Popular with tourists, shoppers and clubbers, The Big Apple is one of the world’s most exciting cities and many hotels in New York are nothing short of spectacular. So if you’re planning a trip and want to find a unique place to stay, here are 10 cool and unusual hotels in New York. All the places on our list put an extra effort into making your stay far more interesting, whatever your budget:
Themed hotels in New York
The Library Hotel – A hotel that would suit both bookworms and style aficionados
The Library Hotel is a frequently praised and perfectly located 60 room boutique hotel. Each of the ten floors have themes dedicated to the major categories of the Dewey Decimal System – Literature, Languages, History, Math & Science etc. The 1900 brick building hotel wasn’t previously a library itself (although it now could probably pass as one) but its location is a clue to it’s theme – it’s only a block away from the New York Public Library in Madison Avenue. Other personal touches include free wine and cheese reception evenings and a collection of art and books in every room.
- Prices from $200 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Library Hotel
Night Hotel – For those who like their hotels dark, glamorous and with an edge
If you’ve had your fill of minimalism and prefer your hotels to be dramatic and glamorous then try Night – a gothic themed boutique hotel located in Times Square. The stylish noir-inspired monochrome decor sets this hotel apart from the rest and is a great choice for those wishing to visit the fashionable theatre district. Each of the 72 sleek, chic and intimate rooms comes with a plasma TV, iPod stereo system and luxury bathroom products.
- Prices from $120 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Night Hotel
Marrakech Hotel – Brings a taste of North Africa to Upper West Side Village
This is a reasonably priced themed hotel in an excellent central location. The newly renovated Marrakech Hotel – located in the trendy upper west side neighbourhood – promises to bring a touch of Morocco to Manhattan. The colorful decor includes authentic Moroccan lamps, ceramic tiles and rich fabrics and the location is perfect for access to great jazz bars, restaurants and shops.
- Prices from $96 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Marrakech Hotel
Trendy yet affordable hotels in New York
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 cool 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. This hotel 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 including helping you source tickets to your favourite gigs.
- Prices from $89 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Pod
MAve – Kitsch Retro Chic
The newly opened 1970s inspired MAve will probably remind you more than a little of the film Boogie Nights. There is an emphasis on fun, colour, perspex, funky art, leather sofas and zebra prints. Taking a dip in the colourfully illuminated pool 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 will be ensured of getting comfy mattresses, ipod docks and cool interiors all for a price that won’t break the bank.
- Prices from $110 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for The MAve
The Ace Hotel – Urban Basement style
This quirky boutique hotel caters to a young, creative and bohemian crowd. Ace has been built through collaborations with local designers, artists, and independent businesses and the style has often been likened to a cool friend’s town house basement. Many of the rooms have turntables, guitars, scrawlable chalkboard walls and Smeg mini-bars. Some rooms are smaller and more basic and there is also a budget bunk bed room option available. If it’s a stylish but reasonably priced hotel you’re after the Ace shouldn’t disappoint.
- Prices from $120 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Ace
The Gershwin Hotel: Arty Shabby Chic
You don’t have to love pop art to stay at the trendy Gershwin Hotel but it might help. Each floor is decorated with prints from a different artist and two original Liechtensteins and a signed Warhol soup can adorn the colourful lobby. Dormitories where beds go for $32 a night are located on the lower floor and on some evenings you can head down to the Gershwin’s “Living Room” to catch random music, comedy and theatre performances.
- Prices from $32 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Gershwin Hotel
Luxurious but still a little different
The Bowery – Old School elegance
The Bowery is gorgeous boutique hotel with a difference. The hotel has a classic old-school feel with tasteful decor from a different era. The bright spacious rooms are decorated with rich velvet drapes and fringed lampshades and the hardwood floors are covered with Oushak rugs. Head down to the art-deco bar and relax by the carved sandstone fireplace on worn leather club chairs and salvaged church pews. Attracts a hip and wealthy crowd.
- Prices from $300 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Bowery
The Mercer – Classy laid-back style
If you prefer more contemporary accommodation The Mercer – a favourite haunt of celebrities – would make an excellent cool hotels New York choice. This light and modern boutique hotel pays homage to loft living. The modern rooms come with oversized marble bath tubs (which could easily fit two or more people), high ceilings and neutral decor with exposed brick walls. The lobby has huge white sofas and a wall of colourfully bound art and fashion books – perfect for relaxing.
- Prices from $350 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Mercer
And for a very unusual experience try…
The Jane: Bellhops and stuffed monkeys
Staying at the Jane Hotel is an experience in itself, it has a time-warpish, quirky feel with rooms inspired by vintage 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 it’s centennial in 2008. The rooms/cabins are very compact and although there is an emphasis on conserving energy, in every room there is a flat-screen TV and iPod dock/clock. The decor is also pretty unusual with authentic old-school bellhops, maids in black and white uniforms 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 book, check prices and availability for The Jane
For more choice – other unique hotels in New York
- Rivington Hotel – Housed in a 20 story glass tower, voted one of NYC’s sexiest hotels.
- Chelsea Star Hotel – An eclectic, funky budget hotel in a central location.
- Sohotel – Hip budget boutique hotel in a great location.
- Distrikt Hotel – Sleek, stylish and great value hotel in NYC centre.
- Hotel 91: A good value small hotel aimed at the budget traveller.
- Hotel Indigo – Trendy and very popular lower priced boutique hotel.
- Hotel Mela – Gorgeous boutique hotel located near the theater district.
- The Mansfield: A classically beautiful and romantic hotel.
Also check out our Cool Hotels in Los Angeles, Cool Hotels in San Francisco and Miami’s best Boutique Hotels
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