By Jessie on a Journey
There are so many hotels to choose from when visiting NYC. While many provide an amazing experience, it can be hard to make the final pick, not to mention research the different options. I’ve lived in New York my whole life and thanks to my job as a travel blogger, have gotten to visit many of the hotels in the city. To help you plan a memorable trip, here are five unique New York hotels.
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1. The Crosby Street Hotel (SoHo)
While a bit of a splurge unless you find a deal, this unique hotel has one of the most innovative and inspiring art programs in NYC. Eclectic pieces are sourced from markets the owners Tim and Kit Kemp visit on their travels, from a Mona Lisa wearing sunglasses to an enormous Jaume Plensa steel head made from alphabet letters. Something else cool: there’s a rooftop garden — with chickens! — that provides ingredients used by the onsite restaurant. Order the apple butter-laced burrata or crab and squid ink spaghetti before grabbing a drink at the Drawing Room’s “Honesty Bar” (they trust their guests). The location on quiet and cobbled Crosby Street, with access to the best of SoHo, also makes this a great booking choice.
2. Hostelling International NYC Hotel (Upper West Side)
Of course we need a hostel on the list. I’m a big fan of the Hostelling International NYC Hotel, which has tons of free amenities like group tours, activities like comedy shows and movie nights, Wi-Fi and games of pool. There are also tons of social spaces like a communal kitchen, a TV room and outdoor patio. Dorm sizes range from 4-12, with options for mixed and single sex rooms. This is a top choice for many backpackers visiting NYC!
3. Pod 39 (Midtown East)
This budget-friendly hotel sits within the landmarked former Allerton House from 1916, once a “Gentleman’s Sitting Room.” Today it’s one of a few pod hotel options in NYC, meaning rooms are smaller though smartly organized to keep rates down and encourage you to explore the rest of the amenities; and Pod 39 certainly has much to explore. Start in the Playroom (shown below), a bright and colorful room with Chinese lanterns, bright vintage couches and handmade Moroccan rugs — not to mention ping pong, board games, books, and craft food and drink. Which makes sense, as it’s attached to the onsite taqueria and cantina, Salvation Taco, serving up innovative Mexican food. The highlight of the entire stay: the 17th story rooftop. Here you’ll find a taco truck, craft cocktail bar, beautiful brick walls showcasing sprawling ivy, and iconic views of the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, the Chrysler building and the East River.
4. Carlton Arms Hotel (Union Square)
At this budget-friendly hotel you’ll feel like you’re at an eccentric relative’s house. Each room is painted by local artists in a unique theme, while cats wander the mural-filled halls like they own the place (hey, they kind of do). The staff are extremely hospitable, with the property exuding more of homestay vibe. While there is hot water, comfortable beds and it’s clean, note you will need to share a bathroom with floor mates and there is no elevator. For those who love art, are unfussy and love a great deal, this is a true gem. There’s also free Wi-Fi, and the property is less than a 20-minute walk from NYC attractions like the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal.
5. YOTEL (Times Square West)
Close enough to the action to be part of Times Square but far enough away that you can escape it, YOTEL is a futuristic property blending a luxury air travel feel with Japanese aesthetics. I mean, as soon as you walk in you’re greeted by a giant robot named YOBOT (he holds your luggage after check-out) and Ground Control check-in site assisted by staff in “Calling Major Tom” shirts. Head upstairs to Mission Control — here’s where they sell funky gift shop items like vegan nail polishes and “I Lego NY” books — before grabbing a drink on their Terrace, the largest in Manhattan. The onsite restaurant is also great for co-working with communal outlet-equipped tables and private booths.
What are your favorite unique New York hotels? Please share in the comments below!
A big thank you to Hotellook for sponsoring this post and helping to support Jessie on a Journey!
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