New York City best places to stay: Six of the top new hotels

ACE HOTEL BROOKLYN

Heard of Boerum Hill? I hadn't, but it's where Ace Hotel made its Brooklyn debut in July last year, unveiling a swish new 287-room property. And it's a gem of a locale: one block from the subway and a 10-minute stroll from Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Rooms are unusually spacious with panoramic urban vistas and retro touches, including turntables and Smeg fridges. The lobby is the place to hang with a cosy fireplace and a verdant indoor courtyard, while inhouse eatery As You Are serves excellent seasonal fare. Rooms from $US299. See acehotel.com/brooklyn

HARD ROCK HOTEL NEW YORK

Hard Rock Hotel NYC New York Cityxx6hotelnyc Six of the Best new york city hotels ; text by Rob McFarland
(handout image supplied via journalist, no credit, no syndication) 

Music fans will get a kick out of the celebrity knick-knacks scattered throughout this impressive new property near Times Square, which include a pair of Lady Gaga's boots and handwritten lyrics by John Lennon. All 446 rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, life-size rock star imagery (Springsteen graced my door) and the option to borrow a Fender guitar. There's an upscale steakhouse, a lobby bar with live music and an intimate rooftop lounge with two outdoor terraces. Play your cards right and you might score an invite to Venue, the hotel's VIP entertainment space (Halsey played there during my stay). Rooms from $US545. See hardrockhotels.com/new-york

HENN NA HOTEL

Looking for a little slice of Tokyo in the heart of Manhattan? Japanese hotel brand Henn Na opened its first New York property in October last year in the less-touristed Garment District. The 92-room hotel is one block from Penn Station and three blocks from Hudson Yards. Japanese touches abound, from minimalist rooms with steamer closets and high-tech Toto Washlet toilets, to a two-metre-high animatronic T-Rex in the foyer. The hotel's in-house restaurant, Gosuke Akimitsu, is a destination in its own right, notable for its authentic omakase menu by veteran Japanese chef Isami Nagai. Rates from $US215. See hennnahotelny.com

CIVILIAN HOTEL

Taking its design inspiration from the nearby theatre district, Civilian Hotel's decor features costumes, show props and adorable scale models of Broadway sets. Choose between a Cosy or Spacious room and then customise your stay by adding extras like breakfast, gym access and late checkout. Despite their diminutive dimensions, rooms are elegantly decorated with bold colours, vintage photographs and four-poster beds with fancy Serta mattresses. The second-floor bar is a gorgeous space with a secluded terrace and it'll soon be joined by a ground-floor eatery and a rooftop lounge. Rooms from $US289. See www.civilianhotel.com

MOTTO BY HILTON CHELSEA

Motto is Hilton's "lifestyle" brand, and this stylish 42-storey property between Chelsea and Flatiron was considered the flagship when it opened in December, 2021. Highlights include flexible room configurations, such as bunk beds for the kids and connecting rooms for groups, captivating Lower Manhattan views through floor-to-ceiling windows (ask for south-facing on a high floor), and an inviting lobby bar and sunken lounge that spills out onto a sun-drenched street-level terrace - a rarity in Manhattan. Best of all, rates are a relative bargain, starting at $US215. See hilton.com

MARGARITAVILLE RESORT TIMES SQUARE

Margaritaville Resort Times Square NYC New York City
xx6hotelnyc Six of the Best new york city hotels ; text by Rob McFarland
cr: Gary Bogdon (handout image supplied via journalist, no syndication) 

Named after the 1977 hit that catapulted American singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett to international stardom, this 234-room resort in Times Square aims to recreate the laid-back, tropical lifestyle at the heart of his music and burgeoning hospitality empire. You'll find a giant thong (the footwear variety) in the lobby, an imposing sculpture of the Statue of Liberty holding a margarita in the main restaurant and island-themed rooms with turquoise accents and ceiling fans. There's also a gym, a rooftop bar and Times Square's only outdoor heated pool. It's not for everyone, but for devoted Buffett fans (known as Parrotheads), it's paradise. Rooms from $US415. See margaritavilleresorts.com

Rob McFarland was a guest of Hard Rock Hotel New York, Civilian Hotel and Ace Hotel Brooklyn.