Small and customized hotels are where it's at in NYC.
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View from a bedroom at The Bowery Hotel
Credit: Annie Schlechter/Courtesy of The Bowery Hotel

When it come to visiting New York City, you have your pick of places to stay. In fact, the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming. And while there's nothing wrong with a night or two in one of the city's iconic high-rise buildings or a homey Airbnb, we'd argue that NYC's boutique hotels are where it's at.

Boutique hotels tend to be smaller (the properties on this list all have fewer than 200 rooms, and some have well under 50), with decor that includes vintage furniture, contemporary art, and handcrafted touches. And then there are the amenities: Features like free bike rentals and rooftop bars with bespoke cocktails are the norm at these boutique hotels, which offer a customized level of service that giant hotels often lack.

From Brooklyn and Queens to Soho and Midtown, here are some of the best boutique hotels in NYC, including a few with hard-to-find perks like private hot tubs, Empire State Building views, and open-air courtyards in the heart of the city.

Walker Hotel Greenwich Village

The Parlour at Walker Hotel Greenwich Village
Credit: Courtesy of Walker Hotel Greenwich Village

There's a lot of character wrapped up in the Walker Hotel, a 113-room property with a red-brick facade, stained-glass windows, and art deco-inspired details. The property's decor nods to Greenwich Village's early days, when the neighborhood was an enclave for artists, writers, and creative thinkers. Plus, it's a breezy 10-minute walk to Washington Square Park, and pups are welcome.

The Bowery Hotel

The lobby inside The Bowery Hotel
Credit: Annie Schlechter/Courtesy of The Bowery Hotel

The Bowery Hotel is a timeless East Village landmark. It's the sort of place where it's not uncommon to spot a celebrity while cozying up with a cocktail in the lobby. When you're ready to retire for the night, you won't be disappointed — the property's 135 rooms feature antique furnishings and a quirky feel.

Archer Hotel New York

Spyglass Rooftop Bar at Archer Hotel New York
Credit: Courtesy of Archer Hotel New York

If you're in New York for the glitz and glamour, it'll be hard to top a stay at Archer Hotel, which is set in Midtown and offers unbeatable views of the Empire State Building from its Spyglass Rooftop Bar (and a stellar Negroni).

The Ludlow

The Ludlow is one of the larger properties on this list (with 175 rooms), but you'll still get the customized level of service you'd expect from a boutique hotel. It's both bold and chic, and has a "secret" garden bar where you can get away from the city buzz with a handcrafted cocktail.

Refinery Hotel

Rooftop terrace at Refinery Hotel New York
Credit: Courtesy of Refinery Hotel New York

The Refinery Hotel in Midtown is shrouded in history — the property was once a hat factory and Prohibition-era tea room and remains set in a neo-Gothic 1912 tower. These days, the hotel houses a jazz lounge and rooftop bar with Empire State Building views, along with rooms that boast large windows and 12-foot ceilings.

Cachet Boutique

If you want easy access to all the tourist to-dos (Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Bryant Park), but don't want to deal with a mass of people the moment you exit your hotel, head to Cachet, which is a delightful 10-minute walk from the popular Times Square area. Inside the property, you'll be treated to 105 spacious rooms set amid three quiet outdoor gardens.

Hotel Elysée by Library Hotel Collection

Interior of a suite at Hotel Elysée
Credit: Stefano Pinci/Courtesy of Hotel Elysée

Set between the Fifth Avenue shops (two blocks away) and Central Park (six blocks away), this vintage 1920s hotel packs a big punch for a property with just over 100 rooms. The vibe at Hotel Elysée is so European, you may even forget you're in New York.

The William

Most visitors to the city don't get the chance to stay in a classic NYC brownstone, but guests at The William do. The property, which is set in a restored brownstone near Bryant Park, has just 33 rooms that feature large windows with blackout shades, practically guaranteeing a good night's sleep.

Crosby Street Hotel

Deluxe Junior Suite at The Crosby Street Hotel
Credit: Simon Brown/Courtesy of Crosby Street Hotel

As you might expect from a Soho property, Crosby Street Hotel oozes coolness. It's located on a cobblestone street, houses a sunny courtyard, and features interiors designed by Kit Kemp. And with just 86 rooms and suites, you'll get a customized stay most traditional hotel guests can only dream of.

Made Hotel

Interior of a suite at MADE Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of MADE Hotel

The vibe at Made Hotel is understated, yet elegant. Rooms feature clean lines and bohemian fabrics, while the rooftop lounge offers panoramic views of the city and a wonderfully tropical cocktail menu.

Hotel Hugo

A sunset at Bar Hugo in Hotel Hugo Soho
Credit: Dylan Cross/Dragonfly Image Partners/Courtesy of Hotel Hugo Soho

It's hard to live up to the hype when you're located in Soho, but Hotel Hugo makes the task look effortless. The property features vintage-feeling rooms and suites, a rooftop cocktail bar with views over the Hudson River, and a cutting-edge art-industrial aesthetic.

The Mark

The atrium at The Mark Hotel
Credit: Scott Frances/Courtesy of The Mark Hotel

As you might expect from a hotel housed in a 1927 building, The Mark has a distinct art deco feel, with marble bathrooms and lavish rooms (some with a bar). Plus, the location, just a block off Central Park, is hard to beat, but The Mark also has free loaner bikes to make getting around the city a breeze.

The High Line Hotel

With just 60 rooms, The High Line Hotel is one of the smallest properties on this list, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a quiet experience and one-on-one service. The hotel was once a dormitory (with roots that hearken back to 1865) and maintains the building's original stained-glass windows and pine floors.

The Greenwich Hotel

Courtyard Balcony at The Greenwich Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of The Greenwich Hotel

Part of what makes The Greenwich Hotel so spectacular is the fact that none of the 88 rooms and suites are the same, but all promise eclectic decor and marble bathrooms (some with soaking tubs). Oh, and the fact that the hotel is owned by Robert De Niro and has an open-air courtyard doesn't hurt, either.

The Frederick Hotel

The Junior Suite at The Frederick Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of The Frederick Hotel

The Frederick Hotel, which originally opened as the Gerard House in the early 1800s, is rumored to have housed both Abraham Lincoln and Vincent Gallo at one point. These days, the 130-room property has minimalistic rooms with a vintage flair, a lively Italian restaurant, and a locale near Chinatown and Wall Street.

The William Vale

Westlight The William Vale Hotel Williamsburg New York
Credit: Courtesy of Westlight/The William Vale

Not to be confused with The William in Manhattan, The William Vale is set in Brooklyn's super-hip Williamsburg neighborhood and offers guests views of the city skyline from a trendy rooftop bar. The contemporary, bright rooms are hard to forget, especially if you happen to nab a suite with a furnished deck and hot tub.

Boro Hotel

A lounge inside of Boro Hotel
Credit: Courtesy of Boro Hotel

It's all about clean lines and contemporary pieces at this hip Queens property, which has views of the city skyline and top-floor rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows that welcome plenty of sun. Once you've settled in, make sure to swing by the lobby lounge or rooftop bar for a well-deserved welcome cocktail.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Bridge Suite Living Space at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
Credit: James Baigrie/Courtesy of 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

It's all about the water at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, which sits on the East River waterfront and offers unbeatable views of the Manhattan skyline. If the urban vibe is not your scene, you're in luck — native greenery and a back-to-nature aesthetic are integrated throughout the decor.