Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in New York

Overflowing with architectural treasures, atmospheric neighbourhoods, inventive restaurants and swish boutiques – the city that never sleeps is easily one of the most exciting places to visit on the planet. With a diverse population of larger-than-life characters, a raw energy like no other city in the world and a vigorous 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 and creative place to stay, here are our collective favourite cool and unusual hotels in New York. We promise that all the accommodation options on our list puts an extra effort into making your NYC stay far more interesting, fun and funky 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, you’ll find this NYC hotel to be 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. Don’t leave without grabbing a cocktail or two while drooling over the fabulous cityscape views on their gorgeous rooftop bar.

  • Prices from $130 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for CitizenM New York

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 Gotham city inspired, ultra glamorous Night Hotel would be a great option. This gothic themed boutique hotel has a stylish noir-inspired monochrome design as well as four star amenities such as luxurious linens, iPod stereos, LCD TVs and free access to the popular nearby New York Sports Club. As well as having a genuine wow factor, its location in Times Square means you’ll also be in staggering distance of the fashionable theatre district and other fabulous central attractions.

  • Prices from $90 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Night Hotel

The Paper Factory – industrial chic

Located just two stops from Midtown Manhattan, this hip boutique hotel started life as a paper factory and celebrates, rather than hides, its industrial past. The Paper Factory was opened by the developer Gal Sela in December 2013 and the trendy New York accommodation features reclaimed wood ceilings, bare cement floors and unique furnishings like floor lamps constructed from plumbing pipes, kitsch British phone booths in the lobby and 1950s-style teal-green mini-fridges in the bedrooms. To add to the coolness, you’ll also find a lively Mediterranean-Latin fusion restaurant and even the fashionable night spot Mundo, which relocated from Astoria last November.

  • Prices from $85 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Paper Factory

The Evelyn – trendy budget

Formally known as The Gershwin, the former shabby chic art hotel has now had a wonderful new revamp and has now been transformed into a Beaux-Arts boutique hotel. The two star Evelyn Hotel still has a value for money focus, the same funky bright red facade and 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 $70 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Evelyn

Nu Hotel – condo style boutique

Nu Hotel is the first sleek boutique hotel located in better-value-than-Manhattan downtown Brooklyn. Sitting just across the East River, the 93 roomed hotel occupies the first four floors of a recently constructed condo building. All rooms are built to look like condos of sorts – spacious, with white walls and decked out with eco friendly retro modern furniture. Opt for one of the larger rooms on offer and you’ll find extra swish colorful decor beautifully finished off with a plush swinging hammock – a cute touch indeed!

  • Prices from $80 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Nu Hotel

YOTEL New York – futuristic Japanese style

So you’ve scoffed tuna rolls at YO! Sushi, now you can stay at the hotel – yes seriously. 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 – both gadget and style freaks will equally love this place.

  • Prices from $95 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for YOTEL

Sohotel – stylish budget boutique

Sohotel - cool hotels New York

Sohotel is a gorgeous budget boutique NYC hotel located in Lower East Side, 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 of animal print furnishings. A great choice for travellers who want a glamorous stay which won’t break the bank.

  • Prices from $75 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Sohotel

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. A hotel which will most definitely leave a lasting impression.

The Jane – bellhops and stuffed monkeys

Staying at The Jane is truly 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 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! The result is easily of one of the most intriguing budget hotels in New York.

  • Prices from $80 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Jane

The Library Hotel – for book worms everywhere

A place which is every book geeks’ dream, the Library Hotel – which sits just steps from the New York Public Library and Grand Central Terminal – offers gorgeous boutique accommodation with a tasteful and apt theme. Each floor is dedicated to one of the Dewey Decimal System’s categories, and each room is decorated according to a genre or topic. In all the bedroom’s you’ll also find up to 150 books ranging from spicy erotic fiction to more sedate topics of economics and computers. You’ll find even more reading options at the front desk, in the restaurant and in the hotel’s dedicated reading room. It’s not all about learning though – the hotel also boasts a swanky rooftop bar known as the Writer’s Den & Poetry Garden, which becomes the Bookmarks Lounge at night and serves up some tasty and literary-themed (of course) cocktails into the early hours.

  • Prices from $110 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Library Hotel

The Ace Hotel – urban basement style

Ace-Hotel-New-York

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 ranging from a budget bunk bed room to a large and very impressive corner suite – for oodles of funky style without the designer price tag, the fabulous Ace hotel shouldn’t disappoint.

  • Prices from $90 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Ace

Americano Hotel – all very zen

One of the most unique design hotels in the city, the ultra chic Hotel Americano – located in the heart of Chelsea’s art gallery district – rocks a modern minimalist style. With more than a nod to Japanese culture, all 56 rooms are all very zen featuring wooden platform beds, bean bag chairs, iPads featuring recommendations for the best local galleries, restaurants and shops, city views and handmade denim bathrobes. Opt for a more expensive room and you’ll even find a sumptuous Japanese-style soaking tub. On the rooftop in summer you’ll find a trendy outdoor pool which transitions into the concept restaurant Arriba during the winter months – genius.

  • Prices from $120 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Americano

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 and fun hotels New York has to offer, The Pod is clean and modern with funky murals and colourful decor. Here you can opt from a private room with a shared bathroom or a more economical bunk bed room, and the in-the-know affable staff will help you with local tourist information or even help you source tickets to your favourite gigs. A fun budget choice for travellers who doesn’t fancy re-mortgaging their house for a trip to New York or don’t fancy chancing a downtown Manhattan hostel either…

  • Prices from $70 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Pod

Wythe Hotel – lashings of Brooklyn cool

Housed in a former 1901 factory which sits on the Williamsburg, Brooklyn waterfront, this hip New York hotel offers trendy decor, a cool vibe and fabulous river views (if you opt for a room on the upper floors). Lovingly restored in a bang-on-the-mark industrial chic style, rooms at the Wythe Hotel feature custom-made furniture, heated cement floors, high ceilings, surround sound systems and a smattering of unique commissioned artwork. Some rooms have gorgeous exposed brick walls and arched windows with skyline views. Make sure you don’t leave without dining at their excellent farm-to-table restaurant or trying a cocktail at sunset on their fabulous rooftop bar.

  • Prices from $95 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Wythe Hotel

Nolitan Hotel – hip pet friendly hotel

Chic but unpretentious, this hip pet-friendly hotel is located in the boutique adorned downtown area of Nolita mere blocks from SoHo. The 57 rooms at the Nolitan Hotel are endearingly divided into eight different categories including Neighbourhood, Cityscape and Suites. All the rooms feature a contemporary design with oak floors, large desks, and flat-screen LG televisions, but they each offer different views and some also offer balconies overlooking chic Elizabeth Street. With plenty of attention to detail also expect handy extras including laptop, bikes, iPad and skateboard rentals on request….and pets even receive a goodie bag on arrival.

  • Prices from $105 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Nolitan Hotel

Standard High Line – views, glamour & beautiful people

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! 

The 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 opt to stay in a private room or in a dorm with bunk beds, you’ll be ensured of a comfy bed, an iPod dock and cool interiors all for a price that won’t break the bank.

  • Prices from $90 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The MAve

Nomo Hotel – distinctive luxury

An impeccable luxury five star hotel with its own distinct cosmopolitan style, this place takes inspiration from the artists’ lofts that once filled the neighbourhood. The huge stylish rooms at Nomo Hotel feature a sleek white palette with bright blue accents, floor-to-ceiling windows, high-thread-count sheets, marble bathrooms complete with designer toiletries and oodles of space. Splash out on an upgraded room you’ll also receive added on sitting areas, while suites provide living rooms and extra TVs. Also expect to find a haute, terrarium-style restaurant and bar, a glam cocktail lounge and even rooftop massage services to help you wind down after a long day of shopping or sightseeing.

  • Prices from $150 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Nomo Hotel

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.

  • Prices from $140 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Marlton Hotel

Carlton Arms – quirky, arty budget hotel

Perfectly capturing New York’s love for all things creative and quirky is the deliciously different Carlton Arms – this isn’t a luxury hotel by any means but it still makes a fun choice in NYC for arty types on a budget. This unique New York hotel has even welcomed a few celebrities through its doors and the uber 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 and the result is a playful, liberal explosion of colour which offers a fun alternative to a New York hostel.

More cool, unusual and unique hotels in New York

New-York

  • Gramercy Park Hotel – A striking art-filled 1920s-era hotel with the wow-factor.
  • The Mansfield – A classically beautiful and romantic hotel..
  • Riff Chelsea – An eclectic, funky budget hotel in a central location.
  • Maritime Hotel – A fabulous nautical-themed hotel close to the Meatpacking District.
  • Marrakech Hotel – Brings a taste of North African exoticism to Broadway.
  • The Bowery Hotel Old-school elegance in a colonial/art deco style.
  • NYLO Hotel Ultra trendy mid range hotel in Rhode Island.
  • Sanctuary Hotel Alluring boutique hotel a short stroll from Times Square.
  • Conrad Hotel – Sophisticated luxury design hotel with a huge atrium lobby. 
  • Dazzler Brooklyn – Contemporary and chic hotel in great Brooklyn location.
  • Crosby Street Hotel – Kitsch-but-classy English elegance in SoHo.
  • The Standard East Village – A sleek and chic high rise hotel in a hip location.
  • Tribeca Grand Hotel – Swish family friendly boutique hotel.
  • Sixty Les Hotel – A swanky boutique hotel located in the trendy Lower East Side neighborhood.
  • The Mercer – Very cool luxury celebrity haunt in SoHo.
  • The London HotelSleek and sexy luxury suite accommodation with fabulous views.
  • Dream Downtown Hotel – Trendy Chelsea located hotel with gorgeous Loft-style rooms.
  • W New York –  Style, sophistication and cool design in Times Square.
  • Hotel Giraffe – Art-inspired hotel family friendly boutique hotel.
  • Refinery Hotel – Stylish, bespoke rooms with an industrial flair. 
  • Sefton Hotel –  A quaint boutique hotel in East Midtown housed in a 1930s-era apartment house.
  • The Quin Hotel – An upscale hotel housed in a beaux arts building that once hosted famed artists and musicians.
  • The Dylan Hotel – A stylish historic hotel named after Welsh poet Dylan Thomas.

If you liked our Top 10 Cool and Unusual in New York we also have a post on 10 of the best budget hotels in New York.

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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