Freehand New York
What We Love
- The solarium-style bar, a rooftop version of Miami’s Broken Shaker that also doubles as a yoga studio
- Framed New Yorker magazine covers in the mezzanine bathrooms
- Jewish-Moroccan plates at The Studio, a window-wrapped dining room
- The Shoppe, the hotel’s stylized take on an NYC bodega
What To Know
- The hotel’s “Three’s Company” rooms, which combine twin-sized bunks and a queen bed, are ideal for a group stay
- The building, which dates back to 1928, was the site of the former George Washington Hotel
- The drinks menu at the hotel’s cocktail den was inspired by figures from the American Revolution
- Students and alumni from Bard College created all the original artwork in the guest rooms
- Pet Friendly
Plush hostel-hotel hybrid in a legendary Art Deco building, with a destination restaurant and one of the city's hottest rooftop bars
When the Sydell Group, whose swanky NYC roster includes Paris-inspired beaut, the NoMad, set its sights on the former George Washington Hotel, determined to infuse a Long Island summer home vibe into a Flatiron landmark, it marked a welcome evolution for the storied creative retreat once a haven for 1930s-era writers, artists, and musicians. While millennial-friendly garnishes—Peloton bikes in the 24-hour gym, Roman & Williams-styled interiors (detailed millwork, miniature ceramic pots on the windowsills, terrazzo floors) and a public game room—now lure the young and the restless, the relatively generous rooms and onsen-inspired en-suites attract anyone seeking budget-friendly (but still upmarket) Manhattan. Yet, it’s the eating and drinking options that truly hit it out of the park at this restored city gem. From the North African offerings at The Studio, a light-soaked all-day café, eclectic seafood at Simon and the Whale, or aperitifs and caviar at the hotel’s former library room, the restaurants and bars here straddle the fine line between sceney and sophisticated—much like the artsy metropolitan haunt itself.
In the Area
The hotel is just a five-minute walk from one of the city’s rare and precious stretches of green, Madison Square Park (and a heavily trafficked outpost of burger mecca, The Shake Shack), though a Flatiron District address means plenty of attractions for the urban wanderer. Named for one very famous triangular building, this central neighborhood, a unique blend of Beaux Arts manses and edgy public art installations, is within easy reach of the Empire State Building, Union Square, and The Gramercy Theater. Also within walking distance: the Dover Street Market, a seven-story fashion emporium curated by the prolific Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo.
How to Get There
Loved my stay at Freehand New York! Loved the check in process on tablets. Very smooth.
While small, the rooms were were cute and modern and surprisingly quiet. My room was not facing the street - so it was quieter than I expected. Bathroom is tiny. But, I made it work. Beds are incredibly comfortable. Friendly housekeeping staff.
Only had breakfast at the restaurant but it was delicious! Frequented Smile To Go a lot - which is connected to the hotel. Food and beverages were very good. And the staff super friendly.
Freehand staff helpful as well - always offering to get me a cab or with directions.
Perfect location - walking distances to restaurants and subway. (5 minute walk if that) Close to Madison Square Park, Park Avenue, Gramercy Park.
There is roof top bar which I never made it to unfortunately. But, next time. Hotel can be a bit of a scene. But, it's New York - that's why we love that city! And definitely need to try yoga next time.
I extended my stay with ease and wish I could have stayed longer than eight days. Will definitely be back!!!
We really enjoyed our 5 night stay at the Freehand. The location is great for exploring Manhattan. We did a lot of walking and saw all the major sights. We booked a room with two bunk beds, which were very comfortable. On the 9th floor (back) it was very quiet. Air conditioning kept it very cool during the hot weather. There was enough space and hanging space. Very stylish. The bathroom was also big enough, with plenty of towels. The shower was big. The hotel in general was very stylish with an arty and young vibe. We didn't eat in the hotel but from what I saw it looked good, but expensive (as is food in NY). Drinks also in line with expensive NY prices. It was nice having a couple of glasses of wine at the bar on one evening. I would recommend the Freehand, especially as we got a big price reduction on Expedia at end of December.
The rooftop bar, mezzanine bar and the Washington bar are all fabulous. The hotel front staff were also wonderful with a shout out to Hero the bellman. Unfortunately the rooms were super small with very little space to unpack.