Travel

New York City Hotels

Establishment neighborhood
The Hoxton
97 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg
We recently stayed at the new Hoxton in Williamsburg and were sorely tempted to play hooky from the office and work from the lobby instead. Communal tables, rich velvet sofas (nab a seat by the fire), dependable Wi-Fi, and floods of natural light make the space a freelancer’s dream. As for the guest rooms, they are labeled as “cozy” or “roomy.” But size really doesn’t matter when you can lie in an insanely comfortable bed piled with pillows and stare at the Manhattan skyline (while devouring the chia puddings delivered every morning). An unexpected delight was the dining scene: The food at the Hoxton's two restaurants is absolutely top-notch. You cannot go wrong with the blistered chicken and a bowl of ridiculously indulgent cacio e pepe with a side of roasted cauliflower, eaten sprawled out in the plush, textural lobby with a friend as we did—made better only by a few glasses of Beaujolais. We also love to frequent the other, equally thoughtful and beautifully turned-out Hoxton properties in London, Amsterdam, Paris, and—the most recent addition—Portland.
The Chatwal
130 W. 44th St., Midtown
In its former life as the home to America's first professional theatrical club, the Lambs, this Midtown hotel was a hangout for the entertainment world’s brightest stars, like Irving Berlin and Fred Astaire, to name a couple. Today, it’s The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel—one of Manhattan’s under-the-radar gems, where its relatively small size (just seventy-six guest rooms) makes it a good choice for visitors who are turned off by the busyness of the megahotels nearby. The interior is an ode to its Art Deco history, which has the delightful feel of a glamorous ocean liner, and we love the fun little details (like backgammon sets, playing cards, and copies of The Great Gatsby) in the rooms.
Hotel Normandie
605 S. Normandie Ave., Koreatown
The Renaissance-revival exterior of Hotel Normandie is the first sign that this hotel is from another era—the era known as 1926. The hotel underwent an extensive renovation in 2010, and the result was updated guest rooms and common areas, and the restoration of a lot of the original Spanish colonial details: the heavy wood beams, fireplaces, and patterned tiles. The in-house diner, Cassell, is rightly revered for its hamburgers, and Comptoir, the more formal of the hotel’s two restaurants, has an intimate dining room with only ten seats and is the genius of French Laundry alum Gary Menes (reservations are essential). After dinner, treat yourself to an after-dinner drink at the Normandie Club, a moody, dark cocktail den, or the Walker Inn, the hotel’s speakeasy-style lounge.
Made Hotel
44 W. 29th St., Flatiron
Tucked away on an unassuming side street in the Flatiron district, Made is right in the thick of Manhattan’s gorgeous sprawl, showcased beautifully via floor-to-ceiling windows in all 108 rooms. Inside, exposed bronze-shelving with a sleek, industrial-ish vibe plays off the beds’ colorful, hand-woven headboards; the bathrooms have hand-painted Japanese tiles and deep limestone sinks. Good Behavior, the hot-house rooftop bar, is filled with plants, many hanging whimsically from the ceiling. Sipping on a Toki Toddy (Japanese whisky mixed with turmeric tea and pressed ginger) and lounging on one of the sofas (indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather) surrounded by the hazy glow of towering buildings is as New York as it gets: the view is epic. Paper, the coffee bar in the lobby serves dynamite coffee, lattes, and tea, pastries, and come dusk, excellent cocktails; the Lobby Bar specializes in small plates, and Ferris is the hotel’s sleek, subterranean delight of a restaurant.
The James NoMad
22 E. 29th St., Flatiron
Just over a year old, the James’s second location in the city (the first opened in SoHo in 2010) is a Beaux Arts building from 1904. It’s got a hip, modern vibe, which is a great juxtaposition in such an historic building. Rooms are bright and cheerful (if a bit on the small side—this is New York, after all) and have a residential feel thanks to little touches like built-in wooden nightstands, Art Deco–style minibars, and works from local artists on the walls. It’s also home to Scarpetta, a popular high-end Italian restaurant that moved from its Meatpacking location to the hotel last year. The central location—in a rapidly changing, ever-cooler neighborhood—is a big bonus: NoMad is convenient to most parts of the city.
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