Room Mate Grace - The stylish and quirky Room Mate Grace hotel in Times Square (formerly the Hotel QT) offers affordable yet chic accommodation in the centre of NYC. More inspiring than a chain motel and stylish enough to attract the right sort of patrons, expect young arts-and-media types, up-and-coming musicians, and anyone else with The Mercer Hotel style and a Holiday Inn budget. A highlight is the myriad of extras that come with the package, including free wi-fi, flat-screen televisions, DVD players and Egyptian cotton bedding. Other perks include a swimming pool with underwater music and a swim-up window to order drinks from the bar. DJs play nightly in the lobby lounge, and there’s a 24-hour coffee bar for anyone exhausted by New York’s round-the-clock schedule. A continental breakfast is complimentary, and there’s even a sauna & steam room (double rooms from US$179pn).
Smyth Tribeca - If you’re a fan of the understated-cool Thompson Hotels (including the hip 60 Thompson and Gild Hall hotels within its portfolio), then you won’t be disappointed by their latest venture, the Smyth Hotel. With a slightly darker, more grown up feel than their other hotels, the Smyth focus more on creating a cosy, chic ‘home away from home’ living space rather than a wild buzzing party scene. Located in a Downtown business district only a stone’s throw from the vibrant TriBeca neighbourhood, interiors have a bold yet cosy contemporary feel. The loft-style guest rooms and suites feature heavenly custom-made 400 thread count linens, rain showers, Kiehl’s bath products, and state of the art technology. Complimentary Wi-Fi is a bonus for business travelers, along with a well-equipped gym. In true Thompson Hotel style, the hotel also offers a hip cocktail & lounge bar (double rooms from US$140pn).
Ace Hotel - As New York’s hottest new design hotel, The Ace Hotel arrived on the scene in May 2009 and has been the destination du jour of the hipster crowd ever since. This is the kind of space where you’ll want to hang out all day (which is in fact what New York’s cool crowd does) - be it for socialising, sleeping, eating, shopping or some highly entertaining people watching. The heart of the concept is the sprawling lobby, with soaring high ceilings and lovingly-restored Chesterfield leather lounges. The hotel’s new Breslin Bar & Dining Room by acclaimed chef April Bloomfield is perennially packed; along with No 7. gourmet sandwich shop, Stumptown coffee bar, and the cool Opening Ceremony designer store. The 260 rooms spread over 12 floors offer some of the best value in town, with a range of options to suit all budgets and eclectic designer touches (rooms from US$159).
Thompson LES - With dark, brooding and masculine interiors, and sweeping views over Manhattan’s downtown district, the Thompson Hotel Group’s latest venture has been turning heads since it opened in 2008. The rooms and suites have a luxurious amount of space by New York standards, with cutting-edge cool interiors of dark wooden floors, sleek modern furnishings and luxuriously deep soaking tubs. Located in the hip Lower East Side district, you’ll be in the heart of New York’s nightlife district with a multitude of New York’s best cocktail bars and late-night restaurants on your doorstep. The hotel also boasts a rooftop pool and a trendy outdoor terrace which is the ‘it’ place to be in summer. Best yet, the prices are highly affordable and the good-looking service team are friendly and professional. A great affordable design hotel in downtown Manhattan's Lower East Side (double rooms from US$159).