Boutique, sleek, with bikes or pools, all new
For New York’s annual influx of holiday travelers, deciding where to stay is harder than ever. More than 2,700 hotel rooms were added to the city’s inventory this year, with construction in not only Manhattan but also Brooklyn and Queens. From swank downtown offerings in SoHo, Nolita, and Chelsea, affordable options in Times Square, a hot boutique in Williamsburg, and rooms with a view in Long Island City, here are 10 of the newest spots to check-in, kick back, and enjoy the city’s many diversions.
In February, Morgans Hotel Group, the company responsible for the boutique hotel concept, put down roots on SoHo’s cobblestone streets with Mondrian SoHo (9 Crosby St., 212-389-1000, www.mondriansoho.com). Surrounded by art galleries, A-list shopping, and renowned restaurants, the 270-room hotel resides in SoHo’s tallest building, and was inspired by Jean Coucteau’s 1946 fantasy film, “La Belle et la Bete.’’ A topiary portico off Crosby Street meets a playful French blue lobby off of which celebrity Top Chef Sam Talbot’s sexy restaurant Imperial No. Nine draws a hot nightly crowd and a partnership with Equinox fitness clubs keeps the health-conscious in their best travel shape. Rates from $400.
Tomorrow the eagerly anticipated Hotel Williamsburg will open to the public. The borough’s first luxury boutique hotel (160 North 12th St., 888-867-6767, www.hwbrooklyn.com), it draws on locally-sourced extras including uniforms by Brooklyn Industries and a Brooklyn Brewery signature brew, while the 64 guest rooms and four suites have whimsical touches such as a Crosley record player and in-room coffee service delivered in a retro green Stanley thermos. A lively bar in the center of the lobby overlooks a sunken dining room, and on the roof that overlooks McCarren Park, the East River, and midtown Manhattan is a buzz-worthy terrace. Rates start at $295.
Bright and white on the outside, moody and atmospheric within, Sanctuary Hotel New York (132 West 47th St., 800-388-8988, www.sanctuaryhotelnyc.com) is a former two-star property redesigned as a five-star experience. A peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of Times Square, the hotel’s sexy nooks and common spaces make this stylish property one of Midtown’s standouts. The hotel’s 111 guest rooms feature such colors as burnt orange and deep chocolate and dramatic touches such as crystal chandeliers and an open bathroom, while the sleek lobby lounge invites guests to unwind with a drink.
After a $270 million renovation of a 1960s building, the Andy Warhol-inspired Dream Downtown (355 West 16th St., 800-336-4110, www.dreamdowntown.com) by hotelier Vikram Chatwal is poised for greatness. On the border of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, the hotel boasts an eye-catching stainless steel facade that creates amazing celestial reflections, and a slinky central pool called Dream Beach that links the hotel’s north and south towers. With 316 high-tech guest rooms and suites - the most impressive being those on the seventh floor - an open-air lobby restaurant called Marble Lane, a VIP penthouse lounge, and a just-opened fine dining restaurant by acclaimed Barcelona chef Miguel Sánchez Romera, the Dream is not only a hotel, but a night life destination. Rooms from $395.
Just over the 59th Street Bridge in Queens, a former warehouse has become the area’s first destination property. Z New York Hotel (11-01 43d Ave., 212-319-7000, zhotelny.com) is a slick boutique spot that welcomes guests with a train station departure and arrival board bearing destinations such as France and Israel. On the ground level, a lounge-den awaits; upstairs, a rooftop bar delivers sweeping panoramic views of Manhattan and churns out brick-oven-baked pizzas. Common lounges anchor every floor. The Z’s hundred rooms are decorated with murals of New York images and feature mason jar sconces, floor-to-ceiling windows, flip-flops next to the bed instead of slippers, and free Wi-Fi. Rates from $195.
The first hotel to open in Nolita, the 55-room Nolitan (30 Kenmare St., 212-925-2555, www.nolitanhotel.com), located just off trendy Elizabeth Street, is dripping in perks. Whether you head downstairs to the excellent restaurant, Ellabess, for a bite, grab a community skateboard or bike for some morning exercise, sleep until 2 p.m. checkout, or play Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii until your eyes cross, the Nolitan will make you feel pampered. A neighborhood shopping program offers exclusive savings at many area boutiques such as John Varvatos, Calypso, and Vince. The minimalist design and lush open bathroom round out the experience. Rates from $300.
Originating as a hotel in London’s Gatwick South terminal, the United Kingdom-based Yotel brand opened its first city hotel in Times Square this summer. Featuring over 669 cabins, it marks New York’s largest hotel opening in 2011. A nod to the sleek, modern look of first-class airline cabins, the futuristic design of Yotel New York (570 Tenth Ave., 877-909-6835, www.yotel.com) sets it apart. Self-service check-in and a luggage-collecting robot make arriving a breeze. FOUR, the property’s hub, includes a Club Lounge - meeting space by day, social scene by night - DohYo restaurant by Richard Sandoval, and the largest outdoor terrace (4,000 square feet) in the city. Though the rooms are small, the flick of a switch converts beds to a sofa and vice versa. Rates from $249.
Capitalizing on the success of Aloft Harlem, Starwood opened its second ultramodern hotel in the city, Aloft New York Brooklyn, in June (216 Duffield St., 718-256-3833, alofthotels.com). With 176 guest rooms, Aloft Brooklyn occupies prime real estate minutes from the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Brooklyn Bridge Park. A two-story lobby atrium and signature w xyz bar await guests, as do re:charge fitness center and an indoor pool. Every room has a plug-and-play station, a one-stop connectivity spot for PDAs, iPods, and laptops that links to a 42-inch, flat-panel HDTV. Nine-foot ceilings and oversize windows give the space an airy, open feel. Rates from $200.
The mesh frontage of the just-opened Hôtel Americano (518 West 27th St., 212-216-0000, www.hotel-americano.com) from Mexico’s Grupo Habita captures the industrial feel of its Chelsea neighborhood. Surrounded by a sea of art galleries and the High Line, the 10-story hotel has 56 guest rooms. Within, Latin hospitality is fused with Japanese design elements such as wooden platform beds inspired by ryokans and room service served in bento boxes. Custom Alpaca throws, free bicycle use, and luxury touches such as iPads are offered to all guests, while The Americano restaurant, a rooftop bar and grill open year-round, and two bars complete the amenities. Rates from $325.
When it opens later this year, the Conrad New York (102 North End Ave., 212-945-0100, conradhotels1.hilton.com) will be a welcome addition to Lower Manhattan’s Battery Park City. With magnificent views of the Hudson River, the hotel’s 463 suites offer guests over 430 square feet of living space, a rarity in Manhattan hotels. The Conrad is pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, and its restaurants will be manned by James Beard award-winning chef Danny Meyer of Shake Shack fame, bringing a “roof-to-table’’ concept to life with a garden on the hotel’s roof. Rates from $300.
Marie Elena Martinez can be reached at www.marieelenamartinez.com.