New Yorkers tend to avoid Midtown. For starters, thousands of them have their offices there, and thus prefer to steer clear of the area when off duty. But mostly it’s because midtown is crowded during weekdays, kind of empty on the weekends, and doesn’t have a neighborhood vibe. And yet for visitors it’s New York’s most convenient location, close to theaters, major shops, sights like the Empire State, and an easy ride away from both Downtown and Uptown.
If you’re like me and believe that hotels are part of the travel experience, not just places to crash at night, you’ll love these recently opened Midtown properties:
In a nod to its former life as a hat factory, this one-year-old property added plenty of industrial elements its chic, retro-inspired interiors. Located on 38th Street and 6th Ave, the building sits on the edge of the Garment District, an area that is slowly but surely undergoing a revival. Don’t miss the spacious top-floor bar, with a retractable glass roof that reveals fantastic views of the nearby Empire State Building. At the ground floor restaurant, Parker & Quinn, chef Jeffrey Forrest ( a winner of the TV show “Chopped”), makes delicious comfort food. Double rooms from about $250.
Opened by the Dutch CitizenM hotel group, this modern 230-room hotel has a stunning, colorful design and reasonable prices– a rare combination in New York. It appeared in Condé Nast Traveler’s coveted Hot List in 2013, a roundup of the year’s best new properties. The location, on 50th Street between 8th Ave and Broadway, is just a wee bit north of the crazy vortex that is Times Square, so you won’t be completely overwhelmed upon walking outside. Double rooms from $199.
This new property, also in the Garment District, has a glamorous 1940’s feel provided by Chesterfield sofas and masculine fabrics, punctuated by pieces of bright pop art. A much-anticipated feature has been its restaurant, Fabrick, by the well-known chef David Burke. The setting is rather casual (unpolished wood, brick walls and an open kitchen) but the food is not: a beef dry-aging room was lined with bricks of pink Himalayan salt. Doubles rooms from about $250.