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The 18 Essential New York City Hotels, November '13

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Welcome to the second edition of Curbed's guide to NYC's need-to-know hotels. Its intention? Provide the ultimate answer to the question that burns in the breast of every visitor: "Where should I stay in New York City?" We've combined reader and expert recommendations to compile the following list of the city's most essential hotels right now. They range from the new and trendy (Williamsburg's Wythe) to the older, ritzier, and more architecturally classic (The Pierre, naturellement) to the ones that are neighborhood gamechangers (the Standard's High Line-straddling outpost). We've only included hotels that have been open for more than a year, which means we'll have to wait a bit to see if aspirational newcomers like the Viceroy New York can crack the list.

Less is more, which is why we've pared the selection down to 18 from the initial list of the 38 most iconic hotels that debuted during Hotels Week in June. We won't sugar-coat this: that means each pick is pretty pricey. Hey, if it's not expensive, maybe it's not New York-y enough. Disagree? We'll be updating the map in a few months to account for changes in the hotel world. If you have a favorite that wasn't included?or it was axed, and you plan to beg for its reinstatement?please mention it in the comments or tip us for the next round. For more touristy goodness, do check out all of Racked NY's Travel Week coverage.


· What's the Cheapest Room in Manhattan's Priciest Hotels? [Curbed]
· Inside 13 of New York City's Best Hotel Penthouses [Curbed]
· The 23 Best Rooftops—And Views—At New York City's Hotels [Curbed]
· Pets and Pillow Menus: New York's Quirkiest Hotel Amenities [Curbed]
· From Moroccan to Maritime, 10 Themed New York City Hotels [Curbed]
· The Most Luxurious Hotels of New York City's Past [Curbed]
· All Hotels Week 2013 coverage [Curbed]

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1. The Plaza

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768 5th Ave
New York, NY 10019
(212) 759-3000
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Condo troubles aside, the landmarked Plaza remains iconic in the NYC hotel world. The hotel, designed by the Dakota's Henry Janeway Hardenbegh, opened in October 1907 after a $12 million, two-year construction process. At the time, rooms cost $2.50/night. (Today, they cost just a bit more.) Movie appearances include North by Northwest, The Great Gatsby, and Home Alone II—and, of course, the hotel has a long-standing association with Eloise.

2. The NoMad Hotel

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1170 Broadway
New York, NY 10001
(212) 796-1500
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The NoMad has a completely different feel from the nearby Ace—the NoMad's aesthetic leans more toward the European, with Paris-inspired interiors by Jacques Garcia featuring clawfoot bathtubs and reclaimed maple floors. The individual rooms range from standard to apartment-esque—the Suite Royale is an 1,800-square-foot space with a private terrace.

3. Mercer Hotel

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147 Mercer St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 966-6060
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The Mercer is the sister hotel to the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, so, naturally, it's pricey and popular with celebrities. (The lobby is always a place to spot power players.) William Schickel designed the 1890 building—a Romanesque Revival landmark—as offices for the Astor family; before it became a hotel, it housed artists' lofts. The 75 hotel rooms and suites were designed by Christian Liaigre, and the hotel is part of the Andre Balazs empire.

4. Waldorf Astoria New York

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301 Park Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 355-3000
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The hotel, an Art Deco landmark, was designed by Schultze and Weaver and takes up the full block between 49th and 50th streets and Park and Lexington avenues. Fun fact: the hotel was the first to ever offer room service. It also contains some of the city's most expensive rentals within Waldorf Towers, a separate division of the hotel located on its upper floors, and a secret subway platform underneath the hotel where dignitaries could access the building without being seen.

5. Crosby Street Hotel

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79 Crosby St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 226-6400
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The Crosby Street Hotel, the first U.S. outpost from UK-based Firmdale Hotels, is priced at a level that befits its frequent famous guests. (The nightly rate for a date next week is about four times the rate at The Mercer Hotel, as an example.) One reason those guests come to the Crosby: the 99-seat movie theater downstairs, which often hosts screenings.

6. The Pierre – A Taj Hotel

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2 E 61st St
New York, NY 10065
(212) 838-8000
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The Pierre is Taj Hotels' flagship and received some upgrades to the rooms and bathrooms in a recent $100 million renovation—the building, which opened in 1930, is located within the Upper East Side Historic District. The penthouse contains the hotel's former ballroom and is on the market for $125 million following the death of former owner Martin Zweig. That price almost makes the hotel's room rate seem like a bargain.

7. SoHo Grand Hotel

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310 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(212) 965-3000
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Readers clamored for the Soho Grand's inclusion in this list. A hospitality pioneer in its neighborhood, the 352-roomer's past-meets-present design is meant to intertwine the historic grandeur of the 1870s with the more mod stylings of the 1970s. It's also pet-friendly, with sculptures of canines throughout, and earlier this year the hotel debuted a dedicated dog run overhung by twinkle lights, "complete with fire hydrant water stations, bespoke benches, and design by gardener-to-the-stars Rebecca Cole."

8. Ace Hotel New York

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20 W 29th St
New York, NY 10001
(212) 679-2222
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The Ace Hotel is one of the newish crop of hotels that sprang up in its neighborhood, whether that neighborhood is WhoDi, NoMad, or the Canal Street of Midtown. It's also one of the more affordable hotels on this list, with a lobby beloved by the city's startup kids.

9. The Carlyle

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35 E 76th St
New York, NY 10021
(212) 744-1600
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Another Upper East Side classic, the Carlyle hotel regularly appears on best hotel lists. Rooms range from the standard 350-square-foot king bed option to the deluxe tower rooms designed by Alexandra Champalimaud. (The deluxe tower rooms are the way to go for skyline views.) There are also art, antiques and fashion boutiques within the hotel, including a Vera Wang boutique and H.M. Luther antiques.

10. The Standard, High Line

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848 Washington St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 645-4646
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Hotel guests' peep shows have generated some headlines, but The Standard also has things to offer to the non-nudity-inclined. The building straddles the High Line, for one thing, and contains an ice rink and rooftop bar. There's always fun public art.

11. Andaz Fifth Avenue

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485 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018
(212) 601-1234
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The Andaz is a contemporary-chic brand under the Hyatt empire, and the decor of this lauded outpost emphasizes New York art. There's a white marble and resin Nick Hornby sculpture, for example, inspired by everything from the urns at the New York Public Library to Bryant Park's Gertrude Stein statue. The rooms are meant to be loft-like, and they start at 322 square feet.

12. The Bowery Hotel

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335 Bowery
New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-9100
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A poster child for the evolution of the Bowery, the hotel combines a few common New York City design elements like "industrial styled windows" and loft-inspired layouts with a well-known event space for up to 600. Guests might end up downstairs from a film premiere or photo shoot.

13. Gramercy Park Hotel

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2 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 920-3300
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An incredible roster of famous people have swept through the Gramercy Park Hotel, which opened in 1925. Humphrey Bogart got married on the rooftop terrace! The Rolling Stones and U2 are among the many musicians who've stayed there. These days, with art collector Aby Rosen at the helm, the hotel's look is artsy and includes pieces by Damien Hirst, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol. Julian Schnabel redesigned the hotel (which also has Gramercy Park views, as the name suggests) seven years ago. The Danny Meyer restaurant Maialino is located in the hotel.

14. The Hudson Hotel

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356 West 58th Street
New York, NY 10019

One Curbed commenter describes the rooms at The Hudson as "tiny but impeccable" and the lobby as a "Manhattan marvel." The entrance is designed to be eye-catching, with a 30-foot glass tunnel enclosing the elevator up to the lobby.

15. The Greenwich Hotel

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377 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013

Robert De Niro is an owner of this hotel, and he's occasionally clashed with the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission over the penthouse he added without LPC approval. Whatever questions the LPC might have had about how that penthouse fit into the neighborhood, De Niro and his hotel helped put Tribeca on the map. The hotel itself is worth a stay, too. Each of the 88 rooms has different rugs and furnishings, and the hotel's restaurant is the celebrated Locanda Verde.

16. The New York Palace Hotel

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455 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 888-7000
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The Palace Hotel—yes, the one from Gossip Girl, and it's had cameos on 30 Rock and Law & Order, too—has been undergoing a renovation of all 900 of its rooms. The hotel actually began as a private residence, designed by McKim, Mead & White for Henry Villard and built in 1882. That original residence now contains the hotel's Villard Ballroom.

17. The Thompson LES

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190 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002
(877)-460-8888
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The Thompson LES—one of the Thompson brand's six properties around Manhattan—has been a major player in the changing character (and increasing glassitecture) of the Lower East Side. It still nods to what NYC used to be, though: the bottom of the rooftop pool, for example, is lined with a mural of Andy Warhol.

18. Wythe Hotel

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80 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11249
(718) 460-8000
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The Wythe, the only Brooklyn hotel on this list, opened just over a year ago and boasts design by Morris Adjmi of a converted 1901 factory. The 70 rooms include spaces specifically for bands, sleeping four to six, and standard rooms named for their sizes and views. There's no room service, but the beds are made from the building's own reclaimed ceilings. UPDATE: Hotel reps tell us that, sadly, the Wythe no longer offers band rooms.

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1. The Plaza

768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019

Condo troubles aside, the landmarked Plaza remains iconic in the NYC hotel world. The hotel, designed by the Dakota's Henry Janeway Hardenbegh, opened in October 1907 after a $12 million, two-year construction process. At the time, rooms cost $2.50/night. (Today, they cost just a bit more.) Movie appearances include North by Northwest, The Great Gatsby, and Home Alone II—and, of course, the hotel has a long-standing association with Eloise.

768 5th Ave
New York, NY 10019

2. The NoMad Hotel

1170 Broadway, New York, NY 10001

The NoMad has a completely different feel from the nearby Ace—the NoMad's aesthetic leans more toward the European, with Paris-inspired interiors by Jacques Garcia featuring clawfoot bathtubs and reclaimed maple floors. The individual rooms range from standard to apartment-esque—the Suite Royale is an 1,800-square-foot space with a private terrace.

1170 Broadway
New York, NY 10001

3. Mercer Hotel

147 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

The Mercer is the sister hotel to the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, so, naturally, it's pricey and popular with celebrities. (The lobby is always a place to spot power players.) William Schickel designed the 1890 building—a Romanesque Revival landmark—as offices for the Astor family; before it became a hotel, it housed artists' lofts. The 75 hotel rooms and suites were designed by Christian Liaigre, and the hotel is part of the Andre Balazs empire.

147 Mercer St
New York, NY 10012

4. Waldorf Astoria New York

301 Park Ave, New York, NY 10022

The hotel, an Art Deco landmark, was designed by Schultze and Weaver and takes up the full block between 49th and 50th streets and Park and Lexington avenues. Fun fact: the hotel was the first to ever offer room service. It also contains some of the city's most expensive rentals within Waldorf Towers, a separate division of the hotel located on its upper floors, and a secret subway platform underneath the hotel where dignitaries could access the building without being seen.

301 Park Ave
New York, NY 10022

5. Crosby Street Hotel

79 Crosby St, New York, NY 10012

The Crosby Street Hotel, the first U.S. outpost from UK-based Firmdale Hotels, is priced at a level that befits its frequent famous guests. (The nightly rate for a date next week is about four times the rate at The Mercer Hotel, as an example.) One reason those guests come to the Crosby: the 99-seat movie theater downstairs, which often hosts screenings.

79 Crosby St
New York, NY 10012

6. The Pierre – A Taj Hotel

2 E 61st St, New York, NY 10065

The Pierre is Taj Hotels' flagship and received some upgrades to the rooms and bathrooms in a recent $100 million renovation—the building, which opened in 1930, is located within the Upper East Side Historic District. The penthouse contains the hotel's former ballroom and is on the market for $125 million following the death of former owner Martin Zweig. That price almost makes the hotel's room rate seem like a bargain.

2 E 61st St
New York, NY 10065

7. SoHo Grand Hotel

310 W Broadway, New York, NY 10013

Readers clamored for the Soho Grand's inclusion in this list. A hospitality pioneer in its neighborhood, the 352-roomer's past-meets-present design is meant to intertwine the historic grandeur of the 1870s with the more mod stylings of the 1970s. It's also pet-friendly, with sculptures of canines throughout, and earlier this year the hotel debuted a dedicated dog run overhung by twinkle lights, "complete with fire hydrant water stations, bespoke benches, and design by gardener-to-the-stars Rebecca Cole."

310 W Broadway
New York, NY 10013

8. Ace Hotel New York

20 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001

The Ace Hotel is one of the newish crop of hotels that sprang up in its neighborhood, whether that neighborhood is WhoDi, NoMad, or the Canal Street of Midtown. It's also one of the more affordable hotels on this list, with a lobby beloved by the city's startup kids.

20 W 29th St
New York, NY 10001

9. The Carlyle

35 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021

Another Upper East Side classic, the Carlyle hotel regularly appears on best hotel lists. Rooms range from the standard 350-square-foot king bed option to the deluxe tower rooms designed by Alexandra Champalimaud. (The deluxe tower rooms are the way to go for skyline views.) There are also art, antiques and fashion boutiques within the hotel, including a Vera Wang boutique and H.M. Luther antiques.

35 E 76th St
New York, NY 10021

10. The Standard, High Line

848 Washington St, New York, NY 10014

Hotel guests' peep shows have generated some headlines, but The Standard also has things to offer to the non-nudity-inclined. The building straddles the High Line, for one thing, and contains an ice rink and rooftop bar. There's always fun public art.

848 Washington St
New York, NY 10014

11. Andaz Fifth Avenue

485 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

The Andaz is a contemporary-chic brand under the Hyatt empire, and the decor of this lauded outpost emphasizes New York art. There's a white marble and resin Nick Hornby sculpture, for example, inspired by everything from the urns at the New York Public Library to Bryant Park's Gertrude Stein statue. The rooms are meant to be loft-like, and they start at 322 square feet.

485 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018

12. The Bowery Hotel

335 Bowery, New York, NY 10003

A poster child for the evolution of the Bowery, the hotel combines a few common New York City design elements like "industrial styled windows" and loft-inspired layouts with a well-known event space for up to 600. Guests might end up downstairs from a film premiere or photo shoot.

335 Bowery
New York, NY 10003

13. Gramercy Park Hotel

2 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010

An incredible roster of famous people have swept through the Gramercy Park Hotel, which opened in 1925. Humphrey Bogart got married on the rooftop terrace! The Rolling Stones and U2 are among the many musicians who've stayed there. These days, with art collector Aby Rosen at the helm, the hotel's look is artsy and includes pieces by Damien Hirst, Keith Haring, and Andy Warhol. Julian Schnabel redesigned the hotel (which also has Gramercy Park views, as the name suggests) seven years ago. The Danny Meyer restaurant Maialino is located in the hotel.

2 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10010

14. The Hudson Hotel

356 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019

One Curbed commenter describes the rooms at The Hudson as "tiny but impeccable" and the lobby as a "Manhattan marvel." The entrance is designed to be eye-catching, with a 30-foot glass tunnel enclosing the elevator up to the lobby.

356 West 58th Street
New York, NY 10019

15. The Greenwich Hotel

377 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10013

Robert De Niro is an owner of this hotel, and he's occasionally clashed with the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission over the penthouse he added without LPC approval. Whatever questions the LPC might have had about how that penthouse fit into the neighborhood, De Niro and his hotel helped put Tribeca on the map. The hotel itself is worth a stay, too. Each of the 88 rooms has different rugs and furnishings, and the hotel's restaurant is the celebrated Locanda Verde.

377 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013

16. The New York Palace Hotel

455 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022

The Palace Hotel—yes, the one from Gossip Girl, and it's had cameos on 30 Rock and Law & Order, too—has been undergoing a renovation of all 900 of its rooms. The hotel actually began as a private residence, designed by McKim, Mead & White for Henry Villard and built in 1882. That original residence now contains the hotel's Villard Ballroom.

455 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10022

17. The Thompson LES

190 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002

The Thompson LES—one of the Thompson brand's six properties around Manhattan—has been a major player in the changing character (and increasing glassitecture) of the Lower East Side. It still nods to what NYC used to be, though: the bottom of the rooftop pool, for example, is lined with a mural of Andy Warhol.

190 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002

18. Wythe Hotel

80 Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11249

The Wythe, the only Brooklyn hotel on this list, opened just over a year ago and boasts design by Morris Adjmi of a converted 1901 factory. The 70 rooms include spaces specifically for bands, sleeping four to six, and standard rooms named for their sizes and views. There's no room service, but the beds are made from the building's own reclaimed ceilings. UPDATE: Hotel reps tell us that, sadly, the Wythe no longer offers band rooms.

80 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11249