I may just have made all my ‘champagne taste on a beer budget’ dreams come true.
This February, I finally circled the sun back to winter, after being so close to skipping out for a whole year. I came to New York for good reason though, a baby shower and a friend’s birthday, along with catching up with some of my best-est made me feel so very warm on winter days. Andre and I stayed in Manhattan for the first night, and I’m glad we did if only because I had the chance to experience Freehand New York, my new favorite hotel in the area! Freehand New York is a 395 room hotel in Flatiron, by the same owner as the famous Nomad hotel. It is a vibrant blend of old meets new - with meticulously restored deco interiors in American craftsman style combined with modern art by students from Bard College. Ample public space at Freehand includes two restaurants, two bars, a cafe and a retail shop. There’s a distinct cool factor, with a sense of New York irreverence reverberating throughout. The sprawling nature and a vibe that attracts both locals and tourists were more than condusive to lingering from co-work to cocktails. We even invited friends who live nearby to the Mezzanine level for happy hour drinks ahead of a night out to show off the alluring interiors. Accessibility is also a breeze in Flatiron, dubbed Silicon Alley for the tech startups in the area. The area has a distinct energy of newness and also acts as a wonderful launching pad to New York with uptown and downtown both easily accessible.
Rooms at Freehand New York range from bunks to sprawling Penthouse suites, with our room somewhere in between the extremes. It felt Scandinavian in style with a minimalist yet artistic feel and a palette of light wood, white and soft turquoise. Features that stood out to me right away included the wood paneling, a Tivoli radio, a good sized desk, a friendly welcome message, a view of New York City streets, and a freehand drawing on the wall, which I learned is a feature in every room by a different artist from Bard College. The affordability for Manhattan was striking, with a deal found on hotel tonight for around $150 per night.
Freehand is a winner in my book - it’s central, inspiring, hospitable and spacious. Inviting friends to the mezzanine level, watching it transform from a beehive of business activity to a local watering hole within an hour of 5PM on a Friday stands out as a moment worth enjoying, and I hope you get the opportunity to do the same!
Get a room!
Freehand Hotel New York
Price: $157 on Hotel Tonight (if you can book last minute, otherwise, check the Special Offers page on the site.)
23 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010, USA
While you’re there…
Head to Union Square markets for fresh produce, trinkets and people watching (.6 miles) and keep going to West Village, where the cutest cobblestone streets, shops and restaurants await.
Walk up 5th Avenue to Central Park and continue on to museum mile uptown if your legs can handle it! Otherwise, the subway and taxis are easy solutions.
Grab a Citi Bike and head to The Highline, an elevated garden walk with city views on the West side. Drop your bike at the Whitney Museum of American, and pop in before you stroll.