by Jade Conroy, The Telegraph, July 5, 2017
In a city known for its shoebox-sized hotel rooms, the Royal Suite at Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown really gives meaning to the luxury of space. Measuring 2,400sq ft (223sq metres), it takes up the entire east side of the 24th floor; up here, you not only have an up-close view of the Manhattan skyline, you’re amongst it. The 82-storey building is a Robert A.M. Stern masterpiece, which aims to evoke the grand apartment blocks of 20th-century New York. Inside it’s Wall Street meets modern art.
The suite: The suite’s position puts the fish-bone-like fronds of the Oculus structure, the higgledy-piggledy blocks of the ‘Jenga’ building and the piercing spire of One World Trade Centre in view. A long corridor runs the length of the suite, with the lounge and dining area situated at one end; the solitary bedroom at the other. In between there is a walk-in wardrobe, bathroom, separate lounge, study and a WC. Adjacent bedrooms can be connected to the suite. From the egg-shaped bathtub, one gets views of the toy-car-like-laden Church Street.
Colours are muted – grey, beige and pewter dominate – with variation introduced by textures such as velvet, marble, silk and Indian stone. The centrepiece is the blue onyx wall, fitted with a mid-century-modern-style rectangular fireplace and framed by low-slung armchairs. The common Four Seasons focus on magnificent flower displays has been eschewed for more minimal selections, such as orchids and succulents. The space feels very masculine. Modern art adds depth, such as the imposing brass rod sculpture by Umomo which evoke the peaks of two skyscrapers.
Alongside modern amenities, such as iPads, USB outlets embedded in the walls and smart TVs, guests of the suite can expect top services including complimentary airport transfers via helicopter and two 80-minute massages. The team will also assist in securing reservations at popular CUT by Wolfgang Puck.
The hotel: As with the suite, interiors throughout the hotel were designed by Yabu Pushelberg, so expect their stamp of glossy, rich, yet highly contemporary luxury as soon as you enter the lobby (spy the gold conch sculpture by Marc Quinn while checking in). Service is intimate - staff are polite and remember your name, but it’s less white gloves and hat doffing, rather a warm and friendly vibe which is a much more suitable approach for the more casual travellers staying here in favour of the established, classic Four Seasons New York found uptown.
They might choose to take a plunge in the serene 75ft (23m) lap pool; to book in for Omorovicza or Dr Burgener treatments at the spa; or to make use of the 24-hour gym. The hotel's restaurant is the first in the city from LA-based chef Wolfgang Puck. In contrast to the palette of the hotel, CUT is a neon and velvet riot, and hosts high-powered New York networkers alongside hotel guests. Its elevated menu of surf-and-turf includes five different beef breeds, from Miyazaki Prefecture to Ithaca (try the American Wagyu from Idaho), served with a coterie of American-style sides.
FourSeasonsNewYorkDowntownRoyalSuite.jpgNot so keen: Aside from the technological hiccups, the fact that you can’t open the windows more than a centimetre (for safety) and the lack of outdoor space might bother some, especially as some of the lower-category Gotham Suites on the same floor have terraces. The Virgin Mary-blue curtains are also strangely clinical.
Location: Downtown is no longer just an anodyne financial neighbourhood – Condé Nast's headquarters and trendy restaurants and bars, such as The Dead Rabbit (crowned the best cocktail bar in the world) call this zip code home. St Christopher’s Church with its wonky cross, which can also be seen from the suite, is a sobering reminder that the 9/11 Memorial is also close by.