In downtown New York, grit meets glam and tourists are fewer to come by.
Where to Stay
The Ace Hotel is a fresh spin on a New York boutique hotel that’s close enough to uptown creature comforts with its 29th Street location between 5th Avenue and Broadway, and closer to the funkier downtown scene. Note: This isn’t for your Ritz-Carlton crowd. We suggest pitching this to your under-35 clients who want a little more hipster and a little less haute.
Housed in a 1904 building, the Ace seamlessly combines old school classics with a 21st-century twist. Cool Touch: Many of the rooms have LP turntables and acoustic guitars, while all of the rooms have fully stocked SMEG fridges.
We checked out Room No. 911, a loft room and one of the largest accommodations on-site. Loft rooms measure 711 square feet and come with flat-screen TVs and large bathrooms with claw-foot tubs. These spaces can also be rented out for board meetings and cocktail parties. Claim to fame: Room No. 911 was featured in an episode of the Travel Channel’s Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations series.
Vintage Vanity: The lobby, which evokes a “living room” vibe and pulls in a large local crowd, is accented with restored stained glass ceiling panels, which date back to 1904. The lobby’s mosaic tiled floor is also original, and the chandeliers were taken from Macy’s at 34th Street.
There are two restaurants at the Ace, both headed by Executive Chef April Bloomfield. The John Dory Oyster Bar serves lighter seafood fare, with a raw bar whose reputation spans the NYC grid. The Breslin Bar & Dining Room is the property’s Michelin-starred dining facility, which is a popular after-work drink spot (and also provides 24-hour room service to guests). Try the lamb burger. Note: Neither restaurant accepts reservations, but guests of the hotel can be put on “the list.” To request this (or for other special requests), reach out to Front Office Manager Graham Miliken (212-679-2222). Note: There is no head concierge at the Ace.
Note: The Ace doesn’t have a spa, but it does have a fitness center with up-to-date equipment.
Luxury travel advisors can contact Reservations Manager Michael Albert ([email protected]; 212-679-2222) with questions.
For your clients who want a taste of the high class near Union Square, we suggest heading south to the Gramercy Park Hotel at Lexington Avenue between 21st and 22nd streets. The hotel sits right on the exclusive Gramercy Park. Note: This hotel was launched by Ian Schrager, but is under a new management now.
We hear that the hotel’s best suites include the Park View Loft, Park Suite, Gramercy Suite, Deluxe Gramercy Suite and the Penthouse. Tip: The Penthouse is a one-bedroom suite but can connect to become two bedrooms. It also has a full kitchen and dining area and spans 1,200 square feet.
One of our favorite areas of this hotel is Maialino, one of the hotel’s signature restaurants. While there is no “best seat” in the house, we love to sit at the bar and chat with the bartenders who are equally knowledgeable on both the food and alcohol selection. Tip: Opt for the Malfatti alla Maialino—suckling pig ragu, torn pasta and arugula. It’s to die for.
Gramercy Park Hotel also has Gramercy Terrace as an alternative dining option on the roof of the property.
The hotel’s Rose Bar has just launched a new jazz series, featuring trumpeter Brian Newman on Tuesdays and Thursdays. At the moment it is free for both guests and the general public. Reservations are recommended after 9 p.m., but we hear that it typically is not a problem to snag a last-minute seat.
Although small, there is an on-site spa with two treatment rooms. Services are outsourced and luxury travel advisors can make arrangements via David Moreno ([email protected]; 212-673-5604), the chef concierge.
We hear that no request is too small for Moreno (assuming it is legal). Moreno can accommodate anything from private jet charters to private showings in designer boutiques to last-minute tickets to popular Broadway shows.
Gramercy Park Hotel is just a five-minute cab ride from New York’s Nolita neighborhood, which is home to some of the city’s best boutiques. If your clients wish to remain within walking distance of the hotel, Moreno suggests Eileen Fisher at 5th Avenue and 22nd Street; Diana Warner Studio at 42 E 21st Street; Project No. 8 at W 29th Street (and a part of the Ace Hotel); and Limelight Shops at 6th Avenue and 20th Street.
For any questions, direct your calls to Carrington Edmunds ([email protected]; 212-201-2167), director of sales.
Are your clients top trendsetters? They will not be disappointed with a stay at Trump SoHo New York. At Spring Street between Varick Street and 6th Avenue, this is where A-listers go to see and be seen.
The premiere accommodation at this hotel is the Duplex Penthouse, Room No. 4304. It is a two-story penthouse with one bedroom and separate parlor areas on each floor. There is also a 400-square-foot outdoor terrace with views of the Hudson River, Midtown and the Empire State Building.
Don’t need that much space? The Premiere King Rooms and Premiere One-Bedroom Suites have equally impressive views and occupy the top five floors of the hotel. All guests are entitled to the signature Trump Attaché service 24 hours a day, which includes everything from personal assistance to custom-stocked minibars and personalized stationery.
Trump SoHo has an impressive spa spanning over 11,000 square feet. We hear the signature treatment is the Turkish hamam, which is one of the only luxury hamams in New York. To book treatments, luxury travel advisors should contact William Myers ([email protected]; 212-842-5508), assistant director of spa.
Above-and-beyond is the name of the game at this swank hotel. Concierge Cullen Trentham has been known to book private yachts for guests, as well as arrange private shopping tours and provide access to exclusive events that are not open to the public. Our favorite special request service is the Garde Robe service, which allows guests to keep their clothing and personal items in New York, rather than travel with luggage each visit. Think: “Three-day winter wardrobe” or “weekend summer clothes.” Get in touch with Trentham ([email protected]; 212-842-5555) with your requests and queries.
|Ace Hotel’s Medium King Rooms have views of Broadway and W 29th Street.|
Fashionistas are at SoHo’s doorstep, which is home to high-end retailers like Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs and Chanel. There are also off-the-beaten path boutiques that provide more one-of-a-kind options. Cool Touch: Trump SoHo has partnered with neighborhood boutiques and specialty stores to give special privileges to guests. Trump SoHo has a house car available for transportation.
Note: Trump SoHo is currently in the process of revamping all of its dining options. Be on the lookout for changes in the coming year.
For further inquiries, reach out to Account Director Galit Schwarz ([email protected]hotels.com; 212-842-5568).
On the Town
|Gramercy Park Hotel Loft Rooms begin at 370 square feet.|
Jet-setters can get lost in the whirl of downtown New York, so we’ve narrowed down the search for a fun night out. The Lower East Side is one of our favorite neighborhoods because of its mix of eclectic scenes. Over the time it has flourished into one of the greatest off-kilter enclaves in the entire city, where celebs rub elbows with hipsters, students, riffraff and posers.
Be sure to recommend Beauty & Essex (www.beautyandessex.com; 212-614-0146) to A-listers. At 146 Essex Street, this hidden gem is masked by a faux façade. At first glance, it looks like a tiny antiques shop, but a green door behind the register gives way to a truly swank scene. Picture dimly lit dining areas, a sweeping spiral staircase lined with animal fur, and glitzy crystal chandeliers. Cool Touch: The ladies’ bathroom serves complimentary pink champagne.
|At The Ace Hotel, the lobby was designed to invite the New York neighborhood inside.|
The Stanton Social (www.thestantonsocial.com; 212-982-4587) at 99 Stanton Street is a sexy little hot spot perfect for stargazing and small plates. The décor is New York chic at its best, glowing with votives and darkened with deep woods. We recommend ordering the old school meatballs, French onion soup dumplings and spicy lamb souvlakis. Typically two or three plates per person suffice as a full meal.
Fans of Beauty Bar on East 14th Street will love the debut of The Finishing Bar by FOX & JANE (thefinishingbar.com), a boutique, gender-neutral beauty facility that just opened at 154 Orchard Street. The bar highlights everything from nail care to full-service waxing, makeup consultation and application complete with hot tea, coffee or wine, and champagne. To schedule an appointment, advisors can call 212-837-2774.
For daytime exploration, be sure to visit the New Museum at 235 Bowery. Modern art enthusiasts will love this hipster haven, which is sure to delight and perplex visitors.
|Trump Soho Penthouse Room No. 3303 is the only room with a pool table.|