Teslas and Green Caviar Facials: How NYC's Newest Luxury Hotels Are Raising the Stakes

NYC Hotels - The William Vale - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Jody Kivort

Recently debuted properties are engaging in an arms race to attract the likes of Jennifer Lawrence with ultra luxe amenities such as Hotel Indigo Lower East Side's unobstructed 360-degree views (courtesy of purchased air rights), just in time Hollywood to check in for the Tribeca Film Festival.

The Whitby Hotel (Midtown)
Rooms from $695, presidential suite is $12,000
18 West 56th Street; 212-586-5656; firmdalehotels.com

On Feb. 28, U.K.-based Firmdale Hotels quietly opened The Whitby Hotel in upper midtown, steps from Central Park, Rockefeller Center and MoMA. The eccentric yet intimate property features 86 individually designed rooms with high ceilings, fabric-lined walls and floor-to-ceiling windows; many suites are equipped with rare-in-midtown private terraces. The entire top floor is dedicated to the 12,000-square-foot, two-bedroom presidential suite with two furnished terraces, private elevator and private butler. Co-owner and design director Kit Kemp merged contemporary English decor with engaging modern art by notable visual artists, like Hermione Skye's rainbow-hued loom woven above the lobby reception desk and Maarten Baas' "Real Time" grandfather clock. Power meetings take place in the stylish restaurant bar that moonlights as a drawing room with fireplace, and a state-of-the-art, 130-seat screening room utilizes advanced Dolby Atmos technology for premium sound and projection. Wilson, starring Laura Dern and Woody Harrelson, who stayed at the hotel as did Morgan Freeman, recently screened. The Whitby is Firmdale's second N.Y. location after Crosby Street Hotel in Soho, a sanctuary for such celebrity guests as Kevin Spacey, Ryan Gosling, Heidi Klum and Oliver Stone.

Four Seasons Downtown New York (Tribeca)
Rooms from $599
27 Barclay Street; 646-880-1999
; fourseasons.com/newyorkdowntown

Sixteen years in the making, Four Seasons Downtown New York opened last September just steps from the World Trade Center. The Robert A.M. Stern-designed property is set inside the first 24 floors of an 84-story building, and includes 189 contemporary rooms, with 28 suites designed by Yabu Pushelberg. The highlight is the spa with its 75-foot indoor heated lap pool, the largest luxury hotel pool in Manhattan, and a treatment menu featuring high-end Dr. Burgener Switzerland skincare products making their U.S. debut and green-caviar facials starting at $340. Karolina Kurkova, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have all dined at Cut, Wolfgang Puck's first Manhattan restaurant.

The Beekman (Financial District)
Rooms from $619
123 Nassau Street; 212-233-2300;

The Beekman by Thompson Hotels — opened in August in an 1881 landmark building — conjures Gotham's Gilded Age. The hotel's nine-story Victorian atrium with pyramidal skylight is an architectural masterpiece, and the 287 rooms with original molding, period chandeliers, bespoke furnishings and Carrara marble-tiled bathrooms were designed by Swedish designer Martin Brudnizki. Its two restaurants helmed by respective luminaries have been well-reviewed: Tom Colicchio's Fowler & Wells — featuring turn-of-the-century, NYC cuisine like oysters Rockefeller and lobster salad — and Keith McNally's French brasserie Augustine. Since opening, Daniel Craig and Girls' Alex Karpovsky have visited, and the atrium served as the runway for Valentino's Pre-Fall 2017 show.

1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge (Brooklyn)
Suites facing the Statue of Liberty from $498
60 Furman Street; 347-696-2500;

After it's successful Central Park opening in August 2015, 1 Hotel debuted its Brooklyn location in February. Right on the East River, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge features unique, Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge views from all suites, and a 50-seat screening room with full HD-digital projection. The 4,000-square-foot, 10th-floor rooftop pool will open this summer, and the hotel, known for a highbrow commitment to the environment, offers Tesla premium electric vehicles, valet parking for bikes and eco-conscious design. Ethan Hawke, who lives in nearby Boerum Hill, has been spotted taking meetings. 

Indigo LES (Lower East Side)
Penthouse from $2,200
171 Ludlow St.; 212-237-1776;

Flanked between Sean MacPherson's The Ludlow and Sixty LES, Hotel Indigo Lower East Side — the flagship for Intercontinental's millennial-centric brand — bought the air rights at its prime location on Ludlow and Houston, so it's the only property with unobstructed, 360-degree views. The 26-story property has become a fixture for young Hollywood luminaries like Zoe Kravitz, Dakota Fanning and Emile Hirsch, who unwind at the indoor-outdoor rooftop bar, Mr. Purple, run by the Gerber Group. It's also become a magnet for film events, like the official afterparty for T2: Trainspotting with director Danny Boyle, Ewan McGregor, Helena Christensen, Michael Shannon and Rosario Dawson. The duplex penthouse suite crowning the hotel features all floor-to-ceiling windows and three terraces with views of downtown, uptown and the Williamsburg Bridge.

AKA Wall Street
One-bedroom suite starts at $369/night based on a weekly stay
84 William Street; 212-252-9090;

AKA Wall Street, a luxury hotel residence that specializes in long stays, is close to the Tribeca Film Fest action. In a neoclassical building that opened in late June 2016, the property features a rooftop space with outdoor cinema, Technogym fitness center, curated art and Blue Ribbon Federal Grill (by Blue Ribbon Sushi's Bromberg brothers). Accommodations range from spacious studio suites to penthouses, 132 in all, equipped with custom bedding by Frette, full kitchens and living rooms. Bold-faced names that frequently stay — given the privacy and residential feel — include Jennifer Lawrence, director Lee Daniels and Richard Gere, who screened his 2014 vehicle Time Out of Mind at AKA in Philadelphia and Beverly Hills.

The Williamsburg Hotel (Brooklyn)
Studio rooms from $595; Skyline suite from $795
96 Wythe Ave.; 718-362-8100;

Brooklyn's luxury hotel boom lures A-listers across the river. Opened in January, the Williamsburg Hotel is an industrial gem designed by Michaelis Boyd Studio, which also helped create Soho House West Hollywood. All 150 rooms are encased in brick, glass and steel with double-height ceilings and suites with outdoor terraces. Ovadia and Sons, a lauded Brooklyn-based design team, designed the staff uniforms. Since opening, Grey's Anatomy's Kevin McKidd and iconic Russian punk band Pussy Riot — whose anti-Trump music video went viral last fall — have checked in.

The William Vale (Brooklyn)
Rooms from $349, Garden Vale Residence Penthouse from $6,000
111 N. 12th St.; 718-631-8400;

The William Vale, which opened in September steps from McCarren Park, features 183 suites, all equipped with private balconies, with access to a 60-foot pool, the Andrew Carmellini restaurant Leuca and rooftop bar with skyline views. ABC's The Bachelor filmed here and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody actor Dylan Sprouse signed a lease in the retail space for his new brewery concept All Wise. The bilevel penthouse includes a private deck with outdoor hot tub facing the Manhattan skyline.