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
A lot of pomp with no substance. Asked for 2 rooms close together — “we’ll make a note of it” but “there’s no note of it” so we ended up 6 floors apart. Cold water comes out hot, but you get a refilled bottle of drinking water (which will never be replaced...) Everything in the bathroom is microscopic, including the ridiculous shelf — so you’ll put your toiletries on the floor. Noise level was HIGH, coming from the inside and out. All the staff are 20-something hipsters who probably like the outfits better than they like customer service. For $500/night, I expected A LOT better. Honestly, there are dozens of better hotels I’ve stayed in in NYC. Will never stay here again!
So the rooms are not vast and the bathroom was a bit of a squeeze. But you’re in NY and if you want to spend 24hrs in a hotel room then you’re missing the point.
Excellent staff. Polite, good humoured and helpful.
Good boutique food options. The guy complaining about the portion size was probably the same guy who complained about the room size.
Excellent little roof terrace
All in all, great attention to detail. Good basics and nice little twists.
I booked this hotel for 1 night through a third party, Hotwire. Sadly, I prepaid.
I travel to NYC 8-10 times per year and know some hotels have very small rooms. I was good with the room just having a full size bed. It was better than the bunk bed I was initially offered. Small rooms are fine but this was like a broom closet in a dingy back hallway.
The room I was given at the Freehand was the smallest I have ever seen. It was dark, hot and the window and AC/Fan system were broken.Also, walls are paper thin and I could hear guests next door talking.
After 45 minutes of waiting for maintenance to look at the air, I decided to cut my losses, checkout, and find another hotel . New York City is full of amazing hotels, often at great prices. Do not waste your money- I paid $300 ( including taxes) for 1 night and this place is not worth $50 a night. I went to the Roger Hotel a short 1/2 mile away and would highly recommend it.
Great little hotel! We stayed here for a weekend trip with friends. Although the rooms were small, it’s big on character! Love the vibe! Would definitely stay here again! Centrally located With lots of places to eat near by.
The Freehand combines a retro-1950s design which conjures up the imagery of the era of James Dean and Marlon Brando; with modern comfort and excellent service from their kind and helpful team. I stayed for a week and was very impressed by the experience. The quality of the bed and bedding is very high quality and the ensuite shower provides equally impressive facilities. Hairdryers and dressing gowns are provided as standard which was a nice bonus. And I was very impressed by the 40inch LG Smart TV fitted to the wall at the foot of the bed.
A small bar fridge is provided to give you the option of stocking your own drinks. But you may not need this as the Broken Shaker and other Mezzanine Bars and Restaurants offer fantastic cocktails, wines and meals and unlike many hotels make you think of returning early from sightseeing for dinner!
The gym has a modern stock of treadmills; cross-trainers, rowing machines and free weights and saved me the need to pay out for a temporary gym membership whilst staying in New York. It also allowed me to get straight to a 30-60min workout without spending commuting time diverting from sightseeing.
The only suggestion I would make is to maintain the high quality of bars and restaurants but perhaps follow the strategy of the Brighton Grand in the UK who offer breakfast with all room rates from a set menu.
Nevertheless, an excellent hotel which offered a stress free and enjoyable stay during my visit.