This sultry season puts a special shine on the Big Apple....
New York: Five Hotels, One City
Fresh slices of style in the Big Apple’s hotel scene invite you to enjoy Manhattan in all its splendor.
CITIES LIKE NEW YORK tend to be in a constant state of evolution, with new styles and trends surfacing on a regular basis. The Big Apple’s appetite for the next big thing extends to the hotel scene as well, with posh new properties catering to the demands not only of travelers but also to locals looking for hip, new places to dine, drink and entertain. Within the past year, several new lodging options have debuted in Manhattan, in a variety of prices and styles. Here are a few of the best.
1. The James New York
The much-celebrated boutique hotel in Chicago has brought its signature style to the heart of the trendy SoHo district. An art program curated by Brooklyn-based artist Matthew Jensen, the youngest artist ever to exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, provides visual pleasures that perfectly complement the hotel’s subdued, contemporary style. The 117 guest rooms are airy and light, with lots of window space and amenities that include a pillow menu and turndowns with Kee’s gourmet chocolates. Chicago-based architect and interior designer Thomas Schlesser designed the hotel’s restaurant, David Burke Kitchen, as well as the urban garden. Herbs are grown on site for drinks served at the hotel’s rooftop bar, Jimmy, which sits next to a small but spectacular pool and offers memorable views of the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and (someday) the new World Trade Center complex.
Park Avenue South Harlem
1. Gansevoort Park Avenue
This stylish hotel continues the tradition of cool established by its older sibling, the Gansevoort Meatpacking. Gigantic aubergine chandeliers, rock music and funky furniture set the tone in the main lobby, while the 250 sumptuously styled guest rooms are decorated with giant photos of scantily clad models, created by British photographer Deborah Anderson. All guest rooms are equipped with iPod Touch, and the specialty suites come with a pool table or a foosball table. Night owls take note: most of the excitement takes place in the penthouse bars, where the rooftop indoor-outdoor pool has hosted celebrity events for the likes of Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry. And if, for any reason, you feel the need to find your thrills elsewhere, the hotel offers complimentary use of a chauffeured Porsche Panamera on a first-come basis.
2. Aloft Harlem
In recent years, Harlem has attracted a growing number of visitors, thanks to its long-standing history as a hub for African-American entertainment, cuisine and heritage. Part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ cheerfully hip but reasonably priced brand, the Aloft Harlem is just one block from 125th Street, the neighborhood’s main cultural artery. A pool table and rotating art exhibits grace the Aloft lobby, while the adjacent w xyz bar hosts occasional book readings and live jazz performances. Most of the 124 guest rooms feature “plug and play” connectivity stations that charge electronics and link laptop computers and games to 42″ LCD televisions.
1. The Chatwal
Located steps from Times Square, this 83-room hotel is a salute to the Manhattan of a bygone era. Years ago, the building was home to the The Lambs Club, a members-only organization where a veritable who’s-who of the U.S. theater scene spent their free time. Today, celebrated architect Thierry Despont has done an amazing job repurposing the historic structure to movie-star elegance. The Lambs Club restaurant serves contemporary American fare in what looks like a set for a 1940s film. And after wandering nearby Times Square, you can rejuvenate at the The Chatwal Spa, which has three treatment rooms and what is quite likely the only saltwater hotel lap pool in the entire city.
2. InterContinental Times Square
There was a time when Times Square and the neighborhood to the west so evocatively called Hell’s Kitchen were less-than-desirable areas. Those days are long gone, of course, and now this hotel officially straddles the border between both must-see districts. Stylish and swanky, the 607 handsome guest rooms boast large windows and impressive views. Every room has a touch-screen computer, and the techno gym equipment at the 24-hour gym speaks 14 different languages via high-tech monitors. The lobby area, bathed in rich wood, stone and marble, opens onto a popular lobby bar and Ça va, a restaurant serving contemporary French brasserie cuisine designed by celebrity chef Todd English.
Daily flights to New York from Santiago, Lima and Guayaquil.
$$$ Moderately Priced
The Big Apple has a reputation for giving the little ones a cold shoulder, but lately things have...