Recently, I was in New York, celebrating my 50th birthday (as I have so many others) with my sister-from-another-mister, Amy Sacco, who'd been approached by and teamed up with Gucci to produce BUNGALOW GUCCI, a party to celebrate the recent opening of Gucci’s new 9,000sqft two-story pink-and-chrome boutique in the Meatpacking District, while simultaneously serving as the Italian luxury brand’s pre-party for the Met Gala, a couple of nights later. The party was an unmitigated success for all involved, and you can read about that, by clicking the link above.
On the advice of a friend, I decided to try out the Hard Rock Hotel New York (hereafter referred to as HRHNY), for a number of reasons. Frankly, I hadn’t even been aware that such a hotel existed (though to be fair, it has only been open for a year). Also, as Hard Rock International (which has been owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida since 2007) had recently purchased The Mirage Hotel & Casino (soon to be the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas) from MGM Resorts International, I figured it’d be a perfect opportunity to check out the hospitality at one of the company’s newest non-gaming properties.
Maybe I’d set the bar too low (it’s happened), but whatever I was expecting paled in comparison to what I encountered, and it all started the moment I was greeted by the doorman, David, who then asked my name (by which he referred to me for the rest of my stay), welcomed me to the hotel, and presented me with my key cards, all while smoothly handing me off, like a cossetted baton, to the bellman who escorted me up to my suite. Cheers to Hard Rock Hotels’ Pre-Registration/Online Check-in option that eliminated the standard check-in process!
As much as I love a grand lobby, sometimes (especially during a bout of inclement weather) I enjoy a hotel where the elevators are located within a stone’s throw of the entry. When I’m wet and cold and cranky, I just want to get on the elevator and get to my room without having to interact with people, no matter how well-intentioned they might be. This is not to say that there’s no lobby at the HRHNY. In fact, there’s a rather soaring one that’ll take your breath away, but instead of being located right inside the vestibule, it’s on the second floor, and like the rest of the property, was designed by Jeffery Beers International.
I took the elevator up to my room—a Studio Suite with Balcony—which at first glance appeared to be on the small side (389sqft), but after I’d unpacked and pushed the buttons that opened the shades and sheers, it proved to be very thoughtfully laid-out and appointed, with plenty of daylight to brighten things up (even while it was raining!). Wood paneling; strategic use of ambient lighting; a leather headboard that lit the metallic sculpture on the wall above; floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a glass door that slid open to allow access to the semi-private terrace, outside; and generous use of brass trim lent the room a stylishly subdued vibe; while the creamy marble, brass fixtures, a Rainfall shower, and gold-leaf accents in the bathroom brought luxury to where it’s most appreciated. All the while, a life-size, Ultra Violet-hued image of Bruce Springsteen, transferred onto the glass of the wood-trimmed sliding door to the bathroom, smiled at me, day and night.
The placement and integration of such amenities as a closet large enough to store all of my things as well as both of my suitcases; plenty of deep drawers in Bleu Majorelle lacquer with brass pulls; a steamer; a banquette and table; a pull-out, drawer-style, lift-top safe spacious enough to hold a large laptop; and a Lavazza espresso-maker—not to mention the array of outlets and USB ports above the nightstands on both sides of the King-sized bed outfitted with Hard Rock’s signature 100% cotton Sleep Like a Rock® linens—made it obvious that careful consideration had been given to the room’s design.
There are a number of noteworthy venues at HRHNY, my favorites of which are the tony RT60 Rooftop Bar & Lounge, on the 34th floor; and the swanky NYY Steak, on the ground floor. RT60 is rather gorgeous, features direct access from street level, and spans the entire floor. The glass-enclosed venue centers on a long bar and features a pair of expansive outdoor terraces, one facing Uptown and the other with a Downtown view.
Downstairs, NYY Steak—a joint venture between the famed New York Yankees and Hard Rock International—beckons to guests with such sophisticated design touches as walls paneled in rich woods from Mozambique, antique bronze mirrored ceilings, a custom signature wall featuring the autographs of 86 legendary Yankees, blue leather banquettes and chairs, warm caramel-hued lighting, and fine China inscribed with player numbers in the Yankees’ iconic insignia, upon which executive chef Oscar Gonzalez’s heritage-sourced steaks, local market seafood, and creative mains are presented.
Highlights of my birthday dinner at NYY Steak—at which Ann Dexter-Jones, Carole Radziwill, Greg Calejo, and I, joined HRH honcho Dale Hipsh—included a bountiful seafood and shellfish presentation known as the Home Run (with Lobster Tails, Poached Colossal Shrimp, West/East Coast Oysters, Marinated Tuna Tartare, and Slow-cooked Octopus), Waffle Tots with Crème Fraiche and Caviar, three different meaty mains (if memory serves, the 24oz Ribeye, the 28oz Porterhouse, and the scrumptious 14oz Pork Chop Ribeye), a Charred Whole Branzino, and Thousand Layer Potatoes in Duck Fat; all set to a delectable curation of syrupy sambas and breezy bossa novas, that counterbalanced the decidedly masculine décor by bathing it in a fantastically feminine ambiance.
So, if you’re looking for well-appointed digs in the Theater District, especially if you enjoy being able to step outside and take in the fresh night air from a sky-high terrace, then you might consider Hard Rock Hotel New York.
Hard Rock Hotel New York
159 West 48th Street | Times Square
Click HERE for info
Get into it!