New York - Inns and B&B Lodgings
When it comes to finding a boutique hotel or Bed and Breakfast in New York, everyone looks at central Manhattan. But if they venture out of the city centre, they will find little-known and up-and-coming neighborhoods that are filled with character and home to the city’s most charming boutique hotels and guest houses.
At Home in Brooklyn, Park Slope, Brooklyn
Named the best neighbourhood (of 60) in New York by New York magazine, Park Slope has streets of handsome brownstones, trendy shops and great restaurants. The B&B on Prospect Park West is in the middle of it all. Occupying a landmark row house, the inn has 4 bedrooms, a library and a living room. Host Don Matteson serves a generous breakfast and the rooftop desk has sweeping views of the neighbourhood, Grand Army Plaza and its 200-hectare park.
Dont’ miss: The Community Bookstore, one of Brooklyn’s oldest, has a comfortable area in which to read. For tea and pastries, go to the Tea Lounge.
Doubles from US155 a night, incl breakfast.
Akwaaba Mansion, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Once an abandoned ruin, this 1860’s Italianate villa has been converted into a B&B. Inside are 4 guestrooms and elegant decor featuring ornate fireplaces, Victorian furnishings and African-American artifacts. Relax in the library and shaded courtyard. The hotel is in the historic part of bedford - Stuyvesant, one of New York’s most iconic black neighbourhoods. It was, until recently, considered a no-go zone for visitors but has been transformed with the opening of hotels and restaurants.
Don’t miss: Saraghina, a pizzeria by night and a cafe by day; the back garden is one of the finest outdoor spaces in Brooklyn. The Market at Bedford Village is a new venture held at weekends showing local art.
Doubles from US175 a night, including breakfast.
Fort Place B&B, St George, Staten Island
Historic St George, at the tip of Staten Island provides a rare mix of small-town charm and big city accessibility. Settle into Fort Place, a gracious Victorian house with water views. Owned by an industrial designer, it has 4 guestrooms, each with vintage furnishings.
Doubles from US120 a night, including breakfast.
Don’t miss: Live music at the ornate St George Theatre and some of the best tapas in town at Beso Restaurant. The free Staten Island Ferry is a five minute walk away.
The Ravel Hotel, Long Island City, Queens
Long Island City is fast becoming hip and this hotel is a great base; lavishly decorated rooms, stylish public places and a rooftop restaurant with some of the best views in town.
Don’t miss: PS1 is the sister to the Museum of Modern Art and be sure to attend a Saturday “warm-up”, one of the city’s most popular music events. For dining, try Water’s Edge; request a table outdoors - you’ll sit just inches from the East River.
Doubles from US129 a night, room only.
Jumel Terrace Books B&B, Hamilton Heights, Manhattan
Literature lovers will adore this quirky B&B that’s linked to uptown New York’s only antiquarian bookshop. It has a garden apartment that sits 3 and has a full-size kitchen, plus a separate double en-suite bedroom upstairs. It’s run by an academic and font of local knowledge, Kurt Thometz.
Don’t miss: The Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan’s oldest surviving house, which was George Washington’s headquarters during the Battle of Harlem Heights in 1776. St Nick’s Jazz Pub has some of the best live jazz in the city.
Apartment from US250 a night; a double room from US200 a night, both including breakfast.
Victorian B&B, New Brighton, Staten Island
This Italianate guest house is a good reason to step off the Staten Island Ferry and explore the city’s “forgotten borough”. It’s a peaceful sanctuary of spacious rooms, decked out with 1860’s decor (the house dates from 1846). The breakfasts are stupendous.
Don’t miss: Snug harbour Cultural Centre, one of new York’s lesser-visited gems, with museums and galleries. The Everything Goes Book Cafe is a great alternative cafe and bookstore.
Doubles from US115 per night, including breakfast.
Nu Hotel, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
This boutique hotel manages to be minimalist (cork floors, sleek wood furnishings, white walls), quirky (bike rack in the lobby, hemp hammocks) and welcoming all at once. The best rooms overlook busy Smith Street, full of chic cafes and mum-and-dad restaurants and have views of nearby Brooklyn Bridge.
Don’t miss: Henry Street - a more relaxed alternative to Smith Street. Grab some Italian aperitivos at Bocca Lupo. For a real culinary adventure, try brooklyn fare, a bodega-turned-high-end restaurant with glass-enclosed kitchen. Boerum Hill is mostlt residential but nearby is the Waterfront Museum Barge.
Doubles from US199 a night, including breakfast.
The Blue Moon Hotel, Lower East Side, Manhattan
This 22-room hotel is in a restored 19th century tenement but you’d never know it - the rooms are huge by New York standards and some have balconieds with city views. A sense of the neighbourhood’s history is everywhere - a lot of salvaged material has been used in the hotel.
Don’t miss: The Tenement Museum and the Museum at Eldridge Street for a look at how migrants lived in the 19th century. Walk down East broadway to experience the culture of the Lower east Side’s newest migrants, the Fujianese Chinese, and stroll through the Essex Street market.
Doubles from US199 a night, including breakfast.
Bubba & Bean, East Harlem, Manhattan
Two townhouses have been combined into one friendly bed and breakfast in east Harlem. Owners Jonathan and Clement have turned each suite into a mini-apartment with french doors between sleeping and living spaces.
Don’t miss: El Museo del Barrio is dedicated to local artists. At 103rd and lexington is a vibrant community garden, open from noon till 4pm. Around the corner, grab some great Mexican treats at El Paso Taqueria.
Doubles from US250 per night.