12 Boutique Hotels in New York City We Love

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Fora Author Fora

The Modern Travel Agency


    an urban terrace with cozy white couches and green plants

    Image courtesy of the Whitby

    Our definition of a boutique hotel is one that’s intimate, charming and idiosyncratic. It doesn’t have to be small, per se, but it should feel that way: more personable, more special, more character-driven. 

    The best boutique hotels in New York City check all of those boxes. Below, we highlight a few of our favorite boutique hotels in NYC, from a tiny West Village gem to a luxe TriBeCa classic. All of these properties are frequently booked by our Fora Advisors, and all merit repeat visits.

    We're proud of the relationships we've cultivated with these hotel partners over the years. Ready to travel? Connect with Fora to plan, book and level up your stay at a boutique hotel in NYC today.

    NYC boutique hotels with lots of character: the Whitby Hotel, Crosby Street Hotel, Hotel Chelsea & the Roxy Hotel New York

    The Whitby & Crosby Street Hotel

    a posh bedroom decorated with pink decor and turquoise drapes

    Image courtesy of Crosby Street Hotel

    Both of these playful, vibrant properties belong to Firmdale Hotels, an ultra-chic, meticulously designed collection of luxury hotels across New York and London. Like all Firmdale properties, the Whitby and the Crosby are filled with art — pieces by famed artists, antiques, global finds — bold patterns and lots of color.

    "The Whitby's whimsical style beautifully combines elegance, artistry and a spirit of fun," said Fora Advisor Jane Henzerling.

    The same goes for the Crosby: "The rooms all have a cozy, contemporary vibe with fun fabrics that will brighten up any gloomy NYC day," according to Fora Advisor Lisa Van Brunt.

    "One of the first things I always notice at The Crosby is how happy and eager the staff are to assist any of their clients," added Lisa. "A welcoming smile and positive vibe goes a long way, especially in NYC!"

    Head to the Whitby, in Midtown Manhattan, for proximity to the city’s top museums (hello, MoMA), Central Park, Rockefeller Center and Times Square, and to the Crosby for a glamorous Downtown moment.

    Fora Perks:

    • Welcome amenity, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    The Roxy Hotel New York

    a chic living room with a caramel-colored leather couch

    Image courtesy of The Roxy Hotel New York

    Don’t be surprised if you catch half of Fora HQ “working” or holding small meetings in the Roxy’s airy lobby (the lobby bar is perfect for post-work drinks). Guest rooms line the perimeter of the hotel, so the lobby feels far more communal and open, with an exceptionally high ceiling. (Think of the Roxy as a hollow, Art-Deco cylinder.) Django, the underground jazz club, is not to be missed, nor is a night in their cinema, where you can enjoy a classic movie and a cocktail.

    Fora Perks:

    • $50 food / beverage credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    Hotel Chelsea

    a fancy living room with a purple couch and tiger-printed chairs

    Image courtesy of Hotel Chelsea

    Few hotels are as steeped in New York City’s history as Hotel Chelsea, a sister property to the Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa. Patti Smith, Andy Warhol, Janis Joplin and countless other notables frequented this colorful, eclectic West Side gem. El Quijote, its famed Spanish restaurant, recently reopened. The restaurant is yet again a magnetic spot for savvy locals and travelers alike. 

    The best hotels for a moment of Downtown luxury: the Greenwich Hotel, the Mercer, Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s New York & 11 Howard

    The Greenwich Hotel

    an indoor pool beneath a ceiling covered with wooden beams

    Image courtesy of the Greenwich Hotel

    Robert de Niro’s fashionable TriBeCa hotspot never gets old. Wooden floors, old books and bespoke objects decorate the spacious rooms. The hotel’s Shibui Spa is arguably the best in the city, complete with a serene pool area, steam showers, the softest Japanese robes and all-natural treatment products. After a day of exploring — or relaxing — make a beeline for Locanda Verde, the hotel’s sexy Italian restaurant helmed by an NYC favorite, chef Andrew Carmellini.

    Fora Perks:

    • $100 hotel / resort credit, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    The Mercer

    a chicly minimalist living room with orange chairs, a green couch, and a bouquet of flowers on a coffee table

    Image courtesy of the Mercer

    The Mercer is where locals go when they need a break — a stylish, tasteful, beautifully appointed break. With six floors and just over 70 rooms, this SoHo gem feels especially intimate. We also love how the Mercer’s fitness center is available by appointment only, so if training is your thing, you can do so in peace. (See more of the best hotel gyms.) Then, end your day at Sartiano’s, the hotel’s dimly lit Italian restaurant. 

    Fora Perks:

    • Hotel / resort credit, welcome amenity, $30 daily breakfast credit, complimentary minibar snacks & soft drinks, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s New York

    stylish living room with a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf

    Image courtesy of Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s New York

    This luxury TriBeCa gem combines Parisian sophistication with a New York spirit. We love the feminine design (pastel hues, plush furniture, marble, fresh flowers), as well as the French-inflected dining options. There’s Titsou Bar, a tastefully opulent speakeasy, Par Ici Café, a vegetarian staple and Brasserie Fouquet's New York, a bistro-inspired restaurant serving elevated French fare.

    Fora Perks:

    • $100 food / beverage or spa credit, welcome amenity, breakfast daily, upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

    11 Howard

    a minimalist hotel room with a white bed with a pink blanket

    Image courtesy of 11 Howard

    This sleek, minimalist SoHo hotel is effortlessly cool. It’s Scandinavian-chic-meets-Downtown hip. Dine at Le Coucou, the hotel’s Michelin-Starred destination restaurant, which is consistently lauded for housing one of the city’s most beautiful dining rooms. And the wellness here is top-notch. 11 Howard has collaborated with HigherDOSE, the at-home light-therapy company, to create an onsite “infrared wellness spa.” Treatments include lymphatic drainage massages, red-light facials and (of course) infrared sauna sessions.

    Fora Advisor Meredith Alexander noted how the hotel is well placed: "Wear comfortable walking shoes," she said. "It's in a great location on the south end of SoHo."

    Fora Perks:

    • $25 daily food / beverage credit, welcome amenity, upgrade & late check-out whenever possible.

    Boutique hotels with a beautifully approachable price: Freehand New York, Hotel 50 Bowery & the Marlton Hotel

    Hotel 50 Bowery

    an artsy hotel room with a white bed and modern art work

    Image courtesy of Hotel 50 Bowery

    The location of this NYC boutique hotel is prime: it’s in the heart of Chinatown, within walking distance of SoHo, Little Italy and the Lower East Side. In other words, you have easy access to Lower Manhattan’s best neighborhoods.

    "Chinatown isn't a typical stay location in NYC, but if you've been many times it's a fun spot to be outside of the tourist areas," Fora Advisor Jen Barnes said.

    The hotel's rooms are comfy, modern and colorful, and come with some pretty spectacular views, especially from the upper floors, according to Fora Advisor Lindsay Vickerman.

    "You have a perfect view of the Midtown skyline, with the Empire State Building front and center," she said.

    Fora Perks:

    • $75 hotel / resort credit, welcome amenity, breakfast daily, upgrade & early check-in whenever possible.

    The Marlton Hotel

    a white bed in a sun-lit hotel room with an abstract black light fixture

    Image courtesy of the Marlton Hotel

    No trip to New York City would be complete without a visit to the charming West Village, the idyllic setting of many a movie. The Marlton, just off of Fifth Avenue, embodies the neighborhood’s chic vibe, but with a hipster edge. You’ll encounter many local New Yorkers working remotely in the handsome lobby, fueled by coffees served from the onsite espresso bar.

    Fora Perks:

    • $25 daily minibar credit, complimentary bottle of wine, breakfast daily, upgrade & late check-out whenever possible.

    Freehand New York

    a secret terrace garden with turquoise chairs

    Image courtesy of Freehand New York

    This lively boutique hotel in New York’s Flatiron District has a young, buzzy and artistic vibe. Custom artwork from Bard students and alumni lines the walls, and the food-and-beverage outlets carry with them a fun, youthful energy. Don’t miss Broken Shaker, the hotel’s rooftop bar — and a former James Beard Award finalist, no less.

    A boutique hotel in New York City that makes an excellent hipster hangout: the William Vale

    The William Vale

    a stylish rooftop restaurant overlooking a city skyline

    Image courtesy of the William Vale

    The William Vale is so Brooklyn — in the best way. It’s hip, modern and vibey, with a great rooftop bar overlooking the East River and the Manhattan skyline.

    "Enjoy your views on your balcony, then head up to the 22nd-floor terrace for views, drinks and to soak in the atmosphere," said Fora Advisor Courtney Carter.

    The hotel is also hyperlocal, near Williamsburg’s coolest boutiques, restaurants, bars and markets.

    Another plus: "The fact that every room has a (huge) balcony is amazing!" Courtney added.

    Fora Perks:

    • Exclusive rates, breakfast daily.

    Want to join our community? Apply to become a Fora Advisor today.


    Author - Fora

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