Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in New York

Ah New York…the city that never sleeps is easily one of the coolest and most exciting cities on planet. With population of larger-than-life characters and a strong passion for art and design, many hotels in the Big Apple are nothing short of spectacular. If you’re planning a trip and want to find a unique place to stay, here are our collective favourite Top 10 cool and unusual hotels in New York. All the accommodation on our list puts an extra effort into making your NYC stay far more interesting, whatever your budget….

CitizenM Hotel – funky, fun and full of colour

This hugely popular Dutch hotel group brings its own brand of affordable, cool luxury to New York. Funky, edgy with a very liberal use of colour in the decor – this NYC hotel is anything but boring. Located in the city central hub Times Square, all of the bright glossy rooms at CitizenM feature free movies, Wi-Fi, a rain shower, huge windows, a comfy king-sized bed and a cool MoodPad gadget – a touch-screen device which allows guests to control the room’s impressive array of electronics. Also make sure you have a cocktail or two while checking out the fabulous views on their gorgeous rooftop bar.

Night Hotel – dark, glamorous and edgy

If you’ve had your fill of minimalism and prefer your hotels to be a little more on the dramatic side, then try the ultra glamorous Night – a gothic themed boutique hotel located in Times Square. The stylish noir-inspired monochrome design really sets this NYC hotel apart from the rest and is perfectly located for visits to the fashionable theatre district and other central attractions. Each of the 72 sleek, chic and intimate rooms come complete with a plasma TV, an iPod stereo system and of course their signature knock-out decor – a place with a real wow factor!

  • Prices from $120 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for Night Hotel

The Evelyn – budget boutique

The Gershwin - cool and unusual hotels in New York

Formally known as The Gershwin, the former shabby chic art hotel has now had a complete revamp. The two star Evelyn Hotel still has a budget focus, the same funky bright red facade and a fabulous location in the heart of the ultra-trendy Flatiron District but with newly renovated rooms and a slightly more hipster style. Now you can expect more upscale interiors with a cool edge, original artwork and more mod cons. Standard rooms at come with rainfall showers, the suites have whirlpool tubs but handily they still offer the shared dormitory option for those on a tighter budget. A pretty fabulous all rounder!

  • Prices from $60 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for The Evelyn

YOTEL New York – futuristic Japanese style

You’ve dined at YO! Sushi now you can stay at the hotel. Fun, funky and highly innovative just like the Japanese culture which inspired it, YOTEL is a great unique NYC accommodation choice for the young at heart. Located in lively Times Square, the hip New York hotel aims to offer a first-class hotel stay without the designer price tag – think space age minimalism and futuristic technology. Cabins feature motorised beds (which transform into sofas), a ‘techno wall’ with flat screen TV, a work desk with iPod connectivity, free WiFi and local phone calls. Other fun features include an automated check-in and a self-service galley on each floor.

  • Prices from $120 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for YOTEL

Sohotel – ultra stylish budget boutique

Sohotel - cool hotels New York

This is a gorgeous budget boutique NYC hotel located in Lower East Side’s Sohotel only a stones-throw from Little Italy. It offers a fabulous choice of room types (all decorated to a high standard) and all the usual modern facilities you’d expect from a boutique hotel, but the without the designer price tag. The decor is exceptional for the price and comes with a slightly kitsch vibe – think dark woods, stylish exposed brickwork and lashings animal print furnishings. A glamorous stay which won’t leave your bank manager in tears!

  • Prices from $95 per night.
  • Check prices and availability for Sohotel

The Jane – bellhops and stuffed monkeys

Cool and unusual hotels New York

Staying at The Jane is an experience in itself – the vintage style budget hotel has a quirky, time-warpish feel which features rooms endearingly inspired by old fashioned train cabins. In 1912 the hotel sheltered survivors of the Titanic, in the 1920s it became a haven for sailors and then it was lovingly restored on its centennial in 2008. Each compact cabin/room comes with modern amenities like free Wi-Fi and iPod docks and all rooms have river views and/or terraces. The decor is also pretty unusual with authentic old-school bellhops, maids in black and white uniforms, carved moose heads and stuffed monkeys with fez hats! All of this probably makes it one of the most intriguing budget hotels in New York!

  • Prices from $90 a night.
  • To check prices and availability for The Jane

The Hotel on Rivington – the sexiest hotel in NYC

Housed in a 20 story glass tower near SoHo this sleek, chic and achingly cool New York hotel was once voted NYC’s sexiest hotels – which given the competition is quite an accolade! The spacious minimalist rooms pride themselves mostly on their floor-to-ceiling windows which afford extraordinary views of the Manhattan skyline. Although the rest of the decor at the Hotel on Rivington too is pretty special too and offers Tempur-Pedic beds adorned with Frette linens, flat-screen televisions with on-demand movies and Bisazza-tiled bathrooms complete with deep Japanese-style soaking tubs. Also make sure you check out the ultra hip taco and tequila bar on the ground floor. Definitely a hotel which will leave a lasting impression!

The Ace Hotel – urban basement style


This quirky boutique New York hotel caters to a young, creative and bohemian crowd. The Ace originated through clever collaborations with local designers, artists and independent businesses and the resulting style has often been likened to a cool friend’s town house basement. Rooms feature DJ turntables, guitars, Smeg mini-bars and scrawl-able chalkboard walls, ensuring a very fun and unique stay! There’s a variety of rooms on offer starting from a budget bunk bed room to a large impressive corner suite – if its stylish but reasonably priced you’re after the fabulous Ace hotel shouldn’t disappoint.

  • Prices from $120 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for The Ace

The Pod – join the Pod culture revolution

Many hotels try and fail to fit the trendy but budget niche but the Pod – located in the heart of Midtown East neighbourhood – is most definitely the exception. Definitely one of the cooler hotels New York can offer, The Pod is clean and modern with funky murals. You can choose from a private room with a shared bathroom or a more economical bunk bed room in this cool New York hotel. This fabulous budget place is a good choice for someone who doesn’t fancy re-mortgaging their house for a trip to New York (or doesn’t fancy chancing a down-town Manhattan hostel)! The in-the-know friendly staff will even help you with local tourist information and even help you source tickets to your favourite gigs.

  • Prices from $80 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for The Pod

The Standard High Line – uber glamorous

Sleek, glossy, stylish and attracting trendy good looking types by the bucket load, the uber glamorous Standard High Line offers both cool minimalist interiors and spectacular cityscape and river views. The striking 18-story tower rises above the High Line urban park (a former elevated train track) within a stone’s throw of the Meatpacking District nightspots, the West Village, Chelsea Market and the subway. Other stand out features include a roof terrace with a hot tub, floor-to-ceiling windows in the retro-modern rooms, a German beer garden, rooftop crêperie (which turns into a disco at night), free bicycles on loan and even cheeky exhibitionist bathrooms! A hotel to impress! 

MAve – kitsch retro chic

Mave Hotel New York

The retro 1970’s inspired MAve will probably remind you more than a little of the film Boogie Nights! In this trendy boutique hotel expect lashings of colour, perspex, unconventional art, leather sofas, zebra prints and fun! Taking a dip in the colourfully illuminated pool at this funky New York hotel is an experience in itself – here you can order drinks in a swim-up bar and be on full view by everyone in reception (courtesy of a large glass window). Whether you want to stay in a private room or in a dorm with bunk beds you’ll be ensured of comfy bed, iPod docks and very cool interiors all for a price that won’t break the bank.

  • Prices from $110 a night.
  • To check prices or availability for The MAve

The Marlton – hip nostalgia

The Marlton Hotel offers upbeat contemporary classic accommodation housed in a historic building. Located in the trendy Greenwich village, the building dates all the way back to 1900 and has hosted many important cultural figures over the years. The swanky and characterful Marlton is adorned with chic but cosy decor with more than a hint of nostalgia. Think stylish designer furniture, unique accents, dark woods and plush leather banquettes all bathed in a warm light. Other amenities include an onsite eclectic Mediterranean restaurant, a cool cocktail den, a coffee bar and a strong focus on vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options throughout the hotel – very hip but still realistically priced.

SoHo Loft – cool New York living

Soho Loft New York

A reasonably priced unique bed and breakfast which gives you a chance to live just like a New Yorker. This gorgeous SoHo loft apartment is owned by two French artists who have transformed their living space into a living art gallery. The trendy New York apartment is bright, airy and adorned with beautiful paintings and offers a friendly, personal accommodation experience – the perfect antidote to a sterile chain hotel. With an emphasis on personal customer service, the approachable couple owners at the SoHo Loft will even take their time to give you the low down on the best local restaurants and sightseeing attractions in the city.

  • Prices from $100 a night.
  • To check prices and availability for SoHo Loft

Carlton Arms – arty, quirky and fun budget hotel


Perfectly capturing New York’s love for all things creative and quirky is the deliciously different Carlton ArmsA great choice for cool arty types on a budget, this unique New York hotel has even welcomed a few celebrities through its doors – the famous street artist Banksy has painted here. Relaxed and unpretentious, each of the funky 54 rooms has been designed and hand decorated by an up-and-coming artist. The result is a fun, liberal explosion of colour which offers a fun alternative to a New York hostel.

More cool, unusual and unique hotels in New York


If you liked our Top 10 Cool and Unusual in New York we also have Cool Hotels in Los Angeles and Miami’s best Boutique Hotels.

With roots in Bavaria, a home in England and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 35 countries on trips and living in both Dublin and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations away from the crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not travelling, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, wandering the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting around for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world - Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.


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