Nordic salmon with juniper, a bottle of Chablis, live chamber music.
New Hotels in New York CityThe NYC Hotel Boom
Call it the year of the scaffolding. If it seems like you’re seeing more hotel construction on the streets of New York City, you’re right. As the New York Times reported last year, “New York hotels are at the forefront of a boom in complete makeovers, after years of lower capital spending…”
Old is New
A leading trend in 2013 – and continuing into 2014 – is hotels opening in revamped historical buildings. In the Garment District, the Refinery Hotel moved in to a former hat factory in the 20th century Colony Arcade building. The neighborhood’s legacy is revealed throughout, from sewing-machine desks in the airy rooms to carpets with a design of interlocking scissors. When you think of pious nights, Chelsea doesn’t come to mind. But that’s what you’ll find at the new High Line Hotel, which forms part of the still-functioning General Theological Seminary. Set in a neo-Gothic 1895 red-brick building, the hotel includes a Harry Potter-esque 1899 refectory (goblets not included).
And, over in the West Village: Everyone from Jack Kerouac to Maggie Smith to Mickey Rourke once warmed the beds at the Marlton, a former SRO (single room occupancy) hotel. Leading hotelier Sam MacPherson (Bowery Hotel, The Jane and Maritime Hotel) transformed the Marlton – the place had more work done than Mickey Rourke – and it’s now a plush “baby grand” boutique.
Other notable openings in 2013 were Viceory New York, which we covered in our First Look feature, A Hotel for All Your Vices. Also, the flashiest newcomer to Times Square this winter wasn’t another giant neon sign, but the the 54-story Hyatt Times Square – Manhattan’s largest new Hyatt in more than 30 years.
New in 2014
The power breakfast is back. January kicked off with the year’s most anicipated opening – the Loews Regency, which debuted after a $100-million renovation. The iconic Midtown hotel now has a gleaming 24-foot-high lobby and a massive Julien Farel anti-aging spa. The Regency Bar & Grill, which became famous for its 1970s power breakfasts (dealmaking over eggs Benedict), is now run by culinary veterans from Sant Ambroeus restaurants and helmed by chef Dan Silverman. Considering his latest successful stint at the Standard Grill, the Loews Regency may now become the site of the “power dinner.”
In spring 2014, you’ll be able to check in to the handsome new Archer Hotel near Bryant Park, which is pegged to the brand’s debonair “personality,” who introduces himself throughout the website as “Hello, Archer, here.” (Presumably in a British accent.) Also due to open this year is the Baccarat Hotel (as in the crystal), and the Knickerbocker, once the stomping (and drinking) grounds of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Beaux-Arts building in Times Square is crowned by a vintage rooftop bar, where you can get sloshed on old-fashioned cocktails just like Fitzgerald. As the Great Gatsby said, “Can’t repeat the past? Of course you can!”
(Photos courtesy of High Line Hotel, Loews Regency and Baccarat Hotel)