location. A former textile factory, you can count on this hotel for a chic escape, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They also have some rooms with bunk beds, and for the size of their rooms and money you pay, you won’t find anything in the city that compares.
6. The Ace Hotel
It would be wrong to not include an Ace Hotel on this lists. The one in New York sits in mid-town, not too far from the iconic flat-iron building that you’ve seen countless times on Friends. This hotel is cozy, cool and casual, offering great drinks from their Stumptown Coffee Bar, fluffy pancakes at Breslin Bar and delicious subs from No.7. They also have an excellent shop where you can get your hands on some uber trendy clothes, as well as accessories for you and your home.
7. The Mandarin Oriental
Perched high above Columbus Circle, The Mandarin Oriental boasts breathtaking views over Central Park. Although, it does come at a lofty price, if you’re after unapologetic luxury and royalty treatment, this is your one stop shop. They also have the only Forbes rated 5-Star Spa in the city! So, if you find yourself falling in love with this hotel and have the cash to spend, you might consider investing in one of their residences in the same complex.
8. The Greenwich Hotel
This is Robert De Niro’s hotel in the very trendy TriBeCa neighborhood – need I say more? The fact that you are staying in Vito Corleone’s residence should be reason enough to book your visit, but this hotel also has many other perks. You will feel like you’re living in a wonderful private home, and have access to some of the best Italian food in the city. However, the most spectacular part of this hotel is its TriBeCa Penthouse, which is an architectural stunner. And another little plus is that you get free minibar snacks, water and soft drinks!
9. Morgans Hotel
One cannot forget about the Morgans Hotel, the first lodge established by father of the boutique hotels, Ian Schrager. It is timeless: the one that started all the hype over design, simplicity, art and architecture. Following the success of the Morgans Hotel, the group went on to open even more establishments in the city, such as The Royalton (designed by Philippe Starck), The Mondrian and The Hudson, amongst others.
10. The Gramercy Park Hotel
This hotel is on my list because it has served so many incredible guests from Humphrey Bogart to Bob Marley to Bob Dylan to the Kennedys to name but a few. It is as historic as it is cool and known for being discreet hence attracting the who’s who of celebrity personnel. It is also a work of art, with its eclectic furnishings and decor. The Rose Bar of the hotel is regarded as an icon in of itself, famous for “The Rose Bar Sessions,” where Axl Rose, David Navarro, and Slash have played.
These hotels represent the wonderful mix of what you can experience when you visit New York – fascinating histories, unique cultures and trendy settings where you can set yourself apart from the rest of herd.