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
My partner and I spent our first 6 nights of 20 in New York at the Freehand. We stated in a corner king room which was a good size, offering a small corner corner couch, large robe, king bed and desk. The bathroom was a little smaller than expected and a bit dark which made it difficult to do my makeup, the shower in the room we had had a shower curtain, I’m not the biggest fan of them but minor annoyance in the scheme of things.
The location of the hotel made it easy to get to uptown to Central Park, museums and galleries etc, midtown/ Times Square and down town. We stayed the remainder of our trip in Soho and Nolita. On reflection we agreed we would have spent more time at Freehand, the room size, location, service etc were better value for money than downtown accom! The rooftop bar broken shaker is awesome, hotel guests get priority access/ seating so certainly a plus!!! Thanks Freehand for the service and providing us and enjoyable stay!
I stayed here for 5 days on a work trip. Well placed for our offices on 5th Avenue, the location is also nicely between downtown and midtown so quite easy to get to places by foot or citibike.
Rooms are comfortable and clean, shower nice and big.
My only two gripes are that there is not much closet space for items that don’t hang and I had to call a couple of times for water that hadn’t been replaced by housekeeping. But these are small things and not enough to knock a star off.
The concierge guy is super friendly, there is a nice bar and a hidden gem of a rooftop bar for cocktails in the sun.
The are some amazing deals to be had for this hotel - we were lucky to bag one of these for 4 rooms (3nights). Atmospheric Hotel - the staff were friendly and helpful after a long jouney (and unecessarily long wait for immagration at JFK) from the UK. Room was a good size for Manhattan, it was clean and the air con fantastic. Comfy bed and great shower- the toiletries were a bonus too with the liquid rules and flying. Its a good location -lots to explore on foot and the subway is a short distance - its a bit more authentic staying in this part of Town than it would be staying in Midtown- only regret we were out early and back late so spent very little time in the room. Some good bars nearby and places to grab a bite to eat. The room was quiet as not at the front, black out blinds good too - this is great as NYC can be noisy 24/7. We have happy memories of our stay here - nice apples, fridge in room, Bluetooth speakers, excellent Free Wifi all a nice touch too. Loved it - thank you, we would love to come back!!!
2 stars seem harsh, so I went with 3. Please keep in mind while reading this, I'm not a critical person, I just keep in very real! I really wanted to like this hotel, but I just couldn't. We stayed for 4 nights, and 4 nights was way too many. Before I get into anymore detail, I'll share the positives -
1. The location is great! The Flatiron district is close to everything! We love the central location.
2. The Custom Service at this hotel was great most of the time. The one issue I had with customer service was that I had lost my room key, told them what room it was, and they just handed over a new key, without asking for identification. A little scary for sure! But the Bellhops were amazing and always so friendly!
3. The restaurant on site, Simon and The Whale, was very good!
Now for the "not so great," aspects.
1. Room size. I understand that rooms are smaller in NYC, but WOW!!! This room was smaller than any room we had in Europe, and those were the smallest rooms we had ever seem! THIS ROOM TOOK THE CAKE! There wasn't even enough room for our two suitcases and the bathroom is just a water closet, that they tried to shove a shower into. Speaking of the shower, it flooded the whole bathroom floor every time one of us showered. My husband had to get ready first and then leave the room in order for me to get ready.
2. Its a very noisy hotel. you can hear every time someone closes a door at the hallway, calls the elevator, or talks in the hallway. Its just very noisy!
3. The rooms are very dark and poorly lit.
4. The artwork on the walls was weird! I understand its an "artsy," hotel, but it was just strange art.
Once again, there were some good parts about this hotel, but the bad outweighed the good for me. I just cant recommend this hotel to anyone...
I landed a deal for $27 a night at the Freehand. The hotel was beautiful and the staff was friendly. The hotel was at a great location. The hotel is in the Flat Iron district. I would definitely stay again.