New York, New York - Manhattan Spirit Is In These Downtown Hotels

It is hard to specify what exactly "downtown" New York is. What started as the area below 14th street sometimes is used to signify when one feels in the heart of it all. And New York, as we know, has a gigantic beating heart.

Hotels in the area of Lower Manhattan certainly can be luxe, outdoing themselves with opulent details. However, there are also some lower priced options for those who don't go to sleep wearing only diamonds. 

For a hotel that "doesn't feel like a hotel," boutique hotel Gild Hall is within walking distance to all the downtown attractions. It also decorates its rooms with leather headboards and plaid comforters, for a high-end take on a country house.

Just slightly less expensive is the chic Nolitan Hotel. Just as downtown, it looks more like the sleek loft of someone with impeccable taste and the ability to afford a loft in New York. Only 57 rooms and free wine and cheese happy hour makes this hotel well deserving of a spot on our list.

Frankly, they are well deserving due to their prime locations and commitment to great service. Tom Wolfe was quoted as saying, "“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” Let's start belonging.


New York almost has more Starbucks branches than people. This Tribeca hotel adds one more, with a full service Starbucks directly underneath the hotel. Built in 1838, this historic location offers many modern luxuries, such as Frette linens and towels and bath amenities from C.O Bigelow Apothecaries. On the border of Tribeca and the Financial District, this is the perfect hotel for a business trip on Wall Street or a quick rendez-vous with Ms. Statue of Liberty herself. The ferry to Ellis Island is just a short walk away from the hotel. Jump on the 2 or 3 bus to get anywhere in the city in less than 15 minutes.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: Modern luxuries and a perfect Lower Manhattan location, capped off with an in-house Starbucks.

Read more about Cosmopolitan Hotel - Tribeca →

Lower East Side
The Nolitan
Photo courtesy of The Nolitan Hotel

Probably the most modern on the list, The Nolitan Hotel's rooms are warehouse-style conversions overlooking the streets of Nolita. A boutique hotel in every sense of the word, the Nolitan's 57 rooms aren't the largest, but they're still sufficiently posh. Make no mistake - part of the luxury of the Nolitan is in its location. With the gritty culture of Chinatown on one side, the galleries and shops of Nolita on the other and SoHo just a few blocks away, this is the hotel to stay in if you want the true local experience. Downstairs, New Yorkers and visitors alike flock to the Cantine Parisienne for Chef Marcel Agnez's take on French-American cuisine.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: Small rooms with minimal decor and fancy French food to even things out.

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This hotel overlooks the World Trade Centre, as well as the memorial pools. The views from the room are not only historically moving but as you go to the 20th floor's World Terrace Club you get a sweeping view of New York. You can also enjoying a cocktail or continental breakfast on the sky terrace. The minimalist rooms are well equipped. All have eco-friendly showerheads and rooms that seem to be soundproof – a remarkable feat in the heart of downtown New York. Complimentary sleep kits, yoga mats and loaner IPads are available by request. Rector Street subway station is within an easy walking distance, making the city outside of downtown very accessible.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: One of the best rooftop lounges in the downtown core gives you reason to get up in time for a complete breakfast.

Read more about World Center Hotel →


Dream Downtown was the National Maritime Union Headquarters in the 1960s. This boutique hotel in New York's downtown has an emphasis on "after dark possibilities." We also wondered what that meant, so we will break it down: the eager-to-please staff wants you to take the "city that never sleeps" quote literally. Rooms range in square footage but are quaint with the required amenities. Windows are designed like cruise portholes peering into the Manhattan skyline. Go for a swim in the glass bottomed swimming pool to understand the perspective of a fish living in an aquarium. It comes right over the lobby, which also has an aquarium should you want to view alternative swimming creatures other than people.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: A glass bottomed pool and a bar that also doesn't want your glass to empty.

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Robert De Niro. The man doesn't only do movies, he also does hotels. He at least does this hotel in particular, which seems to bridge the gap between casual and rustic. The Greenwich Hotel is an eight-story property with 88 floors that are uniquely decorated. You may stay in a room that isn't shy with the zebra prints or pad around on a bathroom floor that is decorated with Moroccan floor tiles. The minibars are delightfully free (except for the alcohol. Let's not get crazy.). The basement houses the state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa, with teak-and-bamboo walls that keep the air fragrant. Group yoga classes are available daily at 8am. In Casino, De Niro said ""There are three ways of doing things around here: the right way, the wrong way and the way that I do it." Let's be honest: his way IS the right way.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: Robert De Niro knows a thing or two about New York. Just listen to the man. Or go to his hotel.

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An 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.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: Vintage vibe and old-world charm. This is the New York you saw in black-and-white movies.

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Perhaps as a result of its address, The Andaz Wall Street likes to be cutting edge. Hosts check in guests via tablet and the 11-foot ceilings in the guest rooms add even more space to the minimum 345 square feet. Enjoy the downtown New York view from your bathtub or swivel the TV to make your bathroom one of your prime New York hangouts. There are complimentary mini bars in the rooms (with non-alcoholic drinks and snacks) an eco-friendly spa and a seasonal beer garden. Join their Happy Hour between 5 and 7pm for a free glass of wine. There is also a coffee station with muffins and cookies to refuel in between bursts of sightseeing. Get a good night's rest by controlling the sun shade directly from your bed. Nighty night.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: A free happy hour, free non-alcoholic mini-bar and a free coffee station. You would think that the Andaz Wall Street was trying to impress.

Read more about Andaz Wall Street - a concept by Hyatt →


Thompson's boutique hotel Gild Hall might be in the heart of New York City, but it is inspired by Aspen. With leather armchairs, Antler chandeliers and a chic library lounge, Gild Hall has a unique look that wraps its guest up like a warm plaid blanket (which also happen to be at the foot of each bed). Bathrooms come outfitted with marble floors, rain showers and oversized Frette terrycloth robes. Rooms also come equipped with a designer bar set to mix the perfect cocktail after a long day of sightseeing. Steps from the Fulton Street Terminal station, it is easy to zip around the city. Independent coffee shop Blue Spoon is right around the corner and comes highly recommended.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: Alpine design with New York efficiency, Gild Hall is a hotel that makes you feel at home.

Read more about Gild Hall, A Thompson Hotel →

This is Ritz Carlton's only waterfront New York location and being a Ritz Carlton they have the market on excellent Statue of Liberty views. The rooms on the Ellis Island side even have telescopes to get a closer vantage point. A hop, skip and a walk from Wall Street and other Lower Manhattan attractions, the 298 rooms and suites have spacious marble bathrooms with a separate bathtub and shower. They even have a Bath Butler, should the act of running water be too taxing for you. Nearby Battery Park has 25 acres to run or walk to some of New York's finest monuments.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: Ritz Carlton is always pretty amazing at putting on the Ritz, no matter where their location. See the Statue of Liberty through the room's telescope.

Read more about The Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park →

Lower Manhattan's Conrad New York hotel likes to boast that it has WiFi, but it certainly has more going for it than that. The lobby is calmly minimalistic but impresses with Sol LeWitt's stunning 10-story artwork. 463 two-room suites are designed by Jill Greaves, an acclaimed interior designer. The minimum square footage is 430 square feet and there is a rainforest shower in every bathroom, which might make your morning routine slightly longer. Bliss takes time. There are two HD TV's in the room if you and your travel companion disagree on what constitutes "must see TV." The Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar is located on the 16th floor and has inventive cocktails like the "boozy ice pop cocktail" topped with chilled Prosecco.

Recommended for Downtown Hotels because: Two-room suites for people who like a little personal space – and a rainforest shower.

Read more about Conrad New York →


Meet Courtney Sunday

Courtney Sunday has lived in England, Switzerland, Canada and the US, finding her way into the professions of freelance writing and yoga teaching in between travel opportunities. She learned...  More About Courtney