Room Mate Grace

nr Times Square, Midtown NYC, United States Book from

Reviewed by Antonia Short
Funky ‘70s-inspired no-frills boutique off Times Square, with a film-set pool, a late-night bar and a fun-loving crowd
If you’re the sort who finds hotel life stuffy, Room Mate Grace will be a breath of fresh air. Fun before formality is the motto here, and an easy-going hostel ethos blends with slick surrounds. This is no-frills-meets-boutique - expect to carry your own bags, serve your own breakfast - but to do so in some style.

One block from Times Square, reflective 70s wallpaper catches your eye at check-in; then the colourfully illuminated pool, glimmering though the Perspex beyond. Design here is paramount. You can take a dip, then order drinks in the swim-up bar, but remember you're on view from reception, so prepare to be part of the show. If you don't mind cocktails served in plastic cups (for poolside drinking), the Boogie Nights meets Ikea decor is undeniably groovy. In the retro-styled rooms you get comfy platform mattresses, flash fabrics and iPod docks. On balance, RMG feels a tad more EasyJet than British Airways, and attracts a like-minded crowd.


  • Great central location - just 1 block from Times Square and 3 from Grand Central Station
  • Funky pool with swim-up bar (open till 2-3am) and underwater music, plus a sauna, steam and fitness room
  • Fun, whimsical ‘70s design and regular evening DJs by the pool
  • Rooms have Egyptian cotton bedding, flat-screen TVs, iPod and DVD players, WiFi, two-line phones and walk-in rainwater showers
  • Good for families


  • Ongoing renovations are underway; the Superior Rooms and the majority of the common areas (the pool, meeting rooms, gym etc) are currently closed
  • There's no restaurant, only a self-service breakfast café
  • Like those no-frills airlines, the dynamic pricing can inflate room rates to over-the-odds altitudes at busy times of year
  • While the staff are very friendly, there’s still a large element of self-service
  • Some rooms lack a door between the sleeping area and bathroom

Best time to go

New York is most welcoming in spring and summer when the threat of extreme (scorching or freezing) temperatures is at its lowest.

Our top tips

Add a soupcon of glamour to your trip sampling the oysters at Grand Central Terminal, then soak up the majesty of one of the world’s most famous stations on your way out.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 120
  • Breakfast (+ walk to restaurants)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Indoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room: Executive


It’s a strange melange, a hostel-inspired budget bunk-up turned all-mod-cons boutique hotel. Egyptian cotton sheets on pillow-top mattresses, rainwater showers, hairdryer, WiFi and flat-screen TVs are standard. Rooms are categorised by size - both bed and square footage.

In-room space is limited but beautifully managed, with inviting platform beds and wheelie tables showing you just how bijou living can be done. The stark bathrooms are disproportionately large with ample counter space - the walk-in rainfall showers clearly a priority. Some come ‘open’ (have no door) which may mean listening to your real-life room-mate while nature’s calling, so check before booking if this bothers you.

Other distractions include iPod and DVD players, while Jonathan Adler wallpaper tastefully diverts attention from the otherwise bland colour scheme and rain mac curtains. Blackout blinds are a boon for late risers.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet


Decked out in honey-coloured woods, felt banquettes, leather ottomans and trendy illuminations (even the strip lighting is groovy), the bar is a cool spot to gather for cocktails. But if you’re wondering why your margarita has just arrived in a plastic glass, take a stroll up the ramp to the left of the bar and start hanging poolside.

Strip off and jump in if you dare - there's even a swim-up bar (hence the plastic cups) - but it's not for the self-conscious as you're very much on view. Rainbow-coloured set-lights make the pool an irresistible haunt - or they would if it weren't for the occasional chemical whiff of chlorine and, after one drink at a (dirty) poolside table, we headed out.

Room Mate Grace has no restaurant to speak of, but there is a breakfast room on the mezzanine level (also linked to the pool). Pop down for a continental breakfast and find everything from yoghurt and berries to bagels and boiled eggs, meats and cheeses. Do note the slightly processed nature of the food, but a huge plus for us were the constantly beaming staff.

You don’t need to wander far to find the cuisine of your choice. A couple of blocks away on 44th and 10th is 44 & X Hell's Kitchen, widely recommended for its spiced up American cuisine.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby


  • Follow in the Manolo-ed footsteps of Carrie Bradshaw & co: drink where they drink, shop where they shop, and gossip where they gossip on a 40-location Sex and the City Hotspots tour….
  • Take one of the best boat trips in the world. The Staten Island Ferry (close to Battery Park) runs 24 hours and guarantees heart-stopping views of Liberty Island (Statue of Liberty) and downtown Manhattan
  • Staying this close, you’re likely to taxi through Times Square at least once. For a more involved visit, drop into the Times Square Visitor’s centre at 1560 Broadway
  • If you like musicals or are a fan of the theatre, you can’t stay this close and not see a Broadway show
  • Visit the arguably the world's best modern art collection on show at MoMA
  • Catch soulful songsters and musical legends at the famous BB King Blues Club, just a few blocks south on 42nd Street

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets


Children are welcome, it's in a great location and the fun décor will definitely appeal. Bear in mind that it's a no frills-style hotel: no restaurant, no room service and so on.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

All rooms can hold a baby cot and most can hold an extra bed, but the Triple is the best option for a small family.


Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Pool with underwater music
  • In-room TV and DVD player

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Bryant Park, with carousel, pond, playground
  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller Centre and Tower
  • MoMA
  • Central Park
  • Grand Central Station

Families Should Know:

Kids should be supervised around the pool. Although there are plenty of child-friendly places to dine nearby, it's not ideal if you have young children or babies.


  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Hospital: 10-15 minutes
Kid Friendly: Standard Twin

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