A host of new hotels, restaurants, and spas are opening in former private residences in New York, welcoming travelers to a softer side of Gotham.
Malu Alvarez Make Yourself at Home
| Credit: Malu Alvarez

1. Stay the Night

The owners of this B&B converted the top three floors of their Carnegie Hill brownstone into rooms and suites named after former tenants (Cecelia, Barnes). The 550-square-foot Fox Suite has a private terrace with a dining room table— a rarity even for locals. 18 E. 93rd St.; 212/722-8300; staythenight.com; doubles with en-suite bathrooms from $185.

2. Townhouse Spa

At this midtown spa, men kick back in a room with club chairs and flat-screens to await haircuts and shaves; downstairs, women get Thai massages in suites with fireplaces. Owner Jamie Ahn's personal touches are what make the place so appealing: locker-room keys, for example, have burgundy-and-black tassels sourced from Morocco. 39 W. 56th St.; 212/245-8006; treatments from $150.

3. The Mansfield

Once the home of several prominent New Yorkers (John Butler Yeats, for one), this 1904 hotel recently completed a yearlong restoration. The 126 rooms are painted in muted ivories and beiges, with ebony floors. In the honey-colored parlor, guests play cribbage, chess, and bridge to the hum of an espresso machine brewing Italian-roast beans. 12 W. 44th St.; 212/277-8700; mansfieldhotel.com; doubles from $299.

4. Bobo

This unassuming West Village restaurant is easy to miss: there's no sign on the brownstone's door, and you enter through a low-ceilinged basement. Inside, you feel like you're at the intimate dinner party of a dialed-in New Yorker. Blue walls are lined with photographs of the owner's family, and bookshelves stacked with tomes surround two dimly glowing chandeliers. The best dish in the house is the chicken grand-mère with mashed potatoes. 181 W. 10th St.; 212/488-2626; dinner for two $80.

5. Black Mountain Wine House

A cab ride over the Brooklyn Bridge is worth it for a stop at this 12-table bar on a quiet corner in Carroll Gardens. Owner Jim Mamary imported the oak doors and windows from a farmhouse and church in upstate New York. And the artisanal wines are stored on bookshelves around a wood-burning fireplace. Pair a Chenin Blanc with one of the menu's 10 European cheeses. 415 Union St., Brooklyn; 718/395-2614; drinks for two $16.