The greatest thing about New York City is that there are so many ways to experience it. This is truly one of my favorite cities in the whole wide world. Seriously, I have a constant longing to come back year after year. I love the shopping, restaurants, architecture, sites, museums, people (Yes, New Yorkers are friendly!) and overall vibe. New York definitely has a pulse. BUT, I am not going to lie to you. When you only have a few days to spare, the city can become a tad overwhelming. You want to see and do as much as possible, all the while feeling like you're on somewhat of a vacation. Well, if you're like me at all, you'll appreciate killing many birds with one stone. Oh, did I mention you'll be doing it in style?
On my last trip to the city I am pretty sure I uncovered one of the best ways to travel NYC. Check it. What has beautifully designed spaces, outstanding restaurants, bustling bars, gorgeous roof top terraces, amazing boutiques, laid back clubs, and to-die-for people watching? Oh, and all in one place. If you guessed hotels, you guessed right, my friend.
The best part? You don't need to pay the hefty price tag of staying. Spend a morning, afternoon or evening discovering one stunning hotel at a time. Over the years of traveling to NYC, picking the brains of local New Yorkers, chefs, concierges, bartenders and friends, please enjoy this carefully curated list of some of the hippest "experience" hotels that NYC has to offer.
1. SOHO GRAND | 310 WEST BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10013
The Soho Grand is a place where sophistication and glamour meet head on with insane design and service. It was one of Manhattan's first luxury, downtown boutique hotels. Located in the heart of Soho, you will not be far from the best shops, art galleries, restaurants and very, very stylish people. If you're in the mood for some serious ambiance, the Soho Grand will not disappoint. From the Grand Bar to the Club Room, it feels like you're in a museum of exquisitely designed rooms (without the attitude). I usually enjoy a mimosa or two at the bar and soak in every detail of my surroundings. If you're into interior design, elegance, style and a relaxed setting, this is the place for you. Did we mention the bartenders are cute beyond words?
"A favorite of the city's fashion and entertainment elite." - Time Magazine
2. THE HUDSON | 356 WEST 58TH STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10019
Located in Midtown and steps away from Central Park, the Hudson Hotel is by far my favorite. I've spent the most time in this hotel as I have been staying here for years. It's a place you can get comfortable and cozy. After a few days it almost becomes like a really, really cool house that you have the luxury of drifting from room to room. The hotel rooms themselves are quite small, but function is of the ultimate intention. On the other hand, the hotel's communal spaces feel grand and inviting. There is the Hudson Commons (a beer and burger hangout featuring nightly entertainment), the Sky Terrace (a garden of sorts with an epic view of the city), the Hudson Lodge (a very posh ski-resort themed bar styled with faux fur throws, sheep-skinned pillows and taxidermy), and the Library Room (a library/pool hall that boasts 20 feet ceilings and funky photos of cows on the wall). Did I mention the last time I was here I sang karaoke until 1 am?! When you're having fun at the Hudson, you really aren't missing out on anything else.
"Urban adventure, daredevil design, and energetic social hub, Hudson takes convention and turns it on its head. The next generation of hotel, Hudson is stylish, democratic, young at heart and utterly cool. Born from the innovative vision of design impresario Philippe Starck, this luxury New York boutique hotel is exuberantly energetic, breathtakingly beautiful and architecturally unpredictable." Courtesy of the Hudson Hotel
3. THE STANDARD | 848 WASHINGTON AT 13TH STEET, NEW YORK NEW YORK 10014
With two locations in the East Village and High Line, the Standard Hotels are filled with anything and everything you can think of to see, do, eat and shop. I've had the pleasure of experiencing an afternoon at the Standard High Line location and it was magical. This place is rock star worthy. The hotel features breath-taking panoramic views of the city and the Hudson River, world class architecture, cutting-edge modern design, intoxicating energy and spectacular entertainment amenities. There is an ICE RINK, after all. No big deal. Take our word for it (and the rest of the world's) and GO see this hotel!
In the heart of downtown manhattan's meatpacking district, the hotel boasts the Standard Grill, German Biergarten, Living Room Lounge, ice rink with it's own rink-side cafe serving apres skate drinks and snacks, private dining rooms, event spaces, 24-hour room service, a discotheque, rooftop bar, complimentary bikes, free wi-fi and a very hip shop, called The Standard Shop. Of course.
"Raising standards." - Wall Paper Magazine
"Epicenter for cultural happenings" - Esquire Magazine
4. 60 SOHO | 60 THOMPSON STREET, NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10012
60 Soho is located in Soho on one of the swankier streets nailing the location as one of the most coveted. The vibe is both bohemian and sophisticated, leaving it one of the best places to hang in and hang out. I stayed at a room here two years ago and enjoyed every minute of it. I came down to the lobby to see what was happening and ended up dancing all night long in the hotel's sleek club that one would expect to see the likes of Jay and B. You see what I mean.
"A place like this lives and dies by its public spaces, which, in this case, are impeccable, from the guests-and-VIPs-only rooftop lounge to the Kittichai restaurant, an upscale Thai kitchen overseen by a Spice Market alumnus. The Gordon Bar slings craft cocktails and a fine selection of spirits nightly until 2 a.m. This is the luxury boutique as it ought to be — plush but not precious, hip but not off-putting, and an authentic fixture in the nightlife of lower Manhattan." Courtesy of 60 Soho
5. ACE HOTEL | 20 W 29TH STREET, NEW YORK CITY, NY 10001
The Ace Hotel is located in a historic, turn-of-the-century building in midtown Manhattan. It is one of the most artistic, creative, funky and unique environments by far. The hotel is connected to a gallery space, an artists' den, StumpTown Coffee Roasters, the John Dory Oyster Bar and the Breslin Bar & Dining Room, as well as its front desk retailer, called the Excelsior. You really won't have a reason to leave this place. When we say everything about this place is cool, we mean it. Everything.
"Invested with the spirit of its surroundings, the culture of the city and the ancient bones of the building. Ace New York has become a central hub for New Yorkers, Brooklynites and international travelers, and a hotbed of startups, freelancers and people who just want to kick it. However bustling the lobby gets, the hotel is a respite from New York's mayhem — full of local art, thoughtful details and the best beds in the universe." Courtesy of the Ace Hotel