Rising 25 stories above mid-town Manhattan, one of the spectacular buildings featured in the recent Spider Man film is the Bryant Park Hotel.
It has quickly become the place to go in New York City if you want to fast-forward to the 22nd century and lose yourself in luxury.
A spawn of the Art Deco period, the backdrop lending to the hotel’s majesty is the 1924 landmark American Radiator Building on West 40th Street, finely situated between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, overlooking Bryant Park. Its stately splendour inspired Georgia O’Keefe’s famous painting Radiator Building - Night, New York and spurred her lover, photographer Alfred Steiglitz, to include the building in his cityscapes.
Philip Pilevsky, a former partner of Ian Schrager, is the mastermind behind the building’s luxurious transformation into a 129-room hotel. Renowned British architect David Chipperfield is the man to thank for the plush interior. Leather headboards, B&B Italia chaise lounges, lipstick-red leather panels, red lacquer in the lobby, white walls standing naked like a blank canvas in the bedroom, travertine bathrooms clad by Czech & Speake and marmalade-coloured Tibetan rugs declare Chipperfield’s austere aesthetics.
The stylish surroundings are matched equally with the service the hotel provides. From 24 hour private dining to a concierge who is ready to handle your requests at any hour, service is what makes The Bryant Park the ultimate destination for the discerning traveller. It’s no wonder the roster of people who’ve already sunk into the designer beds and thrown the cashmere blankets around them like a cloak reads like a Who’s Who of the music and movie industries.
A stunning 70-seat screening room is the hotel’s crown jewel. Halle Berry stopped by for a screening of “Monster’s Ball”; Harvey Weinstein was over for the premiere of “In The Bedroom”. Screenings at the hotel have also attracted celebrities like Joey Fatone, Yoko Ono, John Travolta, Marisa Tomei, Alec Baldwin, John McEnroe, Martin Scorcese, and Ethan Hawke. You never know who is lurking in the basement of the hotel!
If you’ve yet to feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven, Bryant Park’s restaurant ‘Ilo’ (Finnish for ‘bliss’) will soon transform your state of mind. Head chef Rick Laakkonen (of New York’s River Café fame) follows an award-winning script. He is of a rare breed of chefs who is solidly grounded in the fundamentals of flavour, texture and harmony, yet at the same time is effortlessly inventive. Beyond the pudding, happing endings can be found in the Cellar Bar, one of New York’s trendiest haunts that lures the Big Apple’s techno-smart, cinematically savvy, fashion-forward crowds.
- Manhattan’s obvious choice for metropolitan chic.