Chic in the city: Manhattan’s 5 coolest hotels

By Lachlan Probyn,

When it comes to being fashionable, New York is at the helm of the scene and Manhattan is arguably its pulse. From the vintage bookstores of the East Village, to the chic cafes of Greenwich and the upscale boutiques of SoHo, it’s little wonder the Big Apple continues to rank as a top destination for Aussies and Kiwis.

As the crowning jewel of New York, it only seems natural that Manhattan also offers a glittering line-up of vogue hotels. So if you’re ready to unveil your inner Carrie Bradshaw and experience a life of Sex and The City for at least one day, take a peek at Manhattan’s five finest below and embrace your New York state of mind.

11 Howard

11 Howard is one of the newest hotel kids on the Manhattan block, but it’s already fully earnt its reputation as a distinguished destination in town. Positioned at the crossroads of Chinatown, little Italy, and the Bowery, 11 Howard stands in a true enclave of New York cool. Aspiring to the lexicon of ‘conscious hospitality’, the hotel is partners with Global Poverty Project, meaning a portion of your room rate is donated to GPP. Quite simply, guilt-free luxury in NYC!

The Howard bedroom edit

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11 Howard treats guests to a Danish minimalist style, albeit with a Manhattan touch. A fresh colour palette of navy, chocolate, and cream elegantly canvases wide-plank oak floors and contemporary custom-made furniture.

The Howard bar edit

Bespoke pressed leather headboards frame the bed, which is dressed with luxury linen and double wool weave bed throws. In the evening, head to the hotel’s lavish bar The Blond. With its gluttonous velvet lounges and soft lighting you have the perfect backdrop for a cheeky spot of seduction in the Big Apple.

The Howard bedroom 2 edit

Refinery Hotel

Calling all fashionistas! If your ideal trip to New York involves a peruse of the city’s designer fashion and cutting edge labels, 5th Avenue is clearly your go-to destination. Located just an avenue away is one of New York’s chicest hotels, Refinery Hotel. Housed in a neo-gothic building dating back to 1912, the site was once a former hat factory. While the milliners have well and truly moved on, the building still echoes its fashion history with the hotel remaining at the apex of en vogue accommodation.

Refinery Studio King (2)

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The Refinery Hotel is a fusion of industrial-chic, offering rooms that tastefully blend soft grey, white, and charcoal tones. Large windows bestow ample natural light, showcasing New York’s famed skyline. Vestiges of the building’s history are scattered throughout, with large writing desks designed to resemble a 1900s sewing machine.

Refinery Executive Suite (3)

Bathrooms are tiled in marble mosaic and offer a walk-in rain shower and polished brass and antique bronze fittings. For some 360-degree aerial views of the Big Apple head to the Refinery Rooftop. The bar has live DJ and jazz performances during the week, and offers a stellar line up of artisan cocktails developed by Bar Director, Alex Ott.

Refinery Rooftop (8)

The Greenwich Hotel

Manhattan’s Tribeca neighbourhood has arguably redefined the very meaning of the word ‘cool’. New York’s most expensive zip code is home to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and high-end flagship stores – where you’re almost guaranteed a celebrity spotting. In the heart of all this action is one of the city’s finest hotels, The Greenwich. Blending a range of cultural influences into the one hotel, The Greenwich makes for a one-of-a-kind experience in Manhattan.

Greenwich Suite Bedroom - High

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Guest rooms blend different décors meticulously, with the style being likened to a typical Moroccan Riad meets stately Italian Palazzo. English leather lounges sit alongside Tibetan silk rugs, and a colour palette of white and beige creates a timeless ambiance. The glamourous bathrooms feature Moroccan tiles and Italian Carrara marble, and boast inviting rain showers to freshen up under!

The Greenwich Corner Suite Fireplace - High

If the hustle and bustle of NYC gets a little much, head to in-house Shibui Spa and book a personalised treatment that balances traditional and modern techniques. Otherwise, take a plunge in the heated indoor pool or Japanese soaking tub and unwind in true harmony with a refreshing tea of your choice.

greenwich Hotel library


When the elegance of Paris meets the cutting-edge energy of New York, the result is NoMad Hotel. Housed in a quintessentially French Beaux-Arts building, NoMad is reminiscent of the grand hotels of Europe and features interiors by French designer Jacques Garcia. Situated within easy reach of Chelsea, Midtown, and Gramercy Park, NoMad is irrefutably the ‘A List’ destination for anyone wanting to be seen in New York.

The NoMad Guest Room 4 - Benoit Linero

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The rooms are unique in style and blend different textures and custom-designed furnishings. Pressed leather armchairs and bedheads rest seamlessly against handmade rugs and luxury bedlinen by Frette and Sferra. With the mix of curated art adorning the walls, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were residing in a Boho apartment of Paris’ 18e arrondissement!

The NoMad Guest Room 1 - Benoit Linero

Several rooms boast free-standing claw-foot baths, and all feature luxury Argan bath amenities by Côté Bastide. For an afternoon apéro, visit NoMad Bar and sample a carefully mixed cocktail by award winning Bar Director, Leo Robitschek.

The NoMad Guest Room Desk - Benoit Linero

The Surrey

Are you ready to be seen in New York’s glamourous Upper-East Side? If so, pencil in a stay at the city’s only Relais and Chateux hotel, The Surrey. Housed in an elegant 1926 building, this coveted locale was once a residence hotel for the likes of Bette Davis and John F. Kennedy. The Surrey still maintains its grandeur today, treating guests to a luxury experience from start to finish. As you enter, admire the iconic tapestry of Kate Moss and be led to your room through the hotel’s very own open art gallery.

The Surry penthouse edit

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Rooms are elegant in design, pairing gold and grey tones with brocade feature cushions. To guarantee a dreamy slumber, beds are topped with Duxiana mattresses and a pillow menu ensures you can choose the best option for you.

The Surrey Kate Moss edit

The marble bathrooms evoke the hotel’s lavish style, treating guests to glass enclosed showers and high-end bath amenities by Diptyque. While New York offers a plethora of world-class bars and restaurants, if you’d rather stay put for just one night, the Surrey has it covered. The in-room service from Café Boulud and Bar Pleaiades offers an indulgent menu of French cuisine with a twist as well as creative mixology options.

The Surrey rooftop complete

Are you venturing to the Big Apple any time soon? Share your recommendations here!