Queens?! Travel guide company Lonely Planet has picked the best U.S. destinations to visit in 2015 and Queens took their top spot. The largest borough in NYC is home to a diverse population, the US Open tennis tournament, and a huge Chinatown in Flushing. An array of cuisines, budding microbreweries, art-centric locales, and Rockaway Beach are all reasons cited for its travel allure. If you're so inclined to visit Queens, we suggest staying at Z Hotel -- a hip boutique in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Long Island City. Bonus: getting there will be a breeze since both JFK International and LaGuardia Airport are located in the borough.
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Take a tour of Queens' Z Hotel…
The Z’s rooms are stylish and fun, with details such as Mason jars used as overhead lamps, funky wall murals, intimacy kits, and a contemporary black, silver, and white color palette with pops of red. The size is standard for Manhattan, but guests staying in hotels outside the city center tend to expect slightly larger rooms — however, the striking floor-to-ceiling windows help rooms feel more spacious than they really are. And the views are exceptional from every single one.
It’s got an industrial-chic design with hipster-friendly touches and a sleek, modern look. The lobby is a small space packed with stylish and fun details, from the stacks of vintage trunks that make up the front desk, to the cool mural depicting the City Hall subway station, and the train station departure board above the elevators that welcomes guests in dozens of languages.
One of the highlights of the hotel during the warmer months is the Z Roof, a hopping rooftop bar featuring 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline and Queens. Here, guests and non-guests can enjoy a drink or homemade pizza by night, or join a yoga class in the morning.
Down a flight of stairs from the lobby is the hip lounge, with rustic-chic decor, a piano, and large second-story windows that let in natural light. Top 40, Jazz, and dance music is played all day at a reasonable volume, and there are DJ sessions on weekends. The lounge shares the space with Diner 24/7 — which is the hotel restaurant — and with a solid rotating art program showcasing local artists. Continental breakfast is served here every morning for a fee.