The Freehand New York – Hotel Review

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The Freehand 4x3



Alyssa Powell/Business Insider


  • A new addition to Manhattan’s Flatiron District, the Freehand New York is perfect for budget-conscious travelers who want convenience and personality from their accommodations, without paying several hundred per night.
  • The building itself isn’t new — it was once a hotel beloved by writers, as well as a dorm for art students. Rooms and public spaces are filled with original, commissioned artwork to honor this creative spirit. 
  • Nightly rates start under $200 and range from cozy, budget-conscious rooms with bunk beds, to spacious plush suites. I spent a night in a Corner King room and it’s one of our favorite NYC hotels for 2020.
  • Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here.

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More than a city for food lovers, media moguls, and finance titans, New York is an irresistible draw for creative souls young, old, and free-spirited. It’s this energy that fills the Flatiron District’s Freehand New York, a hotel that opened in 2018 and has quickly become known as a cool, affordable place to stay. 

The Freehand New York, which also operates hip outposts in Miami, Chicago, and Los Angeles, was once a student dorm for the School of Visual Arts, and before that, the George Washington Hotel, first built in 1928. Poet W.H. Auden, novelist Christopher Isherwood, and artist Keith Haring all counted themselves guests or residents.

This enviable connection gives the Freehand New York creative clout right away, though it doesn’t rely on its past to stand out among visitors to New York City. 

Rather, you’ll love it for art-filled accommodations steeped in character and personality — at highly reasonable prices.

There are six room types, including cheaper bunk bed options, as well as various suites. My Corner King room was comped for review purposes, but research shows this type of room typically books for $280 per night, while bunk bed and queen rooms go for $200 on average, if you book ahead of time. 

Need more New York City hotel suggestions? Read our list of the best hotels in New York City.

Keep reading to see why I was so impressed by the Freehand New York. 

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