In the big city it is the little pleasures that can, at times, be the most alluring. After all, even those of us who thrill at the thought of urban life with its spectacle of sights, sounds, smells and swarms of people, simultaneously long for a respite from it, if only for a few rejuvenating hours each day.
After the last call, the last dance or the last hour of a long day of doing business, there is something to be said for escaping the bright lights and hustle and bustle of the city by taking solace in a peaceful, homey place, rather than a massive impersonal maze of cookie cutter accommodations. By and large, a good swath of boutique hotels amply satisfy this criteria at a reasonable price point and the city that famously never sleeps has more than its fair share of impressive options for doing precisely that.
With that in mind, here are five boutique hotels around NYC that rise to the top of the list:
Iroquois New York
Hotels that stand the test of time and remain among the city’s best offerings have generally earned bragging rights and the historic Iroquois Hotel in the heart of Midtown Manhattan is no exception. Completed at the turn of the twentieth century, the Iroquois is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World collection, in addition to counting itself among the properties in the boutique Triumph Hotels collection, which is comprised of seven hotels in various corners of Manhattan.
Famous for having been the home of James Dean and its prime location amidst the city’s most exclusive private clubs, the Iroquois also counts proximity to Times Square and Grand Central Station among its assets. Glittering history and location aside, the Iroquois’ 117 rooms are thoroughly contemporary and luxuriously modern right down to the complimentary hotel wide wi-fi, Frette bathrobes and Molton Brown bath products that line the bathroom walls. Count as added bonuses a fully outfitted, 24-hour fitness center complete with a Finnish sauna, private training, yoga or Pilates sessions upon request and complimentary overnight shoeshines for guests.
Rounding out the perks of stay at the Iroquois is the fact that it is home to both the inspired Lantern’s Keep and the critically well-regarded Triomphe eatery. While the former is an intimate, moody space helmed by cocktail experts and mixologists bearing a flair for turning out old school cocktails with an air of authenticity, the latter is the hotel’s upscale French restaurant with a seasonal menu that has earned a reputation as one the New York Theatre District’s most popular haunts. (And yes the hotel is within walking distance of the Theatre District, which is yet another of the hotel’s attributes about which to sing.)
The Iroquois New York |49 West 44th Street | New York, New York 10036
P: 800.332.7220 | www.iroquoisny.com
NYLO hotels are quickly making their mark across America by offering arty, urban loft-style living combined with contemporary furnishings and a decidedly social vibe into which its hipster guests can easily relax. Located on NYC’s fashionable Upper West Side near local attractions including Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History and Beacon Theater, the NYLO New York City lives up to the brand’s promise from the open façade of the neighbhorhood-y LOCL Bar on the ground floor that welcomes guests to the industrial but inviting space.
Completely unpretentious and captivatingly cool, the NYC edition of the NYLO is all about modern luxury. In sleekly designed rooms dominated by palettes of neutrals, hanging lamps dangle rather than clutter metal door-clad nightstands while original artwork from local artists adorns the walls. Meanwhile all rooms also offer complimentary Wolfgang Puck coffee and the brand’s signature NYLO NYTE beds, which are award-winning in their own right.
However, given that little says New York better than a great view, the real treat at the NYLO, is without question the spacious lofts and suites on floors 14 – 16. Ranging in size from 300 -500 square feet, these spacious accommodations dazzle with private outdoor balconies overlooking Central Park, the Hudson River, and the Upper West Side.
Adding additional shine to the NYLO’s patina of coolness is the hotel’s recently launched Live @ LOCL Music Series featuring jazz and blues sessions set on the hotel’s 16th floor terrace against breathtaking views of the Natural History Museum. Not only does the series offer a great opportunity to enjoy the Roaring 20s’ themed LOCL Bar along with a healthy serving of live entertainment, it’s a fantastic chance to mingle with Upper West Side locals who have apparently grown quite keen on the place. Is there any better endorsement?
NYLO New York City |2178 Broadway |New York, NY 10024
P: 212.362.1100 | www.nylohotels.com
If the NYLO is the fashionable new kid on the block that is the Upper West Side, then the stately Belleclaire perched proudly across the street is the neighborhood’s grand dame. Once characterized as one of the flashiest buildings in NYC, the Beaux Arts style Hotel Belleclaire has welcomed a parade of celebrated guests ranging from Mark Twain to Babe Ruth since opening the doors to its regal lobby more than a century ago in 1903.
Like the Iroquois Hotel, the Hotel Belleclaire has similarly stood the test of time and is also part of the Triumph Hotel Collection. Perhaps the most remarkable quality of the Hotel Belleclaire is that, even after multiple renovations and sophisticated upgrades to add to the modernity of the property, the hotel still maintains the feeling of great old apartment hotel. From the Mad Men –era worthy lobby, albeit one currently blessed with its own Mille Feuille Bakery, to the charming staircases and mazelike hallways on every floor, there are constant echoes of the hotel’s chic past residents at every turn.
More notable however is the most au courant attribute of the Belleclaire which is its ability to envelop guests in the vibe of neighborhood living right in the heart of the city. In other words, a stay at the Belleclaire is more akin to the life of a NYC resident than it is that of a tourist. Rooms like the Babe Ruth Suite are well appointed yet comfortable and relaxed affairs with homey flourishes like a fireplace and bay window seating overlooking Broadway. Likewise other suites offer comforting amenities like DVD and Blu Ray players with complimentary movies, while City View rooms deliver impressive views of Broadway or the Hudson River and all rooms offer flat screen HDTVs, complimentary wireless Internet access, C.O. Bigelow amenities, and Frette linens.
When it comes to old school cool wrapped in new school luxe, the Hotel Belleclaire is trumps on the West Side.
Hotel Belleclaire|250 West 77th Street |New York, NY 10024
P: 877.468.3522 | www.hotelbelleclaire.com
The Duane Street Hotel
The Duane Street Hotel simultaneously proves that size does matter and that smaller can indeed be better.
Utterly downtown and undeniably, eclectically chic, the Duane Street Hotel is one of Tribeca’s understated gems. As part of the Independent Collection, which is known for delivering the high level of service cloaked in the kind of fashionable boutique environment that travel connoisseurs crave, the Duane Street Hotel promise to be a place where ‘Old New York meets European sensibility’. And it delivers.
Guests of the 43-rooom property, located steps away from SoHo, the West Village, Chinatown, and Little Italy, are likely to feel as though they are living just as one of their well-heeled neighbors might when they step into the hotel’s loft-like rooms where 11-foot ceilings, a selection of classic books, hardwood floors and oversized windows are standard issue. Dressed as they are in stark black and white with hints of gold and silver, each room from the more modest Accessible King to the sumptuous Corner Suite exudes the quintessentially cosmopolitan style of New York. This is even so despite the fact that amenities such as the luxury bed linens by Bellino, the bath products by L’Occitane, and the plush terry bathrobes by Scandia are distinctly European.
On the subject of amenities, when it comes to perks the Duane Street Hotel rivals those of its more grandiose competitors. Wi-Fi access is of course free, as is use of a cache of iPads which are available for loan to hotel guests. But the perk that many guests love most is the hotel’s offer of complimentary passes to the swish Equinox Gym in Tribeca, a popular destination for the neighborhood’s celebrated A-list residents. Ditto for the in spa or massage services the hotel is happy to arrange to pamper guests upon request.
Duane Street Hotel | 130 Duane Street | New York, New York 10013
P: 212.964.4600 | www.duanestreethotel.com
The Evelyn Hotel
NoMad, that trendy little neighborhood in New York City bordered by Gramercy Park and the Flatiron District and located within walking distance of Madison Square Park and the Empire State Building, has several rising stars and The Evelyn Hotel is certainly among them.
Formerly known as The Gershwin, the recently renovated hotel has both a new look and a new name. And yet some things remain the same at the more than one hundred year-old property which still pays tribute to the long list of Broadway and Vaudeville performers, musicians, songwriters, and publishers including George Gershwin (obviously) who called the streets of NoMad home by incorporating music into the design of the hotel. While, live music frequently floods the hotel’s cavernous lobby reminding guests that they are staying in what was once known as “Tin Pan Alley”, some rooms are equipped with the most ingenious of phonographs that actually act as pseudo docking stations capable of playing music from mobile devices (no adapters required).
As yet another member of the Triumph Hotels collection, rooms at the Art Nouveau style Evelyn Hotel offer a selection of prime amenities to ensure that guests feel right at home. They include Frette linens and bathrobes, Lefroy Brooks bathroom fixtures, walk-in rain showers, table top multimedia hubs on desks and USB ports access on headboards. Complimentary access to an off-site 24 Hr. Fitness is also on offer.
Bolstered by a fresh new look defined by stylish furnishings and clean lines, along with a supremely friendly and competent staff, The Eveyln Hotel is primed to once again be an epicenter of a different variety for a new generation.
Special bonus: The Museum of Sex, always good for a quick diversion, is located right night door.
The Evelyn Hotel New York | 7 East 27th Street | New York, NY 10016 |
P: 212.545.8000 | www.gershwinhotel.com