Summer in the City: NYC’s Five Best Boutique Hotels
The warm weather makes it a lot more enjoyable to explore New York City, including its prime tourist attractions like Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, High Line, and Central Park. During the summer, the city also offers many free activities, from Shakespeare in the Park to the Fourth of July fireworks.
There is no shortage of places to stay in New York City. However, rooms can vary dramatically in terms of size, service, and cost. For those who prefer a boutique hotel to the big chains, below are five of the best:
The Marlton Hotel: The historic Greenwich Village building has been around since 1900 and housed many famous writers, poets, and artists during its Beatnik heyday. Most notably, Jack Kerouac drafted “The Subterraneans” and “Tristessa” while living there. After more recently serving as a freshman dorm for The New School, hotelier Sean MacPherson spent $10 million renovating the building into a Parisian-inspired Baby Grand Hotel, which opened in 2013. While the rooms are small, they are clean, updated, and beautifully appointed. Located at 5 West Eighth Street, the hotel is two blocks from Washington Square Park. Rooms start at $295.
The Chelsea Hotel: The famed hotel is currently under renovations and expected to reopen to guests in 2017. The Chelsea first opened its doors in 1884 and became a central gathering place for artists in the 1960s. Arthur C. Clarke penned “2001: A Space Odyssey” while staying there. Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin also rented rooms. Andy Warhol’s movie “Chelsea Girls” was inspired by the hotel and filmed there. In 1978, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols allegedly killed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen in one of the rooms. The hotel, located at 222 W. 23rd Street, was sold in 2011. Plans to renovate the historic building into a deluxe hotel have been bogged down in delays.
The Library Hotel: As the name suggests, the hotel is inspired by the Dewey Decimal System. Each of the 10 guestroom floors honor one of the 10 categories of the Dewey Decimal System, and each of the 60 rooms features a collection of books and art exploring a distinctive topic within the category it belongs to. The hotel is affordable, with rates as low as $200, and also includes a number of amenities, such as a full continental breakfast buffet and evening wine/cheese reception. The Library Hotel is also centrally located at 299 Madison Avenue at East 41st Street and within easy walking distance of the New York Public Library, 5th Avenue Shopping, Bryant Park, Empire State Building, and Grand Central Terminal.
SIXTY SoHo: Located in NYC’s SoHo neighborhood, the newly renovated hotel is both luxurious and hip. In addition to its modern loft-style guest rooms, Sixty SoHo also boasts an exclusive rooftop terrace, refined lobby bar, and full-service restaurant featuring coastal Italian and Sicilian cuisine. At 60 Thompson Street, guests have easy access to everything Lower Manhattan has to offer, including shopping, dining, and entertainment. For tourists, the 9/11 Memorial is also nearby. While more expensive than some of NYC’s other boutique hotels, the rooms are also much larger.
Refinery Hotel: The boutique hotel is housed in the heart of the Fashion District and aptly reflects the area’s industrial yet couture past. Constructed in 1912, the Colony Arcade Building previously served as a high-end millinery factory and tea salon. Since the 197-room hotel opened in 2013, the Refinery has won a number of awards, being named to Travel + Leisure’s 2014 “It List” and listed by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best hotels in New York. In addition to its modern and chic rooms, the hotel features a highly rated restaurant and rooftop bar. It is located at 63 West 38th Street.