Check into a converted paper factory in Queens or sleep in rooms adorned with local art in Williamsburg. Maybe you fancy a luxe hotel in a ferry terminal with views of the Statue of Liberty, just steps from the free Staten Island Ferry? Across all the boroughs, New York City is absolutely packed with unique, quirky and striking hotels that aren’t always household names – and aren’t always in Midtown. Here are a few of our top picks.
Image credit: The Boro Hotel
The Boro Hotel, Long Island City, Queens1/13
Located between artsy Astoria and buzzing Long Island City, The Boro Hotel means you have easy access to some of Queens’ best museums, galleries and places to eat. The skyline views from the floor-to-ceiling windows look like an iconic Manhattan postcard and some of the industrial-chic rooms even have private balconies.
Image credit: The Collective Paper Factory
The Collective Paper Factory, Long Island City, Queens2/13
The name isn’t just a playful moniker – The Collective Paper Factory, a 10-minute walk along 38th Avenue from The Boro Hotel, was once indeed a paper factory. The beautiful bones of its manufacturing past – large windows, lofty ceilings, concrete floors and feature columns – are accented by cosy reclaimed furniture, unique artworks and quirky features like Marshall mini amp fridges. With a king bed, queen bed and a sofa bed, the 37-square-metre King Deluxe Room is perfect for families.
Image credit: Penny Williamsburg
Penny Williamsburg, Brooklyn3/13
This bright hotel in Williamsburg, one of New York’s artiest districts, lives up to its locale. Across the lobby and rooms you’ll find beautiful works created by New York artists with developmental disabilities and a dollar from each reservation is donated to local non-profits Land Gallery and Pure Vision Arts. Hardwood floors, plants, kitchenettes, and bikes for loan make it feel like a home away from home.
Planning a trip to New York City? Find the stay that’s perfect for you. Book your flights now at qantas.com.
Image credit: Arlo Willamsburg Hotel
Arlo Willamsburg, Brooklyn4/13
Take one glimpse at the glitzy rooftop pool (one of New York’s best) and you’ll be sold – but there’s a lot more to love about Arlo Willamsburg. There are the little details, like the Brooklyn-themed toile wallpaper designed by Beastie Boys legend Mike Diamond, plus big details, like the speakeasy-style Watertower Bar perched on the very top of the hotel, designed as a nod to the functional water towers that service many buildings in the city. Book a Skyline Suite for your own private terrace and more pinch-me views of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Image credit: The Box House Hotel
The Box House Hotel, Greenpoint, Brooklyn5/13
No two rooms are alike in this colourful Greenpoint hotel that feels a bit like staying at your mate’s – if your mate had a 130-bedroom apartment with a giant, retractable-panelled rooftop bar. The chunky throw pillows, classic bed frames, painted feature walls and eclectic paintings are like a scene straight out of Friends. Greenpoint, known for its vintage shopping and nightlife, is the heart of New York’s Polish community so, yes, you’ll find some great pierogi. You’re a brisk 25-minute walk from the north end of Williamsburg or 15 minutes on foot from Long Island City.
Image credit: Wythe Hotel
Wythe Hotel, Williamsburg, Brooklyn6/13
It’s just one subway stop from the East Village but being in a converted 1901 barrel factory in Williamsburg makes the Wythe Hotel feel a world (and a century) away. Original features like exposed brick and wood-panelled ceilings meet a curation of contemporary art – and even minibar items – from Brooklyn-based creators and purveyors. Many rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows filled with the Manhattan skyline. On its sixth-floor rooftop, Bar Blondeau serves up more views alongside French fare plus fine wines and cocktails.
A converted barrel factory, a former opera house or an awesome rooftop pool with a view? They’re all waiting for you in New York City. Book your flights now at qantas.com.
Image credit: Opera House Hotel
Opera House Hotel, The Bronx7/13
Another meticulous historic conversion, this boutique south Bronx hotel was once an opera house that hosted performances from greats like Harry Houdini and the Marx Brothers. All of the rooms are ample in size but the suites with two queen beds plus an additional sofa bed are particularly well suited to those travelling with kids. You’re just two-and-a-half kilometres from Yankee Stadium and around a 20-minute drive from the Bronx Zoo.
Image credit: Casa Cipriani New York
Casa Cipriani, Lower Manhattan8/13
The Battery Maritime Building, New York’s only remaining active historic ferry terminal, is a living piece of the past – and now it’s also a super-luxe hotel. Casa Cipriani sits atop the three iconic arched slips of the terminal and its 47 rooms and suites ooze Italian elegance, from the custom furnishings to the Milanese bed linens, and some feature spacious private terraces with Statue of Liberty views. You can watch the Staten Island ferries come and go or walk just a few minutes and catch one yourself; the ride is completely free. Guests can also avail themselves of the members-only Living Room and Terrazza Bar, where a fine Art Deco lounge extends outdoors to one of the best places to watch a New York sunset. A bellini in hand is pretty much mandatory.
Image credit: Refinery Hotel
Refinery Hotel, Garment District9/13
In a relatively quiet pocket of Midtown Manhattan, bound by the Empire State Building to the south and Bryant Park and Times Square to the north, the Garment District is – no surprise – where New York’s fashion industry has its roots. Refinery Hotel, a slickly refurbished hat factory in the heart of this storied locale, offers 197 spacious rooms with high ceilings and industrial-cool decor (think: giant metal and wood floor lamps and desks modelled after antique sewing machines). The rooftop bar, which has Empire State views from its glass and retractable ceiling, is hip enough to be a local hangout.
Find the ideal place to sleep in the city that never does. New York City is ready for you. Book your flights now at qantas.com.
Image credit: Sonder City Hall Park
Sonder City Hall Park, Financial District10/13
If you’re looking for a longer stay, consider Sonder City Hall Park as your base. This apartment hotel, easily spotted by its leafy green archway entrance, offers stays of longer than 90 days and has useful amenities like kitchenettes and shared laundry facilities that make it feel a bit more like home. You’re in the centre of the Financial District, where Wall Street meets the new One World Trade Centre building and the Brooklyn Bridge. You can take in downtown views from the outdoor terrace on the 15th floor.
Image credit: Aloft Harlem
Chalk up your pool cue or kick back on a comfy couch and admire a rotating showcase of local art at Aloft Harlem – known for its inviting lounge and lobby, vibrant rooms and prime location. You’re a block from the Apollo Theater and less than 20 minutes’ walk from Central Park North and the nearby 125 St Subway station that takes you to lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Washington Heights. A top pick for both convenience and coolness.
Image credit: Radio Hotel
Radio Hotel, Washington Heights12/13
In Manhattan’s northernmost neighbourhood, one of the island’s newest boutique hotels, Radio Hotel, is making its mark. The colourful structure rises above leafy Highbridge Park, offering views of the Harlem River and central Manhattan skyscrapers in the distance. The in-house restaurant, Jalao, reflects the local Dominican community with authentic and must-try dishes like mofongo mar y tierra (twice-fried plantain, shrimp and crispy pork in a flavourful broth) or bombones de yuca (cheddar yucca croquettes with a chipotle-pineapple sauce). While in the area, be sure to visit The Met Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s mediaeval counterpart, showcasing European art and architecture from around the fourth to the 16th centuries and beautiful mediaeval-style gardens.
Image credit: KMDeco Creative Solutions