New York City is known for many things, like art and culture…and weirdness. There are plenty of beautiful luxury hotels in the Big Apple, but if you really want to experience the true essence of the city, in all its eccentric glory, book yourself a room at one of these quirky NYC hotels.
The OUT Hotel
The OUT Hotel prides itself on welcoming LGBT travelers and honoring diversity. Check-in to one of the 105 deluxe rooms (there is no such thing as a “standard” at OUT), and check out your view of the cheery AstroTurf Great Lawn, which is dotted with yellow and red beanbag chairs. Take advantage of the all-organic C.O. Bigelow bath products, then wrap yourself in your lavish microfiber robe and admire yourself in the room’s floor-to-ceiling mirror. Yep, this place has everything—except for closets, of course.
If you ever decide to leave your fabulous room, spend some time in the two garden-filled courtyards. The Great Lawn is perfect for socializing over games like ping pong and corn hole, and the quiet Bamboo Garden has free Wi-Fi and plenty of shady places to work. There’s also the sunny Spa Deck attached to the Spa Atrium with hot tubs, cedar saunas, and scented steam rooms enhanced by a two-story waterfall and sumptuous cabanas.
While you can dine in these spaces, a bite at the modern American KTCHN—part cozy café, part formal dining area—is a must, especially during their Sunday Haus of Mimosa Drag Brunch.
Of course, those of us on two legs can’t hog all the fun. Traveling with Fido? Upgrade to a Dog House Suite, and the three of you can enjoy amenities like your own enclosed outdoor space with a play fire hydrant and doghouse for the pup so you can spend some quality, family time together.
Walking into the YOTEL New York lobby is like stepping into an episode of The Jetsons. This futuristic hotel fuses design and tech elements with Japanese aesthetics in a space reminiscent of luxury airline classes. The 669 “cabins” are effortlessly comfortable and functional, with plush “SmartBeds” that transform into sofas—and the unbelievable aerial view of Manhattan from your floor-to-ceiling windows certainly doesn’t hurt.
There’s plenty more to explore, too, like a lounge with a pool table and LEGO wall, craft cocktails on Manhattan’s largest outdoor terrace, a robot porter that stores your luggage, and a delicious restaurant serving East-meets-West fusion dishes. When you’re ready to play, ask the super-friendly staff to suggest some cool stuff to do and see in the city. Then reserve yourself a great MSC Customs bike at the concierge desk and get pedalin’.
Ye Olde Carlton Arms Hotel
The Ye Olde Carlton Arms Hotel is part budget hotel, part unpretentious art gallery. As you walk in the door, it’s an explosion of creativity—a mecca for art lovers visiting New York. Guest room walls double as canvases, decked out with original murals by up-and-coming artists, and even celebrity artists like Banksy. No two of the 54 rooms are alike, and upon check-in, you can peruse each available room, choosing the quarter that best fits your personality—whether that’s a bright blue-backed scene with suns, a pretty composition of waves and hearts, a splatter piece covered in a simple fish outlines, or a sexy sci-fi world of provocative monsters. And talk about your quirky NYC hotels: there aren’t any TVs in the rooms here! So if you’re not looking to get any work or writing done, scoop up one of the resident cats, snuggle up with your sweetheart, and start critiquing the wall.