“The market is doing incredibly well with demand to stay at an upscale property at an all-time high,” said Vijay Dandapani, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of New York City, which represents 300 hotels. “This interest is mainly driven by a leisure clientele and is unprecedented.”
Dandapani says the city’s swankiest hotels boast occupancy rates of over 80% and prices that start at US$900 or more a night, the most expensive they’ve ever been.
The fall season has been particularly busy for hotels in the city with a slew of openings and updates to existing properties. “Any luxury property in its infancy enters a competitive market at an opportune time,” says Dandanpani.
Most anticipated of all, he says, is Aman New York. Located in Midtown Manhattan in the historic Crown Building, the property was designed by renowned Jean-Michel Gathy, the principal designer of Denniston Architects. It features a double-height atrium at the entrance and muted colors throughout in a nod to the brand’s Asian roots.
The 83 rooms are the largest in town, spanning at least 745 square feet. With rates starting at over US$3,000 a night, these are also the most expensive. Amenities include an expansive wraparound terrace open year-round, a jazz club with live entertainment, and two restaurants: Arva, serving Italian cuisine, and Nama, featuring Japanese cuisine.
In typical Aman style, the spa is a centerpiece, spanning three floors. It has a swimming pool, 10 treatment rooms and hot and cold plunge pools.
Most of the other new hotels in New York are more downtown with two in the Nomad neighborhood.
The Nomad of the Ritz-Carlton marks the debut of a reinvented Ritz-Carlton. The brand is looking to move away from its rigid reputation with looks and amenities that aim to appeal to affluent millennials. Design is at the center of this latest outpost with a sleek, biophilic aesthetic that was created in collaboration with Rafael Viñoly Architects, Rockwell Group and Martin Brudnizki.
The 250 rooms have muted colors, gold velvet sofas, and elements like stone and marble surfaces and brass finishes. Jose Andres, the celebrity chef and humanitarian, is behind Mediterranean restaurant Zaytinya and 50e Nubeluz floor cocktail bar. Nearby, The Nomad Ned, a private club and hotel, is the second location for The Ned brand, which began with a property in London. Located in a Beaux-Arts early 20e A century-old building, it has 167 Art Deco-style rooms and a lively all-day Italian restaurant, Cecconi’s.
Further west in Chelsea, Chelsea Hotelin a late 19e century building, first opened in 1905 and has become a stomping ground for creative people, including writers and artists. It has now reopened with an updated look, 155 rooms, a remarkable art collection, featuring prominent names such as painter Donald Baechler, and a Spanish restaurant, El Quijote. A spa is expected to open early next year.
Everything downtown in the financial district, The Wall Street Hotel is another newcomer to the scene. The property has a light and bright color theme, 180 rooms meant to evoke the feeling of pied-de-terre living with their unique bookcases and knick-knacks, and a French restaurant, La Marchande, by chef John Fraser.
Debuts aside, some of the city’s most lavish hotels with an established presence have news to share.
Baccarat, in Midtown, recently opened a Baccarat crystal boutique, the second in New York. Located on the second floor of the property, it sells light fixtures, barware and decorative items.
Also in MidtownThe St. Regis New York offers a new course in sabrage, a theatrical technique for opening a bottle of champagne that has been a longstanding tradition for the brand. Available by reservation to guests and the public, the private 30-minute class explains the history and techniques of sabering and includes a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne and canapes.
On the Upper East Side, The Carlyle has two important updates. His cabaret club Café Carlyle recently reopened after a long closure due to the pandemic. The lineup of shows this fall and winter includes performances by singer-songwriter Rita Wilson, singer Michael Feinstein and husband and wife duo John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, who performed at Café Carlyle several times during the last decade.
The Carlyle also has a new restaurant, Dowling’s, run by chef Sylvain Delpique, a former member of the 21 Club. Its menu offers classic American and French dishes with a refined touch, such as octopus carpaccio with mashed of lemon-saffron, half a roast chicken with black truffle jus and a Dover sole with hazelnut butter. It’s already a lively place that is full night after night.