Special Envoy to New York,
A flagship American destination, New York attracted 65.2 million visitors in 2018, including 13.5 foreign tourists and 807,000 French. With a figure up 5.2% compared to 2017, France ranks 4th among the countries across the Atlantic to have eaten the Big Apple, behind Great Britain, China and Brazil. And the city does not intend to stop there. With its “2019: unmissable year” program, New York intends to continue its tourist ascent with 137,000 hotel rooms by 2021.
Before completing your reservations, Le Figaro invites you to discover five remarkable hotels that blew their first candle in 2018, or have undergone a renovation. Three are in Manhattan and two in Brooklyn. We have chosen them for their style, their history, their inspiration, their commitment to the planet, with the help of the New York Tourist Office (www.nycgo.com). Guided tour.
1 – Le Whitby Hotel
An address full of colors and imprinted with travel memories, second to the Firmdale hotels name. Two blocks from Central Park and very close to MoMA, the Whitby is one of those art galleries that line 56th Street where it is located. The designer who owns it, Kit Kemp (with her husband Tim), took it to heart to invent a decor in a style drawn from India and Africa for the 136 rooms spread over 12 floors. In large and bright rooms with light wood furniture and covered with shimmering fabrics, a detonating cocktail of ethnic objects and modern and contemporary art is staged. It gives off a warm atmosphere.
Special mention, on the ground floor, for this assembly of wicker baskets suspended souk style above the bar counter. It is next to a composition of multicolored threads stretched from the ceiling in the style of Sheila Hicks, just at the entrance of the restaurant. The white wall of the latter, along its entire length, is pierced with niches where the flagship monuments of the country are exposed, engraved in frosted satin glass. An original address, which even has an ultramodern theater in the basement.
The Whitby hotel, 8 W 56 th Street, New York, NY 10019 ( 00. 212.939.75.56 et www.thewhitbyhotel.com). From $ 555 per night in a double room, excluding breakfasts
2 – Beekman Hotel
At the southern tip of Manhattan, it’s a 19th-century red-brick turreted monument amid the skyscrapers of the Financial District. An eccentric 4-star hotel whose Queen Anne-style library tea room is pierced by a pyramidal atrium up to the glass roof. Dizzying view from the interior balconies of the ten riad-style floors.
The writer Edgar Poe was used to it and inspired the collection of surrealist works hanging on the walls. Three waves of work in 1881, 1883 and 1889 brought together the three buildings that make up this establishment of 287 rooms and suites. Before, there were offices there. Its industrial past is reflected in the listed architecture of its interior and facade. The rooms are small and the bathrooms have small marble tiles. The minibar offers Brooklyn beer and cider.
The most surprising is to be found in the two turrets which each house a “penthouse”. These duplex mezzanines, branded by designer Martin Brudinski, feature a rather heterogeneous decor. The good surprise is on the mezzanine. It looks like a setting conducive to erotic dreams: a king size bed with a retro bathtub at its feet, seem to be waiting for their guests in the diffused light of a small skylight.
The Beekman hotel, 123 Nassau St, NY 10038. (00.212.233.23.00 et www.thompsonhotels.com) From $ 619 per night in a double room excluding breakfasts, $ 7,000 per penthouse.
3 – Made Hotel
Lower your head. The name of the hotel is not displayed in large letters on its wooden facade but on the ground, engraved in the gilded metal of a plaque fixed on the wide sidewalk of gray squares. It’s not easy to find a bonus on board when you walk with your nose turned towards the district’s skyscrapers. And yet: “It’s the direction of the gaze when looking for direction on your smartphone,” says Tobias Lindvall, our young host of Swedish origin who welcomes us all smiles in the lobby.
In the Broadway neighborhood on 29th Street and next door to the NoMad hotel, Made is the first hotel of entrepreneur Sam Gelin. The latter, after a career in the world of finance and private aviation, took a 180 ° turn by creating an “experiential society” dedicated to “eating well” and “drinking well”, local and organic. Not finding a hotel to his liking, Sam Gelin created one.
Made opened in the fall of 2016 and immediately made the buzz, by its concept, its originality, its accessibility (between 245 and 500 dollars per night depending on the season in an area where luxury hotels cost double). Its name says a lot about the spirit of the place: “Made”, “doing”, like “know-how”, “do it yourself”, “homemade”.
The place looks like the Brooklyn Antechamber. Its flagship clientele: a crowd of young, ultra-stylish hipsters (dense beard and high bun for men in checkered shirts), and connected. On a vintage African-inspired sofa, in front of a wooden table from Zambia, you can drink a Brooklyn beer or a Brooklyn coffee in Japanese ceramic Kinto mugs. The “locavores” are kings there. A den for ecotourism who also appreciate the raw, natural and cosmopolitan materials used in the 108 rooms. Zen, ethnic and chic atmosphere. And festive in the evening, at the restaurant in the basement and at the bar on the “roof top” from where the view plunges over the rooftops from which protrudes, at this place, the Empire State Building, “the King’s Tower. Kong ”like in the movies.
Made Hotel, 44 W 29th St, New York, NY 10001 (00.212.213.44.29 et www.madehotels.com). From $ 245 per night in a double room, excluding breakfast.
4 – 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
The best view of New York. From the 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the gaze embraces the entire “skyline” of Manhattan. The hotel was built right in front, block of glass and white design at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, on the reinvented banks of the East River (lawn, sports fields, kayaks and cycle paths equipped with free bikes. -service), in the picturesque district of Dumbo (acronym for Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass). It is unlike any of its two predecessors, in Central Park and Miami, created by Barry Sternlicht.
The 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge is an ex-nihilo creation, inaugurated in 2017. A hotel where we find the same desire to combine ethics and aesthetics as in Made, with raw materials, natural, recyclable, but in a luxury version . The credo of its founder: “To circulate the energy of life of the new generations through art and culture”. At the confluence of the communities of Manhattan and Brooklyn, you can get there by subway ($ 1.30 a ticket, line 1 High Street station) or by the NYC Ferry shuttle boat ($ 2.75) in 3 minutes from the Pier 11 Wall Street to Pier 1 in Dumbo, in front of the hotel.
The decor is set from the vast lobby with very high ceilings, with its green wall irrigated with rainwater received on the roof and the beds of decorative moss. The smell of wood fills the atmosphere all the better as it is diffused in the air conditioning, reveals to us an indiscreet.
On the wooden keyring of the 200 rooms (the 528 is impeccable), the spirit of the place is printed: “recycle everything”. For the bedrooms, local artists (Uhuru Handmade, Harrison Green) made the furniture from reclaimed wood and industrial steel. Arriving at night offers the extraordinary surprise of seeing the illuminated skyscrapers of New York with the slightly offset Brooklyn Bridge. As if we were at the bow of a boat. Wealthier guests, lucky enough to stay in the Presidential Suite (Room 806, $ 6,000 a night), even see the Statue of Liberty in the far left.
In an ecotourism logic, the use of paper is reduced to a minimum here: all the information is in the iPad which is also used to modulate the lighting. The use of plastic is also a minimum: in the bathroom open to the bedroom, no small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soap – shower or body cream, but large bottles filled every day.
No glass water bottle either: we use a “spring” nestled in the wall, turning on a tap. No detail escapes the environmental consciousness: in the cupboard, the cardboard hangers display: “contains gift wrap”, “contains love letters”, “contains homework” “contains maps”. And it is by a pebble placed in front of its door that one indicates “do not disturb”.
The restaurant is a haven of good living and good food, with organic products made in the area, from farms installed on the roofs. The 1 hotel is always full and each hour has its own unique life: that of families with strollers and children in the morning, that of girlfriends who grow old together at tea time, that of active women taking a break at the spa, that of couples who form in the evening at the restaurant and bar on the top floor, adjoining the rooftop pool. Finally, that of the weekend, with its procession of married people who prolong the festivities until the next morning.
1hotel Brooklyn Bridge, 60 Furman st, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (00. 1.877.803.111et www.1hotels.com). From $ 350 per night in a double room and $ 28.31 for breakfast.
5 – The William Vale
In Brooklyn, in the Williamsburg neighborhood, the former cradle of hipsters has become Manhattan’s most “trendy” extension, one subway station away (Bedford, on the L line). Its former warehouses have been taken over by fashion designers, transformed into art galleries, lofts or even “coffee-shops” and other cool and “friendly” “bakeries”. During our stay, the rain and the fog dampened our desire to stroll in the neighborhood.
Suddenly, we took refuge in the bar on the top floor of the William Vale, a huge ultramodern glazed hotel on stilts that emerged from the ground in 2017. At 4 pm, the bar was full. It’s “the place to be”, where those under thirty happily sip cocktails and champagne with organic snacks “made in Brooklyn”. From this 22nd floor, the panorama is breathtaking on a clear day. The bar opens onto the largest rooftop pool in the neighborhood. The restaurant in the basement plunges us into an Italian trattoria. And the 180 designer and bright rooms are all equipped with a balcony, a must.
The William Vale, 111 N 12th st, Brooklyn, NY 11249 (00.1.718.631.8400 et www.thewilliamvale.com). From $ 261 per person in a double room.
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