Sometimes too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. That’s how it might seem when trying to find the exact right luxury hotel in New York City. To save you the trouble, Luxury Travel Advisor has found a selection of hotels spread across Manhattan that you might not know about but should certainly be on your radar.
Located on the Upper East Side, just south of the city’s renowned Museum Mile is The Mark Hotel. It originally opened in 1927 but underwent a redesign by French designer Jacques Grange in 2006 and reopened in 2009. The Mark, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is a good base to explore New York’s numerous notable museums (including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Cooper Hewitt and The Metropolitan Museum of Art) or Central Park. For first-timers any of these museum visits is a must; however, if you’re among the been-there, done-that variety, The Mark recommends some of the smaller, more quaint museums nearby, such as the Neue Galerie, which is one of the more recent additions to the Mile; it has early 20th-century German and Austrian art and design pieces. Another option for curious travelers is Albertine, a reading room and bookstore located in the historic Payne Whitney mansion. (It touts itself as the only shop in the city devoted solely to books in French and English with more than 14,000 classic and contemporary works from 30 French-speaking countries.)
The Mark, located on the Upper East Side, just south of New York City’s renowned Museum Mile, has 100 guestrooms and 50 suites.
If you’re looking for a curated experience, Chef Concierge Isabelle Hogan ([email protected]) can arrange a private picnic in Central Park with food prepared by Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Feel free to contact Hogan if you need to score theater tickets, a private dinner by Chef Jean-Georges in the Penthouse Kitchen or any other hard-to-make reservation. We’re told she has even had The Mark burger shipped overseas for a guest’s birthday.
For guests looking to grab a bite to eat at the hotel, The Mark offers The Mark Restaurant and The Mark Bar; both are open all day. We suggest the crispy sushi, which has salmon, tuna, hamachi, scallop and avocado, or the lemon fettuccine with fresh Meyer lemon, parmesan and black pepper. Note that reservations should be made one to two weeks in advance through [email protected], or by calling 212-606-3030.
After dinner or before your show, head to the bar, which hosts a mix of guests and locals. The chic Mark Bar has specially made furnishings by Guy de Rougemont and Vladimir Kagan and serves hand-crafted classic and signature cocktails. (To impress your date, make sure to stop by The Mark Flower Cart and pick up a bouquet.)
Also nearby is a plethora of world-class shopping; in fact, The Mark’s pedicabs are nicknamed “The Bergdorf Goodman Express,” offering complimentary rides to and from the store. Other options include Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Hermés, Tom Ford, Burberry, Prada, Fendi—and just about every other designer brand you can name.
One of the more impressive offerings from The Mark is its Mark Sailboat, which is available for charter. It makes two- to three-hour journeys from Tribeca’s North Cove Marina. On the boat, up to 25 guests can enjoy small bites and refreshments from The Mark Restaurant.
The Mark has 100 guestrooms and 50 suites. The top option is the Penthouse Suite (the hotel says it’s the largest in the city). It has a 2,000-square-foot terrace overlooking Central Park and the skyline. For couples, however, we suggest the Madison Suite; these have a foyer, a king bedroom, a living room and two bathrooms. Amenities include Italian linens, HDTVs, black and white marble, a deep-soaking tub and more. Families should consider the Mark Two-, Three- or Five-Bedroom Suites, which have various categories, including Premier and Terrace options.
Housed in a luxury Art Deco-style building just south of Central Park is the WestHouse Hotel New York, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It fancies itself a “house away from home,” blending the comforts of an elegant Uptown apartment with the luxuries of a boutique hotel. In fact, WestHouse calls all of its guests “residents.”
The Living Room of the Prestige Suite at WestHouse New York is decorated to evoke the glamour of 1920s with touches of Art Deco.
For travelers looking to experience New York City’s culture, the hotel offers a quick getaway to numerous important landmarks. Guests can enjoy music, ballet and live performances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Broadway, art on Fifth Avenue and luxury shopping, also on Fifth Avenue. Tip: WestHouse has a partnership with Henri Bendel — the first luxury retailer with an upper Fifth Avenue address. Guests who book a suite will earn a $100 gift card from Henri Bendel, known as “the ultimate girl’s playground,” as well as a personal shopping appointment with one of their stylists. For groups, the hotel also offers a three-hour makeup lesson with NOMI Beauty — all in-room. Did we mention the hotel supplies Magnolia Bakery cupcakes? A day shopping with a personal stylist followed by a makeup lesson (and a Magnolia Bakery cupcake or two) sounds pretty nice to us. To book an in-room makeup lesson, let the hotel know at least 24 hours in advance.
Another unique local experience is the hotel’s exclusive tour of City Winery, the only winery in Manhattan. Guests will wander with one of City Winery’s experts through the cellar before heading to the Barrel Room tasting bar and restaurant. Guests are treated to tastings fresh from the barrel, which are paired with small dishes.
Should you like to customize the tour or stay, Chef Concierge Shawn M. Harris ([email protected]) can help make it happen.
Looking for the top suite to pair with that Henri Bendel shopping experience? That would be the Prestige Suite. The corner suite, located on the 21st floor, has impressive city views (for travelers looking to visit over New Year’s, the Prestige Suite offers direct views of the Times Square Ball; there are also partial Central Park views). There’s also a terrace with seating for six, a king bedroom with an adjustable bedding system, a marble bathroom and Art Deco décor.
We say that couples should consider the Terrace Suite. The terrace offers views of Central Park and Time Square; indoors, there is a separate king bedroom and living room. Couples can tailor their night’s rest with a series of options that include sleep masks, aromatherapy oils and other turndown amenities to help guarantee a deep, restorative sleep. Families should opt for the One Bedroom Suite. Room amenities are similar to those above. All rooms have glass-front rain showers with Dayna Decker bath and body products.
For help finding the right room and for any special request, contact Complex Director of Business Travel Suzanna Dowidat ([email protected]).
There are two dining options at WestHouse Hotel New York. The Terrace, located on the 23rd floor, has views over the city with the Hudson River on the horizon. It comprises two chic lounge areas and a roof terrace where guests can enjoy breakfast. (Although food is served until 10:30 a.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. on weekends, The Terrace is accessible to hang out in until 8 p.m.). The Den, which has a speakeasy feel, is the second option. Located off the lobby, guests can enjoy light fare and beverages. Tip: Try the hotel’s unique take on an Old Fashioned, made with a cacao fruit infusion.
WestHouse has a partnership with Perfect Picnic. Guests can enjoy custom menu offerings made with local, fresh and organic produce. We recommend the Central Park Picnic. A full-service picnic is created in the heart of Central Park with the best meats, cheeses, fruits and crudités New York City has to offer — in addition to a bottle of prosecco. All you have to do is show up to the picnic spot; one of the picnic experts will have everything ready and waiting. Romantic and family-oriented options are also available.
The Refinery Hotel reminds guests of the building’s industrial-era history through 12-foot-high ceilings and distressed hardwood floors.
Continuing the tour toward Downtown is the Refinery Hotel, located two blocks south of Bryant Park. This neo-Gothic building, today a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, was built in 1912 and was once home to chic hat-makers and a Prohibition-era tea room. Tip: The area remains a top fashion hub and the hotel is located on the outskirts of the dynamic Garment District.
Inside, guests will find reminders of the building’s industrial-era history through 12-foot-high concrete ceilings, distressed hardwood floors and metal furnishing accents. There are even working Edison telephones in the hallways, dark green leather seats at the Parker & Quinn Restaurant and live jazz at Winnie’s lobby bar.
The former venue is the Refinery Hotel’s signature restaurant. It serves all three meals in a “nostalgic” atmosphere; expect a menu that rotates seasonally while staples like soft shell crab to ribeye steak remain a constant year-round. The latter venue is an intimate Prohibition-style bar, which has become a destination for locals and hotel guests alike. It serves cocktails and small bites six days a week. Fun Fact: This space has functioned as a bar and restaurant for more than 100 years. We’re told a cozy couch with a glass of red wine makes for a great evening on a colder winter night. During the summer months, however, it would be best to head to Refinery Rooftop, which offers views of the Empire State Building. We love its Rosé All Day menu. We’re told it’s the perfect venue for those looking to sit down for lunch, enjoy pre-dinner cocktails or end the night under the glow of the Empire State Building. Tip: Be sure to reserve a corner booth on the terrace for the best views. (While this space can best be enjoyed in summer, its retractable glass roof makes it a year-round dining destination.)
For reservations, reach out the Director of Sales and Marketing Christopher Shiel ([email protected]). You can also contact him for any questions or requests you have regarding accommodations.
There are 197 rooms at the Refinery across five categories. The lowest category is the 250-square-foot Queen Studio, which has one queen bed, custom furnishings and toiletries by The White Company. Rooms have similar amenities but increase in size through the Studio King, Studio Double Queen, Deluxe Double Queen and Atelier rooms. The top accommodation, the Atelier room, has a king bed, a full living area and more. Note: All rooms have windows that open. Ask for rooms that have view of the Empire State Building.
Concierge Malva ([email protected]) can organize special foodie or art gallery tours, and can get tickets for the top shows playing on Broadway and the Theater District. Before heading out for the night, enjoy in-room hair and makeup, offered in partnership with NOMI Beauty. Give Malva a ring to set up an appointment.
The Refinery Rooftop has a retractable glass roof, indoor seating and an outdoor terrace.
Tip: While the hotel does not have its own spa, guests can receive in-room massage treatments. You can use the MobiPT app to reserve a session. (Simply download the app on your smart device, input the hotel, pick out a personal trainer or masseuse and reserve a session time.)
We head further downtown for our final two hotels — the first in the East Village, the second in SoHo.
The Bowery Hotel might conjure up dreams of sipping Whiskey Neats. The hip hotel with an old-world look has 135 vintage guestrooms with floor-to-ceiling, industrial-style windows, marble baths and wood floors with Asian rugs. The top room is the Penthouse Suite, located on the 14th floor. The one-bedroom suite has a 650-square-foot terrace, a living room with a guest bathroom, deep-soaking tubs and rainfall shower heads in the en-suite bathroom and more. Through the large windows in the living space, guests can enjoy views of the Freedom Tower, while the Empire State Building is visible from the terrace.
Travelers looking for a room with a terrace should opt for the Penthouse Suite, a One Bedroom Suite or a Bowery Garden room. Note: All rooms have one queen or king bed. Families can have a rollaway bed for a maximum occupancy of three guests; larger families should book a Two Bedroom Suite, which often have limited availability. You must contact Director of Sales Leo Jacob ([email protected]) to book a terrace room. Reach out to Jacob for any other guestroom enquiries.
The Bowery has two popular dining venues. Gemma at The Bowery Hotel is an Italian trattoria serving authentic Italian fare. Executive Chef Carlo Bigi has created a menu inspired by his family’s roots, which is complemented by a wide selection of cocktails, wine and beer. During the spring and summer, outdoor seating is available with tables spanning the sidewalk. Note: Outdoor seating is very popular, but The Bowery only accepts reservations for parties of 12 or more. A favorite among A-listers, locals and guests, The Lobby Bar has a crackling fireplace, dark-wood paneling, vintage furniture and oriental rugs. We like that there is no background music, encouraging conversation among friends and strangers.
Gemma at the Bowery Hotel is an Italian trattoria headed by Executive Chef Carlo Bigi, who has created a menu inspired by his family’s roots.
Note: The Bowery Hotel has two events spaces: The Bowery Terrace and the Gemma Wine Room. The former is decorated in a classic, old-world style with wood-beamed, 13-foot ceilings, salvaged brick walls, Moroccan-tiled floors, antique tapestries, an expansive outdoor terrace and a glazed fireplace; the latter provides an intimate setting for small groups to celebrate any occasion.
We’re told that The Bowery has very New York-savvy guests who “love to make their own experiences.” With that being said, no request is too lavish for Tilo Springs ([email protected]), the director of front office. The Bowery frequently arranges private boat charters and helicopter tours of the city.
Nearby attractions include countless restaurants and bars, upscale and boutique shopping, theater, music and film venues and even fitness clubs and spas. Based on what you’re looking for, the hotel can be sure to suggest the perfect destination. Good to know: The Bowery offers complimentary bicycles to take and explore the city with, if you prefer an impromptu excursion.
Set on a cobblestone street lined with shops and restaurants is the Crosby Street Hotel. Upon arrival, guests will find Crosby the Cat, a 12-foot-long bronze cat sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero, which is situated outside the entrance. It serves as a playful welcome to both the hotel and the neighborhood.
The Crosby Street Hotel, which is part of Firmdale Hotels and a member of Design Hotels, can help organize many off-the-beaten path activities in New York. Some of the top suggestions include urban farm tours, visiting The Met Cloisters (located at the northern end of Manhattan; it’s an extension of the museum dedicated to the art, architecture and gardens of medieval Europe), taking the Roosevelt Island Tramway, and heading to one of the boroughs to enjoy Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. (Another Brooklyn excursion that the hotel suggests is the Green-Wood Cemetery tour, where guests can learn about its history, bird life, famous permanent residents and its preservation program.)
The Crosby Street Hotel has 86 bedrooms and suites with floor-to-ceiling windows. Shown here is the Meadow Suite.
For more typical, luxurious requests, Head Concierge Chris McCormack ([email protected]) is no stranger to booking boat or helicopter tours, finding tickets to the hottest Broadway shows and/or booking exclusive access to Michelin-rated restaurants.
At the hotel, The Crosby Bar serves food and drinks throughout the day and is a great place to meet for breakfast, a casual lunch or dinner, afternoon tea (gluten-free options are available!) or evening cocktails. There is no distinction between bar and restaurant — you can eat or drink wherever you wish. We’re told that guests who prefer a buzzy atmosphere should sit at or near the bar; those who prefer a more intimate meal should ask for a corner booth at the other end of the space. On sunny days, The Crosby Terrace is available for al fresco dining. Please make reservations one to two weeks in advance through [email protected] or by calling 212-226-6400.
We love the hotel’s rooftop kitchen garden, situated on the 12th floor. It’s an urban fruit and vegetable patch managed by Head Chef Anthony Paris and it supplies the hotel with fresh, seasonal produce such as melons, blueberries, tomatoes and herbs. There is also a Tudor-style chicken coop with four Araucana chickens that produce unique pale blue eggs.
There are 86 bedrooms and suites. The Two Bedroom Crosby Suite is the top accommodation; however, the Luxury and Deluxe Junior Suites are the most requested. The former has high ceilings and full-length windows with views of the hotel’s sculpture garden. They each have a sitting area and a marble bathroom with two basins, deep bath tubs and walk-in showers. The latter category is similar; it offers views of lower Manhattan. We’re particularly fond of the Meadow Suite. This one-off suite is located on the second floor but has views of its “own lush American woodland meadow.” It has a private terrace, fresh flowers in the suite, a bespoke welcome gift and minibar and more.
Contact Neil Palinksy ([email protected]), reservations manager, for enquiries.
The Crosby Bar serves food and drinks throughout the day.
“The best thing to do is stay at a luxury hotel in Midtown with great views of Central Park and take a walk to the Loeb Boathouse in the park for brunch,” says Michael Holtz, owner of SmartFlyer, a New York City-based travel agency. “You can watch the rowboats go by and feel like you are in Italy!” He adds that Loeb Boathouse has the best French toast in the city.
For a different take on Manhattan, Fernando Gonzalez, CEO of First in Service, another New York City-based agency, says, “Nothing beats summer in the city, and Downtown Manhattan is the place to be — South Street Seaport, Wall Street, One World Trade Center: Within one square mile, one can visit the futuristic Oculus at World Trade Center, the historical cobblestone area around Pier 17 and an infinite selection of sites and restaurants in between. It’s an ever-evolving scene.”
Gonzalez’s top activities/destinations include:
- Summer and outdoor brunch go hand-in-hand in New York. Nosh at Le District’s Beaubourg.
- Épicerie Boulud, renown for the French pastries, will satisfy any sweet tooth.
- Gigino at Wagner Park offers excellent Italian fare and an unobstructed view of the Statue of Liberty. Beyoncé and Leonardo DiCaprio were recently spotted there.
- Reserve a table at Little Park for fresh, seasonal Americana in a classic dining ambiance.
- Sip on inventive cocktails and English and Irish fare at Dead Rabbit.
- If you are in need of some retail therapy, visit the boutiques and fine shops inside Brookfield Place.
- For an experience not to be missed, catch a 20-minute ferry to Governor’s Island to go glamping in Manhattan. Imagine waking up to a New York City sunrise and seeing the Statue of Liberty after your first yawn. Contact Collective Retreats (www.collectiveretreats.com).