7 Places to Post Up for a Labor Day Weekend Staycation in NYC
Leaving the city for Labor Day—the unofficial/official end of the season before your boss cuts off Summer Fridays—is great and all, but you know what’s even better? Not dealing with unnecessary beach traffic, or packing, or the need to overplan. Hole up for a staycation at these NYC hotels and you’ll feel like you got away…even if that just means taking the G train three stops.
1. UPPER EAST SIDE: THE LOWELL
A staycation here—east of the park but west of Lexington—is about as calm, peaceful and rejuvenating as it can get in Gotham. On any other day, the sleepy, townhouse-filled streets of the Upper East might otherwise feel posh and out of reach for most New Yorkers, but the area sure does make an ideal spot to spoil yourself. Post up and do just that at The Lowell, a luxurious staple in the ’hood that just celebrated 35 years since its historic restoration and continues to pull in accolades like Travel & Leisure’s #1 hotel in New York–for the second year in a row.
Staying here is almost like having a fancy-pants UES condo in a doorman building, because each of the 74 distinct rooms and suites feels like a luxe apartment, with features like wood-burning fireplaces, insane city views and plush, contemporary furniture, not to mention manicured terraces. We also love the portraits of iconic New York buildings and streetscapes. Francophiles and flower lovers: You’ll want to swing by Majorelle, the hotel’s gorgeous restaurant, filled with stunning arrangements at every turn, where the recently revamped French fare by executive chef Emmanuel Niess will instantly give you chic-night-out-in-Paris vibes.
2. GREENPOINT: THE BOX HOUSE HOTEL
Greenpoint is equal parts trendy and chilled-out, offering visitors the chance to soak up as much or as little of the emerging shopping, food and nightlife scenes as they’d like. The Brooklyn nabe has always had more of a tight-knit community feel, but that doesn’t mean visitors won’t feel welcome at The Box House Hotel. The individually designed apartment-style rooms will make you feel totally at home. Since many of the rooms have their own kitchenettes and outdoor terraces, you might even be able to make some local friends and invite them over to enjoy the last few days of al fresco dining in a private space.
If you’re not so comfortable in the kitchen, you can pop into one of the neighborhood’s latest dining additions, Madre, located at Franklin Guesthouse. The global menu includes everything from hamachi crudo to ham croquettes to eggplant agnolotti.
3. SOHO: HOTEL HUGO
We’ve finally figured out how to extend the amount of time you can spend shopping in Soho: Just sleep where you sling your hard-earned cash. How could one describe Hotel Hugo, the exact place you’ll want to lay your head when you do? Trendy, for sure. But it’s the comfortable, contemporary nature of the place, paired with stellar service, that makes it a good staycay option in the city. It’s also budget-friendly enough whether you pick up threads at Zara or Maje.
Guests who book within New York for Labor Day Weekend will receive a special rate as well as a free welcome drink from the rooftop lounge, Bar Hugo. Not bad. Additionally, LDW marks your last chance to check out Hugo’s Rosé All Day package in which you’ll receive 30 percent off when booking in advance as well as—you guessed it—a bottle of rosé.
4. MIDTOWN: THE KNICKERBOCKER
Hear us out: You know how Midtown is generally terrible and overcrowded during the work week? During a holiday weekend…not so much. This means you can actually enjoy the neighborhood without having to dodge strangers every time you turn a corner. Post up at The Knickerbocker Hotel, a contemporary stunner housed in a Beaux-Arts era building you won’t believe is just steps from Times Square. One look at The Knick’s rooms—with oak wood walls, crisp linens, sheer drapes and some elegant AF oversized marble bathrooms—and you’ll know you’re in for a truly pampered experience.
While you’re in the nabe, do yourself a favor and see the show at Paradise Club or grab a drink at the handsome 701West Bar (they’re in the same building). The dimly lit, semi-circular bar with dark green sofas has a legitimate Champagne cart and crazy good cocktails (try the Los Gringos: mezcal, calpico, cilantro and cumin). You’ll quickly realize this is the place to send off summer and get yourself into a fall mood.
If you’re in the mood for music, the Jonas Brothers, Bebe Rexha and The Who are all within walking distance too—the three acts will take the stage at Madison Square Garden over LDW, and there are still tickets up for grabs as of press time.
5. NOMAD: INNSIDE BY MELIÃ NEW YORK NOMAD
Looking to check out of your cramped, slightly messy apartment for the weekend to unwind in a pristine, crisp white space? The accommodations at INNSiDE by Meliã New York NoMad will fulfill any minimalistic itch you have, with stark all-white-everything decor and large picture windows and balconies that frame some pretty epic skyline views.
To celebrate Labor Day, the hotel will be offering 30 percent off of rates when booking travel dates between August 28 and December 20, so whether your travel for LDW or not, you can score a sweet deal. Since the U.S. Open will be in full swing, the hotel will also host outdoor viewings on the patio of its signature restaurant, the Wilson.
6. UPPER WEST SIDE: ARTHOUSE HOTEL
Spending LDW on the UWS means you’ll have easy, direct access to Central Park, where you can close out the summer with a glorious final few days of sunbathing (or shade-bathing). About a ten minute walk from the park’s 77th Street entrance is Arthouse Hotel, a casual boutique hotel with a decidedly downtown feel. The building’s historic character is juxtaposed with lots of exposed brick and piping, poured concrete steps and communal spaces filled with comfy, tufted sofas, as well as sconces and soft Edison-bulb light, dimmed to create a comfy ambiance.
The rooms tend to be on the smaller side at Arthouse, but that’s OK, because you’ll want to spend most of your time on the rooftop terrace or exploring the neighborhood. Local highlights include Levain Bakery and its all-too-dangerous cookies just steps away, the Boat Basin Cafe, the American Museum of Natural History and Fairway Market. Speaking of which, the always buzzing UWS market recently opened a new cooking school, The Cooking Place, and this LDW you can sign up to take classes on wine and cheese pairings or vegan dinners.
7. LONG ISLAND CITY: BORO HOTEL
Are you craving a little sunlight this LDW? How about a bright, airy space to sprawl out in? The Boro Hotel in Long Island City boasts all of that—and some pretty splendid views—right in your room, and rounds things out with a robust library of Strand books available in the lobby to laze about with. Another great perk of staying here: The hotel is pet-friendly, so you don’t even have to find a sitter for your fur baby.
If you haven’t been to Long Island City since that one time you went to PS1, it’s time to explore the evolving New York neighborhood so you can one day squarely say, “I remember when Long Island City…[insert very New York thing to say here].” But in all seriousness, LIC may have escaped the grips of Amazon, but that was never going to slow the pace of all the new restaurants, bars, shops and even one of those liquid nitrogen, thermal blast ice cream places that were in the works before Bezos and Co. pulled out.