Getting to reside in one of the greatest cities in the world is pretty extraordinary, but one can’t help but sometimes envy the tourist experience—specifically, the chance to live it up in one of New York’s coolest hotels. Just thinking about the picturesque suites and in-house amenities is enough to make any full-time resident green with envy.
Thankfully, there are ways to take advantage of what the city’s best hotels have to offer, without ever having to so much as make a reservation. So here are the hotels with the best, nonguest perks in NYC—enjoy them all, without all that bother of an overnight stay.
Play Ball at the Moxy
Think it’s all business in the Financial District? Not at the Moxy Downtown’s newest space, Recreation. During the day, cozy up next to the floor-to-ceiling windows and catch up on a few work emails in the communal co–working space, then take your afternoon break beating high scores on its old-school arcade machines. When 5 p.m. hits, an on-tap cocktail created by beverage director Jim Kearns will be waiting for you at the retro-style bar. And in between, you’ll have to find time to snack on bites from Alta Calidad chef Akhtar Nawab, practice your free throws on the half-size basketball court, and challenge your friends to a round of Skee-Ball. 26 Ann Street (between Broadway and Nassau Streets), Financial District
No Card Needed at the Library Hotel
It might be worth the pretty penny for book lovers to spend the night inside this literary-themed inn. Guests are given access to a 24-hour reading room, bestselling books via Simon & Schuster’s Foli app, and rooms designed to match the Dewey decimal categories. But if you’re just in a bookworm kind of mood, you can check out the Library’s vast collection of books—out of the 6,000 placed throughout the building, a quarter of them are located right inside the lobby. Happy reading! 7 Avenue A (between East 2nd and East Houston Streets), East Village
Do, Well, Everything at the William Vale
To simply call this place a boutique hotel would be a major mistake. It is part art space (the lobby features rotating works by Brooklyn artists), part culinary haven (award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini directs a trifecta of on-site eateries), and—most impressively—part entertainment venue. The William Vale’s calendar is always teeming with cross-disciplinary cultural events for anyone to attend—from weekly jazz night at Westlight to rooftop fitness classes to stimulating discussions led by carefully curated panels. 111 North 12th Street, Williamsburg
Skip the Met and Head to Conrad New York
Hotel? Art gallery? Installation space? Let’s go with all of the above. No need to book a room (or buy a ticket) to view the extensive contemporary artworks featured throughout the Conrad’s public spaces. Your tour starts the moment you walk into the lobby, where it’s impossible to miss Sol LeWitt’s 13-story-tall wall drawing Loopy Doopy. It took 3,000 hours, 100 gallons of paint, and more than 50 people to complete the massive project. If you can unglue your eyes from the hypnotizing painting, you can also check out Pat Steir’s gem-toned, “playful yet nuanced” wall painting Topsy Turvy, situated next to the grand staircase, and other pieces sprinkled among the hallways, restaurants, and conference rooms. 102 North End Avenue (between Murray and Vesey Streets), Lower Manhattan
Sip and Shimmy at the Standard
Unlike most on this list, the lobby of this hotel isn’t the main event. You’ll have to venture outside the stunning building to find some of its not-so-hidden gems—like the brews and ping-pong tables awaiting you at the Biergarten and a rotating art installation found in the street-level Standard Plaza. (This past winter season highlighted graffiti works by Stephen Powers aka ESPO.) Venture a bit higher for a classy cocktail inside late-night lounge Top of the Standard and a turn on the dance floor inside the rooftop discotheque Le Bain. With a closing time of 4 a.m., good luck not caving and reserving one of those Hudson River–view rooms. 848 Washington Street (between West 13th and Little West 12th Streets), Meatpacking District
Get in Touch With Nature at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
The hotel’s Bamford Haybarn Spa promises massages and treatments inspired by the English countryside and curated by Lady Carole Bamford, who grew up in Nottingham and has dedicated her life to holistic and sustainable practices. All of the products used are derived from natural and organic ingredients—one of the many reasons you’ll find more excuses to keep coming back. 60 Furman Street, Brooklyn Heights
Caffeinate in Style at MADE
There might not be beds available inside MADE Hotel‘s lobby-level coffee shop, but this polished café is meant for a long-term stay. From 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., guests of the hotel and neighborhood caffeine addicts alike have access to Paper Coffee‘s menu of baked goods and java brews featuring different roasters each month. When the clock strikes 6 (Monday–Friday), grab yourself a Pinot from the wine bar and settle down next to the street-facing windows. With an interior designed with West Coast vibes in mind, the switch from coffee bar to laid-back watering hole is effortless. 44 West 29th Street (between Broadway and Sixth Avenue), NoMad