In built-up cities like New York, space is a commodity – and one hoteliers are realising that younger travellers care less and less about. Arise the birth of the micro hotel: rooms at a fraction of the size (and price) which are every bit as stylish and often in hard-to-beat locations. Downsizing never looked so good.
Finance just got fun at this hip hotel close to Wall Street
Where You’ll find this compact hotel in the heart of the Financial District, just steps from Wall Street.
What The 298 rooms have fold-out desks, sliding bathroom doors and under-bed storage to save space, plus Bang & Olufsen speakers and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer widescreen views of skyscrapers. Make sure to go out to Adrienne’s Pizzabar, which serves up thin-crust slices for budgeters.
USP This is no stuffy business hotel: there’s a moody bar for late-night drinks, basketball court which does double duty as an events space, and a retro arcade with games like Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
26 Ann St, New York; +1 212-257-8886
One of the hottest recent hotel openings in the city from cool brand Ace
Where On Manhattan’s Bowery thoroughfare in Lower Manhattan where you’ll find cool galleries like the New Museum of Contemporary Art and legendary live music venue The Bowery Electric.
What Sister City is the first budget-friendly spin-off from hip US brand Ace Hotel. If you’re a fan of Ace you’ll find all the best bits distilled to fit a smaller space and the same pared-back, Scandi-style aesthetic with cherry wood furniture and crisp striped bedding.
USP There are self check in iPads instead of a reception and the lobby has an AI-generated soundtrack that responds to weather and light. Make sure you swing by rooftop bar Last Light, with a view of the Empire State Building.
225 Bowery, New York; +1 646-343-4500
Graffitied corridors and rooftop views in Lower Manhattan
Where Also situated in the Bowery neighbourhood, CitizenM’s second New York outpost is opposite Bowery station, served by the J and Z lines connecting Manhattan to Queens.
What Each of the 300 rooms clock in at just 14m2, but they’re packed with the things that matter: think extra-large beds and wall-to-wall windows for skyline views. There’s a rooftop bar called cloudM (the highest in the neighbourhood), and for night owls, the 24-hour canteenM and a massive communal space called the Living Room.
USP Most noteworthy of all is the on-site Museum of Street Art (MoSA): 20 floors of stairwells adorned with graffiti by NYC-based art collective, 5 Pointz Creates.
189 Bowery, New York; +1 212-372-7274
Arty enclave with hyped restaurant and snug bunk rooms
Where Slap bang in Midtown Manhattan’s Flatiron district, Freehand New York in the former George Washington Hotel was once a 1930s hangout for writers, musicians and artists.
What These days, the place is every bit as arty, and micro rooms are decorated with works from Bard College students. The draw here is that there’s a single bunk above double beds for families of three. There are also double-bunk rooms for four friends, costing as low as $70 per person per night – a steal by New York standards. Every hipster hotel needs its own rooftop bar, and Freehand is no different. Grab a drink surrounded by greenery.
USP Food-wise, New Yorkers wait months for a reservation at seafood restaurant Simon & The Whale by New York restaurant royalty Gabriel Stulman.
23 Lexington Ave, New York; +1 212-475-1920
Pod Times Square
Futuristic, no-frills crash pads right in the heart of New York
Where Slap bang in the heart of Broadway, Times Square in Midtown, you’re never far from the city’s hottest tourist attractions.
What As its name suggests, Pod does away with all the added extras, and gives you a crash pad right in the middle of the city – great for those who want to spend more time exploring. There are rooms to suit solo travellers, couples and bunk bed rooms for friends and all are streamlined (you won’t find stuff like unwieldy ironing boards or coffee machines here).
USP Splash out for the more spacious Pod Pads, which are fully furnished apartments.
400 W 42nd St; +1 855-763-7666