Very Good 288 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
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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


  •  Bar
  •  Gym
  •  Pet Friendly
  •  Restaurant
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Freehand New York


Plush hostel-hotel hybrid in a legendary Art Deco building, with a destination restaurant and one of the city's hottest rooftop bars

The Lowdown

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

Freehand New York
23 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10010 United States


4.0 Very Good 288 Reviews
Interesting style
Reviewed 5 days ago

Kinda cool looking Old yet Hip Hotel.
Staff was great from check in, stored luggage, early arrival, and allowed late check out. Rooms are decent size, decor is a little lodge like, woody. Bathroom very small and no real closet space in room
They have a small fridge, safe, robe, slippers, steamer. Roof top bar, very Tiki like, Studio level restaurant looks cool as well as the Whale. Went to the Washington Bar for a late cocktail. Old bar and decor, yet playing like hip hop music, and younger crowd 20’s. Bartenders in any kinda T-shirt, but real mixologist. Yet my Tanqueray martini was just ok, and Negroni was way too sweet, both served up in odd, I guess old school glass. $39.02 for the two drinks, crazy!

Small room, but fantastic for price
Reviewed 5 days ago

We were expecting the small room and smaller bathroom from other reviewers, and they were right. The shower was huge compared to the space for the sink and toilet. The shower had a really poor design where the water leaks out under the curtain gap. There was a very mini fridge in the room, make sure to turn it on with the knob inside of it. On the positive side, the room was very clean and modern. The room was very quiet. Staff was friendly. Location is awesome. All deficiencies were more than made up with the price. 1/2 of other quality hotels. Yes, 1/2 the space, but for our situation, perfect. Don't eat at the gallery on the second floor. Food didnt taste very good, slow service, slow food, expensive...

The ONLY Hotel To Stay In!
Reviewed 6 days ago

I'm 52,I've travelled a fair bit now, and know what I like from a trip, that varies obviously depending on the kind of break you are taking. So New York conjures up for me, old meets new, cosmopolitan meets bohemian, retro meets modern. .. I'm talking hotels here.
This hotel was perfect! The staff are friendly, helpful, warm and welcoming.. if you find different... then perhaps it is you.. that wasn't.

It is the New York-est Hotel in New York. Great vibe, very cool and cosy too!

If you like marble and minamalist go to the The Langham. A vibrant hotel for a vibrant city.. the rooms are perfect, you won't be spending much time in them anyway! Clean, cosy and home from home snug.
Location is fantastic everything is walkable and when your feet are tired, the subway is 30s away (buy a metro card). The area is quiet and completely safe.. seriously everything is at your finger tips... everything! I will definately be re-visiting NYC and I wouldn't want to stay anywhere else! We loved the Freehand and we loved New York!
I read the negative reviews before I went... put it this way... those kind of people who complain about every little thing tend to suffer from constipation, the rooms are quiet and you can sleep peacefully with no trouble at all! The hotel is vibrant in places.. one of the coolest places to hang out in New York, but geez it's New York! Everyone is so friendly and considerate.. it's not some sort of college campus.. it's Cosmopolitan meets Bohemian Warhol. Perfect! I'll be back.

Reviewed 6 days ago

The Freehand is an excellent hotel.

As you enter, you find a chicly designed lobby. The attendant at the desk was extremely friendly. The room was perfect—two bunk beds (four beds total) and a spacious bathroom. The hotel is centrally located for an NYC trip and reasonably priced.

We plan on staying here on our next visit to the city. Why would we go elsewhere?

Quite cool
Reviewed 7 days ago

Yeah loved it, rooms functional, in a very nice way though, and several bars/restaurants in the building, all buzzing, food good, service super-fast; already booked back in for my next trip in March! Area didn’t inspire me, it’s a big city though, and a short cab ride to everywhere, so definitely recommend....