Six of the best: New York hotels

The Marmara Park Avenue

Don't expect to see furniture or art sourced from generic hotel warehouses at the new Marmara Park Avenue. Their aim is to offer a luxury New York apartment feel; a home away from home, with pieces hand-chosen by acclaimed New York designer Joe Ginsberg. Think bespoke printed wallpaper, elegant vases and vignettes of colour-coded hardback books. The feeling of warmth is immediate upon entry to the lobby of the Art Deco-era building, the eye is immediately drawn to the giant hanging fireplace next to a sculpture of floating birds. In the Wellness Centre there's a Turkish hamman (Marmara is an Istanbul-based hospitality group), and a lap pool. Apartment style rooms with hardwood floors feature a full kitchen with a wine cooler stocked with Vinkara wines, from the Marmara's own vineyard in Turkey. Most spectacular is the grand three-bedroom duplex, offering views of the city from terraces on either side. On this reviewer's visit, the team from David Jones were booking in to film their latest campaign up there. Rooms from $667, see

The Williamsburg

Wythe Avenue, in the hip enclave of Williamsburg is adding two new hotels this American summer. While the William Vale is soon to launch (in August) after some delay, The Williamsburg has just opened its doors to guests. In fitting in with the warehouse industrial feel of the area, the hotel features a facade of steel, brick and glass topped with a retrofitted water tower that doubles as a cocktail bar. The catch is, this bar as well as the rooftop pool (a New York rarity) won't open until 2017. The restaurant, Harvey, is open and features a pasta, bread and vegetable-focused menu. Want to get around? You can choose from free bike hire or make use of the hotel's chauffeured tuk-tuk, which shuttles guests to all the local breweries, music halls and bowling alleys. The 150 rooms (half of which have views across to Manhattan) feature on-trend subway tiled bathrooms with brass fixtures and locally-sourced bathroom condiments. Rooms from $467, see

Courtyard by Marriott Long Island City

It's well-known that Long Island City in Queens is on-the-verge of being the new Williamsburg. The fashion crowd is flocking there, after all, it's just a 10-minute subway ride across to East River to the garment district in Midtown Manhattan. And around the impressive Museum of Modern Art's outpost PS1, cafes and restaurants are popping up, making the area not just a viable option as a base, but highly desirable. The new Courtyard Hotel by Marriott is right in the thick of it at Queens Plaza North and offers free Wi-Fi and a grab-and-go cafe called Nosh. The grey, black and silver colour palette and soft lighting in the 160 rooms encourage relaxation, and the view of the Manhattan skyline from the fourth floor terrace is spectacular. There's also nearby access to six major subway lines, making getting around to see the five boroughs simple. Rooms from $192, See


Just north of Chinatown's Canal Street, 11Howard in SoHo fits right in with the abundance of design boutiques that line Howard Street. Owner, real estate magnate and art collector Aby Rosen is using his new hotel, a former post office, to show off some of his collection including an Alexander Calder mobile in the lobby and artworks by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Public art organisation Groundswell was commissioned to paint the giant mural on the hotel's external south wall. Bleached oak Scandinavian design is evident throughout (Danish company Space Copenhagen did the interiors) and a dramatic and somewhat sculptural steel spiral staircase leads to the bar and library. You can fuel up on healthy snacks from the minibar in one of the 221 rooms before exploring the city on the electric Boosted skateboards the hotel lends out. Service is excellent, in fact 11Howard may have the best doorman in all of New York. When a patron entered the hotel in tears, he comforted her before running to get a box of tissues. All onlookers were suitably impressed.

Rooms from $363, see


Sago Hotel

This new Lower East Side hotel advertises itself as "an orchestra of mechanical and rustic energies" which is a good description as it encompasses the exposed brick and steel girders that feature in the design, and the fact that a guest shouldn't expect complete quietness here, it's in a noisy part of town. But that also means that everything you need is just steps away including the New York institution Russ & Daughters cafe which serves up the best schmaltz herring and shrubs you'll ever taste. The Tenement Museum is across the road, Katz's is nearby as is New York's best free Wednesday night out, the Botanica bar featuring DJ Mr Fine Wine. Each of the 20 rooms have hardwood floors and a cool cork bedhead. Best is the light-filled Sago Duplex Penthouse, which features a full kitchen and a large balcony. Rooms from $467, see

The Redbury New York

Formerly the Martha Washington Hotel, creative director Matthew Rolston was tasked with styling up this newly opened bohemian-inspired hotel in Manhattan's NoMad area (north of Madison Square Park). With deep reds, velvets and gallery hang walls full of vintage photographs, the style is inspired by the area's Tin Pan Alley musical history. There's a mural portraying the era behind the lobby desk and each of the 265 rooms features a gramophone. The approach to design could be classed as maximalist, cushions are piled high on the bed, throw rugs feature and flourishes of paisley abound. Rooms have free Wi-Fi and Ciel bathroom products. Downstairs is the popular upscale pizzeria, Marta and steps away are all the tourist favourites including the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station. Rooms from $399, see