The Best Hotels to Book in the East Village, New York

Explore the artsy, buzzy East Village on your next trip to NYC
Explore the artsy, buzzy East Village on your next trip to NYC | © Sean Pavone / Alamy Stock Photo

Wellness Editor

While the East Village now has its fair share of upscale NYC establishments, this neighborhood’s history as an artsy enclave is still evident. These hotels – bookable with Culture Trip – put you a stone’s throw from the best sights, such as Tompkins Square Park and the basement bars and buzzing tattoo parlors of St Marks Place.

The East Village has an offbeat and artsy atmosphere that has managed to stand the test of time. While New York has grown – and the neighborhood with it – the East Village has managed to retain the grungy underground vibe that makes the city so captivating, and which many other areas have lost. Its multicultural food scene continues to flourish with regular new openings. Stay in the thick of it at one of the best hotels the East Village has to offer.

1. The Standard, East Village

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel, Hotel

A bright and contemporary room at The Standard Hotel in East Village, with a king-sized bed and floor-to-ceiling windows providing impressive city views.
© The Standard, East Village / Expedia

You can’t miss the Standard East Village – it’s the only 21-story building on an otherwise low-rise street, boasting unobstructed views of downtown Manhattan. You enter through the red-brick facade of an original tenement building – which would have typically housed several families back in the late 1800s. The renovated interior is modern and minimal, with pops of neon, floor-to-ceiling windows and vinyl upholstery in every room. Enjoy a farm-to-table dinner with biodynamic wine at Narcissa, street-side coffee at Café Standard and drinks with a drag show at NO BAR, an inclusive, new-wave LGBTQ bar.

2. East Village Hotel

Boutique Hotel

A cosy double room at the East Village Hotel, decorated with exposed brick walls and simple, modern furnishings.
© East Village Hotel / Expedia

Staying at the East Village Hotel is the closest visitors can get to living like a local. Each room in this walk-up building is a self-contained studio, complete with a bed, kitchenette, giant TV and air conditioning. Your city crash pad doesn’t have in-building dining establishments, but it’s right around the corner from Momofuku Noodle Bar and Please Don’t Tell – a secret speakeasy accessed through a phone booth in adjoining restaurant Crif Dogs.

4. The Ridge Hotel

Budget Hotel

The trendy rooftop at The Ridge Hotel in East Village, NYC.
© The Ridge Hotel / Expedia

If boutique accommodations are your preference, stay at the Ridge Hotel. Each room features the work of a local artist such as Ricky Powell or Crash – a nod to the artistic legacy of the East Village and Lower East Side – and comes with complimentary access to Brain.fm, a music station that aims to enhance your cognitive state. Right on your doorstep you’ll find Lil Frankie’s classic Italian restaurant, Boulton & Watt – a gastropub with an old-world industrial feel – and Bob Bar, a late-night dance spot with DJs spinning ’90s hip-hop.

5. Gramercy Park Hotel

Boutique Hotel

The dramatic drawing room at Gramercy Park Hotel in the East Village, where a unique art installation of over 4,400 light bulbs hangs from the ceiling.
© Gramercy Park Hotel / Expedia
From the moment you cross the threshold you know Gramercy Park Hotel is not going to be an average stay. Its Renaissance Revival-style rooms have powder-blue walls and merlot-red couches – a long way from the hyper-sleek abodes that are rife throughout the rest of town. Owned by Ian Schrager – the co-owner of infamous Studio 54 – the Gramercy offers a lot in the way of entertainment. Maialino is an Italian-style trattoria, meanwhile the Rose Bar & Jade Bar serves up great drinks and even better tunes in a room lined with paintings by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Richard Prince and Damien Hirst – to name a few.

6. The Bowery Hotel

Boutique Hotel

The sophisticated lounge at The Bowery Hotel, furnished with plush, vintage seating, tapestry rugs and warm lighting.
© The Bowery Hotel / Expedia

Looking for a stylish bolthole in the lively East Village? The Bowery might be just the ticket. You’re in the best place to explore Manhattan and the Lower East Side, and Bleecker Street metro station is just a four-minute walk away. The building stands 17 stories high, with factory-style windows giving way to light-filled rooms – 135 in total – and sophisticated decor. There’s a small gym on the bottom floor and Gemma, an Italian trattoria, serves good quality comfort food. Complimentary bikes can be rented on request.

7. The Ludlow Hotel

Boutique Hotel

A bright and spacious room at The Ludlow Hotel in the East Village, furnished with a queen bed and plush lounge seating, with large windows offering impressive city views.
© The Ludlow Hotel / Expedia

Still one of the best-loved boutique hotels in New York, the Ludlow is set in the gritty-luxe Lower East Side neighborhood, around the corner from Katz Diner – you might remember it from When Harry Met Sally (1989) – and surrounded by trendy coffee shops, chic boutiques, happy hour bars and $1 slice pizza joints. Rooms have dark wood Indo-Portuguese-style two-poster beds, deep-soak tubs, Maison Martin Margiela robes and sprawling SoHo views. Downstairs there’s a fun souped-up French bistro, Dirty French, and an ivy-draped courtyard where you can enjoy a cocktail.

8. Freehand New York

Hotel

The sophisticated bar at Freehand New York hotel near the East Village.
© Freehand New York / Expedia

From the team behind Nomad and Ace, this Freehand hotel near the East Village – there’s also Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago – is an upscale version of the cool-hostel concept that pulls off hip and affordable extremely well. The building dates to 1928, but inside open spaces, including the restaurants, mezzanine lounge and rooftop bar, are filled with music, art, plants and young people sipping craft cocktails. The rooms are no-frills and dorm-like, but comfortable all the same and decorated by artists studying at Bard College.

9. The Marlton Hotel

Hotel

The cosy and sophisticated lounge at The Marlton Hotel near the East Village, furnished with plush decor and modern light fixtures in a warm colour palette.
© The Marlton Hotel / Expedia

Built in 1900, this charming hotel looms in the heart of Greenwich Village and has housed several poets, writers, artists and actors over the decades. The character-filled interior pays a fine tribute to its storied past, and there’s an elegant French-inspired bistro and buzzy bar. The guest quarters are small with herringbone wooden floors and marble baths. Explore the Village on foot or hop on a Citi Bike nearby. A delicious continental breakfast is included.

If none of these are what you’re looking for, you’re in luck as New York has no shortage of hotels. Stay near Central Park or in a hotel by Manhattan Bridge, now bookable via Culture Trip, to be right by the action. Spend your day exploring all the cultural highlights of the city with a TV and Movie Tour of New York and a look at where artists have found inspiration, then dine in one of New York’s top-notch restaurants.

Molly Codyre and Judy Cogan contributed additional reporting to this article.

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