Freehand New York


Situated in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, Freehand NYC is located in the former George Washington Hotel — once home to many storied writers, musicians and creatives. This Manhattan shelter offers superlative options for those looking to embark on a night of mischief met mouthwatering cocktails. 


BY: Alex Temblador Contributing writer

When a building is abandoned or bought and rebranded into another place, we lose something of its past. New York City is filled with places in which history was made, where artists of all kinds gathered to discuss, build, and create. Freehand New York is one such building. It’s housed in the former George Washington Hotel, a place where poets, writers, and musicians lived and interacted, and while the building has been repurposed to modern day standards, Freehand New York is bringing out the spirit of the artist that once existed between the rooms, guests, and tenants for those who visit today.

Situated in the Flatiron District, Freehand is across from Gramercy Theater, a five-minute walk to Madison Square Park, and a 15-minute walk to the Empire State Building. Designed by Roman and Williams, the inside is a mix of new and old. The playful turquoise colors in the lobby make the wood paneled walls and the artwork of Bard College students and alumni stand out. Public spaces are warm and cozy with modern furniture and green plants.

At night, you’ll want to make your way to the George Washington Bar, a bar with an old-fashioned style, cocktails, and a painting of the first president himself.

The rooms at Freehand are similar in design. They’re comfortable, yet simple with white walls and beds and wooden furniture and lamps. Wall art adds a touch of design to the rooms. They’re all equipped with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, red apples for snacks, and private bathrooms, including the budget-friendly bunk bed rooms.

You’re not going to stay in your room for long at Freehand. There’s too much to see and do in the public spaces with their inviting atmosphere meant to induce conversation.  Like The Shoppe, part mini bar, part gift store. If the city life is calling your name, head to Smile To Go, a café with Mediterranean food, pastries, and coffee, available to enjoy on-site or to-go.

For an in-depth breakfast, there’s the second-floor restaurant, Studio. They offer healthy breakfast options, and a lunch and dinner menu with fare inspired by North Africa and the Near East. Simon & The Whale is an upscale eatery with some seafood dishes like ceviche, oysters, and crudo, and more elaborate meals like shell stake and sunchoke casonsei. Head to the rooftop to Broken Shaker, a breezy beach vibe bar with small bites, cocktails, and stunning city views. At night, you’ll want to make your way to the George Washington Bar, a bar with an old-fashioned style, cocktails, and a painting of the first president himself.

It might take a few days to experience all that Freehand New York has to offer but be sure you do. Walk the halls filled with the creative presence of the past, and sit with others and talk, engage, and laugh. Feel the freedom in the air at Freehand New York, and go out and create.


If  winter has you needing to warm your bones. Head into George Washington Bar and let a bold glass of whiskey light a fire inside

If you’re feeling the summer paradise, head up to Broken Shaker for a rum inspired cocktail

Gasoline Alley Coffee is just a few blocks away. Head over to fuel up before the day

Multiple rooms available. Including The Bunk if you’re rolling with a deep squad