January 11, 2023
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Here are the ten best pet-friendly hotels in New York City. Be sure to contact our Travel Specialists for the most up-to-date information and specific pet-friendly policies at each hotel.
In general it’s true that we’re skeptical about the idea of hotel chains. But we tend to forget our principles when we’re talking about the Firmdale group. Their six London hotels are six of the best hotels anywhere, and they can’t help but be similar; aside from the obvious fact that they all share the same city, they all just as obviously share the same general philosophy of what a hotel ought to be — which they owe to their owners, Tim and Kit Kemp. And a part of that is visual, a natural family resemblance based on their all having been decorated by the very recognizable Kit.
Now if we didn’t greatly admire the (smallish, intimate, service-oriented) Firmdale philosophy, and consider ourselves huge fans of Ms. Kemp’s design style, we might be less excited about a London-based mini-chain expanding into New York. But a hotel like Crosby Street is exactly what this city needs. The contrast between the downtown grit of the cobblestone street outside and the plush sophistication of the hotel’s lobby is immediate, and striking. Say what you will about the bright colors and the decidedly un-minimal décor — it’s a rare New York boutique these days that presents so opinionated a face to the world.
We’ve been looking forward to telling you about this one ever since we saw those telltale steel-framed windows appear over West 56th Street. 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, while looking 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.
The first SoHo loft hotel is still the definitive entry in the genre. This 19th-century Romanesque Revival building was filled with artists’ lofts during the neighborhood’s postwar heyday, and its late-’90s renovation at the hands of superstar interior designer Christian Liaigre transformed it into one of the best of the first generation of boutique hotels. And while the competition has multiplied, the Mercer’s never lost its sheen — it’s perennially on the radar of some of the world’s most style-conscious travelers.
Guest rooms put their loft-style oversized windows and hardwood floors to good use, and the fixtures and furnishings are custom pieces, designed by Liaigre to convey a unique sense of place. Its elegance comes from its restraint and its confident minimalism, while its materials and textures keep it from coming off cold. And while the rooms aren’t enormous — this is New York, after all — the suites quickly expand into haute-luxury territory. Nor has the Mercer Kitchen’s star dimmed over the years. Here chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten serves market-driven American fare in a stylish dining room with communal tables and an open kitchen. Just outside, of course, is some of the most famous shopping in New York, and by extension the world — but inside the Mercer there’s a sense that everything you’d need is already within these walls.
In the boutique-hotel world, what’s old is new again. In New York Sean MacPherson’s hotels were among the first to turn away from glossy, futuristic minimalism and towards something with a bit more retro romance. So the historically inspired Marlton, the century-old Greenwich Village hotel which once hosted the likes of Jack Kerouac and Julie Andrews, is perfectly in character.
Margaux, the restaurant, has hit on something of a foodie trifecta, serving market-driven French, Mediterranean and California-style dishes in a richly atmospheric set of dining rooms — all warm light, dark woods and plush leather banquettes. (They’re especially strong on veggies, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.) The bar, meanwhile, is a classic, clubby space prizing warmth and character above all else — which, of course, is rather the Marlton’s whole point.
Whatever meaning the word “refinery” calls to mind, New York’s Refinery Hotel has it covered: there’s a slight edge of industrial chic about the guest rooms, an air of classic refinement about the public spaces, and the whole thing is built on the site of a factory that once turned out finery, if you’ll extend the pun that far — hats, to be specific, though the vibe is more holistically Twenties-inspired than specifically headwear-related.
The location, after all, is Manhattan’s fabled Garment District, give or take a yard or two, so the classic fashion angle is a natural one. More relevant to the majority of travelers is that this lower stretch of Midtown is on the up; young boutiques like the Ace and NoMad have revitalized the area just to the south, and the charming Bryant Park is just to the north, while Times Square and the theater district are the merest stumble from the front door. Rooms are simple, elegant, quite spacious and sunny by New York boutique standards, and the décor mixes touchable textures of wood and leather with a little bit of Deco-inspired gloss. They’re a bit like a classic suit — the refinement is in the simplicity and the detailing. Far less subtle is the feature that we think will turn out to be the Refinery’s greatest asset, however; the rooftop lounge looks out over the Empire State Building, even in winter, when it’s protected by a retractable glass roof.
Hard to believe an architectural gem of the Beekman’s stature went neglected for so many years, but we’re happy to report that it’s back in business, and it’s been put to the best possible use. (We would say that, wouldn’t we?) The Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, to give it its full name, is an Old New York original, an 1881-vintage skyscraper from the days when a skyscraper meant nine stories of terraced red brick. And if the silhouette doesn’t convince you of its landmark status, a glance upwards surely will, as you walk across the towering central atrium with its pyramidal glass skylight.
Over the years Thompson has built itself into the sort of operation where you more or less know what to expect when you hear the name: a certain blend of retro-modern style, comforts that are solidly high-end without feeling extravagant or ostentatious, and public spaces that don’t just look after the guests but bring in the local life as well. At the Beekman, though, they’ve upped the ante a bit. The rooms, thanks to the historical structure, are spacious and solid, and the big, beautiful windows fill them with natural light. A few modern-vintage touches, like barn-style bathroom doors and dedicated cocktail tables, complete the picture.
SoHo, formerly home to the artists’ lofts that were New York’s 20th-century Downtown signature, has, since around the turn of the millennium, gone steadily upscale — and steadily more international. Both trends find expression in 11 Howard, where contemporary Scandinavian design meets a more inclusive, less ostentatious version of luxury hospitality. It’s the first independent hotel project for architect Anda Andrei, after decades as the designer behind Ian Schrager’s path-breaking boutique-hotel projects. Produced in collaboration with Danish designers Space Copenhagen, 11 Howard avoids the sort of wall-to-wall bling that’s sometimes synonymous with New York hotels. And this one puts a bit of money where its egalitarian ideals are, as well — they call it “conscious hospitality,” which in concrete terms means passing on a share of revenue to charities like the Global Poverty Project.
The Scandinavian vibe imparts a crisp cleanliness to 11 Howard’s interiors, and the local color comes in the form of a pretty formidable art collection, whose highlights include works by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Katie Yang, and Dan Attoe. The rooms are smart and functional, drawing heavily on the cozier currents in Danish design, and the resulting visual identity is a memorable one. Meanwhile, the location, at Howard and Lafayette, is perfectly placed for shopping, and most of the downtown nightlife haunts are easily enough accessible. The Blond, the cocktail lounge, goes out of its way to prove that you can be glamorous without being militantly elitist, and Le Coucou, the hotel’s French restaurant, was recently awarded its first Michelin star.
On the outside, with its cheery pink brick facade, the SoHo Grand resembles a brand-new shopping complex. But inside is a different story. Cast iron dogs stand guard at industrial design central — square lights, molded concrete walls, a coffee table the size of a grand piano. There’s mesh wire glass everywhere, including on the writing desks in the rooms. The floors are the same stuff you see on New York sidewalks — corrugated steel for the elevators, and cast iron and glass for the stairs.
When it opened in 1996, the Grand was the first big SoHo hotel, and its downtown location has continued to be a major factor in its identity. Take the concierges, who can get you a reservation at the hottest underground restaurant and fill you in on the hippest goings-on. Here’s where you'll find Tokyo urbanites in platforms, tough-talking London businessmen on their cells, lanky Nigerian models, many rock and roll musicians, and a lot of crazy hair. It's easy for that much hipness to be intimidating, but the Grand, despite its name, is warm and happy. Maybe it’s the pet friendly atmosphere — Fifi can munch on a biscuit at the bar while you drink your Tartini, and you can even borrow a goldfish to keep you company through those long Manhattan nights. Or perhaps it’s the fact that while it’s undisputedly cool, the Grand is also curiously reminiscent of dormitory days, with its reupholstered sofas and signature dish of macaroni and cheese on the menu, available in any of the three dining spaces on the second floor (plus Gilligan's outside during the warmer season).
Downtown funk comes in the form of the brick and iron facade, and that natural light can’t fail to penetrate the wide glass roof of the eight-story atrium, making most other New York hotels feel gloomy and claustrophobic by comparison. Far from huge, though large enough by New York standards, rooms are organized around the atrium, each exquisitely designed and hyper-modern, yet authentically calming. High-speed internet and a work desk ensure you’ll get your work done. No shortage of luxuries, either, including Frette linens and robes and a selection of Five Wits bath products, which you’ll surely feel tempted to liberate.
Then again, with in-house Blackstone's Salon working its magic, perhaps you won't need to, and you won't feel troubled about snagging your morning zip, either, with fair-trade forerunner Jack's Stir Brew Coffee right in the lobby. Also in the lobby: the Roxy Lounge, an intimate, conversational space by day and bustling hub by night, intensely fashionable in the way only a few places in New York can be at one particular moment, with the kitchen open late enough to have saved many a carouser’s or jet-lagged guest’s life. Mixology and small plates define the cellar experience at the Django, complete with a performance schedule worthy of the name, while cinema buffs can get their fix at the hotel's own cinema, which screens both local favorites and indie productions from around the world.
There was never any question the legendary Hotel Chelsea would eventually face a significant update; it’s good for the Chelsea, and for New York, that it fell to Sean MacPherson to do it. His other hotels around town — the Marlton, the Bowery, the Maritime and more — help usher the romance of old New York into the modern era in a way that’s nostalgic but also authentic. And in the Chelsea, in particular, there’s much to be nostalgic about.
This is where just about every artist of any significance lived, stayed, or at least hung out; in its capacity as a residential hotel it hosted everyone from Mark Twain to Arthur Miller to Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and even Madonna. Its walls are still adorned with artworks donated (often in lieu of rent) by generations of well-known visual artists. And what’s perhaps most impressive about the newly updated Chelsea is how much of this romance remains intact, even as it’s been updated for 21st-century boutique-hotel travelers.
There are no shortage of pet-friendly hotels in New York City. Here is every pet-friendly hotel in New York City:
Crosby Street Hotel
The Whitby Hotel
Refinery Hotel New York
The Beekman - A Thompson Hotel
Soho Grand Hotel
The Roxy Hotel New York
The Hotel Chelsea
The Bowery Hotel
The Mark Hotel
The Nolitan Hotel
The New York EDITION
If you have any questions about the rules and regulations about bringing your pet to a pet-friendly hotel, you can always contact our Travel Specialists for specific information. Below are a few frequently asked questions.
Usually a pet-friendly policy applies to dogs and cats, but sometimes only one or the other is allowed — and sometimes other types of pets (birds, lizards, unicorns), are allowed as well. Please note that certain hotels may also have a weight restriction for pets.
When we say pet-friendly, we mean a policy that allows pets -- but often there is a nightly or flat fee (sometimes called a "cleaning fee") as part of the policy.
Certain hotels specify that you may not leave your pet unattended. However, some offer daycare or dog-walking services.
Oftentimes, a pet-friendly policy will allow your pet outdoors at the hotel but not in public areas. You can always bring them a doggy bag.
Especially pet-friendly hotels provide pet amenities like food and water bowls, special beds, or treats. Be sure to contact our Travel Specialists for the most up-to-date information and specific pet-friendly policies at each hotel.
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