If you’re anything like my parents, trips to New York are fun but incredibly repetitive.
Stay in Times Square.
Eat at one of the same three or four restaurants.
See a Broadway show.
Rinse, wash, repeat.
While some covet these New York rituals, others would rather branch out and explore.
In a city as overwhelming as New York, however, charting new paths is easier said than done.
Most visitors are drawn to midtown Manhattan for hotels, and why not? Midtown’s proximity to attractions including Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park, Grand Central Station, and Central Park makes the neighborhood an obvious choice for your hotel search.
With that said, there are probably plenty of you who, perhaps planning your 4th or 5th visit to New York, feel that midtown Manhattan has become familiar and, yes, even somewhat stale.
If you’re feeling adventurous when planning your next New York visit, consider staying in Lower Manhattan. While I’m biased (having spent my first 4 years in NYC south of 14th street), I can objectively (I think?) describe Lower Manhattan as an underrated home base for exploring the Big Apple.
Though considerably less crowded and frenetic than midtown, Lower Manhattan still has plenty of world-class attractions including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, One World Trade Center, Wall Street, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Additionally, Lower Manhattan is near several gorgeous neighborhoods that are either up-and-coming or long-cherished by New Yorkers, including Battery Park, Tribeca, and the South Street Seaport.
Finally, all major New York subway lines converge in Lower Manhattan, making travel around the city uniquely convenient!
If you’re sold on Lower Manhattan and just need to iron out the details, keep reading for my selections of the best hotels in Lower Manhattan!
1. The Roxy Hotel Tribeca
With its cobblestone streets, industrial lofts, and expensive boutiques, Tribeca is well-known among New Yorkers as Manhattan’s poshest neighborhood. Celebrity sightings are common (Taylor Swift and Robert De Niro are known residents), and the neighborhood’s sheer amount of high-end restaurants, bars, and showrooms is simply incredible.
The Roxy Hotel Tribeca, located just south of Canal street, is your typical ultra-luxurious boutique, right down to the Egyptian linens, industrial design, fresh bathrobes, and (upon request) pet goldfish or Martin acoustic guitars!
Among boutique hotels Lower Manhattan has to offer, The Roxy also enjoys an enviable location. Positioned near the Tribeca-SoHo border, the Roxy provides the peaceful glamour of Tribeca while remaining steps away from SoHo’s sensational shopping scene!
2. The Wagner at the Battery
Most hotels in lower Manhattan have phenomenal locations. The Wagner at the Battery is no exception, offering walking distance commutes to landmarks including Battery Park, Trinity Church, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, and Stone Street, one of Manhattan’s oldest streets filled with cobblestone, pubs, and a thriving evening drinks scene.
What really distinguishes The Wagner at the Battery, though, is the stunning aspects of the property itself. Rooms begin at 425 square feet (veritably gargantuan by New York City standards) and offer luxurious finishes such as marble bathrooms with a separate shower and bathtub.
Finally, the Wagner at the Battery likely offers downtown New York’s most stunning views – even among the best hotels in Lower Manhattan. Because the Wagner is located on the southern tip of Manhattan’s west side, guests can observe Lower Manhattan and Wall Street to the east or incredibly close Statue of Liberty views to the west. Some rooms even have telescopes to enhance the viewing experience, too!
3. Club Quarters Hotel World Trade Center
Standing directly south of the 9/11 Memorial, the Club Quarters Hotel World Trade Center probably has the most convenient location of downtown NYC hotels. Aside from being steps away from the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center, the Club Quarters Hotel is also just a few minutes’ walk from Wall Street, City Hall Park, Tribeca, and the South Street Seaport.
The rooms at the Club Quarters Hotel World Trade Center won’t stun you with incredible elegance, yet they still offer ample space and a clean, minimalist aesthetic. Moreover, the Club Quarters Hotel does offer something truly magnificent in its pair of 20th-floor terraces that offer breathtaking views of the New York Harbor, Verrazano Bridge, 9/11 Memorial, and World Trade Center.
4. W New York Downtown
From a property perspective, the W New York Downtown is exactly what you would expect.
Slightly smaller than average rooms, quirky furniture, and extremely competitive prices.
While little about the property itself will seem especially unique – although the stunning 5th floor Living Room Bar and Terrace, pictured above, is a notable exception – the W New York Downtown benefits from its location where the Financial District, Battery Park, and Tribeca converge.
This location provides incredible convenience to guests, who can walk 5 blocks or less in any direction and see sights including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, Zucotti Park, Stone Street, Wall Street, Trinity Church, One World Trade Center, and the Oculus.
5. The Marlton Hotel
While further north than its counterparts on this list, the Marlton Hotel offers a different flavor among the best hotels in Lower Manhattan.
Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, the Marlton Hotel has admittedly small rooms. And by admittedly, I mean the hotel admits this in plain English.
With that said, given its boutique aesthetic, luxurious rooms, and sought-after nightlife spots including a terraced restaurant and popular cocktail bar, it’s no surprise the Marlton Hotel quickly developed a reputation as particularly affordable among nice hotels in Manhattan.
Few hotels are found in Greenwich Village, but those like the Marlton provide guests with short walks to Washington Square Park, the Meatpacking District, Chelsea, the High Line, and Union Square!