Named for the meeting point of two major thoroughfares, Union Square remains a center of activity as a subway junction, hangout of activists and artists and host to one of the best-known markets in the city. These hotels near Union Square will let you stay close to the action in comfort and style.
With its eponymous park a constant hive of activity (and a hub for protests), Union Square is full of things to see and do. It’s the meeting point between some of Manhattan’s most-frequented neighborhoods, so it’s no surprise that popular imports like LA’s Sugarfish have set up shop here. It may be small, but it’s a buzzy place to base yourself – these are the best hotels in the area.
Formerly the George Washington Hotel, Freehand Hotel New York pays homage to its historic popularity with writers and creatives. Custom artwork by students from nearby Bard College decorate the rooms – which range from queen rooms, to corner rooms with skyline views, to bunk rooms that sleep four – each equally as chic as the last. Choose from five strikingly different drinking and dining destinations for dinner or happy hour. Simon & The Whale is a seafood-focused American restaurant, you’ll find a tiki-style rooftop bar at Broken Shaker, and you can grab breakfast on your way out the door from Smile to Go.
You can’t get much closer to the heart of Union Square than this. The flagship branch of Marriott’s W Hotels of New York is set in a landmark 1911 Beaux-Arts building that served as the headquarters of the Guardian Life Insurance Company for almost 90 years. The hotel brings its usual brand of youthful fun, with lively decor in vivid primary colors. Don’t miss Taco Electrico, a neon-soaked Mexican eatery that hosts drag and karaoke nights and serves elaborate shareable cocktails like the Watermelon Margarita Piñata (served, naturally, inside a sombrero-shaped pinata). For something a little more low-key, head to Irvington for dishes made with produce from Union Square Greenmarket and a craft beer or fresh cold-pressed juice.
A block from Union Square Park, The Inn at Irving Place is a beautiful 1834 Georgian brownstone with mid-century charm. You’ll find it along a quiet, leafy street, so it feels peacefully removed from the bustle of the big city. The grandeur of the architecture is mirrored inside, and rooms are accessed via a sweeping staircase topped with Persian carpets. It’s a quaint escape from the city and has just eight guest rooms and four extended-stay residences, all uniquely furnished with antiques. Kick back in fanciful parlor of Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon with a five-course afternoon tea, or grab a drink at kitschy cocktail bar Cibar.
A five-minute walk from Union Square Park, Walker Hotel Greenwich Village is more like a tall, narrow townhouse than a hotel, with 113 rooms stretched out over 18 floors. The Art Deco style is inspired by Fifth Avenue in the 1920s, with live jazz events in the lounge and a functional rotary phone in each room. As an added bonus, the hotel’s library is home to a number of early editions from Greenwich Village authors, along with other classic New York reads.
Stay in a slice of the city’s history at The New York EDITION. It’s housed in the Met Life Tower – built in 1909 and once the tallest building in the world – but you wouldn’t know it once you step inside. Decor is hyper-modern with plenty of concrete and glass and staircases that could double as contemporary art sculptures. Rooms offer more of the same, with minimalistic design that allows the incredible views of the city to shine. The exception, however, is The Clocktower Restaurant and The Bar, a Jason Atherton-helmed restaurant. Thanks to its mahogany wood paneling, parquet floors and walls covered in gold-framed vintage photographs from Trunk Archive, you feel every inch of the lifetime of the building you’re in.
Nine minutes from Union Square Park, the biggest perk of this bohemian 1925 hotel is its access to the gated-off Gramercy Park. However, Gramercy Park Hotel has more than its location going for it. Just stepping into the lobby, with its hand-blown glass chandelier and 9ft-tall fireplace on the second floor, leaves guests impressed. With two lobby bars, the Roman restaurant Maialino and a rotating art collection, Gramercy Park Hotel is a stylish yet serene place to stay.
The Marlton Hotel is a little further from Union Square, about a 10-minute walk, but it might be worth it for its charm and relative affordability. Opened in 1900, the hotel has hosted writers including Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady over the years, their spirit reflected in the snug French-bohemian rooms. Sit at the Margaux restaurant for all-day European fare, or visit the cocktail or espresso bars.
Just moments from Madison Square Park (and a 10-minute walk from Union Square), Hotel Henri is a youthful bolthole with a sleek style and a carefree atmosphere. Premium king rooms come with a balcony, but the best views in the house can be found at Sir Henri – a rooftop bar inspired by Jazz Age speakeasies. Should you get peckish, in-house eatery Henri’s Patio Grill offers up an NYC spin on pub grub, but you’ll likely be tempted to explore – casual spots like Brooklyn Roasting Company and haute dining experiences like Eleven Madison Park are just a short stroll away.
Also 10 minutes from Union Square Park, Washington Square Hotel, across the street from the historic Greenwich Village park of the same name, is a central figure in the neighborhood’s history and has hosted the likes of Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. Although the hotel opened in 1902, today it embraces a 1960s Art Deco vibe with its vintage Hollywood photos and period art. The hotel’s North Square Restaurant and Lounge is a favorite with locals and the on-site Serenity Suite spa is a perk not to be missed.