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5 Must-Stay New York City Hotels

© Michael Weber

For the last few years, it seemed like a soon-to-debut “luxury” hotel was rising on every other block of New York City, particularly in fashionable downtown neighborhoods. Now, with all these places open, a new collection of hotels is well worth noting. Five in particular (three brand-new properties, one hidden gem, and one uptown do-over) deserve our attention right now. It’s a visitors’ market for sure, and, more than ever before, guests are demanding—and getting—exactly what they want: their money’s worth.

The Standard

The Basics

The latest addition to the André Balazs empire, the 337-room Standard, built over the new High Line park, reflects the young and übertrendy spirit of the surrounding Meatpacking District.

Room to Get

Rates start at $195. Yes, that’s right. But winners are the Deluxe Corner queens and kings (from $375 and $415, respectively) and the Standard Suites (from $495), which have 180-degree Hudson River views.

Why it’s Worth it

It’s all about the views, especially (and most obviously) from the 19th-floor rooftop bar, which will open at the end of summer, but also from the soaking tubs in the Standard Suites.

The Catch

“Young” and “übertrendy” also mean neon-lit hallways that are tough on the eyes and lounge music blaring just below disco levels in the evening. Some tubs and glass-door showers are next to floor-to-ceiling windows, so ye modest, beware.

848 Washington St.; 212-645-4646; standardhotels.com

Lafayette House

The Basics

This 1840s townhouse opened as a hip inn in 2007. More like a Victorian residence than a hotel, the 15 rooms are decorated with antique rugs and brocaded furniture.

Room to Get

No. 7 has its own terrace; the French Suites have alcoved king beds and separate living areas. Both start at $375 per night; standard rooms begin at $275.

Why it’s Worth it

Every room has a bathtub and working fireplace, which add to the apartment-like feel. There’s almost no bustle of staff—and not even a front desk to walk by on the way in and out.

The Catch

For the independent-minded traveler, Lafayette House has just a few people on duty during the day, and only one at night. Since the hotel’s in an old building, there are quirks like slanted landings.

38 E. Fourth St.; 212-505-8100; lafayettenyc.com

Cooper Square

The Basics

This 21-story, 145-room curvy glass tower opened in December near Astor Place. Done up like a chic European home, it’s modern but welcoming and cozy, with rooms starting at $265.

Room to Get

The Cooper 5 corner rooms (from $350) have Italian-glass-tile showers big enough for a lie-down, a choice of bathrobes (silk, terrycloth, or cotton), and two window walls framing the skylines. Best views are from the pillow of a bed.

Why it’s Worth it

L.A. chef Govind Armstrong’s Table 8 and the indoor-outdoor bar have become local hangouts. For the low-key guest, there are books in every room and a fireplace in the library lounge.

The Catch

Arrival can be confusing since there’s no check-in desk. A host greets people, asks them to take a seat in the lobby while another staff member gets the keys, then escorts them to the room. Pleasant enough but odd as well.

25 Cooper Sq.; 212-475-5700; thecoopersquarehotel.com

Thompson LES

The Basics

Like its Lower East Side environs, this 18-floor hotel with 141 rooms and dark tinted windows is arty, sexy, and stylishly gritty, with creative details and loft-like rooms from $350.

Room to Get

The King Superior Rooms (from $375) have spa-like showers, floor-to-ceiling windows, and wraparound balconies.

Why it’s Worth it

The pool, terrace, Chinese-ish restaurant Shang, and the guest- and members-only bar are already downtown hot spots. There are discounts at local shops, cafés, and museums.

The Catch

The beds are a bit too firm, and there are a few minor kinks, like a bathroom light not working. But the staff is quick to react when problems are reported.

190 Allen St.; 212-460-5300; thompsonhotels.com

The Mark

The Basics

After a chic Art Deco redesign by Jacques Grange, The Mark is determined to become an Upper East Side classic (albeit a pricey one; a standard room starts at $825). There are 15 stories, 118 rooms, and 42 apartments.

Room to Get

The 500-square-foot Madison Queen Room (from $925) comes with Quagliotti linens, Frédéric Fekkai bath products, and use of the hotel’s chauffeured Bentley Silver Spur.

Why it’s Worth it

With Bar Mark, a Fekkai salon, Sant Ambroeus restaurant, and a forthcoming Jean-Georges Vongerichten spot, the address promises a stylish clientele and proximity to shopping and museums.

The Catch

It’s very expensive, but then again, so are most things at this level and in this neighborhood.

25 E. 77th St.; 212-744-4300; themarkhotel.com