New York City's Midtown Hotel Renaissance

by  Christine Wei | Nov 10, 2014
New York City
New York City / Joecho-16/iStock

Midtown Manhattan used to be the rather colorless, business-oriented section of NYC -- unless you were ready to brave the Times Square crowds, of course. But there seems to be a bit of a hotel renaissance in this part of town, with a slew of new properties popping up in the past year, and even more to come in the next. But this crop of properties is anything but conventional. Here’s a closer look at what’s recently opened, as well as a glimpse of what's coming...

New in the Last Year... 

In September, the Martha Washington soft opened to much local fanfare. It certainly has an interesting past -- not to mention landmark status -- as a temporary home for single women like Eleanor Roosevelt, poet Sara Teasdale, and actress Louise Brooks. These days, the Renaissance Revival facade is grand as ever, while the interiors have been updated with plenty of character, featuring chic geometric patterns and punchy, colorful accents. Hungry travelers can dine at or order from the Danny Meyer restaurant downstairs, Marta, and the complimentary WiFi makes lounging much more pleasant. While some rooms are on the small side, we expect visitors will be taking advantage of the proximity to Madison Square Park and Bryant Park anyway. Low season rates start from $200.

Another boutique addition to Midtown is the swanky Archer Hotel, which opened in May just a few blocks from Herald Square and the Empire State building. It's all about the service here; Archer is not only the name of the hotel; it's also the name of the imaginary "host" and you'll find references to it everywhere. Design lovers will appreciate whimsical details like a bird-caged chandelier in the industrial lobby -- also home of a New American restaurant, David Burke Fabrick -- while cocktail lovers can enjoy their libations with sweeping views in the rooftop bar. As for the rooms themselves, we love thoughtful touches like the abundance of outlets, space-saving drawers under the bed, Malin + Goetz toiletries, and local sweets at turndown. And did we mention the free WiFi? From $279 per night.

While the HYATT Herald Square is, of course, a chain hotel, we’re happy to report that this property feels anything but cookie-cutter. Welcoming its first visitors this October just months after its sister property opened in Union Square, the hotel's vibe and decor references the area's fashion and printing histories. Staff sport pageboy looks, printing blocks appear in the decor throughout, and the lobby espresso bar is even made from reclaimed wood from NYC's iconic rooftop water tours. Guests can enjoy treats like Balthazar and Amy's Bread pastries downstairs, or house-infused spirits on the 20th-floor bar. At night in your room, don't forget to check out the artistic details in the patterned sofas, shaggy pillows, and even ceiling decorations above the bed. From $199 per night.

If there's anything that'll convince us to stay amid the craziness that is Times Square, it might just be Row NYC. It relaunched in May after a $140 million facelift and now features lots of mood lighting, subway- and billboard-inspired decor, and art installations. The massive 1,331-room property is one of the largest in the area -- which might be why there's room for an onsite digital art gallery by famed paparazzo Ron Galella. So while the rooms are "NYC-sized" (as in, not very big) the focus is on the decidedly lively atmosphere. The room rates, which start from $151 in low season, are also highly competitive for the area.

With a low-key midtown location near Central Park, the WestHouse aims to make travelers feel they're staying in a plush New York City apartment. The hotel's shared spaces, including The Terrace, its cozy rooftop, are generally closed to the public so guests can enjoy privacy as well as luxury. And for a flat $30 per night fee on top of the room rate, guests can enjoy unlimited bottled water, cocktails, beer, wine, WiFi, daily newspapers, and snacks and h'ors d'oeuvres at selected times during the day. With rooms done in subtle grays and blues with velvet and leather accents, the property feels like a relaxing escape from the hubbub just outside. Our favorite amenity on offer? Terrace suites that incorporate special items for a good night's sleep, from adjusting mattresses that support different areas of the body, to aromatherapy, to sleep masks, to chocolates that are specially designed for relaxation. Rooms start at about $300 per night.

Other Recently Opened Hotels


  • Baccarat Hotel and Residences New York; December, 2014
  • Knickerbocker Hotel; February, 2015 (read more)
  • Le Soleil; March, 2015
  • Hyatt Place Times Square; fall, 2015
  • Crowne Plaza; late 2015
  • Jade Hotel; late 2015
  • SLS Park Avenue; 2015
  • Tommie Hotel; 2016
  • New York Hilton Midtown; renovations to complete in 2016
  • Even Hotel; TBD
  • Aloft Midtown; TBD

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