It’s big, it’s buzzy – and it’s bloody expensive. New York is one of the ultimate city destinations for many of us, but man, the accommodation can be a wallet punisher.
The combination of finite geographical space for new developments, with constant demand from visitors to ‘the city that never sleeps’, has long meant eye-wateringly expensive hotel rates.
Unless you’re a hedge-fund manager or a minor royal, if you wanted to stay in Manhattan without taking on a second mortgage your options have pretty much been limited to:
- A room in someone’s apartment via Airbnb, meaning no privacy, no space, and definitely no clean linens or anyone to tidy up your room when you’re out.
- A bed in a backpacker hostel – see above, plus the high likelihood of having to listen to strangers having a drunken hook-up.
- Maaaaaaybe a room in one of the scuzzier hotels in midtown, meaning threadbare sheets, sticky floors and constant racket from the nearby bars keeping you awake all night.
We’re not saying we expect five-star luxury for every trip, and in a city like New York you’re going to be spending most of your time outside the room anyway – but sheesh, a nice place to sleep, with a comfy bed and something nice for breakfast, shouldn’t be too much to ask.
Enter, the micro hotel.
First appearing on the accommodation landscape around 2007, micro hotels have achieved peak traction in the marketplace over the past few years, fuelled by travellers’ demand for attractively designed spaces without the high price tag of a classic or hip hotel.
Instead of paying through the nose for a room with space to spare, guests are able to maximise their travel funds by sleeping in a smaller space, but one which comes with the nicer amenities of a hotel stay, such as plush bathrobes, fancy toiletries, and luxuriously comfortable beds.
“The mindset of the modern traveller has changed in recent years, with a preference for the hotel as a fun and coherent experience rather than a sequence of formalised rituals,” Mitchell Hochberg, president of the property group that developed New York’s Moxy hotels, told Be.
“We realised the huge gap in the market for affordable accommodation that offers more than a generic, cookie-cutter service or ‘capsule’ hotels with tiny rooms and minimal services.”
Our picks for New York’s best micro hotels…
Moxy Times Square
Rain showers, Egyptian-cotton linens, super fast wifi and mobile check-in all signal to the guest that Moxy Times Square is a Nice Place to Stay. But the crowning glory of this sophisticated new accommodation offering has to be its spectacular rooftop bar. With brass elephants, mini golf, rotating seats and naughty, larger-than-life topiary, it’s the kind of place you just know you’re going to get into the best kind of trouble. Best of all, you can order up a ‘crash pad’ room from the bar menu to go with your last cocktail, if getting home is looking too hard. Moxy NYC Hotel Times Square, 485 7th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Nice sheets – tick. Sleek, walnut-panelled design – tick. Fancy designer toiletries – well, of course. Arlo SoHo’s rooms are compact, but they make the most of every single inch of available space, using clever, custom-made storage solutions such as under-bed drawers and fold-out, wall-mounted desks. There’s no room service, but you can buy snacks and meals any time of day from a shop in the lobby. There’s also a restaurant on the ground floor and a rooftop bar.
The Jane Hotel
Formerly accommodation for sailors and the newest immigrants to land on Lady Liberty’s shores, The Jane was built in 1908 and was restored in 2008. Inspired by luxury ship and train cabins (and, we suspect, the symmetrical works of indie film director Wes Anderson), the hotel’s 40 bunk-bed rooms and 130 standard cabins feature free wifi, iPhone charger docks, flat screen TVs, complimentary bikes and the all-important crisp, white bed linens. And the location can’t be beat – it’s in the West Village, just next to the Meatpacking District, so shops, cafes, bars and restaurants are all right on your doorstep. The Jane, 113 Jane St, New York, NY 10014
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