So I find myself in New York City – one of my favourite cities in the world. Unfortunately I am here just in transit (for one day and a half) on my way to Los Angeles. I love staying with Starwood hotels and the hotel has a central location on 57th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. It is close to many designer boutiques, shopping precincts and jewellers to max out your credit card.
The hotel has an interesting layout with a vast lobby with vaulted ceilings and Greco-Roman style stone seats and columns. Here is short video of the lobby area.
The tune in the video is What’s Up from 4 Non Blondes. I do not own the rights to this song.
The rooms have a minimalistic décor with a focus on limited clutter – the soft plush beds, an economical work bench and a chair for rest. The bathroom also has a focus on functional / practicality rather than bling / luxe feel. The amenities are from Moonshine which also run the spa in the hotel. They are pretty good and I do fall in love with their dark brown bottles of lotions, soaps and gels.
The tune in the video is Empire State Of Mind from Alicia Keys. I do not own the rights to this song.
The key highlight of the hotel is their rooftop pool. It’s situated on-top with stunning views over the city and Central Park.
It’s simple to access, when you’re there just grab a towel, sign-in and do a couple of laps and then chill on the lounge seats next to the pool. You can order from a bar menu and sip on a lovely cocktail or nibble on some snacks and take in the view of the pool and Central Park and pool. It is a lovely way to spend the afternoon I must say.
A picture is worth a 1000 words and a video is worth 1000 pictures, so here is a lovely video of the pool and the views of Central Park.
The tune in the video is Young and Beautiful from Lana Del Rey. I do not own the rights to this song.
Norma’s is a bit of a New York breakfast institution. They have a wide choice of brekkie dishes, the serving sizes are extremely large and it is home to the famous $1,000 caviar and lobster omelette. The décor in Norma’s is almost like a basic café and the service is very attentive.
I opt for the Upstream Eggs Benedict (Buttermilk Pancakes, Poached Eggs, Hollandaise, Smoked Salmon, Caviar and potatoes).
The soft moist and sweet buttermilk pancakes soak the runny egg yolk and hollandaise sauce while the lovely gelatine texture of the white is a textural treat. The intense salt of the salmon & caviar balances the general sweetness of the pancakes. The potatoes were probably an overload.
I visited Knave a couple of times on my visit. It has high vaulted ceilings with a gothic style décor in what is really a passageway in the hotel. The plush sofas / chairs and low tables are the perfect way to have a “waste-a-away” cocktail sipping evening.
They do breakfasts in the morning. The coffee they do here is amazing. It’s not the Starbucks junk or the plunger stuff. I actually enjoyed my coffee experience here and it was probably the best coffee I have had in NYC.
In the afternoon I sipped on some cocktails. Complimentary nibbles (which are quite good) including battered olives and premium nuts are brought out and one can let the afternoon slip away in this spot. It is also the perfect tonic post an afternoon of 5th Avenue shopping.
Other Dining Spots
The hotel has a couple of other dining spots which I didn’t get to try on this visit. There is the Burger Joint which appears out of place in the hotel. It is a no-frills burger bar which is really no-frills. I have been there four years ago, but it didn’t quite hit the spot for me. There is also an Indian restaurant for restaurant style dining at dinner as Norma’s closes at 3pm daily.
If pampering is your thing, there is a range of outlets in the hotel to cater for every need. They are all super specialised; there is the Dry Bar (which just blow dries your hair – no cuts or colours), Sharps (an old-school barber shop), Tenoverten (pedicures), Blushington (lashes and brows), the Skin Laundry (laser & light skin treatment) and Moonshine (Spa – massages & facials).
To be honest I didn’t try the pampering services at all, so am unable to opine. It seems to be ideal for those on their way to fashion and gala events.
Overall the hotel is fine. It’s all about the location, if you’re in NYC for a short period of time and want to be next to the action, then this is a good place to stay. It is acceptable for an overnight / two day stay, but unless you’re going to stay immersed in the rooftop pool all day long, an extended stay may require a little bit more of a luxe choice.