Four hotels are new on the luxury scene and making a splash in a short time.
The Setai Fifth Avenue has boldly gone where no other luxury hotel has before. New York’s first Capella-managed hotel has opened right in the vicinity of the Empire State Building, in an area that, up until now, did not have a luxury hotel and was never considered to be a chic part of the city. The Setai is seeking to change all that. We think it’s off to a good start.
The top accommodations here are the three Penthouse Apartment Suites on floors 25, 26 and 27. The 1,900-square-foot suites include two bedrooms each with the option to connect to two other suites for a combined four bedrooms, three living rooms and four-and-a-half baths. Design Touches: The Penthouse Apartments are finished in rosewood and white marble with gold veining, and textiles in deep browns and reds. Amenities include Grohe bath fixtures, Luca Di Luna marble countertops and black oak floors. There are also 14 Deluxe Apartments and 40 Avenue Apartments. Note: All Apartment Suite guests are given complimentary dry cleaning and ironing services on their first night of arrival.
|Ink48 was fashioned out of an old printing plant and is a hit with the fashion, film and music crowd.|
While vistas from The Setai aren’t park or water, for views along Fifth Avenue, the choice is the Premier Rooms. Each has half-moon shaped walls with three sets of double windows. In fact, we saw Premier Room No. 806, which benefits from a flood of natural light and a bathroom with a huge window—perfect accompaniment for a relaxing soak. Next door, No. 805, a Studio Suite, has a limestone bath, and a TV embedded into the bathroom mirror. Advisors with older clients take note: Beds are of the platform variety (think low-floor). Hint: Ask Sales Manager John Ladd ([email protected]) about the hotel’s personal assistants—a group of handpicked professionals on call to create a personalized experience for each guest. The personal assistants can arrange everything, from access to high-end designer showrooms in the garment district and personal shopping excursions at Manhattan department stores (think Barneys) to VIP tours of iconic New York establishments. Luxury travel advisors can also contact Director of Industry Sales Jennifer Maas ([email protected]).
Dining is a treat at the hotel. Ai Fiore is Chef Michael White’s 85-seater, second-floor Italian restaurant. While it is the hotel’s signature restaurant, we think the Bar on 5th will draw a lot of traffic, not only because of its signature drinks (try the Kaffir Lime Mule, The Setai’s exclusive, house-made ginger beer), but also because it opens onto the corner of Fifth Avenue and 36th Street.
|Gansevoort Park Avenue’s rooftop pool has a collapsible garage door allowing passage between the interior and exterior elements.|
Guests will also want to head to the 11,500-square-foot Auriga Spa, which has 11 treatment rooms as well as a Julien Farel salon. The spa spans the entire fourth floor of the hotel and has such amenities as wet rooms, experiential showers, a vitality pool, sauna, steam room and a hammam. The spa consists of four signature treatments that reflect the varying energies of the lunar cycle. Luxury travel advisors can contact Director of Spa Brooke Robertson ([email protected]).
In New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, on the far West Side, Ink48 is blazing its own trail. The Kimpton hotel is inspired by the idea of an urban loft (the hotel used to be a printing plant and the original high ceilings of the building remain intact). We say, good: rooms have wide shots of the Hudson River through large windows. The hotel is already a hit with the fashion, film and music crowd. We hear American Idol’s Adam Lambert has stayed at the hotel, as has pop singer Kesha.
The top suite here is the appropriately named Heaven Over Hell’s Kitchen Suite. The 1,100-square-foot penthouse accommodation, on the hotel’s top floor, is doubly delicious: The bedroom looks out on the Manhattan skyline, while the sitting area faces the Hudson. Adjacent is the suite’s very own 2,200-square-foot terrace with an oversized deep soaking Jacuzzi.
For more over-the-top views, check into the Riverview Terrace Room. This suite boasts a 400-square-foot south-facing furnished terrace with views of the city skyline and the Hudson River. Note: The aforementioned suites cannot be booked online; contact Director of Sales and Marketing Vincent Sciabarassi ([email protected]).
|The Hudson River Suite at Ink48 has expansive views over its namesake.|
At the intimate InkSpa, we hear there are three signature treatments: the Lasting Impression Facial, the Aroma Reflection body treatment and the Indelible Express Massage, which, we hear, is the most popular. It involves organic aromatherapy oils, a foot massage that comes with alpine balm and hotel towel wrap.
The spa has three treatment rooms in all, one being a couples’ suite that includes a walk-in Swiss shower with 12 shower heads. InkSpa also has its own lounge area and Zen garden. We hear booking treatments on weekdays is not difficult; however, for weekend treatments, Spa Director Kristie Orosz ([email protected]) suggests booking at least a week in advance. Popular weekend slots are 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The two dining areas at Ink48 pay homage to the legacy of the building, which the hotel now occupies. PRINT is on the hotel’s first floor, while PRESS is a glass-enclosed lounge on the 16th floor, complete with outdoor seating. The former features farm-to-table cuisine from the husband-and-wife duo Charles Rodriguez and Heather Carlucci-Rodriguez. Up top, PRESS delights the senses and is capitalizing on the rooftop movement that has taken New York hotels by storm. The views alone set the space apart, not to mention the expertly crafted cocktails and nibbles.
|A Deluxe Room at Gansevoort Park Avenue has floor-to-ceiling windows with Park Avenue views.|
To arrange personalized New York excursions (think shopping sprees in the Meatpacking District or along Fifth Avenue), contact Lead Concierge Marc Ruff ([email protected]; 212-757-0088)
Ace Hotel is fast making an imprint on a still undiscovered area of Manhattan on Broadway in the 20s. The Ace brand first popped up in Portland before iterations in Palm Springs and Seattle—and now the Big Apple. We say this is the kind of hotel that builds neighborhoods due to its ability to attract lodgers, diners, shoppers—and those who want to be in the know.
Food First: April Bloomfield, who shot to fame with The Spotted Pig in the West Village, opened The Breslin at Ace Hotel with partner Ken Friedman. The restaurant is known for its embrace of “nose-to-tail” cooking and has a brunch for which people wait over an hour just to snag a table (sorry, no reservations here). For dinner, we recommend the roast suckling pig, which serves parties of eight or more. Must Try: The lamb burger is another big winner. (Note: The duo also just opened The John Dory Oyster Bar in the hotel; a revival, of sorts, of their failed restaurant of the same name in Chelsea). After brunch, lunch or dinner, we implore you to pop into Stumptown Coffee Roasters, also at the hotel, where, we say, you’ll find the best cup of joe in town.
|The Lobby at Ace Hotel has a historical and bookish look, while rooms have a comfy residential feel.|
Inside the hotel, you’ll find a lobby that has an old-soul feel, and the look of an affluent Briton’s home library (the huge American flag that adorns one wall lets guests know they are still stateside). Rooms at Ace Hotel have a hipster-ish feel, with well-placed knickknacks and vintage touches (think Smeg refrigerators and Epiphone acoustic guitars, customized exclusively by Gibson). The Loft Suites are the top accommodations, and their corner location gives guests Broadway views. These rooms also have large bathrooms with French doors, claw foot tubs and separate showers. Luxury travel advisors can contact General Manager Jan Rozenveld ([email protected]). Note: The front-desk team is trained in concierge duties and can create customized VIP experiences. For example, last year, the hotel was able to offer guests inside access to the final show of the Deitch Gallery showcasing Shepard Fairey, the Antony Gormley project and CMJ.
A few blocks east of Ace is Gansevoort Park Avenue, sister property to the well-received Gansevoort in the Meatpacking District. We say the hotel is perfect for your clients who like to “work hard, play hard.” The hotel is testing unchartered waters (the area, adjacent to Murray Hill, is not particularly known as a chic area), but it is confident, even giving the area its own sobriquet—NOMAD, or north of Madison Avenue—because which part of Manhattan doesn’t have a nickname?
Guests will get the Gansevoort vibe as soon as they enter (and feel at least five years younger!). A pair of aubergine chandeliers dangle from the lobby’s ceiling, while a fireplace casts a warm glow against the oversized checkered chairs. Rooms feature lofty ceilings, Juliet balconies and Park Avenue views. The Presidential Suite and the Park Avenue Suites are the top-tier rooms and—because these are corner suites—have cross-section views of both Park Avenue and 29th Street. The former is a 3,800-square-foot, four-bedroom, bi-level retreat with floor-to-ceiling windows, a furnished corner terrace overlooking the city and a master bathroom with a free-standing whirlpool soaking tub. We also hear Loft Suites—Nos. 1110, 1111, 1112 and 1211—are perpetually in demand.
Concierge Tom Bell ([email protected]; 646-380-5216) is deft in making any arrangement for guests. Consider a recent Australian group. They stayed at the hotel for a week and Bell made all their reservations, from dinner to boat rides on the Hudson River. The Capper: The night before the guests departed, they came down to thank the entire team, but had one regret: They did not have time to go to Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes. The next morning, Bell had a half dozen delivered to the guest rooms before departure as a surprise.
Just as the Gansevoort Meatpacking created a scene on its rooftop, the scene at Park Avenue is matched on the top floor. There, Plunge Rooftop Bar and Lounge is attracting jetsetters and locals alike with its open-air terrace and outdoor fireplaces. The top touch has to be the pool, which is heated and has a mosaic of a 1940s pin-up girl on the bottom, as well as a collapsible garage door allowing passage between the interior and exterior elements. Top View: The apex of the Empire State Building appears to be almost eye-level from this vantage point.
Luxury travel advisors can contact Kerry Bergin ([email protected]; 646-380-5257) with questions.