New York City Hotels
By Chris Black
Apr 19, 2023
The allure of hotels in New York City is a respite from the chaos, from the noise, from all the people. A stroll through the lobby takes you to the lift, which whisks you into the quiet halls where every guest is invited to live as they please behind a locked door and a privacy sign. In a city where you are on display, the escape to a world of plush, well-appointed anonymity is welcome, if not necessary. Ironed linens, twenty-four-hour room service, perfect water pressure, and a selection of newspapers are how most of us would like to live. Still, at some point, we must check out and return to life as usual, where we are responsible for vacuuming the floors and making our own omelettes.
The Bowery Hotel is dimly lit, covered in well-worn rugs, perfectly aged oil paintings, indoor plants, wood, and dark leather. The lobby is, of course, a scene, but if you want to tuck into a full-bodied red before retiring, the setting is perfect. Get a room as high up as possible with a terrace (maybe the one with the outdoor shower). The view alone is worth the price. Assuming the paparazzi are not waiting outside the front doors for you to cross the street for a coffee, it’s the perfect stay downtown.
If uptown glamor and jogging in Central Park before enjoying a cappuccino at Sant Ambroeus is what you crave, then The Carlyle is for you. It’s famous for a reason. It’s old and sophisticated, the service is incredible, and the modern art deco aesthetic has been meticulously maintained. Splurge on a suite as they have been designed by legends like Tony Chi, Dorothy Draper, Mark Hampton, Alexandra Champalimaud, and Thierry Despont.
You are probably familiar with Bemelmans Bar. The image of the brown leather banquettes and nickel-trimmed black glass tabletops has indeed graced your Instagram feed in the last few years. Like most great things, It has gotten too popular, but luckily charm remains. While the band plays jazz standards, belly up to the black granite bar and have a few Vespers and marvel and the hand-painted wallpaper. If you start to see the picnicking rabbits and ice skating elephants moving, it’s time to get on the lift and head back to the room.
A third and final option takes us to Tribeca. Robert De Niro owns it, but its appeal lies in the mish-mash of Tibetan rugs, English settees, and Moroccan tiles with vintage books and antiques. Every room is different. It’s lived in luxury that feels comfortable right away. If you want to relax, The Shibui Spa at the hotel is probably the best in the city, boasting traditional Japanese soaking tubs, a heated swimming pool lit by lanterns, and a lounge under a bamboo roof. After a lengthy lunch at Mr. Chow, who doesn’t need a nice long soak?
The options are, of course, endless, but these places combine the things that make New York City great. Attention to detail, quiet luxury, and discretion. The most public place in the world can be the most private. When you step out of the elevator and the noise disappears, you are left contemplating the meaning of life, or deciding if you want pizza.