FREEHAND NEW YORK
📍 23 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010
Located in the Flatiron district, the Freehand New York is the perfect way to be close to many tourist attractions without… well, without being too close.
What’s more, when I shared where I was staying with local friends, they all nodded approvingly thanks to its close proximity to plenty of great food and drink options.
As for the hotel, the building itself is over 90 years old but the Freehand has only been there for 4 of those years, having been totally renovated and modernised when they moved in in 2018.
My Review of Freehand New York Hotel
I stayed at the Freehand New York for 3 nights in February 2022 and booked myself a Solo room which cost £111 a night including all taxes and fees.
On arrival, I got upgraded to a Queen room (hurrah!) which would have cost around £133 a night including all taxes and fees.
I was on the 14th floor in room 1439 which was a Queen Room. Due to how high up I was, I was very excited to see my view…
On stepping into my room, I was delighted to find not one but two windows in my room but when I pulled up the blinds I found… a view of a wall! Certainly not odd by New York standards, or by this hotel’s standards either since it has two inner courtyards. I’d request to be on the other side of the hotel if I booked again, but as I’d been upgraded from a solo room I was pretty happy with my situation.
Wooden furniture and dark trims could be a little dated, but actually the room is a good mix of modern and retro. I especially liked the mural above my bed which is a unique hand painted piece of art commissioned by the hotel from New York’s Bard College – and every room has a different one!
Since the building is pretty old by New York standards, it’s definitely on the darker side rather than ‘light and airy’. However, with my bedside lamps on, I found it to be very cosy and I felt like it had more character than the minimalist Scandi style rooms you can often find.
Thanks to my free upgrade, I had a Queen bed all to myself complete with fresh white linen and 4 pillows. It wasn’t too form and was very comfy – no complaints from me!i
Desk & TV
There’s a small desk with a stool in each room – though not sure how comfy it would be to sit on for long spells. In my room, the flatscreen TV was above the desk which had the standard channels and it did have the ability to use Chromecast.
There’s a wardrobe with 7 hangers inside and a ledge that I found handy for storing my shoes. There’s also some space beneath the bedside tables.
No minibar but I was very happy to find that I had a slim line fridge to keep items cool in – it was big enough to fit in around 3 small bottles of water.
I loved the green tiles and the wooden details in the bathroom – it felt contemporary and stylish when it could have easily felt like a dark space. The shower was plenty big enough and I loved that they had their toiletries fixed in place – more eco friendly and great products too! The shower didn’t get as hot as I would have liked, but it was warm enough.
Mirrors & Plugs
There was a pin plug point and 2 USB points on the right bedside table and the same again on my desk too which is helpfully right next to a full length mirror. There’s a good sized mirror in the bathroom too above the sink.
There’s a safety deposit box, a steamer – though mine had to be replaced as it didn’t work – a robe, and a hair dyer.
The hotel wifi was free and pretty decent! I had no issues with streaming Netflix and I uploaded a few files to the cloud on it as well. Alas, I forgot to do a speed test. Mea culpa!
I was able to check out another Queen which was slightly smaller, but with a bigger bathroom. I also had a look at one of their Quad rooms which is a great options for friends or families – though I did think the one I saw was a little cramped for space!
Restaurants & Bars
Comodo is a Latin American restaurant connected to the hotel reception, Georgia Room and Bar Calico offer moody spaces for a cocktail or two, and Broken Shaker is the hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant – though you’ll need to exit the hotel to find the entrance on 24th street. Also connected on the ground floor is Smile To Go, an affordable cafe which serves coffee and casual food throughout the day.
There’s no traditional breakfast options but you can have breakfast at Comodo, or grab something casual at Smile To Go.
There no better feeling that turning up to a hotel and finding out you’ve been given a free upgrade.
Well, what if I told you there was a super simple way to increase the likelihood of that happening?
The Georgia Room is a great space in the daytime to get some work done. Smile To Go cafe is casual enough for you to work from too, and there are some spaces in the reception area too – though it’s less of a lounge than other hotels.
There’s a decent sized gym on the basement floor with plenty of machines, weights and 2 Peloton bikes.
When I spoke to staff, they were always polite and helpful though not overly friendly – which was absolutely fine! When I called down for a steamer as mine was broken, I had to ring back 30 mins later to ask what time I could expect one. It then got brought up so again, all good but perhaps don’t expect super fast and super friendly customer service. All in all, it was a perfectly satisfactory experience!
You’re in Flat Iron which is close to plenty of tourist attractions – without being too close! You’re also a short walking from Flat Iron Square which has an incredible view of the city skyline – provided its not as cloudy as it was when I was there! You can also walk 13 mins to jump on the M at 23 Street (note, it’s different to the ones listed below!) to get over to Williamsburg in Brooklyn in 16 mins.
🚇 23 St | 4, 6 Subway – 2 min walk
🚇 23 St | N, Q, R, W Subway – 6 min walk
🚇 23rd Street | PATH – 10 min walk
📍 The FRIENDS Experience – 1 min
📍 Fotografisk Museum – 4 min walk
📍 Flatiron Building – 7 min walk
🗺 Empire State Building – 16 min walk
🗺 High Line – 25 min walk
🗺 Times Square – 28 min walk
What were my overall thoughts?
I really enjoyed my stay at Freehand New York and for £111 a night, I thought it was great value. I thought most of the food and drink options were pretty pricey but was pleasantly surprised by how affordable their ‘Smile To Go’ cafe was so if you’re hoping to save some money, stick to that for your breakfast or simply head out to find some cheap eats of your own.
I’d happily stay again – though I’d ask for a room with a view next time!