From the classic grande dames like The Plaza and The St Regis, to a recent wave of vanguard boutique addresses like The Ludlow, nowhere creates or reinvents landmark hotels quite like New York. For those wondering where to stay in Manhattan, we’ve selected some of our favourite NYC hotels.
Industrial cool meets hipster glamour at this restored red brick building in a lively pocket of the Lower East Side. New to the hip hood since 2014, The Ludlow feels like it’s always been here with its vintage vibe and retro interiors. The 175 rooms and suites are a little on the small side but shabby chic hardwood floors, exposed wooden beams, four-poster beds and stylish tiled bathrooms (complete with Martin Margiela bathrobes) make it worth economising on extra space. The Ludlow’s biggest draw, however, is its hip bistro, Dirty French, and Lobby Lounge cocktail bar.
The world-famous Plaza Hotel is arguably New York’s most iconic address. It retains the glamour of the roaring twenties and the grandeur of a palace with decor inspired by Louis XV (think: crystal chandeliers, white marble floors and nothing less than 24-karat gold plated sinks in every room) and a guest list to rival any of the world’s most illustrious hotels. Make sure to explore the subterranean Todd English Food Hall, and don’t miss afternoon tea at the renowned Palm Court, one of the most elegant and enduring landmarks in New York City.
The Loews Regency
This longstanding institution on Park Avenue received the ultimate multimillion-dollar makeover in 2014, restoring the Loews Regency to its original glamour and launching a new spa and restaurant. The 379 beautifully refurbished guest rooms have a sleek art deco style and generous proportions for New York accommodation. Its restaurant, known as the birthplace of the “Power Breakfast”, has long been one of the city’s most popular dining experiences, and the new Regency Bar & Grill brings back the tradition with some of the best Eggs Benedict in Manhattan.
The Library Hotel
A block away from The New York Public Library, the Library Hotel is a book lover’s paradise. The literary concept hotel is home to a collection of over 6,000 books and each of the ten guest room floors is dedicated to a category of the Dewey Decimal System. For guests wanting to peel away from the hubbub of the city, the hotel’s rooftop is home to the Writer’s Den and Poetry Garden, where guests can sit back with a good book or enjoy a literary themed martini, like the aptly named “Tequila Mockingbird”.
The High Line Hotel
This 60-room boutique hotel is as hip as it is historic, located in a resurgent part of Chelsea. Housed in a 19th century church seminary and surrounded by quiet private courtyards, the High Line Hotel has a collegiate gothic style and inside is adorned with oriental rugs, antique furnishings and taxidermy art on exposed brick walls. The lobby gives off a laid-back vibe as there are no check in desks, but rather, a zinc-topped Intelligentsia Coffee bar and friendly uniformed staff. As you might have guessed, it’s also within steps of the High Line.
Like stepping into a private residence, The Surrey has a homely and understated luxury feel. The townhouse hotel is located right by Central Park and close to Museum Mile, although guests don’t need to venture far to take in world-class art; the Surrey also operates as an avant-garde art gallery. Home to eclectic works by Richard Serra, Jenny Holzer and William Kentridge, one of the many prized displays is a Chuck Close tapestry of Kate Moss. The hotel also has a well appointed spa, a private rooftop garden and fine dining at Cafe Boulud, an Upper East Side staple.
One of the newest additions to the Manhattan hotel scene, The “Knick” reopened less than a year ago, more than a century after the hotel was first built in 1906. The Beaux-Arts landmark brings luxury to Times Square, an area that previously most locals (and discerning visitors) would avoid. Moments from Broadway, guests can retreat into the elegant interiors of the hotel after navigating the busy city streets, or take it all in from above at the luxe rooftop bar, St Cloud. With unbeatable views of the bright lights of Times Square, and an excellent cocktail menu, this is a great spot for a sundowner in Manhattan.
The New York EDITION
Sleek and sophisticated, the New York EDITION is one of the most exciting recent hotel openings in NYC, attracting a well-heeled, stylish clientele. The simplicity of the lobby area, with its soft cream tones, contrasts wonderfully with Jason Atherton’s Clocktower restaurant on the second floor, where the vibe is decidedly more members’ club with a mahogany-panelled dining room and billiards room. Don’t miss the lively cocktail bar, which is decorated entirely in 24k gold leaf.
On the edge of SoHo and a short hop from TriBeCa and the West Village, The James has an unbeatable location for urban travellers wanting to dip in and out of Manhattan’s coolest neighbourhoods. The minimalist design features local art and industrial touches across its 144 guest rooms and public spaces, but it’s the property’s famous David Burke restaurant and Jimmy rooftop bar that has been winning it accolades. Located on 18th floor, Jimmy attracts the fash-pack of SoHo, who flock here for the classic cocktails and killer skyline views. In summer, the rooftop pool is one of the best places to cool down in Manhattan.
The St Regis
The epitome of uptown sophistication and impeccable white-glove butler service, The St Regis is a landmark hotel with a wealth of history. When it first opened in 1904, The St Regis was among the most opulent hotels in New York and even today there has been no expense spared, from the antique Louis XV furniture, crystal chandeliers and tapestries to a library of 3000 leather-bound books and three designer suites; Bentley, Dior and Tiffany. The hotel’s famed King Cole Bar is also famous for creating the first Bloody Mary, so make sure to save time for a boozy brunch.
Virgin Atlantic operates multiple daily flights from London to New York, bringing these Manhattan hotel rooms within easy reach.
Wondering where to stay in Manhattan? Have you stayed in any of these top hotels? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.