4.0
Very Good 58 Reviews
Jetsetter Approved
This Hotel meets our standards
This hotel meets our standards, but we haven't stayed yet

What We Love

  • Staying in a beautifully renovated building that once housed influential artists and writers like Norman Rockwell and Charles Dana Gibson
  • Exploring the surrounding NoMad neighborhood, a hub of hip lifestyle hotels, trendy concept stores, and buzzing restaurants
  • The in-room breakfast of bacon, egg and cheese on a roll, doughnuts, and French press coffee

What To Know

  • An on-site fitness facility outfitted with Peloton stationary bikes is opening soon
  • There’s no spa, but nearby Heyday offers affordable facial treatments in a handsome space
  • For better views, ask for a room on one of the top floors of the 10-story building
Hotels living room lighting home Bedroom

Overview

Stylish hotel inside the iconic former home of Life magazine, with a star restaurant and a hidden bar that dates back to the Prohibition era

The Lowdown

Built in the late 1800s by architects Carrère and Hastings (better known for designing the New York Public Library in Bryant Park), the first home of Life Magazine was a Beaux-Arts stunner from the get-go. Through the decades, as the building became an apartment residence and then an unremarkable lodging, the word “Life” remained etched above the richly ornamented cornice at the entrance. Today, it is reborn as a boutique hotel that pays tribute to its history, retaining original restored architectural details like wood moldings and marble floors. In each of the 98 rooms, designer Tara Oxley paired vintage-style brass beds with sculptural modern chandeliers and antique leather suitcases. The look is both old-timey and fresh. Downstairs, an 18-seat lobby bar serves wine, beer, and snacks in the afternoons and evenings and continental breakfast for guests in the mornings. A full-service restaurant helmed by restaurateur Stephen Hanson (Dos Caminos; Blue Water Grill) and chef Michael Vignola (Aquavit; The Modern) is getting ready open in the fall. Also in the works: an intimate basement bar believed to have been used by Life staffers during the Prohibition.

In the Area

After a requisite visit to the Empire State Building, steps away from the hotel, explore the thriving (and less touristy) NoMad neighborhood to the south. Then area is home to top-notch restaurants like The Breslin, a fashionable gastropub helmed by celebrity chef April Bloomfield, and Marta, a Roman pizzeria run by one of New York’s top restaurateurs, Danny Meyer. Madison Square Park, a lovely tree-shaded square that hosts public art exhibits, is moments away. All around are heaps of attractions, including the original Shake Shack, the iconic Flatiron Building, the Italian food emporium Eataly, and coveted shops like ABC Carpet & Home.

How to Get There

Life Hotel
19 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001 United States

Reviews

4.0 Very Good 58 Reviews
Inspired accommodation
Reviewed 3 days ago

Absolutely adore this little hotel. Bohemian and luxurious at once. The bed was incredibly comfy! Breakfast was very good too. Clean, comfortable room with characterful details like the luxury toiletries. Speakeasy in the basement, nice warm friendly restaurant. Koreatown just around the corner which is great. So convenient for mid-town. Friendly and helpful staff. I loved my stay here and it would be my choice again if I'm ever in Manhattan again.

Heavenly Stay
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Our stay at the Life Hotel was truly a First class,enjoyable experience from start to finish. We visit NYC 2x a year and have stayed in several hotels, but Life Hotel was by far the most amazing!! From the moment we entered to check in, we were treated with respect. The front desk staff was MORE than welcoming and accommodating in addition to being informative of what to expect with our stay with them. I would like to give an extra special

Life Hotel xceeded my expectations!
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We got in late in the evening and were met by Matthewwho was extremely friendly and helpful. He told us we had the best room in the hotel and I’m sure he was telling the truth. We had two large, very comfortable beds and an amazing terrace! It was very quiet too. This was the best hotel I have ever stayed in, in NY. I will be back!

Good boutique hotel
Reviewed 1 month ago

I liked this place very much. No fuss, clean, refurbished. Simple buffet breakfast at lobby. It was like having a small apartment in the city. It has history too. Old LIFE magazine HQ. Bed was comfortable.

Great stay - would recommend this place to anyone
Reviewed 1 month ago

I really enjoyed my stay here. I had a reservation at the Moderne (who promptly cancelled two days before I was due to fly, despite it being booked weeks in advance, they basically bumped me to their sister hotel as I had secured a great rate. The place looked terrible, so I booked Life instead).
As for Life hotel - it's great. The location is 10/10. The beds are huge, so comfortable, with beautiful soft sheets. The rooms have so much space. Bathroom is beautiful. Amenities are perfect - ice and filtered water available every other floor, fridge on request, two lifts to take you up to the rooms, really nice take away and keep water bottle provided. You can text the concierge 24 hours for any requests - I asked for an iron and additional hangers and this was provided promptly to me. The hotel has tons of style and the decor is really nice and modern. Huge tv and plenty of channels, bath and shower available, room service cleaned my room beautifully and at request of different times each day according to my schedule. I couldn't fault this place and would love to stay again.