New York’s shapeshifting hospitality scene never stands still for long – but the past year has seen some standout new stays. Lucy Thackray takes a look around

1. Virgin Hotels New YorkVirgin Hotels New York

When? February 2023
What it does differently: Set in a gleaming diamond of a tower, all 39 floors of New York’s first Virgin Hotel invite you to party – whether on its own plush pool terrace (from May to September?), in the vibrant Everdene Bar terrace, or out on the town. Scarlet Smeg fridges in rooms hold all your pre-game essentials, while subtly illuminated mirrors top white dressing tables in bathrooms, and sliding doors in some rooms have full-length mirrors for that last outfit check.

A lipstick-red carpet lines the sculptural scarlet steps from the restaurant to the bar – an unmissable photo opportunity – and there’s a relaxed all-day dining area that is ideal for comfy coworking. Best of all, you’re in trending NoMad, the slice of Manhattan between Midtown and the more sociable downtown neighbourhoods. Head out to the sights and theatres a few blocks uptown, then go out for dinners and drinks in SoHo, Chelsea or the West Village.

Who will love it? First-timers, party animals, youthful groups, pool posers.
Price: Doubles from £595, room only.

2. Moxy Lower East Side

Moxy New YorkWhen? October 2022
What it does differently: Adds a smart, sociable but ultimately no-frills base to one of Manhattan’s most on-trend neighbourhoods, the Lower East Side. The property has 303 great value rooms packed into a sweeping tower on Bowery, which fringes the main grid of the LES; upstairs you’ll find a smooth piano bar for cocktails, Silver Linings, as well as a sceney rooftop bar with a generous terrace, the Highlight Room.

By morning you can grab a free coffee to go in the chilled out, remote-work-friendly lobby; or a breakfast roll or pastry from its Avignon Cafe. A cute candy stand in reception reps local legends Economy Candy, selling retro sweets for five cents a piece; DJ nights and wellness pop-ups with fitness partners help keep the vibe sociable and ever-changing.

Who will love it: Gen Z city breakers, groups of friends, anyone who prefers to blow their budget out on the town.
Price: Doubles from £183, room only.

3. Hotel Barriere Fouquet’s

Barriere Fouquet's New YorkWhen? September 2022
What it does differently: A Paris-inspired boutique hotel in thrall to all things French is already a new concept for brash NY; but throw in a cutting-edge Tribeca location and you’ve got an exclusive find. Travellers visiting for Manhattan’s best restaurants or meetings in the flash Financial District will find an ultra-luxe base here: the lobby and rooms are a Wes Anderson fever-dream of pastels and gold trim; while below ground level you can soak a marbled basement spa, with fizzing whirlpools and shoulder-pummelling jets, plus a steam room, sauna and Biologique Recherche treatments.

Perfect for fuzzy-headed mornings after indulgent nights at nearby L’Abeille, Locanda Verde or Smith and Mills. Also within a stone’s throw are galleries, designer boutiques and pier-side parks. Don’t miss the secret cocktail bar found behind a sliding panel in the lobby.

Who will love it: Seasoned New York visitors, big-spending couples, Francophiles, spa fiends.
Price: Doubles from £797, room only.

4. Aman New York

Aman New YorkWhen? August 2022
What it does differently: Being New York’s first Aman property, for one – and the brand’s second “urban resort” anywhere in the world (after Tokyo’s), for another. Tucked just off Fifth Avenue, between Midtown’s many flourishing grand dame hotels with their gilded lobbies and suited bellboys, Aman has a starkly different brand of Asia-inspired zen from the moment you walk in. Dark-toned but tranquil communal spaces feature low-rise, Japanese-feel seating, rippling water features and bonsais, plus sculptural paper-lantern takes on the chandelier.

One big draw is its world-beating spa, home to a 20-metre subterranean pool, Aman’s own product range concocted with argan oil, quartz and amethyst, and plush “spa suites” with daybeds and balcony hot tubs which can be booked for day-long use. Another showstopper is Nama restaurant, which will please Japanese cuisine purists with its bento-box-styled lunches and omakase feasts at a chef’s counter; there’s also Arva, a sprawling Italian terrace with an Amalfi-inspired menu. Suites are predictably lush, with high ceilings, slender screens to divide or open up rooms, and a champagne-and-cream palette.

Who will love it: Aman devotees, Midtown power players, special occasioners showing off.
Price: Doubles from £1,610, B&B.

5. Nine Orchard

When? July 2022
What it does differently: This restored Beaux Arts bank dates back to 1912, but was lovingly restored to create Manhattan’s latest design hotel. Also on the graffiti-streaked Lower East Side – home to a glut of hidden cocktail bars and unpretentious but dazzling restaurants – this Orchard Street hideaway is firmly aimed at the stylish luxury set. Rooms are understated but coated in quality: one-of-a-kind wooden furniture, polished wooden floors, crisp white linen, expensive light fixtures and a focus on the building’s turn-of-the-century design features.

These are best showcased in the high-ceilinged Corner Room, an all-day dining room serving classy dishes from oysters to salad Nicoise and steaks. There’s also a cocktail bar, the Swan Room, for elegant cocktail hours, and spacious loft and terrace suites to spread out in on longer stays.

Who will love it: Style hunters, interiors nerds, five-star fundamentalists, high-low diners.
Price: Doubles from £467, room only.

6. Ritz-Carlton New York NoMad

The Ritz-Carlton New York, NomadWhen? July 2022
What it does differently: Striking out with a different personality than the RC up near Central Park, the new model is a smooth, nature-inspired temple to style down in edgier NoMad. From the moment you walk in, mossy-green velvet sofas, foliage overhanging the lobby bar and chandeliers inspired by falling blossoms alert you to the Mother Earth vibe; it continues with shell-like lanterns and indoor trees in the blue-and-white Mediterranean restaurant, Zaytinya.

Book ahead for a sunset table at rooftop-level Nubeluz Bar; you’ll sit on shell-pink seats amid art deco surroundings as the sky blushes pink around a panoramic skyline view (there’s a small outdoor area, too). Rooms are handsome with the usual crisp white beds offset by onyx-black coffee tables and looping, sculptural light fixtures; and there’s a generous, scented spa with Augustinus Bader facials (though no pool). Michelin-starred chef José Andrés has overseen the food and drink here, from molecular, manmade “olives” with your lobby cocktails to an upcoming Japanese-Spanish restaurant, Bazaar.

Who will love it: NoMad diners, Marriott Bonvoy points collectors, spa-loving first timers.
Price: Doubles from £745, room only.

What’s next?

The Fifth Avenue hotel promises to add to the NoMad buzz with its Martin Brudnizki designed spaces and Andrew Carmellini-helmed restaurants.
Expected autumn 2023.

The Warren Street hotel, the latest from Firmdale, will increase Tribeca’s hotel boom with 57 rooms and suites, plus 12 residences, designed by maximalism champion Kit Kemp.
Expected March 2024.

Corinthia New York takes over the 1926-opened classic the Surrey, perched on the edge of Central Park on the Upper East Side. An extensive renovation will “restore its glory”, says the brand.
Expected autumn 2023.

Faena New York will be an ultra-luxe number just off the west side’s delightful High Line elevated park. Set in a twisted-look, architecturally striking tower, it’ll have a 17,000-sqft spa.
Expected Q4 2023.