Our 16 Favorite Hotels in New York, and the Best Use Case for Each
Our 16 favorite hotels in New York, ranked and decoded
New York offers the perfect nexus of luxury-hotel conditions:
A destination city full of deep-pocketed travelers who want nothing more at the end of the day than to escape the hullabaloo that surrounds them.
And today, we’ve compiled the 16 we love best, then adorned each with its own superlative to help you identify the best use case. Like:
- Hotel most likely to help you finally finish that screenplay
- Weirdest amenity that’s actually quite useful
- Best equipped for a one-night stand
Plus: the places where you’re most likely to meet a stranger, where to stash those ‘rents this holiday season and even a few options for getting out of Dodge altogether.
Book ‘em, Danno.
Economy Hotel You Are Most Likely to Forget Is an Economy Hotel: Aloft Brooklyn
Modern in design but modest in cost, the Starwood property also offers guests access to its more grandiose Sheraton property next door, where there’s an indoor pool. And while the rooms are quaint, there’s still enough space for them to jam in a king-sized bed and flat-screen TV, and they punch up the place with Bliss Spa products. Weather permitting, the rooftop bar also hosts live music. In the colder months, the public spaces house comfortable appointments like pod chairs and a pool table.
Weirdest Amenity That Is Actually Quite Useful: The Box House Hotel
Capacious, loft-style rooms — many with terraces — aren’t the only thing that make this converted factory unique. It also has a fleet of authentic 1970s checkered cabs that ferry guests wherever they want to go in North Brooklyn, free of charge.
Most Impressive Entrance: The Beekman
Courtesy of the expert design team at Silliman & Farnsworth, the Beekman transformed from a mysterious and historic rot site to Manhattan’s most magnificent entrance, which conceals a nine-level atrium lined with Victorian rails. It’s downtown patina at its best: grand and luxurious while retaining a respect for its past. It also doesn’t hurt that the lobby bar helmed by Tom Colicchio makes one of the best dirty martinis in town. Sip away while gazing up at the skyscraping wonder.
Suite Most Likely to Have Its Own Zip Code: The Penthouse Suite at The Mark
Sweet Jeebus. If you need a reminder that you live in a shoebox, look no further. (Though buyer beware: at a mere $75,000 a night, it also takes the cake as one of the most expensive overnight stays the world over.) Weighing in at 12,000 sq. ft., the duplex is five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a kitchen, very handsome library, dining room and a luxe living room that could ostensibly double as a ballroom. To boot, guests enjoy a 2,500 sq. ft. terrace perched over Central Park.
The Glampiest Glamp of Them All: Camp Orenda
Ahead of the Glamping craze and long before they were setting up canvas tents at Governor’s Island, Camp Orenda set up shop on 40 secluded acres in the Adirondacks. It’s not all hoity-toity: more glam than camp, but it strikes a perfect balance. Call it roughing it, sophisticated. All meals are included and cooked over an open-flame. Activities like kayaking, canoeing and hiking will keep you occupied by day. And then your return to one of six well-appointed tents complete with wood-burning stoves and eco-friendly amenities.
Rookie of the Year: Freehand
Creative and fun-lovin’, Freehand ran with the success it had enjoyed in LA, Miami and Chicago and set up shop in the space previously held by the George Washington Hotel. The locale owes its design to students and alums from Bard College, who curated art for each of the 358 rooms. It’s been all the rage since its opening, from delightful bunk-bed suites to proper rooms and the lively Simon & the Whale restaurant on the ground floor. Plus, the Broken Shaker bar is a scene filled with actual New Yorkers, which in this humble editor’s opinion is a testament to a hotel’s success — a welcome addition to the city. Bravo!
Best In-House Dining: The Osprey at 1 Brooklyn Bridge
There are many a reason 1 Brooklyn Bridge deserves an InsideHook Hotel Oscar, from their 24-hour rooftop pool (no getting kicked out!) to that view (sigh, what a view), but it’s The Osprey that landed it on the roster. Just a year and some change young, the cuisine brings reliable yet elevated New American fare to the table. Importantly for a hotel, it’s also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the summer months, one might even be so tempted to enjoy the locale’s terrace with picnic table-style seating. Begin with the Duck Croquettes then go in for their perfect Branzino. All while gazing out at the Brooklyn Bridge. Cheers!
Most Likely to Make You Forget You’re in NYC: Urban Cowboy
A true city oasis, rustic and charming. And I can tell you firsthand, the locale is good for escaping within city limits, because I once spent an entire week there and forgot that email and the subway and gridlock even existed. More of a B&B than a hotel, the retreat is complete with a fireplace, games, hot tub, kitchen and sauna. The suite has an unforgettable soaking tub. It’s like a cabin all your own. A true home away from home.
Best Stay for When You’re in the Dog House: Pod Brooklyn
Hey, no one’s perfect. And for the times in life where that becomes abundantly clear, Pod is smack in the middle of Williamsburg with tight, trend-forward quarters and very relaxed rates (rooms start around just $90). The “pods” come in three arrangements — a bunk bed, queen or mini suite — and they all have private bathroom and clever design tricks to help maximize the space. But what really sets this place apart are the common areas: plentiful outdoor gardens, a rooftop bar, board and table games and Clinton Hall, a smart beer hall with a state-of-the-art draft system and elevated pub fare.
Best Stay for Getting Out of the Dog House: Glenmere Mansion
Once the 35-room Tuscan-style villa of an early-1900s finance tycoon, this Hudson Valley gem is now the boutique dream that’s going to restore your relationship to proper working order. Upon arrival, expect a warm greeting of cocktails, cookies, handwritten welcome notes and a fireplace already roaring. The bathrooms are culled from the finest marble and dressed with clawfoot tubs and supple terry robes. On-site, the Turkish hammam spa will help erase all wrongdoings. It’s a journey of serenity through herbal steam rooms, dry heat saunas, Swiss showers, agua massage pools, body scrubs, massages and cool mist rooms. Head over to the oldest vineyard in the U.S. of A., Brotherhood Winery, for a tasting to rekindle the flame after.
Best for a One-Night Stand: The Standard
Need a last minute room for a roll in the hay? Good for you. As impulsive as it is impressively on point, The Standard offers the “One Night Standard” app for night-of reservations. The service comes with a super fair rate and a “we know why you’re here” amenities kit with a toothbrush, stick of gum and, you guessed it, a condom.
Nearby Hotel We Most Wish Was in New York: Tourists
A newcomer to the Berkshires, Tourists is an oasis of nearby activities for every type of adventure seeker. The area has everything from the Appalachian Trail to Mass MoCA to breweries galore within a stone’s throw. From culture to the culinary, adrenaline to art, you’ll be as stoked to get out of your room as you will be to return to the hotel and throw your feet up fireside.
Most Likely to Help You Finally Finish That Screenplay: The DeBruce
The DeBruce is inspired by 1950s resort getaways where one would check in … then never leave. Everything one might need lives here in a well-appointed and quaint fashion. This isn’t an all-inclusive resort though, it’s a thoughtful retreat. The setting is lovely, the food superior. And unlike its sister properties, The Arnold House and 9 River Road, the lounge is vast, with space to lounge but not the pressure to make small talk with fellow travelers. Need some inspiration to get the wheels turning? Head into their darling library. Need the kind of inspiration that writers normally crave? Head to their bar in the basement, with a fireplace and local artisanal brews.
Best Place to Meet New People: The Public
Ian Schrager’s Studio 54 paved its way with the genius of letting common folk rub elbows with the stars. And that knowledge deftly translates to The Public Hotel. It’s laden with ultra-stylish New Yorkers and travelers alike, and for chance interactions, the on-site offerings outdo themselves, from the sweeping rooftop bar and adjoining night club to the lower level Public Arts space with nightly happenings from jazz to comedy. And if that action doesn’t do the trick, just pull up a seat in their lavish, softly lit lounge and let the magic come to you.
Best Place to Stash Visiting In-Laws: citizenM Times Square
Guess who wants to check out Times Square? Your in-laws. Guess who would rather commit Hari-kari than tag along? You and everyone else. So set ‘em up smack in the thick of it and let them roam around on their own time. The rates are reasonable, but they’ll be more than comfortable. (You know how they like to be comfortable.) It’s not as quiet as they might desire, but it’s close to all public transit and offers big windows overlooking the action for that full city feel.
Best Place to Go Full Thoreau: Getaway
Whether you’ve got a good book to finish or write … Getaway. They offer eight secluded cabins in the middle of the wilderness with queen beds, heat, full-sized sinks, electronic loo, a shower, a wireless speaker and little else. You can certainly forget about a wifi signal off the bat. For communal times, the kitchen has a two-burner stove, fridge and all the basics, from spices to all the utensils one might require for prepping a hearty meal before cozying up by the fire pits.
All images via respective hotels; main image via The Mark
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