January 14, 2020
We've curated a selection of extraordinary boutique hotels in Midtown, New York — chosen by our experts and rated by our guests after verified stays — and included the latest MICHELIN Guide rated restaurants nearby. Tablet Hotels is your source for discovering the world's most interesting boutique hotels (we've been doing this for 20 years and now we're part of the Michelin family) — places where you'll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. Here's our top 5 New York Midtown boutique hotels:
The American Radiator building is a strange and imposing landmark, a black-and-gold gothic skyscraper, towering above New York's Bryant Park like something out of a comic book. How pleasantly surprising, then, to find that it houses a New York boutique hotel that is as sober and restrained as many of its competitors are loud and garish.
The lobby, though decked out in rather unconventional black terra cotta and red leather, feels as serious as the building's facade, without too-clever furniture or whimsical sculptural statements. As for the accommodations, the rooms today are spacious, especially for a midtown boutique hotel, and boast loft-style hardwood floors. Views tend toward the extraordinary, looking over Bryant Park, and some rooms come with private terraces, not at all New York hotel standard. Expect lush goose-down duvets and rich linens, and massive tubs and sinks in the travertine bathrooms.
Heavily weathered reclaimed wood, industrial-style windows, and dense vegetation climbing green walls — these are not exactly commonplace sights at a Midtown hotel. It's a statement of intent from 1 Hotel Central Park, the flagship of the 1 Hotels group, headed by Barry Sternlicht, founder of Starwood and the W hotels — and the intent behind 1 Hotels is to combine quality hospitality with social responsibility.
So the exterior makes sense as a gesture toward sustainability. And once you're inside, it's clear that it's more than a gesture. A huge proportion of the interior surfaces are made from salvaged materials, from the salvage lumber and brick in the guest rooms to the fitness center's floor, which once belonged to the University of Wisconsin's basketball team.
If the towering structure is any guide — that's meant rhetorically, by the way, of course it's a guide — then you could safely expect Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue to be a pretty big deal. And naturally it is. This sixty-story skyscraper joins the Empire State Building on the Midtown skyline, and the architecture, by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates, is suitably monumental.
One might wonder if what's inside quite measures up to what's outside, but a look at these rich, modern and supremely confident interiors ought to put any worries to rest. To call this one of Manhattan's more storied neighborhoods would be an understatement — that's the classic old Tiffany building just across the avenue — but Langham Place is more than up to the task. The public spaces don't quite equal the cavernous lobbies of the traditional grand hotels, but if anything that's a testament to the hotel's residential atmosphere.
If you're like us, you'll see the words "Times Square" and you'll be tempted to keep scrolling. But Merrion Row Hotel and Public House is worth lingering over for a bit. Yes, it's right around the block from Times Square itself, deep in the heart of Midtown's most heavily traveled neighborhood. But if you want a break from the noise and the crowds — well, that's what elevators are for. Once you're within the walls of Merrion Row, you're immersed in an idealized modern version of traditional Irish hospitality, a public house with all the cheer and warmth of historical Dublin, transplanted to 21st-century New York City.
A hotel with a point of view goes a long way towards distinguishing itself. Here the rooms are identifiably Irish in aspect, including large-format landscapes of the Emerald Isle or portraits of Irish notables. But what's perhaps most remarkable is Merrion Row's restraint. We've all seen Irish bars that walk right up to the border of kitsch, and then plunge ahead fearlessly. Merrion Row, in contrast, is ever tasteful. The Public House, too, pays just the right amount of tribute to its heritage, without crossing over into theatricality; the restaurant serves contemporary Irish-American fare, with a focus on the flavors of Ireland's west coast, and a long list of appropriately chosen beers and spirits.
Firmdale, the proprietors of Soho's fine Crosby Street Hotel (as well as too many London hotels to mention), is at it again, this time in Midtown, just two blocks from Central Park. The Whitby Hotel brings the warmth and coziness of English hospitality to a neighborhood that's already got plenty of American-style luxury hotels, and proves that Firmdale can compete with anyone in the world on comfort, and look just that much more stylish and charming while they're at it.
The Whitby Bar and Restaurant is a typically triumphant space — complete with afternoon tea service — as are the lobby lounge, the Orangery, the courtyard terrace, and the 130-seat private cinema that is the Whitby Theater. And the rooms! Here, as usual, owner-designer Kit Kemp puts her stamp on things, with trademark bold colors tuned to complement Midtown's slightly muted palette, and the usual exquisite taste in details, from the artwork to the bathroom fixtures to those steel Crittall windows.
More boutique hotel lists for New York City:
Top 10 NYC Boutique Hotels
Brooklyn Boutique Hotels
Greenwich Village Boutique Hotels
SoHo New York Village Boutique Hotels
Tribeca & Wall St Boutique Hotels
Meatpacking NYC Boutique Hotels
Flatiron NYC Boutique Hotels
View our entire selection of
Boutique Hotels in Midtown New York
The MICHELIN Guide's restaurant selections for Midtown New York:
Interested in value dining?
Check out the MICHELIN Bib Gourmand selections for NYC.
New York hotel rooms can vary greatly in size, with many being suprisingly small, but these Midtown boutique hotels have the most spacious standard rooms:
The Bryant Park Hotel 18.5/20 Guest Rating
Chambers 18.5/20 Guest Rating
For those pet lovers here are the best Midtown boutique hotels that welcome pets (though charges typically apply):
Chambers 18.5/20 Guest Rating
The Archer 18.5/20 Guest Rating
Kimpton's Ink48 18/20 Guest Rating
Midtown Manhattan is usually considered 34th Street to 59th Street. 5th Avenue is the center line for East & West. West is towards the Hudson River and east is towards the East River.
The closest boutique hotels on Tablet near the Empire State Building are:
Langham Place, New York, Fifth Avenue 19/20 Guest Rating
The Archer 18.5/20 Guest Rating
Park Hyatt New York 19/20 Guest Rating
Tablet Hotels merged with MICHELIN in 2018 and is the hotels component of the MICHELIN Guide. For more information visit our About Tablet section.