Stylish 4-Star Boutique Hotel Minutes from Manhattan
Split-flap displays (also known as "Solari boards") were once a hallmark of American railway stations—as passenger trains depart and arrive, the flaps spin with new city names and times, the displays flipping like a deck of cards through an automatic shuffler. This same old-fashioned display hangs in the lobby of Z NYC Hotel, but instead of departure and arrival times, the board features welcome messages in multiple languages, located above stacks of vintage steamer trunks. It's a nod to the old days of Grand Central Station in nearby midtown Manhattan, and much of the 4-star boutique hotel's decor exudes the style of a charming 1920s-style building.
At night, the Long Island City hotel acts like a miniature city in and of itself: jazzy live piano music emanates from the downstairs lounge kiosk, its area lined with black-leather booths. On the rooftop bar, Z Roof, bartenders craft tropical cocktails amid uninterrupted 360-degree views of the East River, Queensboro Bridge, and the spectacular Manhattan skyline. In the morning, guests can have breakfast into the 24-hour onsite diner, where chefs bake fresh bagels and baguettes. The hotel also offers complimentary transportation to and from midtown Manhattan throughout the day, quickly taking guests to Times Square, Central Park, and the retail shops on 5th Avenue.
In the superior rooms, a wall of windows stretches from floor to ceiling, opening up to Manhattan’s skyscrapers and streetscapes. Murals of iconic New York scenes— from the Rockettes to taxi cabs—decorate the black-and-white walls of the rooms, and the hotel has turned mason jars into hanging lamps. For a romantic nightcap, guests can crack open their included bottle of wine or champagne and queue up their own playlists of crickets chirping to the tune of Al Jarreau songs on the room’s iPod docking station.
Long Island City, New York: Historical Queens Neighborhood Minutes from Manhattan
Located just over the East River in Queens, Long Island City is mostly defined by its artistic community. Contemporary-art museums, graffiti galleries, and sculpture parks are scattered along the coast. The neighborhood is home to MoMA PS1, a Museum of Modern Art–affiliated experimental exhibit space—its website describes itself as a “true artistic laboratory.” For food, you’ll find international bistros, pizzerias, and bakeries serving homemade fare that reflects Long Island City’s ethnic diversity.