Gripe all you want. Now that the summer season is in full swing, New York hotels are more expensive than ever – even basic hotels charging over $350/night for a standard room! But just as we're ready to write off Manhattan as over-hyped and over-priced, a flurry of new hotels has cropped up, making us rethink our travel plans.
In May, a 113-room Parisian-themed hotel known as The Jade opened near Greenwich Village, on 13th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Its quaint lobby offers a small lounge area stocked with art and photography books, while the intimate back-room restaurant, Grape & Vine, has a raw bar as well as a full list of over 50 international wines. Rates from $320/night.
Ultra-modernists might feel out of place at midtown's Refinery Hotel: a former hat factory converted into a 197-room boutique hotel. The Industrial Era vibe is conveyed throughout the guest rooms with oak hardwood floors, Singer sewing machine-inspired desks, and marble bathroom fixtures. But that's not all – the ground floor contains a cocktail bar modeled after a 19th century tea salon; meanwhile, the unobstructed Empire State views from the rooftop bar are reason enough for a visit. Rates from $421/night.
Union Square lovers finally have an alternative to the trendier-than-thou W Union Square: Last month, a 178-room Hyatt Union Square opened up one block south of the park, fitted with an all-day restaurant and separate wine bar in the lobby. Be sure to request a second-floor room – though slightly pricier, these 'Terrace' rooms contain 150 square-foot balconies overlooking Fourth Avenue. Rates from $399/night.
What's summer without a day trip to the beach? Better yet, make it an overnighter at the new Playland Motel out in Far Rockaway, which officially opens tomorrow. A crew of nightlife promoters, interior designers, artists, and chefs collectively founded the retro-chic hotel, which includes 12 individually-designed rooms with names like 'The Cactus Room,' and 'My Bloody Dreams.' On site are also a pizzeria, diner, and a retail shop hawking beach accessories, artisanal ice cream, and bike rentals. For rates, call 718-318-1035.
Not to be confused with The Standard High Line, the newly-opened High Line Hotel is a 60-room boutique property located over on Tenth Avenue in West Chelsea. The building dates back to 1895, when an on-site theological seminary (which still operates today) began constructing housing for its students. Guests shouldn't leave without strolling through the blissful gardens in the back of the hotel – not even Central Park can compete with its bucolic charm. Rates from $275/night.