Say hello to The New York Edition, the new focal point for 24-hour party people in the city that never sleeps
BY DEE IVA
If there's one place that will always be associated with American hotelier Ian Schrager it's New York nightclub Studio 54. That legendary hedonistic hot spot of the late Seventies set the template for all the imitations that followed in its footsteps, breathing new life into the stagnant club scene. By the time Schrager sold 54 in 1981 the new club culture of the Eighties was taking hold but it owed him a huge debt.
Studio 54's 'dare to be different' attitude has informed each of Schrager's groundbreaking hotels. The Delano in Miami, the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, St Martins Lane in London and Public Chicago are just a few of Schrager's pleasure palaces that have hosted and entertained guests from all over the world who want to check in and freak out together.
But now there's a new place to see and be seen. Situated on Madison Avenue, The New York Edition is the latest launch from the EDITION hotel group, a brand conceived by Schrager in cahoots with Marriott International. It joins earlier offerings in London, Istanbul and Miami Beach, with future crash pads planned from Bangkok to Bali. The days of Bianca Jagger riding in on a white horse may be over, but The NYE is a great place to let your hair down in style. Inspired by the elegant mansions of Fifth Avenue, it has uptown funk without being uptight.
The pared back guest rooms feature a relaxed neutral colour scheme with pale oak floors, dark oak panelling, marble bathrooms with enclosed rain showers and masses of light. Many rooms have sculptural vaulted ceilings and the penthouse suite channels Mad Men with sultry oak panelling throughout, classic mid-century modern furniture and a private roof terrace.
These calming retreats are in stark contrast to The Clocktower, the Edition's impressive restaurant (above) opened by Michelin-starred Brit talent Jason Atherton, whose modern brasserie-style menu mixes classic English fare (black pudding, anyone?) with American, European and North African recipes. The eatery's name hails from the historic 41-storey clock tower the hotel occupies, built in 1909 as the headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (aka Met Life Tower). Atherton's first stateside venture is a series of three colour-coded interconnecting salons featuring high ornate ceilings, dark herringbone floors, modern chandeliers by Frenchman Eric Schmitt and walls adorned with photographs of New York icons and street scenes. A gold-leafed bar and a separate billiard room with purple felted table and purple chandelier complete what is fast becoming known as Midtown's hippest hang out. You could imagine Carrie and the rest of the Sex and the City crew rocking up and downing Cosmopolitans till the sun sets. If you're looking for grown-up glamour with understated style in the heart of the Big Apple, this is your playground.
The New York Edition, 5 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, USA. Rooms from US$675 a night.