4.0
Very Good 88 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 88 Reviews
Mrs
Reviewed 4 days ago

My room was well designed and clean
It was a great value for New York.
I got a better rate by calling, the website is out of date.
The Henry has a new Chef and it was a soft opening.
Food was amazing! Great service too!
Unfortunately it was not open for breakfast or lunch or Sunday supper.

Highly Recommend
Reviewed 6 days ago

29 years old, traveling with a friend, want to be close to the center of the city but not pay crazy prices, still wanting a nice hotel. That was my criteria and Life Hotel was perfect. Incredibly friendly staff, easy check in experience, very clean rooms, modern yet old school vibe...classy throughout. I recommend this place and will be back. It’s in the heart of K-Town which makes it even that much more fun. And 24/7 hot coffee was a huge plus!

Location, location, location!
Reviewed 1 week ago

Super comfortable bed and friendly staff. Excellent base for experiencing all NYC has to offer! Walking distance to Empire State, Rockefeller Place and Times Square - train station close by for all others attractions. Would stay again, thank you Life.

Clean, comfy, convenient
Reviewed 1 week ago

We stayed for 4 nights at Life Hotel. We had received a room upgrade thanks to being an Expedia Gold member which was a very nice surprise.

We had been delayed on our way to the hotel so didn’t check in until nearly midnight. I emailed them in advance and they got back to me very quickly to let me know that it wouldn’t be an issue.

The room was large by any hotel’s standards and had the largest and most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on. To be honest it was so comfy there were times I considered spending the entire 4 days in it.

The bathroom was small but quite frankly I’ve never seen the point in a huge bathroom or understood the need for one. It did have a bath which was much needed after a day of walking around NYC in the heatwave.

Morning coffee and pastries were good and it’s a nice touch.

The hotel is conveniently located a couple of blocks south of the Empire State and a couple of blocks East of Penn station for your trip back to the airport.

At worst it felt a bit impersonal but it’s New York, what do you expect.

Great A/C
Reviewed 1 week ago

Room 1003 was spacey and bright. Loved the natural light and minimalist feel.
Had enough space to put our suitcases.
Bed was more on the softer side but very comfy and felt bigger than a usual king size bed.
Bathroom was good. Well lit!
Plenty of towels and washcloths too which is s very nice touch.
Best of all was the great functioning A/C since it was warm & humid outside and we were dying to cool off.