From Hyatt Place to the glitzy Park Hyatt, there are around 20 different Hyatt properties to choose from when planning a trip to New York City, and of course, that’s not to mention the hundreds of properties with other brands. If money (or points) are no object, there are some clear standout Hyatt properties in New York. (Hello, heated bathroom floors and that gorgeous indoor pool at the Park Hyatt New York!)
But for most of us, on most trips, there’s some budget to work with and trade-offs with each choice we make.
If you find yourself trying to find that Goldilocks hotel option in the big city when sifting through some of the extreme ends of the options, there’s a new kid in town that might be just right.
Enter: the Grayson Hotel.
What is the Grayson?
Grayson Hotel is Hyatt’s new 296-room Hyatt Unbound Collection hotel located at 39th Street between 5th and 6th avenues. It’s a full-fledged Hyatt property for earning and redeeming World of Hyatt points and enjoying elite perks.
In both its design and decor, the Grayson has managed to blend the grittiness and authenticity of the city with its artsy and modern side. You may even pick up on some hints of midcentury modern influences. Likely since it’s new, having just opened in late 2022, and because its name isn’t immediately recognizable as, say, (yet) another Grand Hyatt or Westin, the Grayson has been flying under some radars.
Rooms are small but chic
Most of the Grayson’s rooms are small, measuring just 250 square feet for most standard accommodations. This is true whether you want a room with one king or two double beds, both of which are available at the standard level for award purposes.
While the rooms are on the tighter side, they are still perfectly functional with an actual desk, (small) bedside tables, a mounted TV and a compact closet.
Given space constraints, you may not want to invite your besties over to hang out in your room (do that at the rooftop cocktail bar), but it’s totally adequate for sleeping, working and resting. There was a plush, branded robe and an umbrella to borrow in the room, both nice touches that made the stay feel full-service.
The Grayson’s bathrooms continue the trend of being stylish, compact and efficient. There is one slightly strange caveat about the bathroom, though, that I need to mention.
For reasons I’ll never be able to fully comprehend or explain, there’s a large glass window between the sleeping space and the bathroom. Fortunately, there are blinds that you can close between the two if you want to keep the two spaces distinct and a touch more private.
I slept like a tired baby in the room, and some friends who are sensitive to road noise and have stayed here say that they heard less road noise than in other New York hotels.
Food and drinks are (mostly) fabulous
I was only there one night but put up my most dedicated effort to try as many of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets as possible in that short time.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Harta (located on the ground floor as you enter the hotel) serves as the main dining option at Grayson Hotel. On the dinner menu, you’ll find Mediterranean highlights such as house-made focaccia ($3), hummus ($14), burrata ($20) and falafel ($17), all of which we tried at the server’s recommendation, and I can confidently recommend.
This is the kind of dinner spot where you meet friends for some bites before heading out or, in our case, before heading up to the 28th floor for Bar Cima, the rooftop tequila and mezcal lounge.
But before boarding the elevator and heading up for some cocktails, know that there is a small bar in Harta. Also, the breakfast menu at Harta is less on the Mediterranean side and more just American classics such as pancakes ($16), avocado toast ($17), a breakfast sandwich ($17) and steak and eggs ($32).
I had an omelet ($19), shown below, and while it was fine (and blessedly included with my Hyatt Globalist status), I enjoyed the dinner snacks here more than the breakfast.
This rooftop tequila and mezcal lounge is a swanky vibe not to be missed. Empire State Building views combined with walnut, brass and jewel-tone accents set the stage for a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and a spot for relaxed and celebratory gatherings.
Cocktails on the menu mostly fall in the $16-$18 range and lean into authentic Mexican ingredients, house-made bitters, fresh juices and innovative combinations of flavors.
We enjoyed the Tamarindo Daisy with tamarind-infused Derrumbes San Luis Potosi, apricot and roasted serrano and habanero chiles.
Also on the menu, you’ll find various versions of an Old-Fashioned; an interesting drink called Rice and Dreams with rice milk, lime, La Higuera Sotol and allspice; along with a few dozen other eye-catching concoctions. There’s not a full food menu up here, though you can get chips and guacamole to go along with your beverages.
Rumor has it there is also a margarita bar tucked in the alley behind the Grayson, but there were only so many hours and cocktails to enjoy in a one-night stay, so I’ll have to visit that courtyard next time.
The price is right
Not to overuse the Goldilocks comparison, but it’s really accurate since this hotel is in a sweet spot. For some trips, the Park Hyatt New York or Thompson Central Park can be too extravagant, while you may be looking for a more full-service stay than you’d find at limited-service budget brands. As a Category 5 Hyatt, the Grayson’s award prices range from 17,000-23,000 points per night. Cash rates start under $200, meaning that the Grayson’s rates are often just right for what you get in the heart of the city.
You could snag a free night there with the World of Hyatt Credit Card by earning up to 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2 bonus points total per $1 spent in the first six months, on up to $15,000 spent.
Reasons it may not be for you
Of course, no hotel is perfect for everyone or every type of stay, so here are some times when the Grayson might not be the best choice.
- The rooms are small, so families, couples or other groups that will spend a lot of time in their rooms and want more space need to take that into account unless booking one of the three somewhat larger junior suites.
- The Grayson has industrial-chic influences, so if you don’t feel relaxed in a room with unfinished-style ceilings, factor that into your decision.
- While there’s everything you’re likely to need for most stays at the Grayson (including a gym in the basement), this is not where you’ll find a spa, indoor pool or any over-the-top amenities, so plan accordingly.
I’ve stayed at dozens of New York hotels over the years, and Hyatt’s Grayson is now at the top of my list for stays when I want to be somewhere nice enough to enjoy a meal or a cocktail without leaving the hotel but not so nice (or expensive) that I’ll feel guilty for every second I’m not in the hotel making the most of my stay.