Earlier this month, the luxury hotel chain Park Hyatt opened its flagship New York location, Park Hyatt New York.
Housed inside the near-complete condo One57 on 57th Street, Park Hyatt is 25 floors of sheer elegance and opulence.
Rumour has it Park Hyatt New York could become the first new five-star hotel in New York in more than 11 years. The rating is determined by the venerable Forbes Travel Guide, which will send an inspector (and a second anonymous inspector) to review the hotel in the next six months.
New York currently has eight 5-star hotels, the 11-year-old Mandarin Oriental being the most recently anointed. Should Park Hyatt qualify for the Forbes Travel Guide’s top rating, it has to go above and beyond, providing “room amenities including fresh flowers and wine by the glass presented in the bottle and poured by room-service staff.”
We recently toured the Park Hyatt New York and a 530-square-foot Park Studio Suite, available for $US1,295 a night on average, to see what the team is doing to meet these impeccable standards.
This is One57, the super luxury high-rise sitting on 'Billionaires' Row' just south of Central Park. The lower 25 floors make up Park Hyatt New York, which opened in late August.
While One57 residents and Park Hyatt guests share some amenities, there's a pretty clear distinction between the building's two functions. Residents and guests have separate entrances on 57th Street.
Inside the lobby, a 'host' is there to greet you. He or she will check you in, hand off your luggage, and escort you all the way to your room.
The host has a tablet on hand that is pre-loaded with your registration, payment information, and 'likes and dislikes.' For instance, a travel agent may give the hotel a heads up that Mr. Guest likes white wine, not red, and Mrs. Guest is allergic to shellfish.
Guests may choose to detour to the lounge area, where staffers are waiting to assist around every corner. The women wear sleek black dresses, designed for the hotel by Narciso Rodriguez, and the men rock out custom Barneys suits.
The space imitates an upscale New York City apartment, complete with a decorative library and comfy couches. Geometry is central to the international design firm Yabu Pushelberg's vision for the hotel. The paintings, art installations, and even the furniture prominently feature angular shapes.
Between 3 and 5 p.m. every day, eclairs are served in beautiful glass cases in the lobby. They're complimentary, of course.
The hotel's aspirational 'claim to fame' is its champagne bar, where eight types of bottles and a signature champagne cocktail are served daily.
The restaurant serves traditional American fare highlighted by the freshest seasonal ingredients. Entrées range from a $US24 farmer's vegetarian plate to a $US79 16-ounce, 45-day-aged sirloin.
A private elevator (separate from the residents') takes us to the room. Instead of hanging Do Not Disturb signs on the doorknobs, guests can press a button by the bed that corresponds to a small red light outside their door.
We toured a Park Studio Suite that costs $US1,295 a night on average. The first thing you see when you walk in is a vintage-inspired trunk, one of the few exceptions to the hotel's modern design. It houses the room's safe and notepaper.
The junior suites average 530 square feet, bigger than most studio apartments in the city. The geometric theme carries through in the stone flooring, a certain upgrade from typical hotel carpeting.
While the rooms mimic the lobby's neutral and metallic tones, the wall hangings provide a splash of colour. The hotel is home to 350 pieces of art in total, 10 of which were specially commissioned.
The mini-fridge is well stocked with artisan nuts and candies and at least a dozen small bottles of wine and champagne. The total retail value is 'in the thousands.'
Each room is equipped with a modified iPad that guests can use to find things to do in the neighbourhood, contact housekeeping, check the weather, and order room service. The camera has been disabled, 'and you can imagine why,' my tour guide jokes.
A daily amenity curated by The Back Room's Pastry Chef Scott Cioe awaits guests in the room. These sweet Kelsey Plums come from Jansal Valley Farms.
The bathroom can't be described as anything other than a masterpiece. The walk-in shower has a rainfall head, a fog-free mirror (so men can shave in there), and heated marble floors.
The bathroom counter is well stocked with products by boutique perfumery Le Labo and other items you might have forgotten to bring, such as a hairbrush, toothbrush, and nail kit. The coolest feature by far is the television built into the mirror.
After soaking up their room's beauty, guests can pay a visit to Spa Nalai, a 13,000-square-foot, sun-drenched sanctuary. The scent of orchids and freshly brewed tea embraces you upon entry.
Spa Nalai prides itself on offering a completely customised wellness experience. Each treatment is unique, combining herbs, fruit, flowers, and salts to help guests achieve next-level calmness. The spa has six private suites, which contain private steam showers and terraces.
Spa Nalai's signature treatment is called earthing. Guests lie on a warmed bed of sand quartz and are lightly massaged into the surface with small pumice-like cushions.
Ready to refresh, guests can move over to the state-of-the-art pool, surrounded by Italian marble walls that took a year and a half to align so the natural striping matched up. Four underwater speakers broadcast custom-composed music from Carnegie Hall.
Down the hall, a 1,845-square-foot fitness center is open 24/7 for guests only. The hotel plans to replace the equipment every two years, ensuring that the treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines remain top-of-the-line.
The most indulgent thing I witnessed during the tour was the gym's towel fridge, so guests can dry off while cooling off after an intense workout.
Bottom line, a night at Park Hyatt New York is a can't-miss investment for those with a few hundred bucks to spare.
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