Steeped in maritime history, the Port of New York and New Jersey district is constantly being revitalized, so it’s a great place to explore: a hot spot for cool bars, dining, art and culture. See what’s going on at Pier 17 – which looks across the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn – and enjoy waterside walks along the East River and views of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s also great for Wall Street, the One World Trade Center and Brookfield Place. Whether you stay in Manhattan, west across the Hudson in New Jersey or over the East River in Brooklyn, these hotels are great bets – and they’re all bookable with Culture Trip.
Nicely located near Nevins Station and its express-rail links, the EVEN Hotel Brooklyn is at the heart of this funky borough – and Manhattan’s electric nightlife is just a zippy train ride away. The place is part of the InterContinental stable but it feels indie and boutique. Whether you’re in town for work or play – or both – you’ll plug easily into the hotel’s relaxed vibe. Among the laid-back spaces is an all-day diner, Cork and Kale, doing organic cocktails, plus plenty of sit-or-stand workspaces and a lounge-in-me outdoor courtyard. The 202 light and airy rooms are further complemented by the impressive living wall – you could be in a remote garden.
Breathe out and sit back in this relaxing upscale hotel, right on the Hudson River. Views are eastwards, giving you supreme views of the Manhattan skyline: a captivating circuit of lights after dark. When you’ve taken in the view from the Terrace Lounge or RoofTop at Exchange Place, head for Vu Restaurant, which uses local organic produce – even honey collected from hives on the roof. Gym bunnies will love the 24-hour gym and indoor heated pool. Sleeping here is a dream, as rooms are monochrome-toned, unadorned and sink-into comfy.
The W brand is famous for its funky, nightclub ambience and fruity interiors. This property, on the New Jersey waterfront across the Hudson from Manhattan, is no exception – with elevated rooms and suites delivering awesome skyscraper views. Because it’s a train or boat ride from the magic mayhem of Manhattan, it has made sure guests will never get bored. Have a hot-stone massage in the spa. Sip margaritas in the rainbow-illuminated Living Room. Slurp oysters in the airy Halifax restaurant. And sweat it all out the next day in the FIT gym, home to every machine you can imagine.
In the thick of downtown Manhattan, Club Quarters Hotel is a treat of a retreat with a member’s club-like vibe: check in via app or at the desk, and proceed straight to the Living Room, which serves free tea and coffee. Alternatively, head up to the rooftop bar and admire the view over martinis. Its 252 geometrically modern, monochrome rooms overlook the One World Trade Center and September 11th Memorial. With plenty of nightlife in the neighboring areas – TriBeCa, SoHo, South Street Seaport and Chinatown – this is a great base for nocturnal wanderings. Top tip: your furry friend can stay for free.
Laid-back and eco-chic, this smart weekend base fuses urban living with a social conscience – which makes it the ideal base for hipsters, with the added perk of views over Brooklyn Bridge. The neighborhood, Dumbo, is one of the city’s most upmarket, and the hotel looks the part, with its living wall, stylish artwork and airy rooms as well as reclaimed or antique furniture. Given the relaxed and friendly Scandi vibe, you’ll get chatting to your neighbors at the buzzy rooftop bar and pool – or in the coffee shop, swanky restaurant, co-working space and tranquil spa.
This impressive hulk has pride of place on the Hudson River promenade, in the up-and-coming Arts District – trendy art haunts within a few blocks include Rock Soup Studios and Lex Leonard Gallery. The huge rooms all have full-length windows and ridiculously comfy beds, guaranteeing a good night’s sleep after a day’s pavement-pounding and art-ogling. The convenient PATH train will take you to Manhattan’s hip West Village in 15 minutes. If you want to stay put, hotel restaurant Fire & Oak has delicious New American dishes including wood-grilled steaks and rustic flatbreads.
Here’s a hotel for creative souls: the Conrad New York can lay claim to more than 2,000 pieces of contemporary artwork, including the massive lobby mural by conceptual/minimal artist-icon Sol LeWitt. You’re just minutes from the city’s most historic neighborhoods, including TriBeCa and Wall Street, plus landmarks like the One World Trade Center. Rooms are spacious – deluxe suites feel more like apartments – and a special sleep fragrance called “Scented” helps you drift off. In spring or summer, hit the 16th-floor Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar, which has direct views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.
Gadget geeks appreciate the hip, urban vibe at Canopy by Hilton Jersey City Arts District, which shares its space with artists’ studios. The rooms use “Connected Room” technology which allows you to program and control temperature, TV and light settings with your smartphone. Bedroom furniture is sharp-angled, pale and interesting, enhanced by discreet contemporary art. Mingle until 11pm over tapas and gin-laced cocktails at the Canopy Bar and Bistro. Look out for rotating local artist exhibitions on display throughout the communal spaces.
As the name hints, you’re staying in the heart of the Financial District – it’s like being in a classic cop movie given the historic attractions around. The hotel has taken over an old bank amid Lower Manhattan’s curving cobblestone streets, and retains many original features and furniture – hence the quaint, early-American vibe. Expect lots of floral fabrics, patterned rugs, dark wood furniture, brass chandeliers and classic reproduction artwork. Although there are no coffee makers in the rooms, there is free tea and coffee all day in the living-room-like lobby.
Settle into a special sanctuary in the busy cobbled streets of Downtown’s historic East River district. Inside the 19th-century building, the mood is modern and sophisticated. Try the ground-floor lounge bar, all velvet seating and low lighting, before bedding down: the 66 rooms are subtly decorated in a soothing palette of mauve, silver and grey. One evening, do dinner in-house – pasta, paninis, risotto – at upscale Italian Bellini, perhaps starting with the drink that gives the restaurant its name.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.