The exterior of the New York Edition hotel, in the clocktower. (Photo: Elliott Kaufman)
The Hotel: The New York Edition, which is the vision of legendary hotelier Ian Schrager and Marriott, in their third Edition brand hotel. The hotel — which opened in May — comes on the heels of the wildly successful launch of Edition locations in London and Miami.
The Location: Overlooking Madison Square Park on the corner of 24th and Madison Avenue in the heart of the Flatiron District.
The billiards room. (Photo: Nikolas Koenig)
First Impressions: The entrance to the hotel is located on a quiet side street right off of charming Madison Square Park. Step through the understated entrance and you’ll immediately notice the soaring ceilings, a soothing cream palette, and a staff ready to welcome you. A few steps up to the right are sofas and chairs set up for lounging just off of the bustling lobby bar. The hotel feels like the perfect mix of uptown and downtown, sophisticated-meets-cool without feeling like it’s trying too hard or painfully trendy.
The lobby bar. (Photo: Nikolas Koenig)
The Property: The Edition is set in a landmarked clocktower that dates back from 1909. It was originally built as the headquarters for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The 41-story property boasts beyond gorgeous 360-degree views of the city. If you are on the lower floors, request the rooms overlooking Madison Square Park that also boast sunset vistas. With the higher floors you can’t go wrong, but the sun-drenched southern facing rooms feature breathtaking views of downtown New York.
The New York Edition, in a landmarked building. (Photo: Nikolas Koenig)
What I loved: Marriott also owns Ritz Carlton and the Edition’s staff has all gone through the same top-notch training as its prestigious sister brand. During my stay, they were on it with every request, always providing stellar, immediate service (a hotel car to drop off at a nearby restaurant, a copy of the local tabloid paper along with the Times, a delicious room-service breakfast, help with an outlet). But the staff is also chatty, warm, and friendly. The hotel really offers the best of both worlds, a hip hotel cool sensibility and vibe, with the five-star service of a posh hotel.
Cool lines in a public space. (Photo: Nikolas Koenig)
What I didn’t love: While even the smallest rooms have a lovely layout, and the beds are supremely comfortable, the room design feels a little lacking. Schrager — who is the hotel guru behind New York’s Royalton Hotel and Miami’s Delano has used an all-white palette as his design signature for years. It’s employed again here. While an all-cream room punctuated by an oversized wood-paneled headboard and a framed fashion photograph is nice, it feels a little uninspired. One could argue, however, that the views are the focal point and the quieter design allows that to shine. It’s worth noting that Schrager has already stated that the Times Square Edition will be a departure in black and white.
A pared-down room, with views of the city. (Photo: Nikolas Koenig)
What’s Not to Miss: Hands down, the coolest part of the hotel, and the reason to visit — whether you are staying at the hotel or not — is the second-floor bar and restaurant the Clocktower. Inspired by Manhattan’s turn-of-the-century private clubs, many of the building’s original Beaux-arts details have been recreated, with wood paneling, herringbone floors, and a glamorous gilded bar. There are multiple rooms here: the cozy bar, a billiards room, and three dining rooms.
A collection of vintage photos in the restaurant. (Photo: Nikolas Koenig)
What links all the spaces is a beyond cool collection of vintage photographs from Trunk Archive, which showcases movie stars, models, musicians, and NYC from days gone by. The vibe in the restaurant and the bar is buzzy, with a hip crowd that has made this one of the city’s it-spots this summer. The restaurant is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton and serves British pub fare and fabulous cocktails.
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