Stay the night: Andaz Wall Street, New York City
Commerce meets comfort in this new hotel in NYC's financial hub. Simone Kane invests some time
Sunday 30 May 2010
My Andaz host says I should take a seat as I enter a spacious lounge furnished with plush, contemporary sofas and chairs. She fetches a glass of wine, leaving me to admire the sculptural staircase sweeping up before me. The place is busy but there are no queues – in minutes I've checked in on a hand-held tablet.
I'm trying out the latest hotel opening from the group Andaz, a 253-room property on Wall Street in New York City. It's the only hotel with a Wall Street address – for now, at least, because this financial district is experiencing a renaissance. Since 9/11 the area has seen a rise in residential development – the Philippe Starck Apartments sit opposite Andaz – and new bars and restaurants to cater for them.
The Rockwell Group has worked luminous magic on the old JP Morgan Chase headquarters, the setting for Andaz Wall Street, yet retained a connection to the building's roots. In the restaurant, subtle swirls on the walls and ceiling recall watermarks on stock certificates, while pearl sconces are a neat reference to nearby Pearl Street. Pressed bamboo patterns on the lounge walls replicate Federal Exchange lock boxes.
Throughout the restaurant, bar, and lounge there's a communalism in the design that might seem at odds with its high-octane location – yet it's a successful marriage of commerce and comfort.
The simplicity and style of the bedrooms, which start at a generous 345 square feet, don't disappoint. Loft-height ceilings and huge windows – which open – keep rooms light and airy. Stark, white walls are lifted by dark oak floors, wood-and-leather headboards, bleached-wood furniture and engraved metal artworks. Black marble bathrooms have rainfall showers and C O Bigelow products; some have baths.
Whichever end of the scale, guests get the same quality – all that increases is the space, to include seating, working and dining areas. TVs and minibars stocked with complimentary soft drinks and nibbles are standard.
The food and drink
In a corner of the lounge is a coffee bar, where guests can order "to go", or sit at a communal bar table laden with just-baked mini muffins and cookies, sugared pecans and fresh-squeezed juice – all complimentary.
Upstairs, the Wall & Water restaurant – sultry by night, bright by day – features a chef's table and open kitchen. Specialising in seasonal "market-to-table" comfort food with innovative twists, ingredients are mostly sourced from the Hudson Valley. Breakfast, lunch and dinner (three courses, without wine, from £46 a head) are served, as is a superb brunch.
Bar Seven Five – where staff concoct cocktails at your table – hopes to attract a crowd as the weekday markets close. But expect it to be quieter at weekends until it builds a reputation.
Aimed at a Wall Street clientele, the bijou spa's menu offers "shares" (treatments in 15-minute blocks) and "stocks" (longer, customisable sessions), starting at £24 and using Luzern aloe vera-based products. A well-equipped gym offers a substantial workout space by New York City hotel standards.
Wheelchairs are available, as are accessible, adapted guest rooms. There is Braille room signage. Children are welcome and rollaway beds can be arranged.
A Very Important Baby programme, featuring in-room baby gates and organic bath products, is in development. There is a charge for pets and a pet-owner package is in the pipeline.
A standard Andaz King room starts at £190 per night, without breakfast. Suites from $1,125 (£785). Simone Kane travelled to New York with Virgin Atlantic (08448 747747; virginatlantic.com), which flies from London Heathrow to New York daily, with fares from £392. For more information on what's new in New York City, visit nycgo.com.
Andaz Wall Street, 75 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005 (00 1 212 590 1234; wallstreet.andaz.com).
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