Cool and unusual hotels in New York

Top 20 cool and unusual hotels in New York 2020

Overflowing with architectural treasures, atmospheric neighborhoods, trendy inventive restaurants and swish hip 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 to the USA capital and want to find a unique and creative place to stay, here are our collective favorite cool and unusual hotels in New York (in no particular order). We promise that all the accommodation options on our list put an extra effort into making your NYC stay far more interesting, fun and hip, whatever your budget maybe…

The Box Hotel – a beautiful cool hidden gem offering an authentic Brooklyn NYC experience

A cool place to stay in New York

A unique hotel in New York

This is one of the most endearing and unique places to stay in New York and in a city like the Big Apple that’s saying something! Housed in a converted factory, the now very polished 4-star and exceptionally rated Box Hotel has suitably very cool industrial-chic interiors.

The hotel is adorned with artwork commissioned by local artists and other great design features such as hardwood floors and pendant lamps. Most of the rooms are actually more like apartments – just extremely visually striking ones – and the loft rooms and 1- to 2-bedroom apartments have fully equipped kitchens, cozy living rooms, and pull-out couches.

There are suite-like bedrooms also available and all benefit from free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, coffee-making facilities, balconies offering some superb city views as well as a communal gym, a dry sauna, and steam room. As well as being a super cool New York abode, it’s location is pretty funky too, it’s based just across the road from Pulaski Bridge in Brooklyn, only a 9-minute walk from the Greenpoint Avenue subway station and 6 miles from the Empire State Building and if things can’t get much cooler there’s even a shuttle service to the subway (which takes you easily into Manhattan) in a 1970s checker cab – not bad at all!

  • Prices from $130 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Box Hotel

Hotel on Rivington – a sleek, glass high-rise hotel and one of the sexiest hotels in NYC

Cool and sexy New York accommodation

Sleek and sexy New York accommodation

Housed in a 20-story glass tower near trendy SoHo in Lower East Manhattan (just one block from the subway and within walking distance of Tribeca, Nolita, Little Italy, and the East Village), this sleek, chic and ultra-cool New York hotel was once voted NYC’s sexiest hotels – which given the competition is quite an accolade!

The spacious minimalist rooms at the 4 star highly rated Hotel on Rivington offer Tempur-Pedic beds adorned with Frette linens, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs with on-demand movies and feature gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows which afford extraordinary views of the Manhattan skyline. For upgraded rooms also expect to make use of balconies and sumptuous Japanese-style soaking tubs. 

Don’t leave without checking out the hip Mediterranean restaurant with outdoor dining, the funky juice bar, the very cool tequila and mescal bar which also doubles as a late-night lounge with potent cocktails and DJs and the beautiful sky-lit atrium. A hotel that will most definitely leave a lasting impression!

The Paper Factory – a unique, cool and creative industrial-chic hotel housed in a former paper factory

The Paper Factory - one of the coolest places to stay in NYC

A unique hipster hotel in New York

Located just two stops from Midtown Manhattan, this 4-star and exceptionally rated hip New York boutique hotel started life as a paper factory and celebrates, rather than hides, its industrial past.

 The Paper Factory – located in a funky part of Long Island City, only a 2-minute walk to the subway – 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 nightspot Mundo, which relocated from Astoria last November.

Arlo SoHo – an ultra-hip micro boutique hotel and one of the best places to stay in New York

One of the best boutiques hotels in New York

One of the coolest boutiques hotels in New York

We all know that the best things come in small packages and the 4-star exceptionally rated Arlo SoHo is a perfect example of this! It’s billed as a micro-boutique hotel and set in one of the trendiest locations in town, just two blocks from the stores and restaurants of SoHo, central Manhattan, and within an easy walking distance of other fabulous neighborhoods such as Tribeca and Greenwich Village.

The cabin-esque rooms are thoughtfully – and uniquely – laid out and combines contemporary furniture such as solid-walnut alcove beds, with handy efficient storage spaces and a range of playful touches (including some great tech)! Upgraded rooms feature large outdoor terraces. Other hotel highlights include supping on cocktail and craft beers on the very cool rooftop bar, sinking into a sheepskin-clad sofa or ergonomic armchair in the onsite library or feasting on fine international fayre in the 24-hour artisan pantry Bodega. Alternatively, Arlo also has an equally funky and cool NoMad neighborhood hotel version – quite a choice! 

YOTEL New York – cool and futuristic Japanese style in central Manhattan

A cool and hip boutique hotel in New York

Unique hotel in New York

So you’ve scoffed cucumber rolls at YO! Sushi, now you can stay at the YO! Hotel. Yes seriously. Fun, funky, and highly innovative, just like the Japanese culture which inspired it, highly rated YOTEL is a great unique NYC accommodation choice for fans of technology and design…and the young at heart. Located in lively Times Square, the hip central New York hotel aims to offer a first-class hotel stay in the center of all the action without the designer price tag – think space-age minimalism combined with futuristic technology and a quirky hotel decor unlike you’ve ever seen before!

Cabins feature motorized beds (which transform into sofas), a ‘techno wall’ with a flat-screen TV, a work desk with iPod connectivity, sublime city views, free WiFi and local phone calls. Opt for an upgraded room and you’ll find private terraces, soaking tubs, and sofas. Other fun features include automated check-in kiosks, self-service amenity machines on each floor, and fun a rooftop terrace that functions as a restaurant and nightclub. Both gadget and style aficionados will equally love this New York hotel!

  • Prices from $90 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for YOTEL New York

The Jane – bellhops and stuffed monkeys on the edge of the hip Meatpacking District

The Jane - a cool hipster hotel in New York

The Jane - a great hipster hotel in New York

Staying at highly regarded and much-loved The Jane is an experience in itself. Lying on the edge of the Meatpacking District’s nightlife hub (and only six blocks from High Line park and a subway stop) the vintage style budget boutique hotel has a quirky, time-warp 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 either Hudson River views or terraces.

Larger upgraded rooms are also available and there’s a popular onsite restaurant which is local’s favorite for brunch and an opulent Victorian-style lobby bar which also doubles as a hipster hotspotThe decor is exceptionally unique with authentic old-school bellhops, maids in black and white uniforms, carved moose heads, and stuffed monkeys adorned with fez hats! The result is easily one of the most intriguing and coolest hotels in New York.

CitizenM Hotel – fun, funky and full of color

A funky hotel in New York

A hip and funky hotel in New York

This hugely popular Dutch hotel group brings its own brand of affordable, luxury cool to New York. Funky, edgy with a liberal use of color in the decor, you’ll find this fabulous 4-star and exceptionally rated Manhattan hotel to be anything but boring. Its location is equally superb too and is based on the corner of Broadway just an 8-minute walk to Times Square and an 11-minute walk to Central Park.

All of the bright, stylish 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! Just make sure you don’t leave without grabbing a cocktail or two while drooling over the gorgeous cityscape views from their wonderful rooftop bar or trying out their breathtaking 20th-floor gym – easily one of the coolest hotels in New York!

  • Prices from $120 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for CitizenM New York

Moxy NYC Chelsea – a popular trendy central hotel which blends botanically inspired design with Italian romance

Hip hotels in New York

An Instagrammable hotel New york

New york trendy hotel

This hip botanical-themed hotel in Midtown Manhattan enjoys a fabulous central location in New York’s Flower District. Being just a short walk away from 28th St Station, Broadway, and Madison Square Gardens, The Moxy NYC Chelsea is well-positioned for traveling all over the city.

The gorgeous hotel beautifully fits into the style of the neighborhood and features floral decor with a traditional twist and has quickly become one of the most popular accommodation options in the city. Modern elements offset the classical botanical themes to give guests a luxurious feel with subtle lighting and upscale service. The bedrooms have a cool ‘New York Loft’ industrial style and the floor to ceiling windows offers truly incredible views of the city’s famously gasp-inducing skyline (which includes the neighboring Empire State Building)!

  • Prices from $120 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Moxy NYC Chelsea 

The Evelyn – a trendy hotel which mixes Gilded Age-glam with a modern style

A trendy hotel in New York

A unique central hotel in New York

Formally known as The Gershwin, the former shabby chic art hotel enjoyed a wonderful new revamp and was transformed into a glam Beaux-Arts boutique hotel. The quirky and highly rated Evelyn Hotel still has a value for money focus, the same funky bright red facade and fabulous location (the hotel is located in the heart of the ultra-trendy Flatiron District just a 3-minute walk from Madison Square Park and a few blocks away from The Empire State Building) but with newly renovated rooms and a more elegant Art-Nouveau style – think Gilded-Age chic mixed with modern touches.

There’s also an 0nsite elegant Italian trattoria, Mediterranean restaurant, a cafe, 24-hour gym, and a lobby lounge. Not a bad choice for reasonably priced central trendy NYC accommodation at all!

Pod 39 – join the Pod revolution!

A cool budget hotel in New YorkThe Pod - one of the best places to stay in New York

Many hotels try and fail to fit the trendy but budget niche but this gem of a place located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan (only a 6-minute walk from Grand Central Station and a 13-minute walk from the Empire State Building), is most definitely the exception. Definitely, one of the cooler and more fun hotels New York has to offer, the highly-rated Pod 39 is clean and modern with funky murals and very colorful decor.

The communal spaces are bright and playful and the on-site restaurant Salvation Taco is the brainchild of Michelin starred chef April Bloomfield…so consequently delicious! Oh, and the rooftop bar is one of the coolest hang-out areas in the city. A fun but reasonably priced funky NYC choice for travelers who don’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 Pod 39 New York

Made Hotel – a gorgeous boho design hotel in Manhattan

A boho design hotel in New York

Made - cool boutique hotel in New York

With a clever play on words, this is a place where you will really feel ‘made’ if you stay! Nestled amongst all the fabulous bars and eateries of the ultra-hip NoMad neighborhood, Manhattan – only a 2-minute walk to the nearest subway station and a 7-minute walk from the Empire State Building – is this ultra-hip New York hotel.

The decor at the highly-rated 4-star Made Hotel is suitably fabulous for this part of town and features raw-material interiors including industrial-chic concrete ceilings and lashings of real wood embellished with oversized floor-to-ceiling windows (offering superb views of either the NoMad neighborhood or the Empire State Building), bohemian fabrics and bronze fixtures.

The gorgeous rooms feature free Wi-Fi, smart radios, flat-screen TVs, and oak platform beds provide hidden storage. This is a hotel chock full of delectable highlights including a basement restaurant serving up seasonal veg and an onsite coffee shop which also doubles as a hangout for NoMad’s creative set. Arguably though, the biggest stand out feature is the killer rooftop cocktail bar which serves up tiki-style drinks with a large helping of panoramic city views which includes the Empire State Building – pure trendsetting bliss!

Nu Hotel – a funky condo style boutique hotel in Brooklyn

A funky hotels in New York

A chic and cool hotels in New York

Nu Hotel is the first condo style boutique hotel located in downtown Brooklyn. Sitting just across the East River (and only a short walk to a subway which will quickly take you into Manhattan), the 93-roomed exceptionally rated chic New York hotel occupies the first four floors of a recently constructed condo building.

All the bright and airy loft-style 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 room/apartments and you’ll find extra swanky decor, kitchens, and even a swinging hammock – nice touches indeed! Other perks include a free breakfast, a 24-hour gym, a babysitting service, loaned bikes, and guest-use iPads. There’s also a trendy bar and lounge serving up cocktails and Spanish-style fare. You’ll probably never want to leave!  

  • Prices from $110 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Nu Hotel New York

Night Hotel – dramatic monochrome glamour on Times Square

Night Hotel - a unique stay in New York

If you’ve had your fill of minimalism and prefer your hotels to be a little more on the dramatic side, then the fabulous Gotham city-inspired 4-star and highly rated Night Hotel is a great option. This glamorous gothic-themed NYC boutique hotel has a striking noir-style monochrome design as well as upscale amenities such as sumptuous 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, Manhattan means you’ll also be within staggering distance of the fashionable theatre district and other awesome central city attractions such as the Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library and Christie’s. Batman would definitely approve!

The Paul Hotel – a funky industrial-chic hotel in a great central location

Industrial chic design hotel in New York

Cool industrial chic design hotel in New York

If this hotel was a Tinder date it would be considered a great catch. Funky yet affordable and located only a seven-minute stroll from the Empire State Building (and only a stone’s throw from the famous department store Macy’s), the 4-star highly rated hotel and prestigious Ascend Hotel Collection Member The Paul is one of the trendiest and most popular stays in New York. The cool and contemporary rooms feature splashes of bright color and hip little decor details to keep things interesting – think a colorful and trendy industrial-chic vibe that is very pleasing to the eye!

They also offer free WiFi, large flat-screen TVs, premium bedding and some rooms have some pretty spectacular views of the city. Family rooms offer fun bunk beds. Don’t leave without hanging out on their wonderful rooftop terrace, trying out the fabulous gym, or just chatting with their friendly and amenable staff. The Paul Hotel we love you!

W Times Square – a sophisticated, fun and sexy celebrity haunt

W hotel New york - a cool and hip hotel

W hotel New york - a hip hotel

The W hotels enjoy a reputation as being one of the most prestigious brands around and this central, highly-rated Times Square located version is one of the most popular hotels in the city. Furnished to an exceptional standard, at this luxury 4-star very cool Manhattan hotel (which is located just 2 minutes from a subway) you can expect slightly futuristic sleek and chic interiors with opulent extras such as plush robes, high-thread-count linens, sublime city Times Square views and cutting-edge technology available at your fingertips.

Also expect some cool amenities such as a gym, a well regarded Mexican and sushi restaurant, a lounge where you can kick back and take in the dulcet tones of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Dizzy Gillespie and a pretty swanky cocktail bar. Oh, and pets are welcome too! Fabulous!

Sohotel – a trendy budget boutique in a fabulous Lower East Side location

Sohotel - cool hotels New York

Trendy budget boutique hotel in New York

Sohotel is a highly regarded 3-star boutique NYC hotel located in Lower East Side Manhattan, only a stone’s throw from all the fabulous restaurants and buzzing life of Little Italy (and only a very short distance to a subway station). Dating from the 19th century and featuring a fabulous redbrick facade, it offers a wide range of uniquely decorated room types and all the usual modern facilities you’d expect from a boutique hotel, but without the huge designer price tag.

The decor is exceptional for the price and comes with a retro/modern vibe – think dark woods, stylish exposed brickwork, and lashings of animal print furnishings. All rooms offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks and there’s also an onsite upscale pizzeria/wine bar, a craft brewpub, and a cool cocktail bar. A great choice for travelers who want a chic New York stay without breaking the bank!

  • Prices from $95 per night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Sohotel Manhattan

Americano Hotel – an ultra-chic zen-like hotel located in Chelsea

A unique design hotel in New York

A cool and unique design hotel in New York

Located in the heart of Manhattan’s art gallery strewn Chelsea district (a 6-minute walk from High Line park and a 10-minute walk from a subway station), the ultra-chic and highly rated 4-star New York hotel rocks a modern minimalist style. With more than a nod to Japanese culture, all 56 rooms at Hotel Americano are very zen-like and feature wooden platform beds, bean bag chairs, iPads (which are loaded with handy recommendations for the best local galleries, restaurants, and shops), fabulous city views and handmade denim bathrobes – how’s that for a unique taste!

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 that transitions into the concept restaurant Arriba during the winter months – genius!

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

Roxy Hotel – a hip hotel art deco style hotel located in the buzzy Tribeca district

A hip and cool retro hotel in New York

A hip and cool retro hotel bedroom in New York

Everyone seems to love this place and I did too! Located in historic Tribeca the richest area in Manhattan (and close to SoHo, the Hudson River, and a subway), the 4-star and exceptionally rated Roxy Hotel is literally like being in a dream for me…a fusion of 1960’s inspired décor and the magic of the movies with meticulous attention to detail and unrivaled service. My room was like being on the set of Mad Men, a brown and gold luxury boudoir with vintage style furnishings, kitsch 1960’s radio, and Marshall Amp.

The cool cocktail lounge, funky restaurant, and chic lobby bar feature vintage leather booths and quirky accessories sat in a warm space with exposed original brick walls and marble floors. The Django is a cool basement jazz bar with authentic prohibition vibes and there was a wealth of live acts and vinyl spinning DJs providing cool tunes and entertainment for the whole time I was there.

By far my favorite thing though is the Roxy Cinema…an intimate nod to old-style Hollywood glamour where you can watch a curated selection of old classics and new independent flicks whilst sipping craft cocktails and reveling in the ultra-cool vibes of the place! I honestly wanted to move in and stay in this wonderful retro bubble forever! 

Dream Downtown – an extraordinary and highly Instagrammable hotel in a hip central locationA Instagrammable hotel in New York

A highly instagrammable hotel in New York

The 4-star, highly rated, and very cool Dream Hotel Downtown is nothing short of spectacular. Located in a fabulous location between the Meatpacking District and Chelsea in Downtown Manhattan (close to a subway and a 4-minute walk from The High Line) It’s a sort of luxury liner/maritime-themed haven in the middle of all the action with amazing amenities, spectacular views and a glass-bottomed infinity pool that floats above the hotel lobby – which gives both swimmers and arriving guests utterly unique views.

The loft-style rooms are spacious and luxurious with very cool porthole windows offering amazing views out over the city, and they also feature huge flat-screen TVs, luxurious linens, and free WiFi. Upgraded rooms offer HDTV projectors and surround-sound systems and suites have landscaped terraces with hot tubs – pure bliss!

Other hotel highlights include a rooftop lounge, a fusion restaurant serving Japanese and French cuisines, boutique shopping the lobby, a 24-hour fitness center, and a beach (and even a beach club!) surrounding that amazing pool. Staying at this trendy New York hotel was a wonderful immersive treat of an experience that truly was very dream-like! 

138 Bowery – a cool and casual warehouse-style hotel located in the trendy SoHo district

A funky hotel New york

The 138 Bowery Hotel in Little Italy near New York’s trendy SoHo neighborhood is in the perfect spot to visit both Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan. Contained within a newly-renovated warehouse-style building, the funky NYC hotel is close to Bowery Station, the Grand St Station, and the Empire State Building. It has a bright, simple interior with swanky retro furnishings that echo a retro-cool 1960’s vibe.

Floor-to-ceiling windows let plenty of light into the bedrooms while modern decor can be found in the bathrooms. Guests enjoy more space than most competing hotels in the area but still for a very reasonable price. For an authentic NYC vibe, ask for a room that overlooks the inner yard. Redbrick townhouses and fire escapes set the scene!

BKLYN House Hotel – a laid back, creative and hip budget boutique in Brooklyn

A hip budget hotel in New York

A cool budget boutique in New York

The highly-rated BKLYN House Hotel is a sleek industrial-chic hotel in the hip and bustling Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn (which is just a 20-minute subway journey into Manhattan). For a long time now NYC has not just been all about Manhattan, Brooklyn has established itself as the place to be for hip creative types and the cool kids. Artists, musicians, entertainers have all been crossing the bridge for years and the result is vibrant cultural hubs like Bushwick.

I really wanted to check out this creative scene and BKLYN House was a really great choice to base myself. The very popular hotel is like a microcosm of the neighborhood it’s in – a great combination of bright and bold murals by local artists, minimalistic communal spaces stripped back to the bare walls, comfortable rooms, complimentary breakfast and staff that are passionate about their neighborhood (and were full of great suggestions for my itinerary)! An excellent funky NYC hotel if you want to get away from the typical New York tourist traps and see a different, more local side of the city! Wonderful! 

  • Prices from $70 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for BKLYN House Hotel

The Library Hotel – an upscale book-themed boutique hotel

An upscale book-themed boutique hotel

The Library Hotel - an upscale book-themed boutique hotel

A place which is every book geeks’ dream, the 4-star exceptionally rated Library Hotel – which sits just steps from the New York Public Library in Madison Avenue, Midtown Manhattan – offers gorgeous boutique accommodation with a tasteful (and very apt considering its location) library theme. Each floor at this chic New York hotel is dedicated to one of the Dewey Decimal System’s categories, and each room is decorated according to a different 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 $140 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Library Hotel

The Ace Hotel – a hip hotel and cultural hub in the NoMad neighborhood

The Ace - one of the hippest hotels in New York

The Ace - one of the coolest hotels in New York

This exceptionally rated 4-star contemporary boutique New York hotel caters to a young, creative, and bohemian crowd. Located in the trendy NoMad neighborhood, just a 2 minutes’ walk from a subway station and a 7-minute walk from the Empire State Building, The Ace originated through clever collaborations with local designers, artists, and independent businesses. The result has often been likened to staying in your coolest friend’s townhouse basement and of course, has a legendary atmosphere that’s hard to beat. Rooms feature DJ turntables, guitars, Smeg mini-bars, and scrawl-able chalkboard walls, ensuring a stay like no other!

There’s a variety of rooms on offer, ranging from a budget bunk bedroom to a large and very impressive corner suite and there’s also an onsite cool bar, trendy restaurant, and even an art gallery. For oodles of fun and funky style without the designer price tag, the fabulous Ace hotel won’t disappoint.

Carlton Arms – a quirky and creative budget hotel

A quirky hotel in New York

A quirky budget hotel in New York

Perfectly capturing New York’s love for all things creative and quirky is the deliciously different Carlton Arms – this  3 star highly rated hotel makes a fun choice in NYC for arty types on a budget. Located just a 6-minute walk from both Madison Square Park and the subway, this central 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 color that offers a quirky alternative to a New York hostel or guest house.

McCarren Hotel and Pool – hip and fun with a little touch of kitsch

A fun kitsch hotel in New York

A fun and kitsch hotel in New York

A place where all the cool kids hang out is the highly-rated 4-star McCarren Hotel and Pool which is located right in the middle of one of the hottest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Williamsburg (near Bedford Avenue subway which will whisk you into Manhattan in 10 minutes).

Ripe with boutique shops, a cool brewery, eateries, and hot nightspots it’s a real draw for a young trendy crowd. The hotel has a laid-back retro motel feel and is infused with a colorful kitsch design – bright, bold, and beautiful it’s an urban oasis and in the summer the large pool draws the beautiful locals in for a dip!

Rooms come with mod cons, free WiFi, Frette linens and glass-enclosed rain showers, staff are easygoing but still very efficient and the Thai food in the hotel restaurant was authentic and delicious and made a real change from the traditional hotel fare. A cool hotel, in a cool New York neighborhood where it is impossible not to have stupendous amounts of fun!

Pod 51 – a fun and funky budget hotel in Midtown East

A fun and funky budget hotel in Midtown East

A cool and funky budget hotel in Midtown East

The highly-rated Pod 51 is marketed as budget… and comparatively speaking, if you don’t want to go all out hostel, it is! New York is an expensive city, no doubt about it, but this place has found a nice balance by stripping away all the fancy stuff and getting back to basic creature comforts.

It’s the more local neighborhood-based sister hotel to the wonderful Pod 31 and yes, some of the rooms are on the small side, but they are comfortable with an en-suite, air-conditioning, and equipped with everything you need. Location wise, this hip gem of a place is ideal as it’s located in the cool area of Manhattan Midtown East and still close to everything you’ll want to explore. The staff are friendly and it’s a great option for solo travelers as the layout makes it very easy to meet fellow guests and enjoy the social aspects of traveling. The Pod hotels can do no wrong!

  • Prices from $90 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Pod 51 New York

Wythe Hotel – a hip hotel housed in a historic, refurbished factory on the Brooklyn waterfront

A hip hotel housed in a historic refurbished factory

Hip waterfront hotel in NYC

Housed in a former 1901 factory which sits on the Williamsburg, Brooklyn waterfront (a 5-minute walk from the Brooklyn Flea Market and 0.4 miles from the nearest subway station which will take you quickly into Manhattan), is this very hip and exceptionally rated 4-star New York hotel that offers trendy decor, an unbeatable Brooklyn 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 very cool 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 of course – on their fabulous and eternally popular rooftop bar.

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

Room Mate Grace – an elegant family-friendly boutique hotel

An elegant family-friendly boutique hotel in New York

It was a lucky day when I stumbled across Room Mate Grace, a reasonably priced but exceptionally rated contemporary boutique hotel located right on the iconic Times Square (and very near a subway station). On arrival, the staff immediately stood out as being friendly and helpful and the hotel itself is decorated in an eclectic vintage style with striking wallpaper and animal prints…the leopard print pool bar, for example, has to be seen to be believed!

My room at this unique NYC hotel was pretty striking too – think a heady fusion of Real Housewives and the Playboy Mansion – but comfortable, clean, and quiet (which is quite something considering the location)! The staff really add to the great vibe too by always being available, always in good humor and always happy to help, oh and it’s very family-friendly too!

  • Prices from $100 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Room Mate Grace

Aloft Hotel Manhattan – a colorful pet-friendly design hotel located in the Financial District

A cool and colorful pet-friendly design hotel

A funky colorful pet-friendly design hotel New York

The ever-popular Starwood brand brings a “W-lite” hotel to Manhattan, which basically means you can expect fabulous designer decor and great service but at affordable prices. The highly-rated urban boutique Aloft Hotel is located in the Financial District – home to Wall Street and glittering skyscrapers – right next to the Fulton Street subway stop and only a 7-minute walk from the New York Stock Exchange.

It offers modern trendy rooms complete with large flat-screen TVs, free WiFi, and desks with ergonomic chairs and bathrooms with walk-in showers. The retro lobby-lounge comes with check-in kiosks, a cozy fireplace, and a handy billiards table and there’s a hip bar with mood music and a pool table, a loft-inspired cocktail bar, a 24/7 convenience store and fitness center. Traveling with kids or pets? They’ll both be welcomed with treat-filled goody bags (differing of course)!

The Ludlow Hotel – quintessential New York cool on the Lower East Side

A cool upscale hotel in New York

A cool retro design hotel in New York

The 4-star exceptionally rated Ludlow Hotel is located right in the heart of one of the coolest neighborhoods in NYC. The Lower East Side Manhattan has risen over the years from slum to an urban center of arts, boutique shopping, and dining and is only a minute’s walk from the subway and 2 miles from the Empire State Building.

Easily one of the hippest hotels in New York, it reflects the cool urban environment that surrounds it and feels like a beat poet just left the room whenever you walk in! Sophisticated artwork, vintage furnishings and boutique detail make it an awesome place to spend some time. Not to mention the delicious French-inspired fare on offer at the in-house restaurant ‘Dirty French.’ Faux fur, floor-to-ceiling windows, rainfall showers, city views, fabulous mod cons, industrial chic, and a classic New York experience…this place is a dream! 

  • Prices from $180 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Ludlow Hotel

Standard High Line – views, glamour and partying with the beautiful people

A hip upscale hotel in New York

The Standards - a hip upscale hotel in New York

Sleek, glossy, stylish, and attracting trendy good looking types by the bucket load, the uber-glamorous 4-star and exceptionally rated 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 at this wonderful modern New York hotel 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 club at night), free bicycles on loan and even cheeky exhibitionist bathrooms! A hotel to impress! 

Nomo Hotel – an upscale trendy and unique hotel in SoHo

A trendy and unique hotel in SoHo

Located in trendy SoHo, Manhattan amongst all the gorgeous boutiques and eateries (and only a 3-minute walk from Canal St. subway) this highly rated and impeccably chic New York 4-star hotel has its own distinctive elegant style, taking inspiration from the artists’ lofts that once filled the neighborhood. The huge stylish rooms at Nomo Hotel feature a sleek white palette with bright blue accents, floor-to-ceiling windows offering extraordinary views, 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 truly gorgeous 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 – pure bliss!

  • Prices from $170 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Nomo Hotel

Boro Hotel – a hip and contemporary NYC hotel with fabulous views

A hip and contemporary NYC hotel with fabulous views

A cool and contemporary NYC hotel with fabulous views

Stark, bright and designed to within an inch of its life. The exceptionally rated 4-star Boro Hotel isn’t just hip, it’s proto hip! Located in the up and coming Queens neighborhood in Long Island (very close to the subway which will take you only 10 minutes to get into Manhattan), it’s filled with amazing natural light, sharp bright lines, and minimalistic décor. Looking out my window on the perfect view of the Manhattan skyline I felt like I was staying in a picture frame and perhaps that was the intention all along!

The chic minimalist rooms feature incredible floor to ceiling windows, flat-screen TVs, and designer bedding. Opt for an upgrade and you’ll find balconies or patios which make full use of the sublime skyline views. Other hotel highlights include a cafe with a garden-view terrace and a rooftop bar offering panoramic city views, this place is not just a place to stay but a place to socialize too.

The hotel bar is a destination in itself serving up amazing craft cocktails and attracting a glittering crowd nightly and it opened my world to a whole new hotel experience. I recommend everyone gives it a go!

More cool, unusual and unique hotels in New York

Cool, unusual and unique hotels in New York

  • Gramercy Park Hotel – A striking art-filled 1920s-era hotel with the wow-factor from $190pn
  • The Mansfield – A classically beautiful and romantic hotel from $100pn
  • The Refinery – A former hat factory and Prohibition-era tea room turned ultra-cool hotel from $150pn
  • Marrakech Hotel – Brings a taste of North African exoticism to Broadway from $70pn
  • Hotel Indigo Lower East Side – Unique and arty hotel in the cool part of town from $130
  • NYLO Hotel Ultra trendy mid-range hotel in Rhode Island from $100pn
  • Sanctuary Hotel Alluring boutique hotel a short stroll from Times Square from $140pn
  • Conrad Hotel – Sophisticated luxury design hotel with a huge atrium lobby from $190pn

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Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of 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 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia 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 far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting 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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