Manhattan hotel lobbies that double as creative workspaces


Working while traveling can be daunting, especially if you are stuck in your hotel room, trying to find the creativity or energy to get stuff done. In New York City, attempting to find a coffee shop to work in might sound like your best bet. In reality, it can be excruciating as most are soon filled up with locals looking for their own inspiration.

Manhattan at sunrise

Skip the hassle of squeezing into a barstool in an overcrowded coffee shop and instead enjoy the expansiveness and free Wi-Fi of any of these hotel lobbies. They are not only known for having communal workspaces but also welcome non-guests to enjoy their facilities.

Dream Hotel – Midtown

The Rickey craft cocktail lounge in Dream Midtown’s lobby doubles as a co-working space for busy travelers. The lights are raised and the plush green and gray couches, accented with gold tables, become chic communal offices. There’s free Italian coffee and Twinings Tea. Complimentary Wi-Fi and printer access means you can prep for meetings or get some work done between appointments. Busy bees can also order breakfast and lunch from the hotel’s restaurant, Serafina, and have it delivered to their “office” space.

Hotel Indigo – Lower East Side

The 14th-floor lobby at this hotel provides 360-degree unobstructed views of Manhattan. You don’t have to be a guest here to take advantage of the communal table or couches which are equipped with charging stations and free Wi-Fi. The 15th floor has their popular restaurant, Mr. Purple, in addition to a rooftop pool. Enjoy the lounge chairs when the weather is nice and you feel like sipping on a cocktail while catching up on emails.

Ace Hotel – Midtown

Located right in the heart of Midtown, this hotel has become a hotbed of startups, freelancers and people who are just looking to lounge in a hip space. The hotel lobby is the ideal space to work in: it’s open to the public, has free Wi-Fi and holds an assortment of club chairs and custom-made couches that cater to any seating preference. The space is adorned with large, white columns, and a vintage America flag. It creates a setting where anyone is welcome to socialize, work or just enjoy a cocktail.

The NoMad Hotel – NoMad

The Parisian-inspired luxury hotel has a two-level library open to non-guests. Finger foods, coffee, tea, wine and cocktails are on offer. The two levels are connected by an original spiral staircase which was imported from the south of France. Custom-made cushioned chairs are neatly placed providing ample seating and a pleasant aesthetic. The hidden escape is perfect for quiet studying, research or writing.

The Ludlow Hotel – Lower East Side

The 187-room boutique hotel includes a lobby, bar and garden. These are all open to the public, making it a versatile workspace for meetings or private work sessions. The lobby is furnished with a large, limestone fireplace, leather sofas, soft rugs and oversized ottomans. It has the look and feel of a massive living room, making it one of the most comfortable areas to work in. The adjoining bar has an eclectic, upscale design and the outdoor patio and garden is a beautiful escape from the busy streets of the city.

The High Line Hotel – Chelsea

The lobby of this hotel feels more like a coffee shop than a traditional hotel lobby thanks to an Intelligentsia espresso bar. The mixture of vintage furniture and antique rugs were sourced from palaces and estates around the world. Both guests and non-guests, catching up on emails and work, occupy the banquettes and sofas in the lobby and hotel’s courtyard.

The Marlton – Greenwich Village

Known as a writer’s hotel, the Marlton boasts Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady as long-term occupants while writing their manuscripts. The updated historic property, which dates back to 1900, opens its lobby and Wi-Fi to freelancers and locals. The draw of the wood-paneled space is a fireplace, surrounded by leather chairs and a few tables. An espresso bar serves coffee and tea.

Arlo Hotel – SoHo

The rooms here are more on the micro scale. To make up for that, the design firm went for generous communal spaces for working that include fast fiber Wi-Fi. The library lounge just past the lobby has hidden outlets and a table that seats 10. Both the lobby and library are open 24-hours as is the hotel’s grab-and-go café.

citizenM – Times Square

This Amsterdam-based hotel chain comes to the city and gives its techy clientele as well as locals ample space to work and use free internet in its quirky lobby. It boasts modern Vitra furniture and 26-foot ceilings accented by floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and artwork by English artist Julian Opie. There’s also a café, canteenM, that is open 24 hours and serves coffee, cocktails, breakfast and snacks to help with staying fueled while working.

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