There are plenty of frou-frou, hoity toity, or otherwise average places in New York City to lay your pretty, little head. But the truth of the matter is that not all of them are worthy of you opening your wallet. On the flip side, boutique hotels generally offer the best of both worlds: they're fancy enough to make you feel pampered, but quaint enough to make you feel at home.
Take the Ace Hotel that opened in 1904 as the Breslin Hotel, now houses one of the most buzzed about hotels in the Flatiron district, that some say set the tone for what a boutique property should be.
Some, like the Lowell Hotel in Midtown or The Crosby Street Hotel in Soho strike the balance of luxury and boutique in a way that will make you envious you can't move in.
Others, like the Wythe Hotel, aptly located in one of the hippest places in the world at the moment (ahem, that'd be Williamsburg, Brooklyn), have taken the renovation trend to the extreme to create boutique gems that even Manhattanites visit on the regular.
If you're looking for a boutique hotel for your next stay – or staycation – in New York City, we've pulled together ten of our favorites for you to peruse and ponder.
On the smaller side, the 74-room Lowell Hotel is set on a quiet, tree-lined street on the Upper East Side. The Lowell is also one of the only hotels in the city with fully functional, wood-burning fireplaces, terraces and kitchens in each room. More like a townhouse rather than a temporary place to lay your head, the Lowell's staff prides themselves on their dedication to customer service and personal touches. Booking the private suite means you'll have access to four terraces, three bedrooms, three bedrooms, a top-of-the-line kitchen and a dining conservatory to host a few friends, if the occasion calls for it.
A hip, downtown take on a luxury hotel, Crosby Street Hotel has been attracting the cool kids since it opened in SoHo in 2009. Since then, the neighborhood has exploded, but the hotel has retained its cool factor while still managing to provide an attention-to-detail that's unparalleled in the area. Decor in the 86 rooms is quirky, but elegant. Outside, a leafy terrace and sculpture garden offer reprieve from the city's crazy streets, while inside, a 99-seat screening room shows classic and new movies for hotel guests. Book lovers will want to stop in the Housing Works Bookstore and cafe down the street.
Looking for an artsy-chic crowd? You'll find it at Hotel Americano, a boutique spot a stone's throw from the High Line in the Chelsea gallery district on Manhattan's West Side. Wooden platform beds give the rooms a Japanese-inspired aesthetic edge, while marble sinks balance out the starkness and lend a sense of warmth to the whole affair. Continuing the Asian vibes, room service is served in a Bento Box and ordered off an iPad. Downstairs, French-Latin fusion food is served on a sunny patio, while sunbathers lounge around the pool on the roof. For adventurous guests, bicycles are available for riding along the Hudson River. Guests say you shouldn't miss the morning coffee.
The Marlton Hotel is beautiful. Yes, the rooms are teeny tiny, but what they lack in size, they make up for in freshness, crisp, white linens and a slight Art Deco lean. Housed in a historic building, the courtyard restaurant is an Instagrammer's haven, with Moroccan-tiled floors, exposed brick and hanging potted greens. Guests at The Marlton have called the property an oasis in a city of hustle and bustle more a country home than a hotel. At night, locals and guests flock to the cocktail bar, adding another notch of coolness to The Marlton's belt. As for the neighborhood? You couldn't do much better. Just a block off Washington Square Park, you'll have all the city has to offer at your doorstep.
There are few things more boutique than Brooklyn at the moment, so it makes sense that the Wythe Hotel is sitting pretty on our list. That said, it's not just the location that will make your heart go pitter-patter. Originally constructed in 1901 as a factory, this 60-room hotel is now a crown jewel of the Brooklyn scene. The Ides bar on the roof offers unobstructed views of Manhattan, and the rooms are downright gorgeous, due in large part to the exposed brick and abundantly streaming sunlight. If you can spring for it, you won't be disappointed in any of the four lofts, each with standalone pedestal tubs and radiant floor heat. Farm-to-table Reynard's is as fine a dining spot as you will find.
If there are two words to describe the SIXTY Lower East Side, it's haute minimalism with an artful spirit to boot. The rooftop pool has Andy Warhol's face plastered to the bottom, and glowing headboards from designer Lee Friedlander adorn each room. Speaking of the rooms, they're small, but have you noticed that's kind of a trend in itself? The important thing is that they're clean, nicely decorated and provide the perfect launching off point for a weekend exploring the city. The surrounding Lower East Side (say LES if you want to fit in) is a hotbed for activity, from live music venues and hopping bars, to top-notch restaurants and cafes.
The Ace Hotel is a hipster's paradise. With Polaroid cameras in every room, street art splashed on the walls and flannel duvets, The Ace has nailed the balance between Portland hostel and chic NYC digs. If you can afford it, The Loft Suite is the place to stay. After seeing the 711-square-feet of hardwood floors, vintage furniture and views over the city streets, you'll wonder if it's possible to sell your first born in order to stay permanently. The dark, sexy downstairs lobby caters to the freelance crowd during the day, and a rotating collection of musicians sipping cocktails at night. If you want to feel like part of the cool crowd, you shouldn't even think of staying anywhere else.
Newly renovated to reflect its cosmopolitan location in the heart of town, this hideaway in plain site takes in the skyline from private balconies and is known as one of the pet-friendliest hotels in the city. If you can spring for one of the 19 spacious suites, you won't want to leave. As sophisticated as this property is, it is also friendly. Want to skip the cab-hailing and subway riding? Hop on one of the Kimpton's to take your own tours around the city, or slip into the 24-hour fitness center for your daily routine. Valet parking starts at a cool $55 per day. Avail yourself of the hosted evening wine reception to rub shoulders with other guests.
Another Instagram-worthy spot, The Bowery Hotel oozes charm a la the Olsen twins at fashion week. In fact, if you stick around long enough, you may even rub shoulders with the formidable duo in the lobby of this beautiful hotel. Floor-to-ceiling windows drench rooms in sunlight, though decor is simple. But you're in New York! The room isn't what it's all about. Make your way to the outdoor veranda, sink into one of the comfy armchairs and order a classic cocktail. The hotel's vintage vibe is the perfect place to sip an old-fashioned. If you can wrangle a spot by the working fireplace, you'll have an excuse to stay inside all winter.
Some say if you go home with someone and they don't have a bookshelf, you should leave immediately. If we're going off that rule, The Library Hotel is the most romantic spot in the whole city. Each of the 10 guestroom floors honors one of the 10 categories of the Dewy Decimal System. The 60 rooms are not only filled with the traditional hotel amenities, but are also rich with books and art. Deep wood furnishings, befitting as a backdrop for a bespectacled librarian, add another notch to the sexy meter. A lavish continental breakfast and an evening Proscecco reception are two of the perks of staying here. But let's be honest: it's all about the books. The 14th Floor Writer's Den and Poetry Garden provides sublime views of New York City architecture, while the private reading room allows access to hundreds of tomes. Sip a complimentary cafe au lait while you thumb through the pages and make eyes with your fellow intellectual.