The search for the best hotels in New York City isn’t exactly the easiest endeavor. Why? Because there are so many options—like, 705 to be exact. Even the best attempts at narrowing it down leave choices upon choices. Want to stay in midtown? Cool, there are 114 hotels in that neighborhood alone. Plan to splurge on a five-star hotel? Take your pick from over 122! Boutique more your style? Wonderful—Manhattan has 76 independently operated properties with under 200 rooms.
So, we here at Vogue decided to make a shortlist of where to stay in the Big Apple. Some are brand new openings, others haute haunts steeped in history. Some are in trendy non-touristy locales, some sit in the heart of it all. Some you stay at for the scene, others are ideal for not being seen at all. But the common denominator among them? They’re all, well, cool.
Without further ado, the best hotels in New York City.
The Carlyle, Upper East Side
If the Carlyle ever closed, an iconic bit of the city would be lost along with it—that’s how synonymous this storied hotel is with the soul of New York. It’s where Princess Diana stayed during her royal visit in the 1980s, and where her son Prince William returned with his new bride Kate Middleton two decades later. John F. Kennedy stayed there so much that it was dubbed the “New York White House.” After he was assassinated, Jackie lived there for three months. Bemelmans—named after Madeline creator Ludwig Bemelmans, who painted murals on its walls—remains the most famous bar in the city. There’s a documentary about it, books about it, and even a clothing line about it.
That doesn’t mean it's outdated or stuffy, by the way: with interiors by Thierry Despont and Tony Chi, the Carlyle encompasses both old-world charm and the modern day.
And since it’s within walking distance of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, The Frick, and Central Park, you’re at most minutes away from the city’s best cultural and leisure offerings.
The Mark, Upper East Side
You probably recognize the exterior of The Mark. Why? Because every Monday in May, it’s in the background of a million paparazzi photos as celebrities from Lady Gaga to Kendall Jenner depart from its lobby to the Met Gala.
Its inside is of equal grandeur: designed by Jacques Grange, who also did interiors for Yves Saint Laurent and the Princess of Monaco, the lobby is adorned in bold black and white stripes. (That color combo serves as The Mark’s chic calling card, plastered over everything from their pedicab, to their hotdog cart, to their custom swimsuit.) Added bonus: Its restaurant, The Mark by by Jean-Georges, is divine. Order their cheeseburger with black truffle dressing.
Like The Carlyle, it’s located in close proximity to many major museums and is half a block from Central Park—of which some suites even have an expansive view. (Remember the Duchess of Sussex’s baby shower? That was hosted in their penthouse.)
The Baccarat, Midtown
It perhaps goes without saying that a hotel created by the world famous crystal company is going to be extravagant. Over 15,000 Baccarat pieces, from chandeliers to glassware, grace its reflective halls, and its Gilles & Boissier designed Grand Salon looks like it could be a room in a grand European palace. The location, which is close to MoMA, Broadway theaters, and Rockefeller Center, is perfect for visitors wanting to hit New York’s main attractions.
The Mercer, SoHo
Housed in a Romanesque Revival Building on (you guessed it) Mercer St., The Mercer is in, and perhaps is, the heart of SoHo: when it opened in 1997, the hotel instantly became a fashionable hangout for the then up-and-coming neighborhood’s It-crowd. In fact, so stylish are the hotel’s minimalistic Christian Liaigre interiors that Calvin Klein and Rupert Murdoch would go on to hire the designer for their own personal projects.
Nearly 25 years later, The Mercer still hasn’t lost its cool, regularly welcoming a slew of celebrities from Kylie Jenner to Kaia Gerber (that’ll happen when your sister hotel is the Chateau Marmont). Oh, and did we mention that Jay Z and Kanye West recorded “Watch the Throne” in suite 208?
The Wythe, Williamsburg
Reflective of its Brooklyn neighborhood’s industrial roots, The Wythe is housed in an old barrel and rope factory. Yet it doesn’t feel concrete or cold—the rooms are adorned in bespoke toile wallpaper by Dan Funderburg and contemporary, colorful art hangs in many of the common spaces. You’ll want to order room service: their restaurant, Le Crocodile, received a three-star review from The New York Times.
Ace Hotel, Boerum Hill
The Roman and Williams-designed Ace Hotel opened in Brooklyn only a few months ago, but already it’s attracting the attention of aesthetes everywhere thanks to its facade by modernist artist Stan Bitters, a sculptural light installation that acts as an homage to Tokyo’s now demolished Hotel Okura, and a bar by Verdan Jakšić. This September, it aims to cement itself as a culinary attraction with its Demo Kitchen, an interactive space that’ll host everything from chef-curated dinners to mixology workshops and cooking classes.
The Greenwich Hotel, Tribeca
The Robert De Niro-owned Greenwich Hotel is swanky yet secretive: there’s a no photos rule and many common spaces are for guests only. Unsurprisingly, it regularly attracts an A-list celebrity clientele, who get to enjoy amenities like its Japanese-style spa and open-air courtyard. Their excellent Italian restaurant, Locanda Verde, is beloved by visitors and New York locals alike.
Originally Appeared on Vogue